Chuck Damico Named Program Director for Philadelphia Sports Talker ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’ Six months after programming pro Eric Johnson exited the program director role at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces it is promoting programmer Chuck Damico to the position, effective immediately. Damico has most recently been serving as PD for sister adult hits WBEN-FM and as APD for rock WMMR-FM. He will continue to serve as the APD at WMMR-FM as well as consult with WBEN-FM until a permanent replacement is announced. Beasley Philadelphia VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “Chuck was the perfect person to take the helm at ‘The Fanatic.’ He is an outside-the-box thinker who knows the market, the listeners, the staff, and is a life-long Philly sports fan! He will do a great job taking the station to the next level and beyond!” Eric Camille, who has been filling in as the interim program director, will continue serving as assistant program director and operations manager of the station.
Hochman and Entercom Strike Contract Extension Deal. South Florida sports talk radio personality Marc Hochman renews his deal with Entercom to continue his role on its Miami sports talk stations WAXY “AM 790 The Ticket” and WQAM “560 The Joe.” He co-hosts the “Hochman and Crowder” program with Channing Crowder that airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm on WAXY and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on WQAM. Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Marc is a staple in the Miami sports media scene and brings a dynamic repertoire to our weekday sports talk programming on both ‘The Ticket’ and ‘The Joe.’ With four flagship partnerships between the two stations, the lack of live sports has created a unique challenge in programming, but Marc and Channing have continued to inform, entertain and engage with listeners. We look forward to more in the years to come.” Hochman joined WQAM as an afternoon drive host in 2013 after spending the previous 10 years as executive producer of “The Dan Le Batard Show” on AM 790 The Ticket. “Hochman and Crowder” has been heard on both stations via simulcast since 2019.
NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. The new episode titled “Masking the Truth!” looks back at this past week of June 22-26, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, talk show host, Compass Media Networks; Robyn Walensky, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Holland Cooke, media consultant/talk show host, RT America; Ron Hartenbaum, broadcast talent manager/marketing executive; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports that ESPN Radio has inked a deal with Keyshawn Johnson – currently co-hosting the “Keyshawn, LZ & Travis” show on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles – to take over the morning show daypart on the ESPN Radio network. That would mean the end of the “Golic & Wingo” morning show co-hosted by longtime morning personality Mike Golic and Trey Wingo. Andrew Marchand’s piece in the Post indicates ESPN has not decided on co-hosts or cast mates for Johnson yet but says the show should launch in August…..Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is honored with three awards from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists. Reporter Dino Flammia won third place for the Herbert Morrison Award for best audio story, for his series on child mental health, giving parents actionable information about options for getting their children help. Eric Scott, director of special projects, afternoon anchor Patrick Lavery, digital operations specialist Dan Alexander, and digital managing editor Louis C. Hochman shared second place for the Gabe Pressman Award for best news video for 2019’s “Opioids and Addiction” town hall. Statehouse correspondent Michael Symons won third place for the Tim O’Brien award for best use of public records, for “New Jersey’s incredibly shrinking property tax relief program.”…..ESPN reports that during the month of May, ESPN Podcasts experienced 44.2 million downloads, the seventh month in the last eight with a total of 40 million or more. The number represents an 11% increase over the previous month and a year-over-year increase of 32%. In addition, the average ESPN listener downloaded 8.62 podcast episodes in May, up 40% over last year. ESPN’s unique podcast audience is verified by Podtrac and download totals by Rawvoice…..iHeartMedia and youth media company VICE Media Group announce the launch of a weekly investigative series “covering critical news subjects from around the world” titled “VICE News Reports.” The series is being co-produced by iHeartRadio and VICE News. The companies say, “The year-round weekly series will feature in-depth, on-the-ground reportage, tapping into VICE’s extensive global network of diverse, award-winning journalists, offering rare access audio that brings the listener directly into the story unlike any other program.”…..Entercom-owned podcast producer Cadence13 unveils C13Features, “a groundbreaking podcast feature studio focused on creating a wide-ranging slate of compelling feature-length stories of all genres that appeal to a wide audience.” It goes on to say, “C13Features will use a traditional Hollywood blockbuster movie creative approach to construct audio features at scale. The objective is to develop a brand-new experience of storytelling to the podcast listening universe, while also creating an incubator for a new kind of IP, attractive for film and television.”…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay announces an agreement with the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee to be their exclusive local radio partner for Super Bowl LV in February 2021. As part of the broadcast agreement, iHeartMedia Tampa Bay will work with the Super Bowl LV Host Committee to support and promote Super Bowl LV initiatives and activations, including events and fan experiences as well as distribute news and information across all nine locally owned-and-operated iHeartMedia radio stations, digital platforms and social media channels…..“Tell Me What to Do with Jaime Primak Sullivan,” the seventh weekly podcast series from the Lemonada Media podcast network, launched yesterday (6/25). Sullivan, star of Bravo’s “Jersey Belle” and bestselling author of The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl (Touchstone, 2016) offers advice to listeners in what Lemonada calls an “edgy audio advice column” delving into topics such as “marital stressors and parenting challenges to developing self-love and taking ownership of our sex lives.”
COVID-19 Statistics and Projections Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 22-26. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in some states and projections for future outbreaks of the illness combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of health care during the pandemic and the debate over the efficacy of wearing masks in public. Coming in at #3 is a tie between race relations, police reform, the removal of Confederate and Colonial-era statues, and the NASCAR ‘Noose” case, followed by the presidential race, President Trump’s rallies, the primary elections, and former national security adviser John Bolton’s book all tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a regular basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes widely acclaimed Germany-based Hungarian progressive jazz-rock musician Leslie Mandoki and The Epoch Times leading edge investigative reporter on Communist China, Joshua Philipp. There are also guest commentators on diversity management, school and campus safety, as well as keeping Zoom events secure and private – plus a whole lot more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.
Saga Seeks News/Talk Programmer. Saga Communications holds every one of our news/talk stations in extremely high regard. Our 11 AM/FM news/talkers have been and remain a most important part of Saga’s large portfolio of stations. They are near and dear to Saga president/CEO Ed Christian’s heart with a love and passion for the format that is truly eternal. Saga has a rare opening for a focused and skilled news/talk program director at WHCU in Ithaca, New York. The Cayuga Radio Group has a total of 10 outstanding radio stations in virtually every format and is led by president/GM extraordinaire Chet Osadchey and our terrific operations manager Chris Allinger. Check out Ithaca! It’s home to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation such as Ithaca College and Ivy League member Cornell University. Looking to make a difference in one of the most beautiful parts of the country? We want to hear from you. Send your materials, including cover and resume, to operations director Chris Allinger at email@example.com. Join one of the premiere broadcast companies in the world. Saga is an EOE. No calls please.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A virtual, fundraising event designed to honor the community and benefit first responders who have withstood and continue to endure through the COVID-19 pandemic is being presented on July 2 at 7:00 pm ET by Reach Media and Radio One. Titled, “A Night of Inspiration,” it’s being hosted by Reach Media personalities Erica Campbell, Willie Moore Jr., and Darlene McCoy. Radio One EVP of business affairs and entertainment Gary Bond says, “‘The Night of Inspiration’ at its essence is about taking an inspirational moment and turning that into hours, days, weeks, and years of positive action during these unprecedented times. In this COVID-19 climate of social distancing and limited gatherings, we’re coming to people where they are, right in the living room, by bringing a spectacular night of entertainment to uplift, edify, and renew us all as agents of change.”…..Tonight (6/26) at 8:00 pm ET, more than 60 affiliate stations that air Premiere Networks’ “The Sweat Hotel” with Keith Sweat, will hear R&B legend Brian McKnight give a special, remote performance for fans as part of the “Keith Sweat Presents the iHeartRadio R&B Live Concert Series.”.….Non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee announces that its Backline grant and educational initiative for local musicians is continuing its 12-week accelerator program with the $20,000 grants despite the challenges of the pandemic. It announces the four Spring 2020 Backline artists are: Bisca Rae (FKA Liza Jane), an Anti-pop singer-songwriter; Cameron Jarrell Henderson, better known as Lorde Fredd33 (pronounced “Lord Freddy”), who’s made a name for himself by releasing a fusion of work that touches the bases of folk, alternative, and hip hop; Cameron Williams, also known as Cam Will, is a rap/hip hop artist who left behind his full-ride D1 athletic scholarship to channel his work ethic and determination into his passion for music full-time; and So Zuppy who is the solo music project from multimedia artist and producer Micah Foust…..Key Networks nationally syndicated country radio host Shawn Parr is pictured below with the staff of Jasper on the Air Inc’s country WQKZ, Jasper, Indiana, the newest affiliate station for his “Shawn Parr’s Across the Country” program.
Entercom Q4 2019 Net Revenue Up 1%; Full Year 2019 Up 1.9%. Releasing its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year financial data, Entercom Communications reports 2019 Q4 net revenue was $414.1 million, an increase of 1% over the same period in 2018. For the full year of 2019, Entercom reports net revenue of $1.49 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2018. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report that Entercom achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, completing a year in which the company delivered strong financial performance as net revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted net income per share grew 2% (3% ex-political), 10%, and 19%, respectively. Our significant investments in podcasting, digital, and data and analytics, along with the expansion of our sports, networks and events businesses, are beginning to reshape our company and position us for sustained growth as we enhance our integrated, multi-platform offerings to advertisers increasingly interested in the undervalued and emerging audio space.”
ABC Audio Names Eric Johnson Director and Executive Producer of Podcast Programming. News and broadcast producer Eric Johnson is named to the director and executive producer of podcast programming for ABC Audio, effective in mid-March. ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says Johnson – who most recently served as senior broadcast producer at “Good Morning America” – “is an award-winning producer with a knack for storytelling who’s touched nearly every part of ABC News over his 13-year career here. His strong relationships throughout the news division, coupled with his impressive experience in long-form and news programming, will make him a great asset to our flourishing podcast division. In his new role Eric will build on the success of our existing podcasts and help design a fresh powerhouse podcast network. He will strategically gather and organize podcast ideas and harness the talent, resources, and storytelling ability available across ABC News and Walt Disney Television.” Johnson was honored with a duPont Award as co-producer of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner and has won multiple Emmy Awards for projects including his role as senior producer of ABC News’ Town Hall “The President and the People: Race in America.”
Calendar Boy. WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning star Dom Giordano (above) is the creator and “host” of a 2020 wall calendar geared specifically to fans of the station, news/talk radio listeners and the local business community. The idea started several years ago, when Giordano, a former educator, noticed that important events in American history such as the invasion of Pearl Harbor were left off most commercially produced calendars. He then designed a calendar that not only includes a variety of such events but recognizes talk radio hosts and other items of specific interest to the listening audience. Giordano appears on a number of pages dressed in period costumes further adding color to the collectable piece. The calendar, monetized by local sponsors who are also featured in its pages, is distributed free to listeners as a highly sought premium at WPHT events.
Newsmax TV Appoints Jason Villar VP of Research and Analysis. Marketing pro Jason Villar joins Newsmax TV as vice president of research and analysis. In this position, Villar will head up data, market, and ratings analysis, and work closely with the company’s advertising and programming departments. Villar had been serving as vice president of media and market research for FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, and FOX Digital for the last 10-plus years. Newsmax CRO and EVP of national advertising Sam Moser says, “Jason was responsible for much of FOX’s forward-thinking research approach and we’re delighted he’s joined Newsmax TV to help make us America’s No. 1 choice for news.”
TALKERS News Notes. Topeka’s KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker” adds the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty Show” to its program schedule for the 8:00 am to 11:00 am daypart. The show says this move “continues the homecoming tour for Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty. They were each born in the Midwest and they met when working separately in radio in Salina, Kansas. They became a team when hired in Wichita and began their conservative talk show when they moved to KSTE-AM.” KMAJ-AM is a Cumulus Media station…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway will also be heard on iHeartMedia’s WOC, Quad Cities beginning tomorrow (2/26). Conway’s program is also heard on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids. Conway says, “What an honor it is for me to now be live on both of President Ronald Reagan’s first radio stations. I’m excited to hear from the WOC audience in Iowa and Illinois.”…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS-FM, St. Louis is bringing St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play personality Dan McLaughlin aboard as lead Cardinals contributor. In this role he’ll offer daily reports, interviews, and a one-hour weekly show, as well as filling in on other shows year-round. Station operations manager and brand content director Tommy Mattern says, “I am extremely excited that Dan has joined the staff at ‘101 ESPN.’ It’s so important to increase our coverage of St. Louis Cardinals baseball and having the voice of the team contribute on multi-platforms is invaluable.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Prologue Projects are producing a new podcast titled, “5-4,” presenting “an irreverent take on the U.S. Supreme Court’s past.” Each episode focuses on a pivotal case in which the justices make one of the most important decisions in recent memory – dissecting it from every angle and tearing it apart. The first episode tackles Bush v. Gore. Future episodes take on the Supreme Court’s decisions on campaign finance, affirmative action, voting rights, and stop and frisk…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin is the new co-host of the Saturday morning golf show “Scorecard” in Entercom’s WSCR “The Score.” He’ll work alongside WSCR reporter and update anchor David Schuster. The duo take over for Ed Sherman and Steve Olken, who resigned from the program after a 10-year run…..SB Nation Radio announces that in addition to having reporters at all NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites, it is adding Pat Kennedy and Daniel Ewing as analysts. They will both make appearances on all network programs throughout the tournament. Also, “SB Nation Tonight” host John Michaels will originate his show from the Final Four in Atlanta.
Presidential Race, Weinstein Verdict, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Tumble, Trump in India, Kobe Byrant Memorial/Lawsuit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24). The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November; the guilty verdicts in the sexual assault trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; the status of the coronavirus epidemic and concerns about the ability to avert a pandemic; the world’s financial markets dive as China’s productivity is affected by Covid-19; President Trump’s visit to India amidst adulation and protests; and Monday’s memorial for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in Los Angeles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Learning the Sports Talk Radio Biz! Pictured above (from l-r) are: WAXY-AM and WQAM, Miami sports talk host Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins center/long snapper Taybor Pepper, Dolphins quarterback Jake Rudock, Dolphins linebacker Terrill Hanks, and WAXY-AM and WQAM host Marc Hochman. Hochman tells TALKERS that while the NFL Combine is going on in Indianapolis, the Miami Dolphins offer their current players the chance to participate in a “Business Combine” where they can learn real estate, investing, and even broadcasting as players prepare for a life after football. Hence the three Dolphins above were at the Entercom South Florida studios getting an afternoon of broadcast instruction from former Dolphins LB Channing Crowder and Hochman.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Preston is named program director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country stations KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3.” Preston most recently served as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Baltimore and PD for country WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.” Cumulus Dallas-Houston RVP Dan Bennett says, “These two country brands, each in their own distinctive way, have captured the hearts of DFW country music fans. We believe Mike Preston is the right person to lead our talented teams into the future. Mike has had big success in his career as a creative PD who knows how to coach big time talent. We can’t wait to have him in Dallas to further ignite two of the most-listened-to country stations in America.”…..Programmer Jamillah Muhammad exits Taxi License Corp’s urban AC KJLH, Los Angeles “Radio Free 102.3” where she was operations manager…..Air personality Jenna Owens is leaving her daily role with the YEA Networks-syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to focus on her Fitish skin care business. Owens will continue her weekly “That’s What I Like” segment that airs each Friday and will become a correspondent for the show, doing press junkets in New York and Los Angeles, reporting live from events like SXSW, Coachella, and more. In addition to the correspondent role, she’ll team with her “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host, J-Si Chavez, to launch a weekly podcast, also called “Fitish,” that will be produced and distributed by YEA…..Public radio triple A personality Cindy Howes is joining WUNC, Raleigh to host the 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm daypart on the public media company’s triple A streaming station WUNC Music. Howes was previously with triple A WYEP, Pittsburgh as morning personality and host of the “Folk Alley and the Basic Folk” podcast…..Rachel Hubbard is promoted to executive director at Oklahoma State University’s news/talk/adult alternative KOSU, Oklahoma City. She most recently served as news director at the station. Hubbard comments, “I want to fight for public media in Oklahoma. Oftentimes, people look at news outlets that are outside of Oklahoma and talk about the things they’re doing well, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t own that right here in Oklahoma and have a media resource that is ours – it’s made by us and it’s made for us.”
Pete Mundo Upped to Program Director for KCMO-AM. Programming and on-air pro Pete Mundo is promoted from APD to program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City. Mundo is also host of the station’s morning show. Before joining Cumulus Kansas City, Mundo served as a host/anchor for FOX News Radio, CBS Sports Radio, Sports Illustrated’s daily platforms, and WFAN, New York. Cumulus Kansas City RVP and market manager Donna Baker says, “One of the most fulfilling rewards as a leader is seeing the impact that someone as talented as Pete can make in just two years. Growth of nearly 75% in audience since his arrival is the result of Pete’s daily focus, drive, passion, and hard work. This well-deserved promotion to program director is an opportunity to continue to expand the brand of KCMO Talk Radio for years to come.”
NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “Billions and Billions!” looks back at this past week of February 17-21, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TV; Howard Monroe, talk show host/owner, WKKX/WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Grace Curley, producer/co-host, the Howie Carr Show; Daliah Wachs, M.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings between 6:00 pm-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
Zaslow Re-Ups with ‘AM 790 The Ticket’ in Miami. Sports talk host Jonathan Zaslow and Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” agree to a new, multiyear contract extension for him to remain host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, “Zaslow and Amber,” alongside Amber Wilson. Zaslow will also continue to serve as pregame and postgame host for Miami Heat gameday broadcasts, as part of the station’s flagship coverage. Zaslow joined “AM 790 The Ticket” in 2004 and has served as an on-air personality for the station for the last 13 years. This year marks Zaslow’s 10th as a part of the station’s Heat gameday broadcasts. Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Jonathan Zaslow is a true Miami sports talent and an original employee of ‘790 The Ticket.’ We are thrilled to have him back for more passionate sports talk and lock him into our impressive weekday programming.”
Cumulus 2019 Q4 Net Revenue Down 7.7%; Same Station Net Revenue Dips 1.7%. Financial data for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2019 is reported by Cumulus Media. Net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $285.5 million, a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2018. However, on a same station basis, net revenue was down just 1.7%. For the full year of 2019, net revenue was $1.1 billion, down 2.4% from 2018. On a same station basis, net revenue – excluding political – of $1,103.2 million was up 1.4% from 2018. Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “I am very proud of the company’s 2019 results. On a same station basis, our team has now delivered the second year in a row of revenue growth and, excluding the impact of political, the third year in a row of Adjusted EBITDA growth. This performance was driven in large part by the industry-leading growth of our digital businesses and active cost management across our platforms. Additionally, we made strong progress against our financial goals during the year, paying down $220 million of debt with cash from operations and highly accretive divestitures, reducing net leverage to 4.7x. This year’s results reflect the success of our consistent focus on key strategies to create value for our investors. Despite a choppy environment and an expected political headwind, fourth quarter revenue finished in-line with the pacing we shared during our last earnings call, and, with some slight favorability on expenses, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA that was somewhat better than we had indicated. As we move into the new year, we are further expanding our delivery of compelling audio experiences and digital offerings that connect and support our advertisers and listeners. And, we are optimistic about 2020 and our continuing ability to drive strong operating and financial performance while aggressively reducing net leverage to below 4.0x.”
Round Three of January PPM’s Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2 – 29. Some of the spoken-word stations that performed well in January (weekly, 6+ AQH share) coming off the challenging Holiday survey were: Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland, which racked up a half share increase to finish the January survey with a 5.1 share and the #5 market rank. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte adds 1.4 shares to post a 4.9 share and the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds four-tenths to finish the month at a 5.7 share and standing steady at the #3 rank. In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s KFBK gains an amazing 2.7 shares to leap into a tie for the #1 rank in the market with an 8.6 share. Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City adds a full share to end the survey with a 5.0 share and the #7 rank in the market. You can see all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, check out TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.
Wednesday’s Democratic Debate and the Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of February 17-21. The Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas and the presidential race tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Trump’s post-impeachment pardons and appointments. Coming in at #3 was the Department of Justice turmoil and the related Roger Stone sentencing, followed by the covid-19 pandemic, U.S.-China relations, and the deadly flu season tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discusses on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Diana Boyce Completes Disney Princess 5K. Pictured above left is Diana Boyce, wife of Salem Radio Network SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce, braving the chilly temps and drizzle in Orlando this morning (2/21) while finishing the annual Disney Princess 5K race. The race is part of Disney Half Marathon Weekend that benefits some 17 charities. Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher cheering Diana on.
AWM/F Announce 2020 Board. The Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation (AWM/F) announce their 2020 National Board of Directors. Joining the AWM Board are: Katina Arnold, vice president, corporate communications, ESPN; Abby Auerbach, executive vice president, chief communications officer, TVB; Michelle Ray, executive director, The Walter Kaitz Foundation; Sandra Rice, senior vice president, outreach and strategic partnerships, Center for Talent Innovation; and Esther Mireya Tejeda, senior vice president, head of corporate communications & PR, Entercom. Officers of the board have been announced as Keisha Sutton-James, chair, vice president & CEO, Sutton Button Productions LLC, serving as chair; Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, serving as incoming chair; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, serving as immediate past chair; Josie Thomas, CBS, serving as treasurer; and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group, serving as incoming treasurer. The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, legal consultant; Abby Greensfelder, founder & CEO, Everywoman Studios; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; Jinny Laderer, co-founder & CEO, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president, LaVIGNE MEDIA; Kelly Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC. The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWMF: Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics. AWM executive director Becky Brooks says, “The role of the AWM and Foundation boards is to lead our organizations and industry as we recognize, connect and educate women in radio, television and interactive media. We have a true working board. This year’s new directors have voiced their dedication to donating time and resources to take these organizations to the next level. We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Columbia, South Carolina market, programming pro Chris Connors joins Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC-FM “Kiss 103.1” as program director. Connors was most recently with Alpha Media’s Columbia cluster as operations manager. He says, “We’ve already made ratings history in Columbia, and I’m very fortunate and extremely thankful to have the opportunity to do it again. Big thanks to John Dimick, Kenny Smoov, and Tammy O’Dell for entrusting me to lead the Columbia team. No need to pack or move; we’re ready on day one.”…..Nationally syndicated and WBLS-FM, New York afternoon drive host Deja Vu wraps up a month of celebration with the special, “The Deja Vu Show: Black History in Forward Motion,” being syndicated by ABC Audio. The commercial free, two-hour special celebrates the importance of African American representation in a variety of fields, including Broadway, film, TV and law. It features Deja Vu sitting down with iconic celebrities, artists, and influencers including: Will Packer, David Alan Grier, Celia Rose Gooding, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Isaac Wright Jr…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One syndicated radio host Lon Helton was honored with the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award at the Country Radio Seminar. This award – named for Tom Rivers, former WQYK PD and host of Westwood One holiday specials in the 1990s – recognizes an individual in the country radio industry who has given back to the community. Helton is one of the founders and advocates of the legendary country radiothon program, Country Cares For St. Jude Kids, that has raised almost $1 billion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital…..iHeartMedia announces that country star Blake Shelton is joining the lineup for the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One on Saturday, May 2 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The seventh annual event will also feature performances from Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Dustin Lynch, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Jon Pardi, and Chase Rice, plus Hot Country Knights, Bobby Bones, and more. The event will livestream exclusively on livexlive.com and broadcast live across iHeartMedia’s country radio stations in their local markets and at iHeartRadio.com.
Cox Enterprises’ Deal with Apollo Global Management Closes. According to Jessica Saunders’ report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cox Enterprises’ sale of its radio, TV, Ohio print brands, and affiliated businesses to an Apollo Global Management-controlled company has closed. The new company goes by an old name – Cox Media Group – and Cox Enterprises maintains a minority stake in the new firm. The company is led by president and CEO Kim Guthrie and Bill Hendrich is EVP of radio. CMG now consists of 13 television stations in 10 markets; 54 radio stations in 10 markets; three Ohio newspapers, the CoxReps TV sales division; digital ad and OTT products and services segment Gamut; and the Northwest Broadcasting 20 TV station group.
Wilson Re-Ups with Entercom’s ‘Ticket’ in Miami. South Florida sports talk host Amber Wilson signs a multiyear contract extension to continue co-hosting the midday show on Entercom’s WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket.” Wilson co-hosts the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Zaslow & Amber” show with Jonathan Zaslow. She joined the station in 2016 after serving with CBS Television in Miami and SNY in New York. She says, “I’m very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy doing every single day and I’m thrilled to be continuing my career at Entercom. It is an honor that [program director] Len Weiner and [SVP/market manager] Keriann Worley continue to trust me to entertain South Florida with sports talk.”
Matthew Jarecki Named PM Drive Host at ‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix. At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix sports talker KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” Matthew Jarecki is named host of the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. Jarecki comes to KGME from his most recent position with Northern Arizona University’s KLJX-LP, Flagstaff. He also handled play-by-play and color analyst work for Lumberjacks athletics. KGME program director Aaron Trimmer says, “Matthew is a future superstar in the sport talk world. His perspective and unique commentary on sports make him the perfect fit to lead afternoon drive on ‘FOX Sports 910.’ We are thrilled to have him join our lineup.” KGME briefly hired Dan Sileo to host afternoons, but he lasted just a week in the role in early September after the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club objected to Sileo’s hiring based on some of his controversial social media posts. KGME is the flagship for Coyotes play-by-play.
Nielsen: News/Talk Top 6+ Format in PPM Markets This Year. The data from Nielsen Audio’s year-end tally of the most-listened-to formats in radio in its PPM markets shows news/talk is #1 in the 6+ demographic (9.5% weekly AQH share). In the 25-54 demo, news/talk ranked #4 (6.7%), behind only AC (7.7%), CHR (7.6%), and country (6.8%). However, there is an asterisk of sorts associated with these figures as Nielsen includes non-commercial, public radio news/talk in its definition of the format. Public news/talk skews younger than commercial news/talk. Sports talk ranked #9 in the 6+ demo and #8 in the 25-54 demo. Nielsen used an average of data from the January through November PPM surveys.
Magnum to Acquire Three Wisconsin Signals from NRG Media. The deal between Wisconsin’s Magnum Communications and Iowa-based NRG Media will transfer news/talk WFAW-AM and adult contemporary WSJC-FM in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, along with classic hits WKCH, Whitewater, Wisconsin to Magnum. NRG president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We have been fortunate to have worked with the great people at the stations in Fort Atkinson for many years. The dedicated broadcasters at the stations will continue to provide the Fort Atkinson community with great local radio and know they will contribute to the success of Magnum Communications going forward.” Magnum chief Dave Magnum adds, “I’m a sentimental person so two aspects of these acquisitions really struck me. First, my maternal grandmother grew up on a Fort Atkinson farm. My Mom and her remaining siblings get together at Lake Ripley each summer in her honor. Second, we’re again getting to work with NRG. Back in the 90s, my late wife Lynn had the chance to speak with Mary Quass several times at conventions. She considered Mary a role model. In 2007, five years after Lynn passed, I acquired three stations from NRG. That transaction went as smooth as silk. We look forward to the same outcome with the acquisitions of WFAW, WSJY and WKCH.” KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
KSCO, Santa Cruz Initiates Its Own ‘Person of the Year.’ On the heels of the controversy over youthful Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Michael Zwerling-owned news/talk KSCO, Santa Cruz is creating its own “Person of the Year” award and naming President Donald Trump for the past four years. Zwerling says, “I empathize with the president’s frustration of not being named Time magazine’s person of the year. After all, the designation does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of its recipient’s policies – just acknowledgement that they have made the biggest impact on the news. Clearly, Donald Trump has been the most influential person in the news since 2016. And that has not stopped.” See all four “Person of the Year” covers here.
Impeachment, IG FBI Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, Financial Markets Activity, Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot Merger Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The impeachment against President Donald Trump; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the secret FISA court; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; the record high Dow and activity in the world’s financial markets; and the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot to make the third largest auto firm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Appearing on fubosportsnetwork.com’s “Call It A Night” program with host Julie Stewart-Binks, WFAN, New York and Radio.com sports talk personality Mike Francesa says he’ll delve into politics during his daily, one-hour Radio.com show. Asked why, Francesa said, “There’s not a show, there’s no political coverage anywhere that is unbiased. It’s all biased. It’s either left or right. It is so significantly left or right. Give me a network, I’ll tell you – FOX is right, MSNBC is left. Everybody has a bias. Everybody is one or the other, most on the left, there are some rights. There’s nothing down the middle.” Francesa’s Radio.com show will stream from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET prior to his half-hour WFAN program airing at 6:00 pm ET…..Talk radio pro Phil Valentine and his son Campbell Valentine are celebrating the fact that their podcast “The PodGOATs” has been named one of the Top 10 History Podcasts for 2019 by Podbean – a global podcast hosting site. “The PodGOATs” is produced by Comworld Media. Phil Valentine says, “I’m in shock, to be honest with you. Campbell and I have worked really hard this year on this podcast. We bill it as ‘The History of Everything,’ which is a lofty goal. We’re closing in on episode 100 and we have over 360,000 downloads, so we’re getting’ there.” Comworld Media will launch two more Phil Valentine podcasts in 2020…..Westwood One adds “Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke” to its Westwood One Podcast Network. The show is an original podcast covering esports news and in-depth interviews with industry personalities, celebrities, athletes, influencers, and enthusiasts. Knocke says, “Esports is now big enough that it can’t rely on the sunshine and rainbows perspective that it’s the ‘next big thing’ so we need to understand how to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the long term. I’ll be inviting on guests with a broad viewpoint of the industry as a whole as well as game-specific experts who are willing to take an honest look at their game and reflect on improvements needed.”…..Longtime New York City radio news pro Pat Farnack retires from Entercom’s WCBS-AM “Newsradio 880.” Farnack also served with KYW-AM and KYW-TV in Philadelphia as well as WWDB-FM, Philly during her career. She joined WCBS-AM in December 2000. The WCBS website notes that Farnack also “spent time at WNBC in New York delivering news in the days of Don Imus and Howard Stern and even did a several-month stint as traffic reporter in the flying ‘N’ copter.”…..iHeartMedia and NostalgiaCon, LLC are working together to produce the NostalgiaCon Miami ‘80s pop culture convention on April 25-26 at the MANA Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood arts district. iHeartMedia’s participation includes sponsorship collaborations for branded activations, VIP fan experiences, contests, giveaways, and grassroots promotions…..Pictured below are actors Jamie Foxx (left) and Michael B. Jordan (center) with SiriusXM Urban View host Mike Muse (right) chatting before a live audience at SiriusXM studios in New York. Foxx and Jordan visited on a promotion tour for their new film, Just Mercy, hitting theaters on Christmas Day. Photo: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images for SiriusXM.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Adam “Kash” Kashner moves from Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis cluster where he was APD at country WFMS-FM to Pensacola where he’s the new program director for country radio station WXBM-FM “NASH 102.7 FM.” At the same time, Cumulus adds APD stripes to current WXBM afternoon host Matt Fisher. Cumulus Pensacola VP and market manager Gary Mertins says, “Kash is such an up-and-coming programming talent within Cumulus and we’re so proud to have him join us in Pensacola. He’s really done some great things and proven himself in Indianapolis. WXBM is a heritage country station and we know that we’ve found the right person in Kash to lead it to further greatness.”…..Air personality Amanda Valentine is leaving her radio gig at Hubbard Broadcasting’s country WUBE, Cincinnati “B105” to work full time on her fitness career. Valentine was co-host of the afternoon show with Jesse Tack, who continues the show solo. Valentine noted on her Facebook page: “Health and fitness is a huge passion of mine. After going through a significant weight loss journey myself, helping others on their own journeys fills my heart in ways I can’t even describe. So, I’ve made the decision to follow my heart and devote my time and energy into helping as many people as possible discover just how life changing a healthy lifestyle can be.”…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM “88Nine” bestowed honors on the winners of its 2019 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards last Saturday (12/14). Winners of the awards covered a wide swath of musical genres. WYMS-FM’s 12th annual music awards were based on 6,278 votes online by area music fans and selections of ‘88Nine’ music staff and local music writers. Station program director Jordan Lee says, “This year’s awards reflect the strong avant-garde sound that is developing here in Milwaukee. It’s really hard to put the music of Klassik, SistaStrings, or Browns Crew in a genre box. These new sounds are defining the sound of our city in an exciting and inspiring way.”
Salem Radio Network Exercises Cancellation Clause for Joe Walsh’s Talk Show. A day after the former Illinois congressman announced he would indeed begin a presidential campaign to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, Salem Radio Network announced it is cancelling national distribution of the Joe Walsh program, effective in 30 days. SRN says the last day of distribution will be September 26. “Walsh affiliates will continue to receive the Joe Walsh program from SRN during this 30-day period and will be given the opportunity to continue the Joe Walsh program from a different syndicator, to be selected by Joe Walsh, at the end of the 30-day period. SRN may also offer a replacement for the Walsh program to begin after the 30-day period expires to any affiliates who choose not to continue with the Walsh program. SRN will work with any affiliates who want to discontinue airing the Walsh program during the 30-day period due to concerns about FCC political regulations in light of Walsh’s announcement of his candidacy for President of the United States. This announcement does not affect Joe Walsh’s local program airing on “AM 560 The Answer” (WIND-AM) in Chicago, however Walsh’s program will have to be removed as soon as he becomes a viable and legal candidate for president.” As for Walsh’s take on his radio show, he told Bruce Dumont on the Sunday edition of the Chicago-based “Beyond the Beltway” talk radio program that he realizes this is ending his talk radio career and it makes him sad. “But to me this is a bigger mission. I’ve got to do what I can to make sure this guy can’t be reelected and to try to help save the Republican party. Trump has destroyed the Republican party.”
Cumulus to Adds FM Signal to Sports Talk KNBR, San Francisco; Alternative KFOG-FM Ends 37-Year Run. A surprise move from Cumulus Media means the KNBR sports talk brand will be heard in the Bay Area on a full market FM signal, but there are those who will lament the end of a San Francisco rock radio institution. Cumulus is adding the 104.5 signal to the broadcast of its sports talk format heard on KNBR-AM, effective September 6. It’s also changing the calls to KNBR-FM. The company says, “With the launch of KNBR-FM, sports fans will have another place to tune into KNBR’s high-profile personalities and in-depth coverage of the Bay Area’s favorite teams. The expansion of KNBR will offer listeners a stronger signal and provide a broader broadcast range for the station’s leading sports programming.” Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “We are excited to bring ‘KNBR, The Sports Leader’ and official home of the Giants and 49ers, to a wider audience of sports listeners in the Bay Area. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a station, and we want to thank the staff, listeners, and advertisers who together made KFOG the legendary and beloved station that so many of us in San Francisco had the opportunity to enjoy.” KFOG began its life as a beautiful music station back in 1960. It became a rock outlet in 1982 and morphed into the triple A format during the 1990s. It re-branded in 2016, still as a triple A outlet, with the slogan “Music Matters.” Earlier this year, it completed an 18-month evolution into an alternative rock station.
Dave Logan Signs New Deal to Remain with KOA, Denver. Longtime news/talk KOA, Denver personality and Denver Broncos play-by-play voice Dave Logan signs a 10-year contract extension with iHeartMedia Denver. Beginning next week, Logan will move to the late morning slot with Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee as co-host of the “Logan & Lewis” program. He’d been hosting the afternoon drive show. He will continue to serve as the play-by-play voice for Denver Broncos football broadcasts on KOA and will appear on the “Broncos Country Tonight” afternoon show on a weekly basis. The “Logan & Lewis” program bumps Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh from KOA to sister station news/talk KDFD-AM/K229BS “Freedom 93.7.” iHeartMedia Denver president Tim Hager says, “As KOA enters its 50th season as the flagship station of the Denver Broncos, it’s an honor to announce our long-term extension with Dave Logan. Few people have achieved Dave’s level of success – both on air and off air – and we’re fortunate to have a personality of Dave’s caliber as the foundation of KOA.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager and his Prager University charity are the focus of a piece in last weekend’s Sunday Los Angeles Times. The Salem Radio Network personality founded the registered charity that dispenses conservative thought via its online videos. PragerU’s videos have been seen more than 2 billion times. Prager says his reason for creating PragerU was simple: “We thought there was a dearth of intelligent presentation of the values we care most about…to make the case for a God-based moral system. We play no role in Donald Trump’s election, no role in his presidency…We don’t talk about him. Not anti. Not pro. I am more interested that the viewer understand why they should honor their parents even if they have trouble with them than I am in the contemporary political scene.”…..The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that sports media personality Tony Bruno getting back on terrestrial radio, although on his own part-time terms. Bruno is joining Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “ESPN 97.3” to serve as pre-game host for the station’s broadcast of Philadelphia Eagles games. Host two-hour pre-game shows prior to the station’s airing of “Monday Night Football” and “Thursday Night Football.” Bruno famously retired from WIP, Philadelphia and sports radio in 2015. Since then, he’s been hosting streaming talk shows via Twitch…..The Wichita Eagle writes that talk radio personality Andy Hooser, host of the daily “The Voice of Reason,” program on Steckline Communications’ KQAM, Wichita, is leaving his show to re-locate to Ohio to be closer to family. Hooser’s wife is battling illness and they wish to be closer to family. He tells the paper, “I felt really kind of honored to hold the mantle for the local conservative talk. This is actually one of the biggest markets in the nation that didn’t have a local conservative voice and the fact I got to do that was a really great honor.”…..Entercom’s sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is partnering with the Philadelphia Eagles for the second annual “Eagles Radiothon” to raise funds for the Eagles Autism Challenge Inc. The multiday auction, sponsored by Santander Bank, will offer fans the opportunity to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the charity’s commitment to raising funds for innovative autism research and programs.
Entercom Names Paul Suchman Chief Marketing Officer. The addition of Paul Suchman to the Entercom executive team as chief marketing officer means he’ll oversee all aspects of the company’s marketing function, enhancing its “work with agencies and customers and spotlighting the tremendous untapped value for advertisers across the company’s outstanding and evolving product offerings.” Suchman will lead the development of business-to-business marketing strategies and initiatives, working closely with the company’s sales leadership to deliver best-in-class opportunities and custom solutions to brands and advertisers. Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field adds, “Paul has built his career working with leading brands to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving media landscape. He has led successful global initiatives and high-performing teams inside corporate and agency environments. Paul will play a pivotal role in elevating the Entercom and RADIO.COM brands in the client and agency communities and enhancing how customers capitalize on our robust, unique product offerings across our leading local radio brands, podcasting, digital, live events, sports and news, capitalizing on our powerful, emerging Entercom Advanced Audio tools.” Suchman was most recently with real estate services and investment firm CBRE as global chief marketing officer.
Gino Torretta Eases Hochman’s ‘Canes Pain. The build-up to the game between Marc Hochman’s University of Miami Hurricanes and Channing Crowder’s University of Florida Gators was intense for the two personalities on their “Hochman & Crowder” show, simulcast on Entercom’s sports talkers WQAM and WAXY-AM in Miami. Although Crowder’s alma mater – where he was an All-American player – won, Hochman got U of Miami legend Gino Torretta to join the show on Monday (8/26) to talk about the game. Pictured above are (l-r): Crowder, Torretta and Hochman.
Trump at G7 Summit, Walsh to Challenge Trump/2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Amazon Wildfires, Johnson & Johnson Opioid Ruling, and Taylor Swift’s VMA Statement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26). U.S. relations with G7 nations and President Trump’s trip to France; former congressman Joe Walsh’s bid to challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination and the Democrats hoping to challenge him in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the wildfires in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest; the $572 million judgement levied against Johnson & Johnson in an Oklahoma opioid trial; and Taylor Swift’s political message at the 2019 VMAs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Matt Talluto is named program director and brand manager for Cumulus Media’s WFTK-FM, Cincinnati “96 Rock,” effective September 16. He’ll also host the afternoon drive program on the station. Talluto was most recently an air personality and program director at Pathfinder Communications’ rock WBYR, Fort Wayne, Indiana “98.9 The Bear.” Cumulus Cincinnati operations manager Keith Mitchell states, “We are ready for Matt to join our big, happy family at Cumulus Cincinnati. We’ve got a trip to Skyline Chili and Kings Island lined up for him upon his arrival. Matt has a great track record in Fort Wayne and rocked PM drive in Milwaukee for years at ‘The Hog,’ so we’re ready for him to do the same here for ‘96 Rock.’ He’s arriving just in time for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, no better time to get acquainted with a half million beer drinkers.”…..Air personality Frankie V is heading up the new morning show at iHeartMedia San Diego’s hip hop KSSX “JAM’N 95.7.” Frankie V says, “It’s amazing to see the evolution of talent that we have here at iHeartMedia San Diego and I’m beyond fortunate to be a part of the growth and evolution. After nearly 13 years in San Diego, this city has a special place in my heart and I’m excited for this next chapter in my morning show career.”…..Entercom Phoenix country station KMLE unveils its new logo. The station says that “as the Valley’s country leader for the last 31 years, KMLE ‘Country@107.9’ set out to create a fresh, new logo that matches its vibrant personality and that reflected its heritage. The new logo, which marks the first branding refresh in seven years, echoes the fun and upbeat tone of the station.”…..Entercom’s KROQ, Los Angeles, along with Hot Topic and Interscope Records, is giving fans the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles for an intimate Billie Eilish performance. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman states, “Billie Eilish has exploded onto the music scene in 2019 and we’re thrilled to team up with Hot Topic and Interscope Records to provide fans with a one-of-a-kind experience.” Additionally, Southern California fans will have an opportunity to win an intimate Billie Eilish show for 20 friends, along with a meet-and-greet for two and a brand new 2019 Honda Fit.