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Monday, January 31, 2022

| January 31, 2022

Monday Memo: Talk Radio 101 – LISTEN. “Streaming has music radio on its heels, because,” in consultant Holland Cooke’s view, “The Sentence Never Spoken is ‘Alexa, please play six commercials.’” Yet Cooke warns that “talkers should avoid taking false comfort that we’re less vulnerable to digital competitors, because people are using social media to talk to each other without us.” In this week’s column, HC details techniques to engage callers. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: It’s a Matter of Trust. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that it’s not unusual for news/talk radio sellers to unwittingly overlook the importance of the trust and credibility that their station’s hosts have engendered with their listeners. Too often, this important quality that’s not easy to match is left out of proposals for one reason or another. Read his column here.

Adriana Rizzo Named SVP of Consumer Marketing for Audacy. Marketing pro Adriana Rizzo joins Audacy as SVP of consumer marketing, effective January 31. In this role, Rizzo will lead the company’s audience growth initiatives across brand strategy, creative, messaging, media planning and attribution, while also managing the company’s Alchemy function, focused on the strategic integration of exclusive content and programming to Audacy’s over 200 million listeners. Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “We’re thrilled to have Adriana join our growing team. Her hire underscores our commitment to world-class marketing and our vision to become the audio platform of choice for consumers. The timing of Adriana’s hire is well aligned with our deep investments in technology and our future-proofed digital platform. Adriana will be a key partner to our business lines and to our marketing leads across broadcast, digital, sports betting and podcasting.” Rizzo was most recently with Discovery and launched streaming service Discovery+. She’s also served with ESPN. She comments, “I’m very excited to be joining Audacy at such an important and strategic time for the company and the industry. I look forward to working closely with this talented team and helping Audacy achieve new heights.”

After YouTube Snub, Heidi Harris Launches Vimeo Show. Twenty-four-year veteran Las Vegas-based radio talk show host Heidi Harris, currently heard at “97.1 FM Talk St. Louis” (KFTK-FM), is another conservative commentator recently banned from YouTube because of political content that the mega-platform says doesn’t meet its standards. In response, she has launched a new channel on Vimeo which will feature her daily “Headlines with Heidi” program. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison served as her first guest. Harris and Harrison discussed the current Big Tech censorship controversy as well as a number of “behind-the-scenes” talk media issues. To see the program, please click here.

2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Virtually on Thursday. A number of celebrities will make guest appearances on this Thursday’s 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The program was originally to take place live at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles but will now happen virtually at 9:00 pm ET on February 3 streaming on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as broadcast across select iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. iHeartMedia says stars appearing include: Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, Martha Stewart, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, Paris Hilton, Shonda Rhimes, Will Ferrell, Wilmer Valderrama, and many more. While winners from most categories will be decided by a panel of industry leaders and creatives, the Podcast of the Year award is decided by social voting on Twitter. The nominees for Podcast of the Year are: “Code Switch,” “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” “Crime Junkie,” “Louder Than a Riot,” “Office Ladies,” “SmartLess,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “The Daily,” “The Midnight Miracle” and “You’re Wrong About.”

Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Due to holiday listening habits influenced by Christmas music, spoken-word stations often lose share during this period, but not all stations saw losses this time around. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM adds seven-tenths for an 8.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #3 in the market. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” is up eight-tenths for a 6.1 share finish and climbs from the #8 rank to #3. In Providence, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM rises nine-tenths to a 6.7 share but is still ranked #5 in the market. iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach adds a half share for a 2.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

Ukraine Tensions/Sanctions, COVID-19, U.S.-China Relations/Olympics, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Spotify’s COVID Issue, Supreme Court Opening, North Korea Missile Test, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories over the Weekend. Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border and the West’s threatened sanctions if Russia invades; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, and mask & vaccine mandates; the Biden Administration’s relations with China and the Beijing Winter Olympics; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP; Spotify deals with artists pulling their music in response to what they term medical misinformation being spread on the “Joe Rogan Experience”; the controversy over President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to fill retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat; North Korea tests a new missile causing concern over its military ambitions; and the Cincinnati Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl after Sunday’s games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, November 5, 2021

| November 5, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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. This new episode titled, “What’s Left?” looks back at this past week of 11/1 – 11/5. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood One; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Glenn Jacobs, Mayor of Knox County, TN/former world champion (Kane), WWE; and Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel. The 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 WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; 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; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, 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.

iHeartMedia Q3 Net Revenue Up 25%. On revenue of $928 million, iHeartMedia Inc is up 25% over the same period in 2020. For the third quarter of 2021 the company reports net income of $3.7 million, compared to the net loss of $32 million it reported in the third quarter of 2020. iHeartMedia now reports its financials in two segments – the Digital Audio Group and the Multiplatform Group. iHeartMedia says the Digital Audio Group was up 77% on revenue of $206 million and adds that podcast revenue was up 51% year-over-year. The Multiplatform Group – including broadcast radio and network radio – was up 18.7% on revenue of $659 million compared to the same period in 2020. In this segment, the company explains, “Broadcast revenue grew $79 million, or 19.5% year-over-year, while Networks grew $8.9 million, or 7.5% year-over-year. Revenue from Sponsorship and Events increased by $13.8 million, or 47.6% year-over-year, primarily as a result of the return of live events. These increases were partially offset by a $15.1 million decrease in political revenue compared to the same period in 2020, which was a presidential election year.” Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Our strong results this quarter are further evidence of the success of our company’s continuing transformation – data-led, digital and podcast focused, along with the unparalleled audience reach of our broadcast radio assets, and supported by the largest sales force and the only unified ad tech stack in audio advertising – all with the strong flywheel effect of our scale and leadership position. These results highlight both the strong growth and potential of our digital business, including podcasting, and the strong recovery and growth potential of our radio business.”

Salem Media Group Third Quarter Revenue Rises 8.8%. Reporting its financial data for the third quarter of 2021, Salem Media Group says revenue was $66 million, an increase of 8.8% over the same period in 2020. Operating income increased 232.5% to $15.8 million from $4.8 million and net income rose to $22.1 million, up 194% over the $329,000 net income it posted in Q3 of 2020. Salem breaks its financial reports into three segments: Broadcast, Digital Media, and Publishing. For the Broadcast segment, net revenue increased 9.3% to $49.6 million from $45.4 million, and Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 8.9% to $49.1 million from $45.1 million. The Digital Media segment saw revenue of $10.6 million, an increase of 8.5% from $9.8 million in Q3 of 2020 and operating income decreased 10.8% to $2.4 million from $2.7 million. Salem’s Publishing revenue was $5.7 million, an increase of 5.6% over the same period in 2020.

Round Four of October 2021 PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2021 sweep covered September 16 – October 13. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM loses one-tenth and finishes with a 6.3 share (6+, AQH share) good for the #4 rank while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown WPTF was down two-tenths for a 2.2 share and the #15 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis slips two-tenths for a 7.2 share finish and slides down to the #5 rank. In Milwaukee, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ-AM rises seven-tenths for a 9.8 share finish and remains ranked #1 while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN-AM tacks on four-tenths for a 9.3 share and the #2 rank. In Nashville, Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM falls out of first place to #2 after slipping five-tenths to a 7.3 share and in Providence, the company’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM climbs from #8 to #5 after adding nine-tenths to finish with a 5.1 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

MIW Webinar: Recognizing Women in Operational Excellence. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio group, along with sponsor vCreative, are joining forces to recognize and celebrate women in radio whose unsung efforts ensure efficiency, both operationally and financially, for their stations and groups. The program’s inaugural free webinar, “Recognizing Women in Operational Excellence” is being held Thursday, December 2, from 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm ET. It’s being hosted by vCreative CEO Susie Hedrick and MIW board member Valerie Blackburn and showcases three uniquely talented women who make a significant impact daily on their company’s operations: Becky Deneger, Townsquare Media, vice president of traffic operations; Mildred Sibley, Entravision, vice president of station traffic operations; and Melissa Mitchell, Bonneville, director of finance and corporate controller. Hedrick says, “The women on this panel exemplify the spirit of our industry. They fearlessly embrace technology, never back away from a challenge, and approach their jobs with curiosity and passion. Although operating mostly behind the scenes, they are the first to be called for the toughest projects. It is my honor to shine a spotlight on their careers, the attitudes that define them, and the positive impact that they have on their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. The results of “The Black Podcast Listener Report” – a recent study conducted by Edison Research in partnership with SXM Media and Mindshare – will be presented at a webinar on November 16 at 2:00 pm ET. The study – which examines how Black Americans consume podcasts, including podcast discovery, device usage, and reasons for listening – reveals that 36% of Black Americans age 18+ are monthly podcast listeners. The report also includes findings on how Black Americans feel about podcast advertisements, podcasts with video components, the topics and genres they are most interested in, and the importance of Black creators in podcasting. Find out more about the study here…..iHeartMedia announces the launch of “iHeartRadio’s Black and Inspired HBCU Celebration,” presented by Hyundai. The four-episode podcast series celebrates Black culture and the passionate alumni community of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. iHeartMedia EVP of programming Thea Mitchem says, “As an HBCU graduate, I know first-hand Historically Black Colleges and Universities have an unparalleled impact on our community and play a vital role in Black students’ success across the country. These intimate conversations will help to educate, uplift and amplify the Black community and its aspiring young leaders, and we’re thrilled that these important voices will be able to reach millions of listeners through iHeart’s massive digital and broadcast reach.”…..Meadowlark Media – the media company recently launched by Dan LeBatard and former ESPN chief John Skipper – along with Advance Local announces the release of a multi-part investigative podcast series, “The Mayor of Maple Avenue” – based on the story of Shawn Sinisi, the only Jerry Sandusky victim known to have died since the former Penn State University assistant coach went to prison on 45 counts of sexual abuse. The podcast series features the reporting of Sara Ganim, who broke the original story for The Patriot-News and PennLive.com and later won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage…..WNYC editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper announces that Veronica de Souza joins the company as director of digital news & audience. De Souza started her media career in radio, working in promotions and later production at CBS Radio, Music Choice and New York all-news 1010 WINS. Most recently, she was senior director of publishing at Vice Media. In her new role at WNYC, she’ll oversee an audience development team that will develop and execute a social, newsletter and audience-acquisition strategy; a data visualization team that will create sticky, utility-based content for readers and listeners; a web production team that will help program a redesigned Gothamist website; and the Day-Of News desk…..Virtual News Center adds Stony Creek Broadcasting’s WNSX, Bar Harbor, Maine to its roster of affiliate stations…..The Texas Radio Hall of Fame is partnering with PickleJar to bring tomorrow’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony to audiences across the country and around the world. The event takes place at 12:00 noon CT from the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore, Texas, and will feature the induction of 20 new broadcast professionals in a two-hour presentation combining video and live acceptance speeches by those being honored. TRHOF executive director Doug Harris says, “When we first learned of Pickle Jar’s revolutionary way of connecting fans and bands, we were intrigued by its application to our needs. Judy Lakin, PickleJar board member, was able to connect the dots for us and bring this historic broadcast to life for our inductees and their families and fans.”

Tuesday’s Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 1-5. Tuesday’s elections that saw Republican Glenn Youngkin win the Virginia Governor’s seat over Democrat Terry McAuliffe was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was school board politics tied with race relations, followed by the controversy over COVID-19 vaccines, and masks & vaccine mandates at #3. 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.

Salem New York Seeks Digital Specialist. The New York City operations of Salem Media Group is looking for a digital specialist. “If you love this segment of the broadcast business, then you want to work at Salem media in New York. While we have two booming radio stations in NYC, our digital business has taken off as well. Come join us please! Contact Jerry Crowley at: jcrowley@nycradio.com.

Audacy Seeks Programming Coordinator. This position is in New York City as Audacy is seeking a skilled programming coordinator to provide project management and administrative support to the core programming leadership group there. Some of the responsibilities in this position include: Assisting in the planning and organizational management tasks around programming, content and creative with a large portfolio of radio stations and digital content platforms; helping develop and implement consumer marketing and advertising campaigns in select markets to drive ratings; coordinate planning, tracking, contracts, art/creative proofing, and execution & trafficking of various media (OOH and digital, figures prominently); creating, modifying and maintaining spreadsheets, databases and preparing reports; ensuring billing procedures run smoothly; plus more. Find out more and apply here.

Monday, March 15, 2021

| March 15, 2021

Monday Memo: Radio Has a 100-Year Head Start. Who ISN’T doing a podcast? “Your advertisers,” who consultant Holland Cooke notes, “are, increasingly, diverting radio dollars to digital shiny objects much less productive than assets stations can craft.” In this week’s column, HC outlines a strategy. Read it here.

Pending Business: Attitude Is Everything. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that a seller’s attitude is even more important now. “Negotiating any deal to a win-win can be delicate surgery. The economic variables, personalities, and now the lack of body language feedback can make the process frustrating.  As we move to a hybrid sales-work environment of online, in-person, Zoom, and mobile, negotiating takes on a new dimension.” Read his piece here.

Rita Cosby Returns to WABC, New York for Late Night Show. Talk and news media pro Rita Cosby makes a return to the WABC, New York airwaves as host of the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show, effective tonight. She fills the slot that opened when Red Apple Media recently dropped the “John Batchelor Show” from the late-night slot. Red Apple CEO John Catsimatidis says, “Rita Cosby is the best in the business, with a tremendous following and incredible background. ‘The Rita Cosby Show’ will bring a new and exciting dynamic to our important evening programming, with Rita’s top-notch interviewing skills, impeccable record in journalism, and deep ability to connect with our listeners. We are proud to welcome such a respected host to 77 WABC Radio and anticipate big success for ‘The Rita Cosby Show.’” Cosby – an Emmy-winning TV host who’s anchored programs on FOX News Channel and MSNBC – previously served with WABC from 2014-18 as a host and political editor. She says, “I am honored to be joining 77 WABC’s terrific lineup and working with legendary New York icon John Catsimatidis and his team. During this pivotal and unpredictable moment in our nation and communities, 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight will be a nonstop voice of reason and truth you will not want to miss.”

WEEI Officially Names Andy Gresh Midday Co-Host. As TALKERS reported last week, longtime Boston sports media personality Dale Arnold’s replacement on the midday show at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM is Andy Gresh, the company announces. Arnold left the station after Friday’s program, capping a 30-year career on WEEI. Gresh partners with Rich Keefe for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Gresh & Keefe” show, starting today (3/15). Entercom Boston regional president Mark Hannon says, “Andy Gresh has a vast amount of experience covering the Boston sports scene, making him a perfect addition to our midday programming. We’re excited to team him up with WEEI’s Rich Keefe to bring listeners a dynamic midday show that will reflect what sports fans are talking about day in and day out.” Gresh, who exited Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence earlier this year, says, “I’m excited to be back on the radio in Boston. I think people know I’m pretty familiar with this time slot, but it’s time to present something new and fresh, with energy, focus and fun. Rich Keefe and I have always had a cool relationship that I truly believe will translate through the speakers.” During his career, Gresh has hosted at “790 The Score” in Providence; WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”

Sponsored Story: Take The Work Out Of Creating Sponsor Recaps And Airchecks. Leading networks and syndicated hosts effortlessly track key sponsor and advertiser campaigns. You can do so too by providing recaps that highlight in-show integrations, sponsorships and endorsements. Share detailed reports of when and where sponsors’ messages are delivered, complete with airchecks. Show off your talent and take your advertiser relationships to the next level.  Level Up My Insights

TALKERS News Notes. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Stephanie Miller’s first Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour show in Madison, Wisconsin, the entire cast is getting together on April 10 at 8:00 pm ET for an online Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour show featuring a look back at the last 10 years (plus all-new comedy just for the occasion). Joining Miller on the live event will be John Fugelsang, Frangela, and Hal Sparks…..Skyview Networks – the exclusive radio network sales and affiliate sales partner of VSiN, the sports betting network, announces six new stations in Phoenix, Palm Springs, Jacksonville, and Toledo sign on for VSiN’s content…..Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco agree to a multi-year extension to keep Giants games on KNBR through 2025. Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “We’re elated that Giants baseball and KNBR will continue to be the Bay Area’s favorite summer soundtrack for years to come. Between KNBR’s powerful AM/FM signals and our streaming platforms, we look forward to providing fans with multiple options to enjoy every Giants game.”

Migrant Crisis at the Border, Cuomo on the Ropes, Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Breonna Taylor Marches, Voting Bills, Georgia’s Trump Investigation, Everard Vigil Arrests, Deadly Myanmar Violence, and the Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Biden administration’s immigrant problem as thousands of parentless children amass at the U.S.-Mexico border; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the fellow Democrats calling for his resignation; Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package becomes law; the number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, the removal of mask mandates in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; the protests in Louisville and other cities on the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s slaying; the voting bills in various states critics say will making voting more difficult; the investigation into Donald Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State asking for more votes; the violence at the UK vigil for Sarah Everard; the deadly violence in Myanmar; and Sunday night’s Grammy awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 30, 2020

| October 30, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of 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. This new episode titled “October Surge!” looks back at this past week of October 26 – October 30, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Joe “Pags” Pagliarullo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksChris Stigall, talk show host WNTP, Philadelphia/KCMO, Kansas City; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News ChannelMichael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive editor, 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 WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; 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; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, 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.

Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all of the 6+, weekly AQH share information from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. One of the country’s most intense news/talk battles continues in the swing state of Wisconsin as iHeartMedia’s WISN adds another full share – capping a three-survey 4.4 share spike – to finish the October survey with an 11.2 share and repeats at #1. Right behind is Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ which rises eight-tenths for an 8.0 share and the #2 rank in the market. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM tacks another one-tenth share on for a 9.2 share finish and repeats at the #2 spot. Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence puts the brakes on the five-survey downward trend by posting a +1.1 to finish with a 5.1 share and climbs from #7 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets – and the first three rounds – here.

Entercom Fires WJFK-FM, Washingon Afternoon Host Chad Dukes for “Racist and Inappropriate Comments.”The Washington Post reports that Entercom has fired WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” sports talk personality Chad Dukes for “racist and inappropriate comments” that appeared on his personal podcast. The story indicates that the company did not reveal exactly what was said nor how it learned about the comments, but issued a statement from Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith that reads: “We have zero tolerance for this type of speech from any of our employees, on our platforms or otherwise. Our air talent are ambassadors of our brand, and we do not want to be affiliated with these comments.” The decision to let Dukes go was revealed on this morning’s edition of “The Sports Junkies” morning drive program on WJFK-FM. Duke had been with the station since 2006 and had been the afternoon drive host since 2014.

Programming Changes Taking Place at KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM’s return to a full-time sports talk format is taking place as Frank O. Pinion’s “The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon” is cancelled and new, local sports talk talent are expected to be joining the station soon. The story indicates former crosstown WXOS-FM personality Bernie Miklasz and former KMOV-TV news anchor Steve Savard may be joining the station. Miklasz was let go by WXOS owner Hubbard Radio back in May in what was a COVID-influenced budget move, and Savard was released by KMOV-TV in what is also being called a budget-related move. KFNS owner Randy Markel brought the station out of bankruptcy in 2015 and is in the process of selling it to a local group led by station manager and air personality John Hadley. His group will lease the station at first with the intent to buy it.

Salem Radio Network Announces Election Coverage. For Election Day on Tuesday, Salem Radio Network announces that it is providing coverage from 6:00 pm ET on Tuesday (11/3) to 6:00 am on Wednesday (11/4). Coverage will include all major “acceptance” and “concession” speeches in the presidential and congressional elections as well as key local/regional races around the nation. SRN nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt will anchor the first six hours of coverage with guests that will include: SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Charlie Kirk, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. At 12:00 midnight, the network switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s KRLA “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by KRLA morning personality Jennifer Horn, along with KRLA news anchor Larry Marino and Don Dix at the California Election Night Desk. SRN adds that if, as expected, the ballot-counting is far from concluded in the presidential race but a determination has been made on which political party will control the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, portions of earlier election night coverage will be repeated between 3:00 am and 6:00 am ET when Hugh Hewitt will return with his normal weekday Hugh Hewitt show to pick up live continuing coverage.

Cody Welling Named Director of Sales for Cox Media Group Tulsa. Media sales pro Cody Welling is named director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations that includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Welling was most recently general sales manager for Tegna’s Ohio News Network and sports talk WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan.” CMG Tulsa market president Cathy Gunther says, “Cody is passionate about delivering results for advertising partners through creative marketing solutions. This makes him a perfect fit for CMG Tulsa where he can provide customized solutions with our robust products that reach three out of four Tulsans weekly.”

The Presidential Race, Ballot Fraud, and Scandals, Conspiracies & Accusations Combined for Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 26-30. The November 3 presidential election, concerns about ballot fraud and the political conspiracies, scandals, and accusations combined to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the rising number of COVID-19 cases, projections for fall/winter cases and U.S. health care system’s ability to treat it. Coming in at #3 was the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice and the related court packing issue, followed by the related issues of race relations, the killing of Walter Wallace Jr in Philadelphia, and police reform 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.

KSCO Launches Weekly Show Critical of the Chinese Communist Party. The Zwerling Broadcasting System-owned news/talk outlet KSCO, Santa Cruz is launching a unique and compelling weekly two-hour radio show designed to keep Americans apprised of the dangers being presented to U.S. interests domestically and worldwide by China and the Chinese Communist Party. Provocatively titled, “China Über Alles” (China Above All) – a name sarcastically referencing the infamous slogan “Deutschland Über Alles” utilized by the Nazis to convey their dark message of German worldwide superiority in the 1930s and 1940s – the show discusses the ongoing war of subversion being waged against the U.S. by the communist regime in Beijing and its shocking human rights abuses of Chinese citizens, including political dissidents, investigative journalists, ethnic minorities and seekers of religious freedom. The show airs live Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT and is hosted by Amy Hao, Nan Su, and KSCO director of production/chief engineer Bill Graff. Its 11th episode is set to stream tomorrow (10/29). According to Nan Su, “The concern about China is no longer limited to human rights and freedom in China. It is about defending the freedom, security, and democracy of the future generations in the United States and the western world.” Unfair China trade practices, invasive surveillance, human rights abuses, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the origins and cover up of COVID-19 and questioning if “the NBA should move to China” are among a myriad of topics covered on the series. Read more here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One will be held virtually on Thursday, December 10 in which it will air live on more than 95 iHeartMedia CHR stations as well as streaming on The CW app and on CWTV.com. The CW Network will broadcast the event as an exclusive nationwide television special on Monday, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. Performers scheduled to appear include: Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “For 25 years, iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball has showcased performances from the year’s biggest artists in hit music, live on stage in front of screaming fans. Because of the pandemic, we’re moving from the stage to the artists’ home this holiday season for what will be an unforgettable show with amazing performances and moments that can only happen at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.”…..Key Networks nationally syndicated country air personality Shawn Parr (right) is pictured here with TLC (left), host of the morning show on new affiliate KPLM, Palm Springs “Big 106.” Parr, host of “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” traveled to Palm Springs to take part in the David Wells Perfect 33 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament…..Condolences to the family and friends of legendary air personality Ed Hurst, who passed away early today (11/30) at age 94. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS that Hurst got his start in radio on his station’s predecessor WFPG, Atlantic City in 1943. You can read what Harry Hurley wrote about Hurst here.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

| May 21, 2020

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. Obviously, the format has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic’s cancelling of games. Sports talk radio ratings generally soften after the Super Bowl in early February and tend to pick up once Major League Baseball opens in April. The absence of ballgames combined with the loss of the NBA and NHL playoff stretches allowed only 17% of sports talk stations to see weekly, 6+ AQH share increases and even those were miniscule. Year-over-year comparisons were almost equally as bleak with iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis the only sports talk outlet putting up a meaningful gain (+1.6). No sports talk station ranked higher than #5 in its market in April. Top performing stations in April included Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (5.9 share, #5), WIP-FM, Philadelphia (5.6 share, #5) and iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis (5.5 share, #6). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence Talk Host Dan Yorke to Pen Weekly Column. Longtime Providence talk show host Dan Yorke is named as a new weekly columnist for Rhode Island’s The Valley Breeze newspaper. Paper publisher Tom Ward is retiring, and Yorke will take over his column in June. He joins former Providence talk radio host Arlene Violet as one of the paper’s two opinion columnists. In addition to Yorke’s radio program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, he also hosts “Dan Yorke State of Mind” on Nexstar Media’s “myRITV” and WPRI-TV “FOX Providence.” The Valley Breeze editor Ethan Shorey says, “If there are two things I’ve learned about Dan Yorke over the years, it’s that he seeks out the truth and he does his homework. I look forward to working with him as we continue to build on what Tom has done and hopefully expand our reach on important topics.” See the paper’s announcement here.

Michelle Malkin Joins Newsmax TV as Correspondent/Host. Author and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin joins Newsmax TV as a prime-time contributor and weekend program host. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michelle is a true conservative, a respected media personality and a powerful voice for millions of Americans that the big media ignore.” The company adds that Malkin “will join Newsmax’s growing list of media heavyweights and commentators where she will deliver her fiercely independent reporting and no-nonsense commentary.” Malkin joins the network as Newsmax TV has signed with all major cable operators and is carried in 70 million cable homes.

Statistics & Projections, States Begin Re-Opening, Vaccine Hope, Financial Markets/The Economy, U.S.-China Relationship, Inspector General Firing/Pompeo Investigation, Michael Flynn Case, Presidential Election, and Sports Leagues Plan for Seasons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future cases; most U.S. states begin re-opening; Moderna reports success in first round of coronavirus vaccine trials; the world’s financial markets activity and the state of the economy; China pushes back against U.S. finger pointing; the firing of inspector general Steve Linick and the investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Saudi arms deal and his use of staffers for domestic chores; the DOJ’s dropping of the case against Michael Flynn and President Trump’s assertion Barack Obama started the Russia inquiry; the November presidential election and the vote-by-mail controversy; and sports leagues’ plans for holding games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three Memorial Day weekend podcasts being made available to partnered radio affiliates from FOX News Audio. FOX Nation host Johnny Joey Jones, a combat veteran and double amputee, hosts “The Proud American Series” special that highlights four people who used personal tragedies as an opportunity to serve others. The “America Together” podcast, co-hosted by FOX News Radio reporters Tonya J. Powers, Eben Brown, Jeff Monosso, and Gurnal Scott features uplifting accounts of diverse communities coming together. A special edition of “The Trey Gowdy Podcast” offers listeners advice for combatting the fear and anxiety that many across the country are facing during the uncertainty created by COVID-19…..There have been a lot of “classic” sports contests aired on radio since the coronavirus pandemic took away live sports. Now, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One – the official network radio partner of the NFL – is going all the way back to January 15, 1967 to present the original CBS Radio broadcast of Super Bowl I at 8:00 pm ET on Monday, May 25. The game broadcast between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs will feature Jack Drees and Tom Hedrick calling the play-by-play. WWO’s Ryan Radtke hosts the re-broadcast that includes comments from Hall of Famers Bart Starr, Len Dawson, Vince Lombardi, Hank Stram and more…..Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown welcomes Emmy Award-winning “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts to the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast. On the show, Roberts and Brown share stories about how cancer has touched their lives and the importance of finding joy every day. They also chat about Roberts’ MasterClass on authentic and genuine communication, and the meaning behind one of her key lessons: “Make Your Mess Your Message.”…..As reported by LARadio.com, radio news pro Reg Laite died on May 12 at age 89 after a battle with cancer. Laite served as news director for KFWB, Los Angeles from 1971-1973. During his career he also served at KYW, Philadelphia; WOR-AM, New York; and NBC TV news.

Rock Legend Ian Anderson Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most respected singers, songwriters, and musicians of the album and classic rock era, Ian Anderson, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Anderson is the front man, founder, organizer, and driving force behind the historic British progressive rock group, Jethro Tull. Harrison caught up with Anderson who is quarantining at his home in the UK. They engage in a deep-dive conversation about a broad range of subjects including music, politics, COVID-19, and wildlife conservation. Harrison states, “In addition to being a unique and supremely talented musician, Ian is a scholarly man with a golden tongue who can hold his own among the best ‘talkers’ in the English-speaking world. Having long-managed his own case of the breathing disorder, COPD, he is extremely educated and opinionated about everything having to do with the coronavirus – which he amply shares in this interview.” Anderson sings and plays flute on a new recording by Hungarian-born German rock star Leslie Mandoki titled “#We Say, Thank You” (check it out on YouTube) which pays tribute to the frontline heroes of the COVID-19 era and chastises those speculators who are exploiting it for financial gain. To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Randy McCarten is named host of the morning show at iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRVE, Albany “99.5 The River.”  McCarten was one of a number of iHeartMedia Albany staffers to be let go back in January as the company was restructuring. iHeartMedia Albany area president Kristen Delaney says, “It’s great having Randy back. He has connected with so many listeners throughout the years and has really been the heart and soul of ‘99.5 The River.’ Capital District listeners are going to love starting their day with him.” McCarten comments, “‘The River’ and its listeners have been a part of my life for over 20 years, and I’m really excited to help them start their day with great music, information, and entertainment – it feels great to be back.”…..In Chicago, Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX is presenting the “Save Our Stages Radiothon” to benefit the city’s independent music venues, including Metro, Lincoln Hall, and Thalia Hall. Some 34 venues have formed CIVL – Chicago Independent Venue League – to support each other. 101 WKQX morning team of Brian, Ali, and Justin are broadcasting live for 34 hours to create awareness and encourage donations to CIVL as well as the individual venues’ GoFundMe.com pages…..Westwood One’s Zach Sang is hosting the St. Jude “Prom from Home – Under the Living Room Lights” show tomorrow (5/22) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET to bring “Prom 2020” to all who missed out on their school proms and aid an important cause – to raise awareness and support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Artists planning to stop by for “Prom from Home” include: Restless Road, Kane Brown, FINNEAS, Lewis Capaldi, Lauv, Monsta X, Noah Cyrus, CNCO, Ashe, mxmtoon, AJR, Blanco Brown, Bazzi, MAX, Asher Angel, Stephanie Poetri, Loren Gray, Cheat Codes, Loud Luxury, Serf Mesa, Olivia O’Brien and a special appearance by Darren Barnet of the Netflix show, “Never Have I Ever.”