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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

| August 30, 2022

Peter Boyles to Host Weekend Show on KNUS, Denver. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles is returning to Salem Media Group’s news/talk 710 KNUS to host a Saturday program airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective September 10. Boyles has been serving as morning drive host and recently announced his retirement from that full-time position. Last week, Salem announced that former Colorado district attorney and current Denver Post columnist George Brauchler has assumed daily morning show duties. Station operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “Pete is a Denver radio legend and we are blessed to have him back sharing his unique take on the issues of the day.” As part of the lineup change, Randy Corporon’s weekly program moves to Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During his career, Boyles has served with numerous Denver radio stations including: KAAT, KLAK, KWBZ, KYBG, KHOW, and KOA.

WXOS-FM, St. Louis Morning Personality Michelle Smallmon to Exit for ESPN Opportunity. The Hubbard Radio sports talk station posts on its website the news that WXOS-FM, St. Louis morning drive co-host Michelle Smallmon will leave the “Karraker & Smallmon” program after this Friday’s show to join ESPN as overnight “SportsCenter” anchor for ESPN Radio. Earlier in her career, Smallmon served with WXOS as producer of “The Fast Lane” program that included her current broadcast partner Randy Karraker before she left to join ESPN the first time around. She rejoined WXOS in May of 2020.

Leon Williamson Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Indy. Broadcast marketing pro Leon Williamson is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes WNDE “FOX Sports 1260,” WOLT-HD2/W248AW “Business News 97.5,” and three music brands. Williamson transitions to this position from iHeartMedia’s Miami operations. iHeartMedia Indianapolis market manager Kristy Beebe says, “We are so excited to welcome Leon to iHeartMedia Indianapolis. Leon’s unique skill set and passion to lead our sales team is what we’re most excited about. His familiarity of our brands and products, along with the experience he brings from different sectors will be a tremendous addition to our Indianapolis team.” Williamson has also served with Urban One in St. Louis and Cox Media Group in Miami. He comments, “I am extremely excited to lead the Indianapolis team with both my professional and personal skills. I look forward to creating a legacy and blazing a trail for young professionals in media that share my experience.”

Michael Burger Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Radio sales and management pro Michael Burger is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes news/talk WTKK-FM and five music brands. Burger was most recently serving as SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell states, “Michael is a strong natural leader with high business acumen. He has introduced new strategic changes and created synergies between our content creators and revenue drivers that have helped fuel the overall performance for the market.” Burger comments, “I am beyond appreciative and grateful to be trusted with this opportunity. As Raleigh continues to grow, expand and flourish, I look to the future with excitement, encouragement and promise. iHeartMedia Raleigh has established itself as a fierce competitor in the market. We have positioned ourselves incredibly to not only be a destination source for entertainment, music, events, social media, and audio, but to help our clients tell their stories in a creative way that helps them achieve new heights.”

WWO AAG Blog: Performance Marketing Versus Creating Future Demand. This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog addresses the difference between the “buy now” marketing strategy versus one that seeks to “create future demand.” Some of the research-based findings in this study include: For the automobile category, only 3% are in-market for a new vehicle and consequently, sales event ads only work on the small group who are ready to buy. But looking ahead two years, 24% will purchase a vehicle in that time span and therefore advertisers who focus on creating future demand will have access to a much larger pool of potential customers. The report says, “When a business consistently uses brand building to create future demand and sales events to convert existing demand, great things happen.” It posits that the ideal budget mix is 40% for sales events and 60% to create future demand via brand building. Read the blog here.

KWTO, Springfield, Missouri Unveils ‘Uncommon Sense with Cass’ Program. A new weekend program will debut on Zimmer Midwest Communications’ news/talk KWTO-AM/K227AO, Springfield, Missouri called “Uncommon Sense with Cass,” hosted by Cass Bowen. The show launches on September 3 and airs Saturdays at 10:00 am. Zimmer says the show “will cover politics, culture, and social issues through a Christian conservative lens, and will feature a diverse group of guest interviews from politicians, local special interest groups, cultural commentators, and more.” Bowen serves with the station on the KWTO morning drive program as executive producer and air personality.

TALKERS News Notes. The content staff at Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp – operator of public news/talk WESA-FM and independent music station WYEP-FM announce their intention to form a union with SAG-AFTRA. The bargaining unit includes hosts and disc jockeys, reporters, editors, producers, and others. The group states, “We will approach this process in the spirit of collaboration and professionalism and urge PCBC leadership to do the same by voluntarily recognizing the union and begin bargaining in good faith with us. As a union town, Pittsburgh’s public radio stations should be union shops.” The bargaining unit says its goals are securing livable, equitable wages for staff, and improving the company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. The union also seeks to create a more supportive and transparent workplace to help strengthen PCBC as an organization…..Community Communications’ public radio outlets WMFE, Orlando and WMFV, Cedar Creek, Florida announce they are launching a revamped version of the weekly arts, culture and entertainment segment “Spotlight” on Septempber 1. The segment, hosted by WMFE’s “All Things Considered” host, Nicole Darden Creston, will air at 4:45 pm on Thursdays. “Spotlight” will relaunch as both a four-minute radio segment and an extended podcast. The segment explores Central Florida’s arts scene from a unique perspective and amplifies voices not often heard. “Spotlight” will also share performances from creators of all stripes.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, Russia-Ukraine War, Immigration, Musk vs Twitter, Droughts & Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the investigation into classified documents; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; migrant troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border; Elon Musk’s battle against Twitter to back out of his $44 billion acquisition of the company; the droughts and floods affecting life in America were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

| August 18, 2022

Rhode Island Talk Radio Host John DePetro Arrested During Facebook Live Stream. According to a report from WLNE-TV, Providence, WNRI-AM, Woonsocket talk radio personality John DePetro was arrested on Tuesday (8/16) after producing a Facebook Live stream outside a home in Warwick, Rhode Island that was previously investigated relative to the disappearance of a local woman named Charlotte Lester who’s been missing since May of this year. DePetro was charged with willful trespassing. He tells WLNE-TV, “We can continue to search for answers into the disappearance of Charlotte Lester. We will offer a vigorous courtroom defense and I expect to be fully exonerated at trial where we will call the owner of the home to the stand.” DePetro has a September 1 court date.

Triton Digital Releases Top U.S. Podcasts Chart for July 2022. The most recent monthly chart of the Top 100 Podcasts in the U.S. from Triton Digital is released for the month of July 2022. Triton Digital’s chart is based on Average Weekly Downloads and ranks entities that opt-in for measurement. Sitting at the #1 spot again this month is “The Ben Shapiro Show” from Cumulus Podcast Network/Westwood One. “NPR News Now” is #2 and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” is #3. Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” rises to the #7 rank in the July chart. Other shows related to the radio business that went up in rank from June to July include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Mark Levin Podcast” at #18 and “The Michael Knowles Show,” which rises to #22.

Edison Research’s Top 50 U.S. Podcasts for Q2 2022 Published. This chart of the U.S. Top 50 Podcasts Q2 2022 from Edison Research ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on Edison Podcast Metrics. Edison notes that Edison Podcast Metrics is “the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks in the U.S. It is the only measurement based on actual podcast listening, not downloads, and does not require an opt-in from podcast networks.” The top six podcasts did not change from the previous survey: #1 is “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Crime Junkie” from audiochuck is #2, and “The Daily” from The New York Times is #3. Other radio related shows on the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #7, Cumulus’ “The Dan Bongino Show” at #16, and “The Ramsey Show” from Ramsey Networks at #29. Edison says its Top 50 Podcasts of Q2 2022 list is derived from data collected continuously Q3 2021 – Q2 2022, from surveying podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S. Participants indicate which podcasts they listened to in the past week along with a variety of demographic, psychographic, and purchase behavior information.

Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager for BetQL Network. Radio producer and programming pro Andrew Williams is named brand manager for Audacy’s BetQL Network. In this Washington, DC-based role, Williams will oversee all producers, talent and audio content for the BetQL Network’s 100 hours of original content per week. Audacy SVP of sports Matthew Volk says, “Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network. We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.” Williams most recently served as senior producer for SiriusXM in Washington D.C.

AdLarge Names Matt Turck Head of Podcast Growth and Strategy. Podcast advertising pro Matt Turck is named head of podcast growth and strategy at AdLarge. In this role, Turck is charged with overseeing revenue development, partnership growth and with contributing to the overall strategy of the podcast portfolio. Turck co-founded Megaphone (acquired by Spotify in December of 2020) and most recently served as the head of Megaphone Publisher Solutions at Spotify. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Matt brings an abundance of experience and expertise to the AdLarge team. With the speed at which the marketplace continues to move, it’s wonderful to have him on board to help us continue our expansion as well as provide exceptional service and products to the industry.”

FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Giuliani Grand Jury Testimony, Inflation, CDC Overhaul, U.S.-Taiwan-China Tensions, Russia-Ukraine War, Opioid Ruling, and Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the documents investigation; Liz Cheney’s primary loss on Tuesday, the November midterms, and the 2024 presidential race; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s appearance before a grand jury in Atlanta related to the 2020 election; inflation’s effect on U.S. household income; the CDC promises an overhaul after admitting shortcomings dealing with COVID and Monkey Pox; the tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan; Russia’s losses in Crimea after Ukraine strikes; a judge awards damages against CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart in the opioid crisis; and the ongoing drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

| August 17, 2022

Guardian Angels Have Significant Presence as NYC Crime Deterrent as Curtis Sliwa Breaks New Ground on WABC. In the late 1970s, New York City was a modern-day equivalent of the Wild West. Murder and violent crime were the norm. A trip on the subway was an exercise in urban survival. Residents of the city resigned themselves to that unfortunate reality as the politicians and police seemed powerless. However, a young man from Brooklyn, a former Jesuit student, felt someone had to do something. Curtis Sliwa stepped forward. What started as a group of Sliwa and a dozen other dedicated volunteers riding the subways of New York to serve as protectors of everyday law-abiding citizens, grew into the “Guardian Angels” that residents of the Big Apple have come to know and love. With their distinctive red berets, they are as New York as Central Park or a potato knish. They operate under the motto “we dare to care” and have proved it over and over through the years, in some cases with their lives. These days, the Guardian Angels have chapters in 13 countries and over 100 cities and the terrible spike in street crime gripping the Big Apple has made them more relevant than ever. While the original hometown group of 13 has grown to thousands across the globe, the mission has not wavered as Sliwa puts it, “To make a positive change in the community by involving citizens to step forward and take an active role. While the classic street patrols are the lifeblood of the organization, we all know that reaching the youth in our neighborhoods, especially the most at risk, is crucial. Once again, the Guardian Angels is meeting the need.” The “Junior Angels” program, their youth outreach programs, and their Washington Heights Community Center, provides help for kids with everything from homework to nutrition while getting them actively involved in their community. Since his recent high-profile campaign for mayor of New York as the Republican standard bearer, Sliwa has returned to the airwaves of juggernaut talker WABC with a powerful midday 12:15 pm -1:00 pm program, “The Curtis Sliwa Show,” that TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “extremely creative and truly ground breaking in its utilization of satire, hard-hitting commentary and subtle sarcasm that appeals to the listeners’ intelligence.” Sliwa tells TALKERS, “I will push into new realms that have not been approached with ‘theatre of the mind’ broadcasts during the height of the day. It will become the alternative to straight non-stop repetitive political talk. The satire and parodies that I am doing can win over whole new audiences.” Pictured above: noted former radio producer and Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan riding the East Side E subway train with a couple of patrolling Guardian Angels this past Sunday (8/14).

Audacy Trimming Payroll with On-Air Staff Reductions. In the wake of Audacy’s second quarter financial report for 2022 in which company president and CEO David Field cited “declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds” as the reason for the company’s top line growth of just 5%, the company is reducing its payroll. Audacy, like its competitors, has been taking steps to build a multi-platform media company and, as a result of the economics Field referred to, is being forced to make cuts in areas where growth has been the most limited – over-the-air radio. Some of the cuts being reported include all of the local sports talk personalities at sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan,” including LeRoy Butler and Gary Ellerson (as reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal). WSSP’s website reveals its programming now consists solely of CBS Sports Radio shows. Last week, sports talk host Jerry Coleman revealed his exit from WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” in a tweet.

KFI, Los Angeles Reporter Corbin Carson Wins NABJ Honor for Documentary. KFI, Los Angeles news reporter Corbin Carson has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists with its “Salute to Excellence Award” for Best Documentary for his work on “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach.” iHeartMedia says the powerful two-hour documentary focuses on property in Manhattan Beach that was stolen from the Bruce family through eminent domain in the 1920s amid threats from the KKK. The feature includes exclusive interviews with historians, protestors, critics, and the Bruce family about racism, reparations, and a yearlong movement to return the $20 million-dollar-plus beachfront property. “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach” culminated with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill to return the property to descendants of the Bruce family. Hear the documentary here.

Salem Promotes Jon Latzer to VP/GM of Salem Surround. Rising from his position as digital sales director to vice president and general manager for Salem Media Group‘s Salem Surround is Jon Latzer. Latzer previously served with Alpha Media, CBS Radio and Katz. Latzer will report to Salem SVP of Broadcast Digital Jamie Cohen. He says, “Jon has been an active, hands-on leader in broadcast for years, but his last six years at Salem and Alpha Media prepared him well for the fast-paced digital world. In Jon, we have a strong, experienced general manager, who will help us take Salem Surround to the next level. Jon was ready for the next adventure in his career, and we are extremely fortunate to have him on the team.”

Cumulus Renews Deal with Benztown. This new deal extends the partnership between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and imaging firm Benztown. The two companies first partnered in 2011, creating one of the radio industry’s largest collections of production and imaging libraries. With the new multi-year agreement, Benztown will continue to provide radio imaging, production, voiceover, programming, and jingles services for Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and Westwood One syndicated programming. Westwood One will continue to represent the barter inventory for Benztown Branding, Benztown Voice, and Hollywood Radio Networks. Cumulus EVP of marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “We are committed to partnering with companies that provide best-in-class services for our affiliates. By extending our partnership with Benztown, our affiliates will be able to create the radio magic that listeners remember and advertisers seek for many years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest Latino Podcast Listener Report 2022 from Edison Research is published and among its findings are that 59% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have ever listened to a podcast, a high mark for the measure. Just over half (51%) of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast in English, and 33% have ever listened to a podcast in Spanish. The U.S. Latino Podcast Listener report was commissioned by Adonde Media, LWC Studios, Libsyn, PRX, and SXM Media. The study found that video podcasts are popular among the U.S. Latino population. Seventy-six percent of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners consume podcasts with video component where they actively watch the video while listening. Sixty-six percent consume podcasts with video where they play the video in the background or minimize the video on their device. Edison Research senior director of research Gabriel Soto states, “Latinos in the U.S. control an impressive $1.9 trillion in purchasing power, and today’s data demonstrate how advertisers who support Latino podcast content are benefitting, while those who don’t are missing out.”…..Gemini XIII announces its new partnership with Jane Green, author of 18 New York Times bestselling books and a global household name in commercial women’s fiction, to form Emerald Audio, a new premium podcast network creating connection and community through authentic female-led storytelling. The first podcast to be produced by Emerald Audio is Jane Green’s Rainbow Girl, the story of a crumbling rock star marriage mired in drugs, infidelities, and black magic, set in 1979 and based on the characters from Green’s newest book, Sister Stardust, which was released in April. Green comments, “In today’s world, there are so many more ways for people to tell their stories outside of traditional publishing. To be focused on female-driven stories in the podcast medium is the most exhilarating thing I have worked on in years. Fiction, particularly female-driven fiction, is at the very beginning of its growth in that area, and there are so many opportunities for strong, powerful stories aimed at women. I couldn’t be more honored, and excited to work with Spencer [Brown], Charles [Steinhauer] and the entire team at Gemini XIII.”…..iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV announce the newest addition to their popular “Monster” podcast franchise titled “Le Monstre.” The podcast recounts the story of real-life monster Marc Dutroux – a serial killer, pedophile, and kidnapper whose crimes brought terror to Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s…..The Independent Broadcasters Association extends the registration period for member stations to participate in the IBA Fall 2022 National Cash Contest to this Friday (8/19) to give all IBA member stations time to sign up for the promotion. The contest begins on-air September 19 and stations must be members of the IBA to participate.

Primaries/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Issue, Georgia Election Probe, Inflation, Russia-Ukraine War, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the matter of top secret documents; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled appearance in Atlanta for questioning in the 2020 election subversion investigation; the still-rising cost of food and the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the drought affecting the U.S. and causing water emergencies in the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

| August 16, 2022

iHeartMedia Launches Sports Talker in Tallahassee. The company flips classic hip hop WTLY-AM/W243EG to sports talk as “96.5 THE SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio” using content from FOX Sports Radio. iHeartMedia says, “Tallahassee is home to a variety of elite sports programs, both high school and college, and iHeartMedia is giving Tallahassee what it is missing, ‘96.5 The SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio.’ With the market’s already established partnerships with FSU and Learfield, ‘The Spear name symbolizes iHeartMedia Tallahassee’s commitment to the fans, alumni, athletes, coaches, and faculty of one of America’s best universities.” iHeartMedia Tallahassee market president Paul Rogers comments, “Tallahassee has been without a full-time sports radio station for over a year. The fans deserve a radio station that highlights the numerous elite athletic programs here, and ‘96.5 THE SPEAR’ is that station. We just staked our claim on the sport’s real estate here in Tallahassee, and now it’s time to build the stadium with the support of Tallahassee sports fans.”

Finding Your Next Great Salesperson. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the most important quality to look for in your next great salesperson. She says, “Recently, I had lunch with some top executives from one of our major affiliates. Our discussion quickly turned to the subject of what makes a successful radio salesperson in 2022. Is it age, personality, good looks or experience, or some combination thereof? After a while, we all agreed that it was none of the above. The one trait that matters above all others is passion for the product.” Read more here.

KFI, Los Angeles Debuts Season Three of Unsolved with Steve Gregory.’ The third season of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” is being launched by iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk station KFI-AM 640. The weekly true crime podcast series features cold cases, challenging cases, missing persons, and high-profile criminals. iHeartMedia says it is one of the most successful in Los Angeles radio, with more 59,000 podcast downloads in the first month. Listeners can hear season three of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” beginning Saturday, August 20 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on KFI as well as on iHeartRadio and all other platforms. The podcast is hosted and produced by the award-winning team of Steve Gregory (pictured at right) and Jacob Gonzalez. For more than 30 years, host Gregory has established a trusted working relationship with detectives, chiefs of police, and county sheriffs. In season one, Gregory explored cases like the unsolved murder of Mark Leonard, the father of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Gregory also observed the 75th Anniversary of the Black Dahlia, the most notorious unsolved case in the history of the LAPD. The LAPD’s Tear Drop Rapist case remains one of the show’s most popular downloads. In the season three opener, Gregory will focus on the 2013 case of Bryce Laspisa, a missing student who was driving home from college to visit his family in Orange County. He was last seen in Kern County, but his overturned SUV was found in north Los Angeles County off Lake Hughes Road near Castaic Lake. The evidence inside the vehicle included blood stains which matched those of the college sophomore. The case remains one of the most unusual missing persons cases in Los Angeles County. Season three will also explore forensics, including a medical examiner, a cybercrimes detective, and the science of arson investigation. Gregory was invited to attend the US Forest Service’s Arson Investigation School – the first time a journalist has ever been allowed to do so. A case from the US Department of State’s Cyber Security division will also be featured. Several agencies have participated in the program including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the US Forest Service, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Fontana Police Department, the Pomona Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the DEA, and the FBI. It is estimated there are more than 10,000 unsolved cases in Southern California.

iHeartMedia Promotes Taylor Walet to Area President for Nebraska-Iowa. Company executive Taylor Walet is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Nebraska-Iowa area. Walet has been serving as market president for Omaha since 2007. In this new role, Walet will oversee more than 36 stations the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport markets as well as the Sioux City, Omaha, and Ogallala markets. He will continue to report to Shosh Abromovich, division president for iHeartMedia. Abromovich says, “We have an exceptional team of talent and leaders throughout the states of Nebraska and Iowa. The synergy of this new area will help drive additional cohesion and shared success. Taylor’s leadership skills, focus on a collaborative and winning culture, along with attention to our local communities, will drive more success across these six markets.”

TALKERS News Notes. This week’s Westwood One Audio Group blog looks at Big Audio Datamine, an enormous AM/FM radio ad effectiveness report from UK radio industry group Colourtext and Radiocentre. The study of 1,002 campaigns finds that AM/FM radio can strongly impact the two jobs of marketing: Converting existing demand and creating future demand. The study concludes that AM/FM radio “consistently delivers significant uplifts for advertisers across a wide range of long- and short-term effectiveness outcomes”; AM/FM radio creates future demand by increasing awareness and building positive brand sentiment: The 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio campaigns generate significant lift in crucial top funnel metrics such as ad recall, brand relevance, and brand trust; and AM/FM radio converts existing demand by increasing purchase consideration and stimulating online response: Among those in the market to buy now, the 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio advertising drives significant lower funnel impact. See the blog here…..AdLarge announces the addition of the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast to the AdLarge Podcasting Network. Hosted and created by national best-selling author Cathy Heller, the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast is the “authentic shot of honesty and inspiration aimed directly at women to find true purpose in their life and get paid for doing what they love to do.” Weekly episodes include conversations with A-list celebrities and well-known entrepreneurs and game-changers, such as Matthew McConaughey, Rob Lowe, and Jenna Fischer, as well as authors Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, and Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. Heller says, “I’m so excited to work with the expert team at AdLarge. With their knowledge and industry acumen, we’ll be able to take my podcast to the next level. I often remind my audience that life is too short to be building someone else’s dream. This is just another example of building upon my true purpose and happiness.”

FBI Raid, Primaries/2024 Race, Giuliani Targeted, Biden Climate Change & Healthcare Bill, Gas & Food Prices, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15). The controversy over the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; today’s primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2024 presidential nominees; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is notified he’s a target in the probe into the attempt to change Georgia’s 2020 election outcome; the passage of President Joe Biden’s climate change & health care bill; the falling gasoline prices and the still-rising cost of groceries; and the drought affecting most of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

| July 27, 2022

This Massachusetts “Marathon” Is Forced To Run Elsewhere. In what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most knuckle-headed public relations mis-steps” he’s ever witnessed in a local situation, the Springfield, MA-based Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has kicked up a dust-storm of bad will for itself.  (Note: TALKERS headquarters are also based in Springfield, MA.) For over two decades, a charitable Thanksgiving initiative known as the Mayflower Marathon has held its November charity event to raise money for the Open Pantry at the famed  hoops museum in the Western Massachusetts city where basketball was invented. A consistent partner and main engine for the event over the years has been Saga Communications’ WAQY “Rock 102 – Springfield’s Classic Rock,” which does its own “marathon” by broadcasting from the venue for 52 consecutive hours. The long-running goodwill synergy though seems to have hit a speedbump. Citing “capacity issues,” the Basketball Hall of Fame says the event will no longer be held at its location. Declaring he’s in “shock” by the HOF’s decision, “Rock 102” morning talk show co-host and local radio legend  Mike Baxendale (“Bax”) points out that – for 28 years- the station has helped the Mayflower Marathon raise several million dollars for the Open Pantry. Mirroring Baxendale’s astonished sentiment is Open Pantry executive director Terry Maxey who elaborates, “We are the largest food pantry in Western Massachusetts.” Not having the Mayflower Marathon in Springfield, he laments “would be truly disappointing.” Replying in a prepared statement to Western Mass News, Basketball Hall of Fame president/chief executive officer John Doleva notes, “The Hall of Fame has been pleased to offer this space at no charge for over 20 years for the Mayflower Marathon. As a ‘landlord,’ the Hall of Fame’s first obligation is to make certain that [the needs of our tenants], including adequate and convenient parking, are met. The growth in our tenant base and the very positive organic growth of existing tenants has made this change necessary.” Things further escalated in the last several days when Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno sent a letter to the Basketball HOF, asking Doleva to reconsider. Part of Sarno’s letter reads, “This event has been held for over 25 years and has caused no prior disruptions and/or complaints from your establishments.” It’s Doleva’s contention that the choice to pull the plug on housing the event was actually made nine months ago. To show support for the event as it establishes a new home, Doleva responded on behalf of Hall of Fame board chair Jerry Colangelo and Colebrook Realty’s Jack Dill by writing that the HOF is “happy to commit a gift of $5,000 to the Marathon. Our property management group, Colebrook, has committed an additional $2,500 for a total of $7,500 to the event.” Meanwhile, Baxendale maintains to Western Mass News that the Mayflower Marathon “is going to happen one way or another. We are looking at alternative sites [and] have a lot of suggestions. [Unfortunately], this shows that there’s a disconnect between the Hall of Fame and the community.”

GCN Vindicated in Sandy Hook Case. A defendant in Alex Jones’ Connecticut defamation case – Ted Anderson-owned Genesis Communications Network – was vindicated when the plaintiffs unilaterally withdrew all legal claims against GCN. The action was taken one month prior to jury selection and effectuated without settlement, release, or other consideration by GCN. According to Anderson, “This means we can continue to serve the hundreds of radio programs as we have over the years, programs from a wide array of political viewpoints. Including us in the suit was an attack on talk radio as an institution. It was totally unjustified. My heart breaks for those families – but yes – I feel this was the right result.” GCN attorney Mario Cerame states, “We are, of course, pleased with the recognition that GCN was not a proper defendant. Genesis does not monitor the content of the radio shows it works with. These are the sound engineers, ensuring professional sound quality, balance, and the like. They make space in the recording for commercials. They do not factcheck the words any more than your phone company does, or the people who sell you a keyboard check to see what you type. They just deliver the sound, like a radio version of the United States postal worker. We had to vigorously litigate the case up to the eve of jury selection but, the plaintiffs ultimately acknowledged this and walked away on their own, without a dime from GCN. We were caught in a battle between two Goliaths [but] after a lot of hard work, we managed to come out unscathed.”

 

Ippolito In As iHeartMedia San Diego Market President. Concurrent with iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest transitioning to a consultant role on August 1, senior vice president of sales Noreen Ippolito becomes her successor. Ippolito will report to division president Tom McConnell who comments, “Noreen is an incredible talent with an outstanding track record. She has strong business acumen and understands how to build and cultivate high performing teams. She is the perfect choice to lead our San Diego and Riverside markets.” In addition to San Diego news/talk outlets KOGO “News Radio 600” and KGB-AM “AM 760”; sports talk KLSD “Fox 1360”; and Riverside Black Information Network news outlet KFOO “BIN 1440”, Ippolito will oversee San Diego classic rock KGB-FM; rock KIOZ; CHR KHTS; hot AC KMYI; and rhythmic CHR KSSX.

Steele To Receive MIW’s Annual Airblazer Award. Five-year cancer survivor/Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM morning drive co-host Patty Steele is the recipient of the eighth annual Mentoring and Inspiring Women’s Airblazer award. Steele will be honored during next month’s (8/18) Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “It’s such a privilege to be the conduit for this very special award recognizing top on-air talent. Congratulations to Patty Steele, a wonderful talent and an even better human.” As is tradition, the “Airblazer” is carefully selected by the prior year’s honoree. The recipient is recognized for her dedication/contributions to the broadcast industry and to the communities she serves. Syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” host/2021 MIW “Airblazer” DeDe McGuire remarks, “It is my honor to select Patty Steele as the next recipient of the MIW Airblazer award. Patty has worked on some of the most successful radio shows alongside some of the biggest names in our industry. Her voice, humor, and insights were key to the successes of these shows on some of the country’s most legendary stations. So many of us in the industry admire her ability to always be the best and work through difficult times, both personally and professionally. She always comes out on top.” Steele adds, “I can’t tell you how proud and delighted I am to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Airblazer award. My passion for radio and for the young women coming up in this business make this a truly special honor. Being chosen by DeDe is icing on the cake – she’s a survivor and [thrives] in our ever-changing business.” At WCBS-FM, Steele is reunited with Scott Shannon. She has also worked with Elvis Duran, Danny Bonaduce, and John Lander at a number of other well-known New York City stations, including news/talk WOR, news WCBS-AM, WHTZ, and WPLJ. In April, Steele was one of thirteen podcasters to receive a 2022 Gracie award for her “Deep Six” series. The two-part episode featured Steele’s interview with her 26-year-old son, Jake, about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Three other Audacy-owned stations aired the show. Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting. In addition to DeDe McGuire, previous “Airblazers” include: Angela Yee (2020); Kellie Rasberry (2019); Mercedes Martinez (2018); Roula Christie (2017); Angie Martinez (2016); and class of 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Ellen K (2015).

iHM Portland Boosts Burgess To Market President. The promotion of iHeartMedia Portland senior vice president of sales Marshal Burgess to market president for the company’s eight-station Oregon cluster is effective immediately. He will report to iHM Multiplatform Group division president/Black Information Network president Tony Coles, who states, “It has been incredible to witness Marshal’s growth and success over the years. Few leaders [have] the kind of experience, integrity, and vision that Marshal brings to the table. We look forward to Marshal building upon our history of success in Portland.” University of Oregon alum Burgess notes, “I’ve spent my entire life in Portland and grew up listening to [several stations in this iHM cluster]. The support and positive energy I’ve received from Tony Coles and the entire team here in Portland have been unbelievable. I’m very excited for the future and am truly humbled by the opportunity.” Burgess began his career at CBS Radio in 1996. He joined iHeartMedia the following year and has been with the company (then known as Clear Channel) ever since. In that time, he has progressed from being an account executive; local sales manager; general sales manager; and vice president of sales. In addition to news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190” and sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Sports Radio 620,” iHeartMedia Portland consists of adult contemporary KKCW; classic hits-oldies KLTH; classic rock KFBW; CHR KKRZ; alternative KKRZ-HD2; and rhythmic CHR KXJM.

Cannabis Advertising Legislation Introduced. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Advertising Act, would clarify that local radio and television broadcasters can air cannabis ads without the threat of FCC administrative action in states where pot is legal. SAFE was introduced by Senator Ben Ray Luján (Democrat-New Mexico) and follows the House passage of FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Language in that bill would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis commercials. In a prepared statement, NAB president/chief executive officer Curtis LeGeyt notes, “Due to outdated government regulations, only local radio and television broadcasters face legal exposure for advertising cannabis products permitted under state law. The SAFE Advertising Act would finally level the playing field and create necessary regulatory certainty for broadcasters. We thank Senator Luján for his leadership on this issue and we will continue working with policymakers to ensure there is a permanent resolution to this competitive disparity.” New Mexico Broadcasters Association president/chief executive officer Paula Maes comments, “The members of the NMBA appreciate the efforts of Senator Luján and his staff. Their work on this bill which would allow cannabis advertising to air on New Mexico broadcasting is in step with state law and [is] long overdue. The Senator’s legislation helps remedy this unfair situation by recognizing the importance of state law in addressing cannabis issues.” New York State Broadcasters Association president/Safe Advertising Coalition member David Donovan adds, “We applaud Senator Luján’s efforts to allow local radio and television broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state in which they are licensed. We look forward to working with the Senator’s office to move this important legislation forward.”

Horowitz Headed To Raiders P-B-P Booth. The search to find a successor for the iconic Brent Musberger as radio play-by-play announcer for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders concludes: Jason Horowitz is the choice. Horowitz, who will be this year’s game-caller with returning analyst Lincoln Kennedy, reflects that, “As a kid, I used to pretend I was the voice for a team calling an epic interception, or the game-winning touchdown. I want to thank [Raiders controlling owner/managing general partner] Mark Davis and the Raiders organization for making that dream become a reality. I am humbled to join an historic franchise, following in the footsteps of the legends who have called games of the ‘silver and black’ to the sport’s greatest fanbase.” Horowitz most recently has been Westwood One’s NCAA football and basketball studio host and CBS Sports Network’s announcer of Army football games. Musberger signed a contract four years ago (July 2018), making him the radio voice of the Oakland Raiders and the inaugural season (2020) when the franchise relocated to Las Vegas. He continued those duties through the 2021 season. Compass Media Networks syndicates Raiders games which air on Las Vegas sports talk flagship, Lotus Communications-owned KRLV “Raider Nation Radio 920 AM.”

BIN Listeners Offered Free Career Coaching. A “100,000 Careers” service from CareerBuilder will provide Black Information Network (BIN) listeners with a gratis 45-minute session. BIN and CareerBuilder have joined forces to launch the platform created to connect 100,000 BIN listeners looking to advance their careers. As part of the initiative, jobseekers have access to personalized career guidance through a complimentary coaching session. BIN listeners will have the opportunity to meet with an expert within their industry and receive individually tailored advice and actionable feedback to help promote their career growth. According to iHeartMedia Multiplatform group division president Tony Coles, “The Black Information Network and CareerBuilder are committed to giving jobseekers the tools and resources they need to stand out from the crowd. These sessions help match jobseekers and experts to help [them] prepare for [their] interview. We are excited to offer this service to get one step closer to helping 100,000 listeners find the career of their dreams.” CareerBuilder chief marketing officer Kristin Kelley comments, “We are thrilled to offer this hyper-customized experience in hopes that the community will receive practical feedback relevant to their industry to help them either find a job filled with purpose, or grow into their current role. Careers start with mentors and support, which is why expert coaching is one of the many ways that the 100,000 Careers initiative can transform the way job seekers find a role.” Through the use of AI technology and responses from an initial questionnaire, jobseekers will be matched with more than 5,000 available coaches. During the one-on-one session, jobseekers can ask questions, identify strengths, and work to define a career path that fits their needs. Participants will receive an individualized report that includes actionable advice and a video recording following the online session.

Newsmax Signs Multiple International Programming Distribution Deals. Through one of the agreements, Zee Entertainment’s Zee5 will carry Newsmax’s news feed 24/7, as well as VOD content. Zee will also post content from Newsmax.com in its news section. Zee5’s initial distribution of Newsmax content will be in India, with eventual expansion to the Middle East and North Africa. Earlier this month, Newsmax signed a distribution pact with Canal+-owned European satellite, cable, and OTT provider M7 and is now available in The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. Rounding out Newsmax’s recent global expansion efforts is its July 19 deal in Australia with Foxtel-owned streaming platform Flash News. Newsmax chief executive officer Chris Ruddy states, “The demand for high-quality journalism is growing worldwide as citizens everywhere look for real news to help understand a complex world. We are delighted to be working with Zee, M7, and Foxtel to deliver our content to the world’s largest democracies and we are looking forward to continuing to expand our global reach.” M7 group vice president/platform content services Bill Wijdeveld remarks, “We are welcoming Newsmax on board of our TV platforms, allowing the channel to launch into multiple European markets in ‘one go.’ We thank Newsmax for its trust in our service provisioning and look forward to a fruitful cooperation over the coming years.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Baltimore Ravens defensive back Rod Woodson will join play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky this season on the NFL team’s broadcasts on Hearst Baltimore news/talk WBAL. According to Sandusky, “Rod brings the unique perspective of someone who has both played and coached at the highest level of the game. He does it in a down-to-earth way that is approachable, likable and just plain fun. It’s a privilege to work with a broadcast partner like Rod.” Woodson states that, “Being a part of the Ravens’ gameday broadcast team is a blessing. To be back with the team that I won my only Super Bowl with will be fun.”