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Friday, December 3, 2021

| December 3, 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 “OMG OMICRON” looks back at this past week of 11/29 – 12/3. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Paul Vandenburgh, talk show host/owner Talk 1300, Albany, NY; Joe Madison, talk show host/SiriusXM Satellite Radio; and Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com. 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 Network; Pioneer 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.

KIRO-FM Seattle Announces New ‘John Curley and Shari Show’ for PM Drive. On the heels of the recent retirement of afternoon personality Tom Tanguay, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle announces that the new 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show is “The John Curley and Shari Show,” hosted by incumbent personality John Curley and Shari Elliker. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “We’re thrilled for this next chapter on KIRO Radio. We think John and Shari will connect with our audience in a compelling and entertaining way and help Bonneville Seattle continue as the Pacific Northwest’s media choice.” Elliker, who has been co-hosting the afternoon drive show on Friday afternoons since January, previously hosted shows on WBAL, Baltimore; XM Radio; WHFS and WUSA in Washington D.C.; and was a cast member of the syndicated “Don & Mike Show” in the mid-1990s. KIRO-FM program director Bryan Buckalew says, “We’re really excited about this new show. John and Shari have great chemistry. They’re fun to listen to and really complement KIRO Radio’s continued commitment to delivering the most important local news every weekday afternoon.”

Ken Matthews Enters National Syndication Via Talk Media Network. Longtime WHP-AM, Harrisburg talk radio personality Ken Matthews is entering into national syndication via Talk Media Network in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart. Matthews served as a guest host on Premiere Networks’ “The Rush Limbaugh Show” during the last four years. Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “Let’s be clear here, Ken Matthews isn’t filling anyone’s shoes. He doesn’t wear shoes. Literally, he was raised by a wolfpack. Ken’s life experiences and radio background make for such an interesting and engaging show. His humor and delivery are truly unique and will soon be heard far and wide, once again, on radio stations across America.” Matthews says, “This show takes the conversation beyond the news media narrative. The commentaries and discussions we have on ‘The Ken Matthews Show’ are so much better than network news. That’s just another reason I love talk radio… I appreciate that fact that Talk Media Network recognizes the reach and future of live talk radio.”

Resort Broadcasting Acquires WUSX-FM, Seaford, Delaware to Simulcast News/Talk WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach. Delaware news/talk outlet WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach is getting an FM sister station that will allow it to fully cover the southwest corner of Delaware in addition to its own coverage of the southern shore region. Resort Broadcasting’s acquisition of WUSX-FM, Seaford, Delaware will bring WGMD’s conservative news/talk format featuring local shows “Mike Bradley and the Morning Team,” “Delmarva LIVE! with Jake Smith,” and “Afternoons with MJ Powell” to WUSX listeners along with syndicated personalities Dan Bongino, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and George Noory. Weekends include live and local programing, “The Rehoboth Foodie,” “The Pet Show,” “Classic Radio Theater,” and Philadelphia Phillies baseball and Baltimore Ravens football. The station can be heard on WGMD’s 92.7 FM signal in eastern Sussex and southern New Jersey, and WUSX’s 98.5 FM in western Sussex, Wicomico, Worcester, Dorchester, and Caroline Counties in Maryland.

Round Two of November PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s November 2021 survey period covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington falls seven-tenths to a 3.5 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and finish ranked #13. Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #3 after dipping six-tenths to a 7.7 share. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO is up eight-tenths and wraps with a 4.9 share but remains ranked #8 while sister all-news WBZ-AM shoots up 1.2 shares for a 7.4 share finish and rises to the #2 rank. Although it slid three-tenths to a 6.5 share, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle remains ranked #1 in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

‘Tiki & Tierney’ to Replace ‘Moose & Maggie’ in Middays on WFAN, New York. Effective January 3, the former CBS Sports Radio syndicated duo of Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney will take over the midday show on Audacy sports talk outlet WFAN-
AM/FM, New York, replacing the current “Moose & Maggie” show co-hosted by Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “‘Tiki and Tierney’ have a perspective and sound that is tailor made for New York City and their addition will further solidify WFAN’s iconic position as the area’s most influential sports platform. Both are already very familiar to the FAN audience, so their voices joining ‘Boomer & Gio’ and ‘Carton & Roberts’ creates a powerful must-listen to our weekday lineup for both listeners and advertisers.”

Maggie Gray Partners with Andrew Perloff for CBS Sports Radio Show. Sports talk host Maggie Gray will transition from WFAN to the CBS Sports Radio network in January, according to Audacy. She’s being partnered with host Andrew Perloff for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show, effective January 3. WFAN and CBS Sports Radio VP of programming Spike Eskin says, “We’re excited to grow Maggie’s footprint to a wider national audience on CBS Sports Radio and welcome Andrew to join her as co-host. Together, Maggie and Andrew will deliver a fresh weekday show for our listeners, adding another must-listen program to the station’s impressive slate of content.” Perloff joins Audacy after serving as an on-air personality for the television and radio sports talk program “The Dan Patrick Show” since 2009.

Edelman Financial Engines Debuts ‘Everyday Wealth with Soledad O’Brien and Jean Chatzky’ In January. A new financial talk radio program and podcast will debut on January 1, 2022 from Edelman Financial Engines. “Everyday Wealth with Soledad O’Brien and Jean Chatzky” is described as “a dynamic new radio show and podcast that examines the most important and topical financial decisions affecting our lives today.” The show features personal finance expert Jean Chatzky (left) and award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien (right) who will discuss current events, the financial markets, policy updates and other key life issues impacting American wallets. They will be joined by Edelman Financial Engines wealth planners and other expert guests to provide guidance and insights to help listeners build wealth and take control of their financial potential. The new, hour-long episodes will air every weekend in 75 markets, including New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, and will also be available to listeners via the major podcast platforms. Edelman Financial Engines EVP Jason Van de Loo says, “Jean and Soledad, who have worked together in network television before and share a great chemistry, will be joined by our industry-leading wealth planners, forming a dynamic, knowledgeable and engaging team that brings fresh perspectives and a diverse range of life experiences. Listeners of all ages and backgrounds will find themselves relating to the hosts, while taking away actionable information.”

TALKERS News Notes. The talk personalities heard on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York are being made available in syndication and the company launches Red Apple Audio Networks, beginning January 1, 2022. The new network will feature a podcast network and streaming platform and hosts will include: Larry Kudlow, Rita Cosby, Greg Kelly, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Chris Hahn, and Rudy Giuliani. “The John Catsimatidis Roundtable” will also be available.  on the new networks. CEO John Catsimatidis says, “I could not be more excited to launch Red Apple Audio Networks and make these leading voices in talk radio available coast to coast.”…..Celebrity guest booking service Radio Guest Quest moves its affiliate and advertising sales operations to G Accelerate Networks. G Accelerate president and CEO Jim Higgins says, “[Radio Guest Quest founder] Art [Sears] and Radio Guest Quest are well known across the industry for securing and delivering interviews with marquee-status celebrities and delivering personalized services, including one-on-one communications with radio show producers. We’re excited that Radio Guest Quest is joining G Accelerate Networks as we build out our portfolio of top-quality programs and services for radio stations.”…..Today on Florida Man Radio’s “The Shannon Burke Show,” former President Donald Trump will appear for an interview segment. Burke says, “This is my first interview with the former president and I’m beyond excited to be speaking to President Donald Trump.  He has graciously set aside time for our listeners, and I think it will be a spirited conversation.”…..Salem Media Group, Inc. is presenting at the 16th annual Singular Research Best of the Uncovered Investor Conference on December 9, at 11:15 am ET. The presentation will be available on the investor relations portion of the company’s website prior to the its presentation.

Tim Conway, Jr. Gets Cameo in New Film Licorice Pizza. Pictured above at right is KFI, Los Angeles evening talk host Tim Conway, Jr. in a still from the new film, Licorice Pizza. In his scene, he plays a casting director opposite Maya Rudolph (left). He also plays the emcee in the pageant scene. The film stars musician Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Bradley Cooper, and Sean Penn. It premiered in limited release on November 26, with a nationwide release scheduled for December 25.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Vaccines, Mandates and Politics Combine as Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 29 – December 3. The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, vaccines, mandates and the politics surrounding the pandemic came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was inflation, the supply chain woes, and the U.S. labor force, followed by the January 6 investigation 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 Seeks Operations Manager. The Orlando station group of Salem Media Group is looking for its next operations manager to lead the programming effort at its cluster. Our passion for community and our listeners drives our success at Salem. Top-of-class personalities, digital platforms, and resources make this a fantastic opportunity with a great operator in sunny Central Florida. General Manager Tim Robisch is looking for candidates who have spoken word on air and programming experience with passion for Christian teaching talk and conservative talk formats. Find more information and apply here. No calls please.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

| November 2, 2021

Bongino Off the Radio This Week; Still Hosting Podcast. This may be the week that the rift between Westwood One parent company Cumulus Media and nationally syndication talk host Dan Bongino is settled – one way or the other. Bongino’s 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET show is being guest hosted this week after the syndicator ran best-of shows last week during his absence. At issue here is Bongino’s stand against the company’s vaccine mandates and his publicly calling out the company and demanding it rescind the requirement that all employees get vaccinated. He is still producing his daily, one-hour podcast for the iHeartRadio platform this week and on it he’s addressing vaccine mandates and his belief that they are ultimately doing the nation more harm than good. As far as Cumulus Media is concerned, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which the company retreats on its vaccine mandate and since Bongino is obviously serious about his ultimatum, it looks like the two parties are likely headed for a separation.

Interep Radio Founder Ralph Guild Passes at 93. Legendary radio sales figure Ralph Guild – long credited with creating what is now the standard operating structure for television and radio rep companies, passed away yesterday (11/1) in Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 93. Guild launched Interep Radio in 1981 to offer the communications and marketing expertise he believed radio stations would come to expect from their representatives. Created as a holding company, Interep brought independent rep firms together under a single corporate umbrella and grew to over $1 billion in sales. In 1986, under Guild’s stewardship, Interep launched Group W Radio Sales, which ultimately became CBS Radio Sales. Other dedicated rep companies created by Interep included ABC Radio Sales. Guild began his radio representation career in 1957 as a young executive at McGavren Radio – a San Francisco-based firm devoted to representing radio advertising. The company sent him to New York to open their first east coast office, and by 1967 McGavren Radio had become McGavren Guild. In 1973, Guild had become the company’s president and chief operating officer, and later its chairman. Guild’s son Marc, who was also a well-known radio industry executive, passed away in 2020. Guild is survived by his children, Gale, Lynn, Sharon, and Adam, his 16 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Townsquare Media 2021 Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 17%. The company reveals the results of its 2021 third quarter financial report and says net revenue was $111.3 million, up 16.7% compared to the same period in 2020 and just 1% shy of the net revenue in Q3 of 2019 – just prior to the pandemic. Net income for the quarter was $12.9 million, up from $1.3 million in Q3 of 2020. Townsquare Media reports its business in three segments: Townsquare Interactive, the company’s digital marketing solutions subscription business; Advertising, which includes broadcast and digital advertising products and solutions; and Live Events, which is comprised of the company’s live events, including concerts, expositions and other experiential events. Townsquare Interactive net subscription revenue increased $2.9 million, or 16.2%, to $21.1 million, Advertising net revenue increased $10.3 million, or 13.3%, to $87.4 million, and Live Events net revenue increased $2.7 million to $2.7 million, each as compared to the third quarter of 2020. Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson says, “Townsquare’s strong performance continued in the third quarter of 2021, highlighted by robust year-over-year net revenue, Adjusted EBITDA, and net income growth.  Adjusted EBITDA surpassed 2019 levels for the fourth consecutive quarter, and net revenue was at 99% of 2019 levels… As a Digital First Company with approximately 47% of total net revenue (excluding political) coming from our digital platform and solutions, we continue to separate ourselves from the local competition. In the third quarter, total digital revenue increased 20% year-over-year (+29% vs. Q3 2019), and we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue, fueling the growth of our digital platform from $188 million of revenue (on a trailing twelve-month basis as of September 30, 2021) to $250 million in just three short years. Our digital revenue growth, combined with strong profit growth, allowed us to reduce net leverage to 4.9x as of September 30, a meaningful reduction of 2.9x year over year. I am incredibly proud of the Townsquare Team and the results we have delivered to date, which sets us up to noticeably exceed 2019’s Adjusted EBITDA in FY 2021, marking a record profit level for our company. Although COVID is far from over, we have been able to achieve our revenue and EBITDA targets faster than we had initially planned for while gaining market share. As such, we are quickly moving towards our ultimate goal of being the number one local media company in each of our 67 markets.”

Beasley Media Group Q3 Net Revenue Up 26.7%. For the third quarter of 2021, Beasley Media Group reports net revenue of $62.9 million, an increase of 26.7% over the same period in 2020. The company reports a net loss of $1.6 million, down from the $2.7 million net loss reported in Q3 of 2020. Station operating income rose to $11.7 million, up 36% from the $8.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2020. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley’s strong third quarter financial results reflect the operating and financial benefits of our digital transformation and revenue diversification initiatives, which are becoming more visible as we move deeper into the post-pandemic economic recovery. Accelerating demand from consumers and advertisers for our premium content and multi-platform marketing solutions drove third quarter net revenue of $62.9 million, marking a 6% increase over second quarter 2021 levels and a 27% increase over the comparable prior year period. Top line growth, combined with the meaningful actions we have taken over the past year to permanently reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies, resulted in a significant 45% year-over-year increase in SOI to $11.7 million, as well as positive free cash flow of approximately $1.7 million. While the Delta variant impacted some markets during the quarter, strong growth in core radio advertising and digital advertising revenue resulted in year-over-year total revenue increases across nearly all of our markets, with healthy double-digit growth in Atlanta, Boca Raton, Boston, Detroit, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Tampa and Wilmington. The growth was primarily driven by a significant increase in sports betting revenue. Beasley continues to generate positive results from strategic investments in our digital and esports infrastructure and content production capabilities, which are further strengthening the long-term competitive position of our diversified media platform. Growing consumer and advertiser demand for Beasley’s digital audio content drove a 67% year-over-year increase in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 13% of total third quarter revenue. With our ongoing focus on premium audio and digital content, Beasley’s digital network delivered record digital audience impressions for the second consecutive quarter, with total digital impressions growing 13% over the prior year period, including a 17% year-over-year increase in our total digital streaming audience. On the esports front, we recently launched AXLE-R8, our first expansion team marking our entry into the Rocket League Championship series, which attracts a highly engaged and growing young audience. As we continue to build our esports portfolio, we remain focused on looking for new, innovative ways to monetize this content to drive profitable long-term revenue growth. In summary, we continue to make significant progress on our near-term goal of returning all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels, as we integrate our leading broadcast platform with our fast-growing digital solutions while maintaining deep local connections and reach within our markets.”

Duke Brooks Exits Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach. Talk show host Duke Brooks tells TALKERS magazine that he left his position as host of the afternoon drive program at Resort Broadcasting’s news/talk WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on October 15. He says, “I’ve been honored to have the company of thousands of Delmarvans every weekday afternoon for over six years, but WGMD plans a new programming direction in which I have no experience. That, among several other reasons, meant that it was time for me to depart Resort Broadcasting, LLC.” Brooks first joined WGMD in the fall of 2009 as evening talk show host but, along with several other staffers, was let go on February 2, 2011. He then worked as communication director for the Sussex County GOP and then for Kevin Wade’s (R-DE) campaigns for the U.S. Senate. He returned to WGMD on March 13, 2015.

Fisher House Radio Special Available for Veterans Day Weekend. In time for this year’s recognition of Veteran’s Day, Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a free, fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2021 NOW available for download. You can hear the demo, register, and download today here. “The Fisher House Story – Peace of Mind and a Place to Heal” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations as well as a 30-minute public affairs show for ALL formats in the U.S. and around the world. Fisher House Foundation provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Fisher Houses provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis because “A Family’s LOVE is Good Medicine.” The 3-hour, 1-hour, 25 and 30-minute radio specials are hosted by long-time radio personality Jeff Wyatt and features stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. This informational talk show will leave listeners feeling inspired during Veterans Day weekend (Veterans Day is Thursday, November 11) and through the holiday season, sharing stories of amazing service members, veterans, and their families.

Biden Spending Bills, Election Day, COVID-19, SCOTUS Abortion Law Case, COP26, and Kyle Rittenhouse Trial to Begin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The status of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and $1.75 trillion economic plan and Congress likely to act on them this week; today’s tight gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccine mandates, and vaccine approval for children; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of Texas’ restrictive abortion law; the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow; and the beginning of the trial of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

| May 21, 2015

lettermandavid wideEnd of Letterman Show Reveals Late Night Giant’s Impact on News/Talk Personalities.  Late night TV talk legend David Letterman’s retirement from the business after an astonishing run on both NBC and CBS gave talk radio hosts the opportunity to not only address the cultural phenomenon that his program was but to express their admiration for Letterman’s broadcasting skills, creativity and groundbreaking humor and admit to being influenced by him.  Yesterday (5/20), TALKERS magazine published a heartfelt and deeply personal piece by WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall.  If you missed it, read that here.joycebrian  TALKERS editors are hearing from other hosts who’ve been thinking about how Letterman influenced their careers.  WGOW, Chattanooga midday host Brian Joyce says he hosted comics Rob Schneider and Brian Kiley to talk about Letterman’s show and his impact.  “Rob made his network debut on Letterman’s show back in 1987 when he was 23 years old.  Kiley is a stand-up comedian and writer who has appeared on Letterman’s show six times and has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards as Conan O’Brien’s head monologue harrisonmichael5-15writer.  They discussed their feelings about Letterman and his legacy, plus their overall thoughts on the state of late night TV, plus media in general.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Although Johnny Carson remains THE cultural icon of late night television talk/variety shows, and Steve Allen and Jack Parr certainly cast their significant influence upon several generations of late night TV talkers, no singular practitioner of the genre has influenced the modern era of both radio and television talk show hosts as much as David Letterman.  You see his fingerprints all over the style and constructs of so many of today’s radio gabbers covering the spectrum of pop culture, political and even sports talk programs.  David Letterman’s contribution to the basic attitude of talk programming has been nothing short of profound.”

JohnandLeahShow logoThe John and Leah Show to Air on WNIR-FM, Akron.  The Akron heritage FM talk outlet will be the weekend home to the Envision Networks-syndicated “John and Leah Show” featuring John Ziegler and Leah Brandon.  The Media-Com talk station will air the program live on Sunday evenings at 10:00 pm ET.  WNIR-FM station manager Bill Klaus says, “It’s good to have a live weekend program, instead of taped replays of programs earlier in the week.  We love having a male and female host anchoring our Sunday nights.”  Envision Networks says, “Hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon bring you the final word on the week’s events and first thoughts on the week to come.  The hosts provide an informative, compelling and entertaining take on the news of the week as well as their own crazy lives.  The John and Leah Show is always interesting with unpredictable conversations.”

schoenbergertoddTodd Schoenberger Named Afternoon Host at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Effective June 1, retired hedge fund manager and national media personality, Todd Schoenberger begins hosting the afternoon drive program on Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “92.7FM The Talk of Delmarva.”  The company says that it “boasts a deep and seasoned lineup of veteran hosts and award-winning shows, from Mike Bradley to Jim Rash to Rush Limbaugh.  The addition of Toddwgmd logo Schoenberger is expected to only further validate WGMD as the finest and most credible news/talk radio station in Delmarva and points west of the Chesapeake Bay.”  Director of broadcast operations, engineering and programming Walt Palmer comments, “Todd’s background as a frequent guest and expert on major national networks, such as FOX News, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg, exemplifies the station to a level unmatched by our competitors.  WGMD continues to be the clear station-of-choice for radio and on-line listeners.”  Schoenberger was most recently founder and managing partner for LandColt Capital LP.  He is also a published freelance writer and has authored numerous articles for The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, CNBC.com and FOXBusiness.com.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs Finalists Announced.  The winners of the 2015 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs competition will be announced on June 22 as the awards ceremony at the Manhattan Penthouse.  For the 33-year-old competition, The Grand Jury selected 289 finalists from entries submitted from over 30 countries worldwide. Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  All finalists proceed to the medal round to determine Gold, Silver, and Bronze trophies.  From the United States, finalists include programs created by public radio-affiliated companies as well as commercial broadcasters including ESPN and SiriusXM.  The latter is a finalist in four categories and ESPN is a finalist in six categories.

wgnplus logoWGN Plus to Carry ‘Jones and Mike’ Show.  The Chicago-based program “Jones and Mike,” with hosts Brian Jones and Mike Noonan, is being aired on Tribune Media’s “digital content incubator” WGN Plus where it will be available via WGNPlus.com and the WGN Plus app in thejonesbrian chicago Apple and Google Play stores.  WGN Radio vice president of content and programming Todd Manley comments, “WGNplus is a place for us to take risks and get behind innovative talent. Jones and Mike fit noonanmikethat mold perfectly.”  Brian Jones says, “When we set out to create this show we wanted to bring it to the biggest possible audience of 35-to-54-year-old people interested in hearing lifestyle talk.  WGN Plus has a valuable audience and we’re very happy to be associated with a blue-chip brand like WGN!”  The “Jones and Mike” show is a production of Revolutionary Media Group and is heard on local AM signal WCGO, Evanston on weekends.

Odds & Sods.  The news/talk format produced by Forever Broadcasting in the State College, Pennsylvania market leaves WRSC-FM and will move to the company’s WRSC-AM, bumping the sports talk format off the air.  Replacing news/talk on the FM is a classic hits format branded “Happy 103.”…..ESPN Audio is debuting the “Golf” podcast with ESPN.com golf writers Michael Collins and Jason Sobel.  New podcasts will arrive bi-weekly and will be about 30 minutes in length.  The first episode, May 7, featured Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Joshbowermike Scobee…..Talk show pro Michael Bower is back in the fill-in business from his ISDN-compatible home studio after Memorial Day.  Bower tells TALKERS magazine he’s done fill-in work for such notable signals as KNXT, Vegas; KKFN, Denver; KSFO and KGO, San Francisco; KIRO-FM, Seattle; and KTAR-FM, Phoenix.

New York Sports Talkers Donate ‘Fantasy Packages’ to Fairfield University.  The sports radio fantasy packages consist of time at the various studios watching the shows produced plus meet-and-greets with the hosts and key personnel and benefit Fairfield University Sports Performance which aids varsity student athletics.  CBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa, ESPN’s Michael Kay and SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo are each contributing a package to the online auction that runs through May 31.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Rand Paul Filibuster, Declassified Bin Laden Information, ISIS Takes Ramadi and Palmyra, Iran Nuclear Program Talks, David Letterman Wraps CBS Late Show, and ‘Deflategate’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; Kentucky Senator – and presidential candidate – Rand Paul’s filibuster over the renewal of the Patriot Act over the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records; the release of information gathered at the site of the death of Osama bin Laden; ISIS takes control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the Syrian city of Palmyra; the Iran nuclear talks take a turn as the ayatollah refuses to agree to inspections and meeting with its scientists; David Letterman broadcasts his last late night talk show; and the ongoing  controversy over the NFL’s “Deflategate” issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.