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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

| August 2, 2022

Townsquare Media Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 13.6%. For the second quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $121.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $4.9 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from Q2 of 2021. Townsquare’s financial data is broken in to three primary segments: Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment includes its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. The Digital Advertising segment, marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite, includes digital advertising on the company’s owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. The Broadcast Advertising segment includes its local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, and other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue rose 13.7%, the Digital Advertising segment’s net revenue was up 25.4%, and the Broadcast Advertising segment’s net revenue rose 1.0%. Company CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to share that the Townsquare team delivered another quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, and in doing so, we achieved all-time record highs for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. Our performance clearly demonstrates the strength and differentiation of our digital businesses and our legacy broadcast business. Townsquare’s second quarter net revenue increased year-over-year by 14%, exceeding our guidance range, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% year-over-year, meeting our guidance range. In addition, our digital revenue growth accelerated from the first quarter (Q1 +16% year-over-year), with second quarter total digital revenue increasing 21% year-over-year. Our strong top-line growth, margin profile, and cash generation characteristics have contributed to the reduction of our net leverage, now at a historical low of 4.65x as of June 30th, including the repurchase and retirement of $19 million of our Senior Secured Notes at or below par in Q2. We are also pleased to announce that we are raising our FY 2022 guidance following the close of the Cherry Creek acquisition on June 17th. Our updated full-year guidance reflects the ongoing momentum of our business and the strength of our performance to date, fueled by our differentiated digital platform. As a Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, we have a resilient digital growth engine supported by subscription digital marketing solutions, with a large addressable market and limited competition. As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, reaching our digital revenue target of at least $275 million in 2024. With half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, it is our belief that over time as digital continues to meaningfully grow, Townsquare should and will be afforded a sum-of the-parts valuation that our digital assets deserve.”

70 Years of WGN-AM, Chicago Audio Archived at Northwestern University. As the result of a gift from WGN-AM, Chicago’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, a 70-year swath of the radio station’s audio archive now resides at Northwestern University Libraries in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. The station says, “The archive, with materials covering 1941 to 2011, includes more than 15,000 items, primarily magnetic media (open reel tapes, compact cassettes, continuous-loop “carts,” U-matic videocassettes and VHS tapes) as well as other media such as grooved discs, CDs and minidiscs. The bulk of the audio dates to the 1980s and 1990s, a period of innovation and surging popularity for the station.” Scott Krafft is curator of special collections at Northwestern and he says that the archive contains thousands of hours of audio that will need to be cataloged and, where necessary, digitally preserved before they can be made publicly available. He adds, “It’s a remarkable collection that represents a significant sampling of Chicago history, including local and national news. In addition, the voices of WGN Radio’s most popular programs are represented here, making this an important archive for the history of the entire field of radio broadcasting.” WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “Given the long and storied connection between WGN Radio and Northwestern University, it is most fitting that this audio collection, drawn out of 70 years of our broadcast history, will be under their care. While digitizing it will be a substantial undertaking for the Northwestern Libraries, ultimately, this will be a permanent and invaluable repository and resource for years to come. We trust their expertise and are proud they are the caretakers in this endeavor.”

Triton Digital Streaming Ranker for June 2022 Released. The monthly ranking of the top-performing streaming audio stations has been released for the month of June by Triton Digital. The ranking is based on Average Active Sessions which is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. In the period of 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is far and away the #1 streamer again this month with 301,251 Average Active Sessions. Continuing in the #2 spot this month is NPR Member Stations (72,476 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (68,570 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,562 AAS). Other streamers of note in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,663 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,151 AAS), and Salem Communications at #11 (8,677 AAS). See the complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTMJ, Milwaukee air personality Jane Matenaer, who exited the station last month after six and a half years with the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet, is staying with the company as producer and news reporter for sister progressive talk WAUK-AM/W266DR, Waukesha “The ‘Sha 101 FM” on the “As Goes Wisconsin” early afternoon program hosted by Kristen Brey…..Cumulus Media appoints Derek Falter VP/market manager for its Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan markets that include sports talk WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids “The Ticket” and seven music-formatted stations. Falter, who was most recently regional VP for Curtis Media Group, comments, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity the leadership team at Cumulus Media is giving me to work alongside the dynamic crews in Grand Rapids and Muskegon! Thanks to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for bringing me back to a part of the country that is so meaningful to my family.”

Al-Zawahiri Killed, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Biden’s Climate/Health Bill, Manchin-Schumer Bill, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Sentencing, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). 9/11 orchestrator Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in drone strike in Kabul; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan and China’s threatening response; the fate of Joe Biden’s climate and health bill; the Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer-authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; Guy Reffit is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in the January 6 Capitol attack; the deadly Kentucky floods and threats of more rain to the region plus the ongoing wildfires in Northern California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, July 25, 2022

| July 25, 2022

Monday Memo: Save Those Benjamins. Even with gas prices now inching down, almost everything else is “SO expensive that listeners (and we) are coping.” Wrapping-up his month-long series – “Inflation Hacks” – Holland Cooke presents 9 money-saving tips, “AND a fabulous radio prize!” Read it here.

Pending Business: The Great Resignation. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says “The Great Resignation” is having an effect on the radio/audio sales business, too. He writes, “The Pew survey says the top three reasons for ‘The Great Resignation’ are: low pay, lack of advancement opportunity, and feeling disrespected at work. Does it sound like the grumbling before the Monday morning sales meeting? My marketing work puts me in direct contact with sales reps across the country and ‘The Great Resignation’ did extend into our radio/audio sales community. On the radio side more so in the larger market stations.” He offers some suggestions for navigating this era of economic uncertainty. Read it here.

Radio HOF Welcomes Nine Inductees. A voting participant panel comprised of more than 800 industry professionals honorees determined six honorees; the other three were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig Kitchin comments, “Our forthcoming inductees have made a wonderful impact on the lives of their listeners and our industry. We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate their respective careers and honor them with an induction to the Radio Hall of Fame.” According to co-chair Dennis Green, “This was our highest voter participation ever. The radio industry picked an amazing, diverse class of broadcasters and executives that we are proud to call Hall of Famers. These individuals have made a lasting impact on this amazing industry, cementing their place as part of the legacy that makes radio special.” In alphabetical order, the nine inductees are: radio executive Marv Dyson; “Country USA” host Lon Helton; iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” morning personality Ellen K; Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” afternoon drive talent Broadway Bill Lee; “Gospel Traxx” host Reverend Walt “Baby” Love; iHeartMedia New York classic rock WAXQ “Q 103.4” talent Carol Miller; Sirius XM sports talk host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo; Emmis Communications president/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan; and New York Yankees Radio Network announcer Suzyn Waldman. The 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in-person  November 1 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Radio Hall of Fame was founded by the Emerson Radio Corporation in 1988; The Museum of Broadcast Communications took over operations in 1991. This year’s confidential ballot was conducted by Votem.com and overseen by Miller Kaplan’s Andrew Rosen.

Radio Resources Unit Debuts Today. Tailored for medium to small market owners and operators, Radio Resources was launched today (Monday, 7/25) by parent company Gen Media Partners. Director of products and services Alex Quintero notes, “Until now, radio station owners and operators had to deal with multiple providers and retrofit the pieces together. The Radio Resources toolkit offers broadcasters one central point of contact and stewardship for a wide array of products and services, streamlined across critical departments to deliver a more efficient, productive, and seamless experience. We’re the only company that can aggregate such a broad range of radio products and services and provide this level of multi-resource support. Our independent standing gives us the freedom to seek out the best providers to service our radio clients.” Among other things the Radio Resources suite includes: Programming and Content; Workflow Solutions; IT and Cyber Security; 24/7 Formats; Sales Strategy; Imaging and Production; Research; Online and Digital Integrations; and Back-Office Operations. Radio Resources products and services are available for cash, barter or a combination of both.

Pickup Truck Slams Into Cumulus Media Indy Building. Two vehicles were involved in a crash last Thursday (7/21) at approximately 5:45 pm with one, a pickup truck (pictured above), striking the Cumulus Media Indianapolis building on North Shadeland Avenue. No one in that structure was hurt, although the building received extensive damage. According to a Facebook posting, Cumulus Indianapolis continued from its backup studio. The driver of one vehicle in the accident was taken to a hospital and is listed in serious condition. In addition to sports talk WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM,” Cumulus Indianapolis consists of WFMS “95.5 The Country Station”; classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5”; WNDX “93.9 X – Indy’s Rock Station”; hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix”; and CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL.”

Windy City Readying For Rock Radio Revisited. Longtime “The Larry King Radio Show” executive producer Pat Piper is producing The Museum of Broadcast Communications’ “Rock Radio Revisited,” which will be held August 14 at 3:00 pm at The Des Plaines Theatre. Museum of Broadcast Communications board chair David Plier notes, “The heyday of rock radio in the 60’s and 70s’ was centered around the booming personalities of [Chicago on-air talents such as] Larry Lujack, John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Bob Sirott and Steve King. Every city had their favorite local radio station and the voices behind them. This will be an incredible celebration of the personalities and music that made that era of rock and roll so memorable.” Landecker, Tommy Edwards, Bob Stroud and Dyana Williams will reminisce about “the golden age of rock radio.” In addition, there will be vintage airchecks, as well as stories about the on-air personalities, fans, and gimmicks. Those making special appearances include: Gary Burbank; “Cousin BrucieMorrow; Kris Erik Stevens; and Connie Szerszen. Among the “presenters” of the Wendy Snyder-hosted event is Nexstar Media Group Chicago news/talk WGN “Radio 720”; cross-town Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS-AM “890 AM” is one of the “sponsors.”

TALKERS News Notes. Most recently working as ABC Audio’s manager of digital audio, Josh Cohan is promoted to director of podcast programming for ABC News. His first venture into podcasting was as part of the team that launched “10% Happier with Dan Harris” in 2016. He also helped create ABC’s flagship daily news podcast, “Start Here,” which won the 2022 Webby Award for “Best News and Politics” podcast. Cohan joined ABC News Radio in 2007 as an intern and served as a producer and coordinating producer before transitioning to podcasting … As a result of signing a multi-year contract, WHPT “102.5 The Bone” 6:00 am – 10:00 am talent Mike Calta continues his role at the Cox Media Group Tampa news/talk outlet. Regional vice president/general manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Mike is arguably one of the most successful and talented broadcasters on the air in America today.” WHPT’s director of branding & programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta is simply the best radio talent in Tampa. I couldn’t be more excited that he will continue to call ‘102.5 The Bone’ home for many years to come.” Calta – who joined WHPT in 2007 – adds, “I’m grateful and proud to be continuing my radio career with CMG in my home of  Tampa Bay. At 50 years old, my window to being a male dancer has surely closed, so this contract is extra special to me and my family.” … Two-year Max Media Norfolk vice president/operations and programming Eddie Haskell exits the five-station cluster, which includes sports talk WVSP “94.1 ESPN” and business talk WGH-AM “Money Talk 1310 and 100.9.” He formerly was senior vice president/programming for nine iHeartMedia stations in Ft. Collins (Colorado).

 

 

Salem Media Group Seeks Producers. Attention producers! Salem Media Group is looking for producers. Salem has great radio stations, the Salem Radio Network, the Salem Podcast Network, and the Salem News Channel, and we always need producers to help us create our great products. If you have experience producing radio or TV shows, please send your resume and keep ‘em coming to: Phil Boyce, Senior VP of Spoken Word Formats, Salem Media Group Philip.boyce@salemmedia.com. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

| June 8, 2022

Steve Cochran to Host Morning Drive on WLS-AM, Chicago. Chicago media personality Steve Cochran is joining Cumulus Media to host the morning drive show on news/talk WLS-AM, effective June 15. Cochran served as morning drive host at Nexstar Media’s crosstown news/talk WGN-AM from 2013 to 2019. He’s been producing two podcasts since his exit from WGN – one titled “Live from My Office” and another with Patty Steele called “The Deep 6 with Patty Steele – both of which he says he’ll continue to produce, according to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Cochran is taking over the morning show from Bruce St. James, who was brought in from Phoenix in December of 2020 to host the morning show after Erich Mancow Muller exited the station. WLS program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to our team, where I know he will bring his wisdom, wit, and political prowess to morning drive. Our listeners need a place to feel safe to express their opinions while having a destination for entertainment, news, and, of course, conservative conversation. Steve will provide that for our Chicagoland audience. I’m looking forward to growing 890 with Steve Cochran in the mornings.” Cochran comments, “Like thousands of others, I did my homework listening to The Big 89 WLS when I was a kid. It’s an honor to say those call letters, and I can’t wait to get started.” Cochran is represented by John McConnell at Workhouse Media.

 

Cumulus Names Lisa Waks SVP Digital Partnerships and Business Development. Digital media pro Lisa Waks is named SVP, digital partnerships and business development, in which she’ll lead Cumulus Podcast Network’s content acquisition strategy and content pipeline development, with a focus on personality-driven brand franchises in the news; business, money & tech; sports; and entertainment verticals. Waks was most recently head of global media partnerships, strategy, and operations for TED Conferences, where she expanded their digital business, streamlined operations, and launched the TED Audio Collective. Cumulus EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Lisa is a trailblazer who has spent years creating new businesses, building new revenue streams, and forging successful and enduring partnerships. We are excited for her to bring this fire and focus to Cumulus to help us continue to expand the Cumulus Podcast Network with innovative, interesting, and unique content that is craved by listeners and partners alike.” Waks comments, “I am thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career with such a long-standing and prestigious organization. Cumulus is best-in-class, leading the audio industry with a wide range of voices and premium content. I believe in the power of the spoken word, and through smart collaborations we will successfully deepen connections and community.”

 

Adrian Warren Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Jacksonville. Radio sales pro Adrian Warren is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville cluster, effective June 13. The company says that in this role, Warren will be responsible driving revenue across the market’s entire broadcast and digital cluster, with a specific focus on WJBT-FM, WSOL-FM and the Black Information Network. Warren most recently served with Radio One in Indianapolis as digital sales manager and local sales manager. iHeartMedia area president for North Florida Paul Rogers comments, “I’m really excited to have Adrian join our leadership team here on the First Coast of Florida. His track record, personal character, and specific experience with some of the same diverse brands we represent here in Jacksonville were a perfect fit for us, and we were fortunate to get him. I’m confident he’ll help us get back to our market-leading revenue position.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Lizzie Baumgartner is returning to Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM to serve as managing editor of podcasts. Most recently, she’s been serving the company as audio production coordinator for its alternative rock and country stations. Her previous role with WBBM was as assistant producer…..A number of executive promotions are taking place at Triton Digital. Stephanie Donovan is now global head of revenue. Alex Fournier is named chief technology officer. Benjamin Masse rises to chief product officer, and Molly Glover Gallatin joins the executive team as SVP of marketing and Jelli customer experience. Triton says the promotions “further support the company’s recent integration of Jelli to accelerate the development of innovative technology that serves the entire audio ecosystem across radio, streaming, and podcasting.”…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the Belmont Stakes, the third and final jewel of thoroughbred racing’s 2022 Triple Crown, this Saturday, June 11 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Belmont Stakes is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.

 

Making Dreams Come True. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) before a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game. Katz says, “Being the number one talk radio personality in Central Virginia brings some perks like being asked to throw out the first pitches for the area’s two big baseball teams – the Tri-City Chili Peppers and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. I got those calls but realized there is something better than doing it yourself and that’s making a dream come true for someone else. So, citing my health issues like ‘outgrown hair and a torn rotator cufflink,’ I asked Emily Morrissey (second from left) if she’d be willing to help him. Emily is a 23-year-old young lady with cerebral palsy and other challenges, but she brought the heat and did a great job as my ringer at both Shepard Stadium in Colonial Heights, Virginia and The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. Emily personally makes beautiful bracelets which are available at www.emilysbracelets.com and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Special Olympics of Virginia. Each player on the Chili Peppers and the Flying Squirrels wore one of her bracelets in their respective team colors during their games.”

 

Primary Elections/Donald Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Violence-Legislation, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Thursday’s hearings before the January 6 Committee; the soaring price of gasoline & food, plummeting tech stocks and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effect on the global economy; reactions to the recent episodes of gun violence and attempts at gun legislation; and the status of COVID-19 in the U.S. were some of most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

| May 19, 2022

Dennis Green is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The COO of Key Networks, Dennis Green, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Green’s background in network and syndication radio is extensive. Prior to joining Key Networks, he served 22 years at Westwood One and Cumulus Media Networks where he held several VP positions in affiliate sales and broadcast operations. During this period, he was instrumental in the launch of big shows for a wide variety of major talent. Prior to that he served as head of multimedia syndication at Bloomberg in New York in addition to holding other radio industry positions in his early career. Green is also the chairman of the nominating committee for the Radio Hall of Fame. Harrison says, “I love talking with Dennis Green about radio. His clear insights illuminate how the medium works as a business and relates to popular culture. Radio enthusiasts on both sides of the speakers will enjoy this panoramic conversation.” Harrison and Green take a deep dive into the history and culture of the radio business – past, present and future. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here.

 

Round Three of April PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, while Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.2 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), it slides from the #3 rank to #4. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KEX, Portland loses seven-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #16 rank. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM adds nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 10.8 share and takes the #1 rank, while Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM rises 1.3 shares for a 7.6 share finish that puts it in the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLW, Cincinnati posts a 1.2 share increase that gives the station a 13.4 share – good for the #1 rank – while sister news/talk WKRC adds three-tenths for a 5.4 share finish ranking it #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the two previous groups) here.

 

Former WNKT-FM, Columbia Sports Talk Host Tim Hill Launches Online Sports Talk Show While Challenging Cumulus Vaccine Mandate. According to a story at Outkick by Armando Salguero, sports talk host Tim Hill is launching a daily, two-hour sports talk program he’s streaming online that stands to compete with former employer Cumulus Media’s WNKT-FM, Columbia, South Carolina “107.5 The Game.” TALKERS magazine reported last fall that Hill was let go from the station for refusing to get a COVID vaccine – a policy Cumulus was instituting to bring its talent and most staffers back into the office. Hill requested an exemption to be allowed to broadcast his program from home as he’d been doing since the 2020 lockdown. The company refused. According to the Outkick story, Hill is also challenging Cumulus’ actions. He’s filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which is current investigating.

 

15th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for September 21-22. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces that the 15th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington will take place this year on Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22. This event brings talk hosts from across the nation to Washington to broadcast live both days debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, high-profile media personalities, and those who live and work along the southern border. FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “F2F has now spanned four presidents and become America’s largest annual gathering of talk hosts, and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media. This September marks its 15th anniversary coinciding with the most consequential midterm election of our lives. Those outcomes will determine whether Biden’s Border Crisis continues and will also set the stage for 2024. This event is about harnessing the reach and influence of talk radio to properly inform voters on the immigration issue.” This year, “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” is being staged at its new location on the rooftop terrace of FOX News overlooking the Capitol at 400 North Capitol Street in Washington. D.C. The event accommodates 75 hosts in the broadcast center and fills up earlier each year. Reservations are required and hosts should call FAIR immediately to reserve a booth. As always, there is no cost to attend. Talk hosts interested in attending should contact Bob Dane at 202-742-1824 or bdane@fairus.org.

 

WGN-AM, Chicago Celebrates 100 Years of Broadcasting. Today (5/19) Chicago’s WGN Radio celebrates its 100th anniversary as the 50,000-watt voice of “Chicago’s Very Own” and will continue the celebration during the entire month of May and throughout all of 2022. On May 19, 1922, two young Chicagoans and radio enthusiasts named Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins started broadcasting from the Wrigley Building with their experimental station named WDAP. In 1924, the station acquired the WGN call letters with the takeover by new owner Col. Robert McCormick, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Tonight at 7:00 pm CT, WGN-TV will debut the documentary “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective.” The 45-minute documentary, produced by WGN Radio, tells the story of the radio station and journeys from its beginnings in 1922 through 2022. Today, WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic Dean Richards will be reporting live from WGN Radio’s studios throughout the day. Also, Metropolitan Brewing, Conrad Seipp Brewing Company, and the Chicago Brewseum will launch Chicago’s Very Own, a golden lager canned exclusively to celebrate WGN Radio’s 100th birthday. Chicago’s Very Own golden lager will first be available for public sale at the official beer release at Metropolitan Brewing on Friday (5/20) and will be available on draft at select locations around Chicagoland starting the week of May 23.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pros Pete Benedetti and Lori Olsen join Quu Inc. as EVP of revenue and administrative and contracts manager, respectively. They will report directly to Quu CEO Steve Newberry. Benedetti is a longtime radio executive with deep experience acquiring, owning, and integrating radio stations in all market sizes…..Audacy announces the launch of a new show from its sports podcast studio 2400Sports in partnership with Major League Baseball. “Unwritten: Behind Baseball’s Secret Rules,” premieres June 1, is hosted by MLB broadcasters and former players Ron Darling and Jimmy Rollins, and explores a different unwritten rule of the game each week – bat flips, no-hitter jinxes, retribution and more…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s 2022 Triple Crown, from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore this Saturday (5/21). SiriusXM will also air the Belmont Stakes as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Preakness Stakes is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.

 

Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, COVID-19, Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, and Disinformation Board Demise Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18). The primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the selloff on Wall Street, inflation, the baby formula shortage and concerns about a recession; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the debate over returning to mask mandates; the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting and the controversy over the Great Replacement Theory; and the shuttering of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Board were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, May 6, 2022

| May 6, 2022

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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mothers of Contention,” looks back at this past week of 5/2 to 5/6. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaTodd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; and Gregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; 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 NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS 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 Reports Q1 2022 Consolidated Revenue Up 19.4%. Financial results from the first quarter of 2022 for iHeartMedia Inc. reveal consolidated revenue of $843 million, an increase of 19.4% over the same period a year ago. The company’s net loss shrank during the first quarter to $48.7 million from the $242 million net loss posted during Q1 of 2021. iHeartMedia posted operating income of $12.3 million for the first quarter, compared to the operating loss of $76.4 million it reported in Q1 of 2021. Looking at the company’s reporting by segment, broadcast radio was up 16.2% on revenue of $416.5 million, and networks was up 2.1% on revenue of $117.6 million. Those, along with sponsorships & events, comprise the company’s Multiplatform Group. The Digital Audio Group consists of digital excluding podcasting, which reported revenue of $145.7 million (up 22.2%), and podcasting, which reported revenue of $68.5 million (an increase of 78.7%). The company’s Audio & Media Services Group reported revenue of $60.9 million (up 10.4%) for the quarter. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of strong results, and believe our performance is further evidence of the successful execution of our digital transformation and multiplatform strategy, and the power of our position as the #1 audio company in America across broadcast radio, digital radio, and podcasting. We remain committed to building on iHeart’s transformation into a data-led, digitally focused business; to investing in areas with high-growth potential; and to continuing our focus on innovation and being at the forefront of new technologies and digital platforms which create incremental growth opportunities for Audio.”

 

‘Toucher & Rich’ Morning Show Expands to Springfield, Mass. Market. The “Toucher & Rich” morning program based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” will be heard on rock Saga Communications WLZX-FM/W253CD in the Springfield-Northampton, Massachusetts market beginning on May 9. The program, hosted by Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right), began expanding to affiliate stations throughout New England last fall. This is an uncommon move for Saga, which has a history of keeping its morning drive programs live and local. Toucher & Rich comment, “We’re excited to be launching ‘Toucher & Rich’ in Springfield and Northampton on ‘Lazer 99.3 and 98.5’ with our new friends at Saga Communications. We’re fortunate to have some of the most loyal listeners in radio and look forward to introducing our show to a whole new audience of potential T&R diehards.”

 

Moms & Media 2022. “Two years into COVID,” Moms’ media consumption is changed. “The Research Moms” at Edison Research updated their annual report in a Thursday webinar consultant Holland Cooke attended; and HC’s “one-sentence version” is: “To reach Mom, use smartphones, Alexa, Facebook, and TikTok.” Click here for his notes, and links to download the report and watch a video of the narrated presentation. Read more here.

 

WJR-AM, Detroit Celebrates 100 Years on the Air. On Wednesday (5/4), Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM, Detroit kicked off a year-long Centennial celebration. WJR signed on for the first time on May 4, 1922, as WCX, which changed a few years later to WJR to reflect the ownership of the Jewett Radio and Phonograph Company. Cumulus says, “The station has served the community with excellence for 100 years, with a 50,000-watt signal that can be heard across nearly half the country at night, providing the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the Upper Midwest with news, music, sports, and information by some of the most talented people in the radio industry. Through the years, WJR’s legendary lineup has featured broadcasting giants such as Paul W. Smith, Jack Parr, Mitch Albom, J.P. McCarthy, Frank Beckmann, Ernie Harwell, Guy Gordon, and Rush Limbaugh.” In the last several months leading up to Wednesday’s 100th year birthday, WJR has presented dozens of on-air vignettes that mark memorable moments, tell interesting stories, and feature the unique sound and talented people from WJR’s history. In addition, the station has populated www.wjr.com with archival video, audio and photos that tell the story of WJR’s first 100 years. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manage Steve Finateri comments, “Being at WJR is like being part of an all-star team at every position in this famous Fisher Building. WJR is iconic because of the extremely high standards set by so many world class broadcasters over the past 100 years. Today, those same high standards and our ‘blow torch coverage’ is what still attracts top newsmakers from around the Great Lakes Region and is the reason for our continued success. We take great pride in our programming, our business and civic relationships, and serve the community by raising millions every year for numerous worthy charities that improve the quality of life in Detroit. The best-of-the-best seem to find their way to WJR, and I know that tradition will continue on for the next 100 years.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media personality and former WGN-AM, Chicago morning drive host Steve Cochran is going to be heard on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM in mornings next week. Cochran will guest host the program that is without a permanent host since Bruce St. James exited the station last month. Since exiting WGN, Cochran has been producing a twice-weekly podcast titled, “Live from My Office.”…..Audio streaming service TuneIn names Tom Fuelling chief financial officer. Fuelling has served as CFO for Hulu, OpenX, ARTISTdirect and most recently, Spokeo, Inc. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern says, “Tom is an incredible addition to our growing leadership team. His experience scaling global media businesses that consumers love is unparalleled. Working in a competitive landscape, TuneIn has emerged as a leader in live audio streaming and we look forward to working with Tom as he’ll help us sustain and maintain our growth both domestically and abroad.”…..FOX News Media, in partnership with the National Merit Scholarship Program, announces the selection of the recipients of the third annual Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship. This year’s scholarships will be endowed to Emmett Gaffney, son of vice president of documentary programming, Brian Gaffney and Grace LeCroy, the daughter of FOX News assignment desk manager Lillian LeCroy and FOX News Edge photojournalist Phil LeCroy. The winners will be featured on the network’s evening newscast, “Special Report with anchor Bret Baier,” on which Dr. Krauthammer was a fixture over the years. Additionally, Daniel Krauthammer will appear on the program tonight to discuss his father’s legacy. In making the announcement, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “We are pleased to continue the tradition of honoring Charles Krauthammer’s extraordinary and celebrated career. Emmett and Grace are exceptional students whose many talents extend beyond the classroom. It is our hope that Charles’ brilliant intellect, integrity and courage will serve as an inspiration for them throughout their next endeavors in higher education. Congratulations to Emmett, Grace, and their families.”

 

Roe v Wade Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 2-6. The leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with the 2022 and 2024 elections, followed by January 6 committee activity tied with Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the 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.