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, “Vulnerability,” looks back at this past week of May 10-14, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Michael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston / founder, Scamicide.com; Joey Hudson, talk show host, 94.5 The Answer, WGTK-FM, Greenville, SC; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network / physician; Wayne Avrashow, attorney / commentator, RealClear Politics; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. 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; 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; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN 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.
Radio One’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte and Morning Host Bo Thompson Renew. WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte morning drive host Bo Thompson and Radio One reach a multi-year agreement for Thompson to continue hosting the morning show on the heritage news/talk station. The Charlotte native began his career at WBT in 1990 at age 16. He worked at the station while still attending Myers Park High School and continued through his years at Davidson College. Thompson’s entire three-decade broadcast career has been in Charlotte, mostly dedicated to WBT. Radio One regional vice president Marsha Landess says, “Bo has done an amazing job of keeping Charlotte listeners engaged and informed during mornings on WBT. He has proven to be a compelling broadcaster keeping Charlotte informed on local, regional and national issues and we are thrilled he will be taking WBT into the future.” Thompson adds, “I’m very proud to continue working for the station that has been my broadcast life. It’s an honor for me that I’ll be here both for WBT’s 100th anniversary and to celebrate a decade hosting mornings next year.”
Bill O’Reilly’s Killing the Mob Hits #1 on NYT Best Sellers List. The latest book by conservative media personality, author, and broadcast journalist Bill O’Reilly has reached #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Sales of KILLING THE MOB: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America (St. Martin’s Publishing Group) have soared since its release on May 4 to push it into the top spot and it’s the 16th time one of O’Reilly’s books has accomplished this feat. O’Reilly is also host of the Key Networks-syndicated programs “The O’Reilly Update” and “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” heard on more than 240 stations across the country. In his new book, O’Reilly traces the brutal history of 20th century organized crime in the United States and plumbs the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, and especially, mob family bosses.
Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show Adds 10 New Affiliate Stations; Surpasses 100 Station Mark. The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show” has recently added 10 new stations to its roster of affiliates and now enjoys distribution across a growing platform of 105 metro markets. Compass Media Networks says the show – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daily – “represents perspectives from every generation. David van Camp is a millennial, Jamie Markley represents Gen X, and Scott Robbins is the Baby Boomer. The witty and downright funny conversations between the hosts about the news topics of the day make this show truly unique.” Jamie Markley comments, “I’m humbled. We feel like we have such a real connection with all the great people that listen to the show. Something I seem to hear a lot is something to the extent of ‘when I listen to you guys, I feel like I’m hanging out with friends, talking about what’s going on in the world and having some laughs.’ That’s one of the greatest compliments you can get in my opinion. Thanks to Compass Media Networks for taking a shot on us and connecting us to so many good people across America!”
Cherri Gregg Exiting KYW, Philadelphia to Join Public Radio WHYY. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Cherri Gregg will leave her community affairs reporter position with Audacy’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia to join crosstown public radio outlet WHYY-FM, effective June 14. In her new role with WHYY, she’ll be afternoon host in which she’ll anchor local top-of-the-hour news and other breaks in the national programming plus take on interview and news assignments. In a statement, Gregg says, “I truly respect the grassroots, in-depth approach to storytelling at WHYY. I am excited about the opportunity to help engage the community in the many important conversations of our time.” Gregg has been with KYW since December of 2010. Her role with KYW has included serving as host and executive producer of the weekly public affairs show “Flashpoint.”
BIA Advisory: Radio Revenue Fell 23.6% in 2020; Digital Continues to Be Strong. The first quarter edition of BIA Advisory Services’ 2021 Investing In Radio Market Report is out and BIA says, “As anticipated, the radio industry took a very big hit in 2020 due to the pandemic and subsequent cutbacks in overall spending activity. According to the report, over-the-air advertising revenues dropped to $9.7 billion, a 23.6 % decline from $12.8 billion in 2019. Digital ad revenues at stations demonstrated their continued strength, though, posting only a slight decline to $939 million in revenues in 2020 versus $1 billion in 2019.” BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik says, “Local radio stations have been feeling the impact of new competition for the past few years; unfortunately, the pandemic just exacerbated the problem and it will take some time to recover. The shining star continues to be radio’s online digital advertising revenues, which will outpace over-the-air growth this year and moving forward. Those broadcasting groups that have invested in and oriented their companies toward digital will benefit faster from that foresight.” Fratrik forecasts 2021 total local radio revenues to reach $11.7 billion, with $1 billion coming directly from online revenues; a 9.7 % increase over 2020. Find out more about the study here.
TALKERS News Notes. A new multi-year agreement between Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and the NHL’s Boston Bruins is signed, extending the partnership for the station to serve as flagship for the Boston Bruins Radio Network. In addition to broadcasting all Bruins games, “98.5 The Sports Hub” will continue to air 30-minute pre- and post-game shows along with the two-hour weekly program, “The Hockey Show” which airs Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am during season. Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna comments, “We are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the Boston Bruins and to be able to share our passion for the Bruins with our loyal New England fans. We are so excited to be back in the TD Garden cheering the Bruins on to the playoffs.”…..At the 2021 IAB Podcast Upfront, Audacy’s Cadence13 announces some new podcasts it is launching. First, Grammy-nominated bassist Este Haim and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actor Darren Criss are co-hosting their first-ever podcast, “That Thing I Do.” Launching this summer, the close friends will share their mutual love of music, pop culture, and more with special guests on the weekly show that focuses on the “things that people do” that wider audiences may not be as familiar with. Second, Cadence13 is partnering with award-winning actress Ellen Pompeo — the star of ABC’s long-running hit series “Grey’s Anatomy” — for her first-ever podcast, “Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo,” set to launch this fall. On the program Pompeo will sit down for in-depth, candid conversations with a wide range of guests— celebrity and otherwise — who inspire her, extraordinary people who do extraordinary things, to find out what makes them great. Pompeo will use the weekly show to shine a light on people and highlight issues important to her and the world at large…..iHeartMedia is launching a new, standalone podcast venture – My Cultura, dedicated to elevating Latinx voices and creators, and sharing the Latinx experience with millions of listeners. In partnership with Enrique Santos, the company’s top-rated on-air personality and president and chief ceative officer of iHeartLatino, My Cultura will offer creators a platform to share stories and perspectives relevant to Latinx listeners and all audiences. The network will roll out six new shows at launch in Summer 2021, and 30 shows throughout its first year, across a variety of genres including pop culture, music, comedy, mental health, finance, news and more.
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, Variants and Stats Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 10-14. The number of Americans who are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine, concerns about variants, and the number of cases in the U.S. and abroad combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s ouster from her leadership role and the influence of former President Donald Trump on the Republican party. Following at #3 was the Colonial Pipeline hack and the resulting gas shortage in the Southeast. 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.
Barry Farber Memorial Tribute Now Posted on YouTube. The Industry Memorial Tribute to talk radio legend Barry Farber presented by the Farber Family and TALKERS has been posted to YouTube. Several dozen family members, colleagues, and friends of late talk radio icon Barry Farber gathered via Zoom on Wednesday, May 5 to pay tribute to the uniquely talented broadcaster who passed away a year earlier, one day after his 90th birthday. The informal presentation was moderated by Michael Harrison and featured, among its many speakers, members of Barry Farber’s immediate family including his daughters Bibi Farber and Celia Farber, industry colleagues Sean Hannity of Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel, Mike Horn of CRN Digital Talk Radio Network, and Frank Morano of WABC, New York. To view the event on YouTube, click here or visit the memorial website Barry Farber Radio here.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format. More than half of the sports talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up from the July survey to the August survey, led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” (+1.0). Comparing August 2018 to August 2019, about half the stations were up and the other half were down. Gainers included KFXN (+1.5) and Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” (+1.4). Entercom’s WFAN, New York was the only sports talker to rank #1 in its market with a 5.6 share. Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia ranked #2 with a 6.7 share.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
New iHeartRadio Sports Digital Platform Launches. The new iHeartRadio Sports website allows listeners to find broadcast sports radio stations, sports podcasts, and latest sports news in one place. iHeartMedia says that listeners can access more than 195 live broadcast and digital stations and episodes from more than 25,000 sports podcasts, including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “3 and Out with John MiddleKauff,” “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” “Sports Wars,” and more. iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis says, “iHeartRadio has long been a destination for the biggest sports fans and now provides the premier destination where they can find all their favorite teams, podcasts, personalities and stations all in one place. Sports listeners are incredibly passionate and this new destination utilizes the power and reach of iHeartMedia and its programming to create an encompassing all-things-sports experience like no other, for those enthusiastic fanatics everywhere whether it’s getting outstanding play-by-play of the latest Dodgers game to sports betting podcasts for expert picks and analysis.”
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/13). The new episode titled, “And the Buzz Just keeps on Coming!” looks back at this past week of September 9-13, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Charles Freedman, host, KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; Nan Su, San Francisco editor, The Epoch Times; Alexi Cohan, reporter, Boston Herald; Graham Mack, program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; and Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT. This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Radio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
‘America in the Morning’ Celebrates 35 Years on Air. Next Tuesday (9/17), Cumulus Media’s Westwood One will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the award-winning, weekday news magazine, “America in the Morning,” which launched September 17, 1984. The program – currently heard on more than 330 affiliate stations – grew out of what was originally the last half hour of the five-and-a-half hour overnight “Larry King Show.” When King was cut back to five hours, Westwood One used the last half hour to launch a morning news magazine. It later expanded to one hour. After Larry King left the radio show, his replacement – Jim Bohannon – hosted the program. Current host John Trout took over hosting duties from Bohannon in 2016 (although Bohannon continues to contribute reports to the program). Westwood One EVP news and talk Bart Tessler says, “Our 332 affiliates know that ‘America in the Morning’ is the show to turn to for the best and most comprehensive coverage of breaking news overnight. Jim Bohannon created a legacy and John Trout continues the tradition of ensuring Americans are informed and entertained at daybreak.” The program has won many industry awards, including the top prize for “Best News Magazine” the last two years at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.
SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Broadcast from Mobile. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher will host his Salem Radio Network program from the offices of Mobile, Alabama’s FairHope Direct on Wednesday (9/18). FairHope Direct is run by president & CEO Doug Meduna and his company recently made a $15,000 contribution to the Christian non-profit relief agency Food For The Poor. Last month, SRN raised funds for the charity that delivered emergency food to displaced children and families along Colombia’s border with Venezuela. Gallagher will interview Doug Meduna on his show. Gallagher says, “Thanks to awesome people like Doug Meduna and his team at FairHope Direct, our generous listeners network-wide donated a total of $730,000 in August.
Coleman Exits WACV-FM, Montgomery. Attorney, political operative and talk show host Baron Coleman leaves his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk show on Bluewater Broadcasting’s WACV, Montgomery, Alabama “News Talk 93.1FM” and hints that he’ll be back on the radio in the market on Monday, on a different station. Coleman tells Yellowhammer News, “I’m thankful for my time at Bluewater. The last five years have been an incredible learning experience. But, ultimately, the time was right to move on. I’ll be announcing a fantastic opportunity in the next day or two, and I look forward to getting back on the air on Monday.” WACV says Jack Campbell and Joey Clark will co-host the late morning show. It’s rumored that Little Engine Broadcasting’s crosstown WRBZ-AM/W238CE is flipping from classic hits to talk on Monday and that Coleman will surface there.
Dan Sileo to Join Twitch for Sports Talk Show. Thwarted in his effort to get back on terrestrial sports talk radio, Dan Sileo is joining Twitch.tv with the assistance of consultant Don Kollins. Sports media personality Tony Bruno also hosts a show on Twitch and Sileo says he’ll be on with Bruno next week to make the announcement. His program will follow Bruno’s. Sileo was just hired to host afternoons on iHeartMedia’s KGME-AM, Phoenix, but four days into his new gig, pressure from the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes got him yanked. The Coyotes just inked a deal to broadcast their games on the station and the club was nervous about Sileo’s past missteps on social media.
Ken Newman Named DOS for Cox Media Group San Antonio. At the San Antonio operations of Cox Media Group, Ken Newman is the new director of sales for the cluster that includes: classic hits KONO, rock KISS, and country KCYY. CMG San Antonio VP and general manager David Abel says, “Ken brings a wealth of industry knowledge and sales expertise to his new role, making him the ideal sales leader for our market. Our clients expect the very best from CMG and I am confident our teams will continue to deliver exceptional service under Ken’s leadership.”
Rob Sussman Exits ‘Delaware 105.9 FM.’Talk radio host Rob Sussman exits Forever Media’s news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” where he’d been hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. The station adds Radio America’s nationally syndicated “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch. Sussman arrived at WXDE almost two years ago from his previous position as news director at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa. He’s ready for his next opportunity and can be reached at Sussman.firstname.lastname@example.org. In July, the station parted ways with local host Susan Monday and fellow local host Ed Tyll resigned his position. Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher was added to the late morning daypart and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” program began airing in the early afternoon slot. Forever Media acquired the station and nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting earlier this year.
WGTK-FM, Greenville Demonstrates PEP Station Responsibilities. Pictured above is WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94-5 The Answer” air personality Joey Hudson (left) on air with South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette (right) broadcasting from the Salem Media Group station’s transmitter tower. WGTK-FM is a FEMA designated Primary Entry Point (PEP) station that cooperatively participates with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during, and after a national or local emergency. Hudson broadcast from the WGTK PEP module using only backup generators and the equipment installed in the FEMA facility the agency maintains at the station’s broadcast tower. As the PEP station serving Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, it is equipped with back-up communications equipment and emergency power generators designed to enable continuous broadcasting independent of public utilities and without refueling for approximately 30-45 days. Hudson says that although this exercise had been planned for weeks, with Hurricane Dorian passing through the Carolinas last week, the “practice scenario” provided by FEMA was timely as he simulated how he would provide essential information to the public immediately following devastating damage by a hurricane in the Carolinas.
John Bolton’s Exit and Cancelled Taliban Talks Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 9-13. The exit of John Bolton from his national security advisor position in the Trump Administration and the related cancellation of secret talks with the Taliban in Washington tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was “sharpie-gate” and the NOAA controversy. Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China relations and North Korea’s missile test, followed by stock market activity and the economy at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
McGorry Elected to BFoA Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that William McGorry, chairman of Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, has been elected to the board of directors of the BFoA. McGorry oversees Broadcasting &Cable’s Hall of Fame nominating process and manages the annual awards event. Proceeds from the black-tie gala benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America and The Paley Center for Media. BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Bill has been a long-time supporter of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, and we are delighted that he is joining the Board. Every year, Bill ensures that the Broadcasters Foundation is a recipient of some of the proceeds from Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame Awards dinner. Those much-needed funds go to helping broadcasters in need across our industry, either in monthly or one-time emergency grants. We are grateful for his contributions.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Nikki Imbrascio is officially introduced by Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach as the new midday host on hot AC WRMF. She was previously with CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” as midday host. WRMF brand/content director Leo Baldwin says, “After an extensive search we are so happy to bring Nikki and her major market experience to Hubbard West Palm Beach. WRMF has been looking for its mid-day voice for quite some time and I am excited for Nikki to get started!”…..In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Robbie Bridges resigns his position as operations and brand manager for Townsquare Media’s operations there, including programming country WOKQ. Taking his place is Sammy Cruise, who leaves his gig at Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK, West Palm Beach to return to the station he served with in the past…..Buffalo radio icon Roger Christian is ousted from Entercom’s hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5.” Christian was on air on the 102.5 frequency for 43 years, going back to its time as a rock outlet. Christian says he was told the position is being eliminated and the daypart will be voice-tracked. However, Christian was scooped up quickly by Radio One Buffalo LLC’s Buddy Shula who’s bringing him aboard his oldies WECK-AM to handle weekends and fill-ins.
Hugh Hewitt to Host Weekend Show on MSNBC. TVNewser is first with the report that Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will begin hosting a Saturday morning show on MSNBC on Saturday (6/24). The program will air live at 8:00 am ET. Obviously, some will be surprised by the addition of conservative Hewitt joining the left-leaning cable news/talk channel, but as The Hollywood Reporter points out in its coverage of the story, MSNBC recently added former Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush Administration communications staffer Nicole Wallace. In illustrating the gains MSNBC has made over the last 12 months, THR also notes that Standard Media Index just released a report showing MSNBC’s ad rates are up 43% over last year’s.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second in a series of analyses based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, this time focusing on sports talk. The return of Major League Baseball is usually good for sports talkers during summer ratings periods, and in this report, Kinosian concludes that, for the 6+ demo, “just over half the stations (53%) on the panel are up April 2017 – May 2017; one in four (25%) are down; and the remaining 22% of the sample is flat.” However, “approximately two of every three eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (64%) while 26% improve; the remaining 10% are steady.” Just five sports talkers ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the May 2017 survey, led by CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit at #2 (behind the company’s all-newser WWJ-AM). See the entire report here.
Joey Hudson Rises to GM of Mike Gallagher Show. Longtime Mike Gallagher show team member Joey Hudson is named general manager for the Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show. Hudson serves as executive director of the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund charity, a position in which he’ll continue to serve. He’s also been GM of Salem-owned Caron Broadcasting’s WGTK-FM and WRTH-FM in Greenville, South Carolina. He’ll leave that position. Mike Gallagher says, “2017 has been the strongest year we’ve had in terms of affiliates, ratings and revenue for our national radio show. Joey is the perfect person to oversee the growing daily operations of our show throughout the rest of 2017 and into the exciting future.”
Warren Franklin Named Morning Host at KYKN. In Salem, Oregon, iSalem Media news/talker KYKN announces that market pro Warren Franklin is named morning drive host. In addition to handling the morning news and commentary duties, Franklin will do 15 live remote broadcasts each month. KYKN program director (and afternoon air personality) Gator Gaynor says, “We are delighted to have someone of Warren’s ability and robust personality on our team.”
Edison Research and NPR Study Smart Speaker Owner Habits. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of radio station operators that the smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod – can bring radio listening back into the home. NPR and Edison Research have partnered to research the habits of current smart speaker owners to see if that optimism is well grounded. The results of the “The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research” will be revealed in part at a June 28 webinar. Edison VP of strategy Tom Webster says, “Although Smart Speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio. The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.” The study consisted of a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+. Eight hundred respondents owned at least one smart speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both.) Eight hundred and twenty respondents did not own a smart speaker device and were surveyed for comparative purposes.
Starnes Keynotes Writer’s Conference. Pictured above is Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes serving as keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. During the event he also led workshops for more than 500 writers. As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Starnes is launching a new, three-hour radio talk show on FNR on July 5. See more about him at toddstarnes.com.
Central PA Host and GM Differ Offer Different Takes on Programming Policy. By now you’ve heard about classic rock WTPA, Palmyra, Pennsylvania weekend personality Bruce Bond’s exit from the station after, as he claims, feeling forced to resign for being ordered not to talk critically about President Trump. WTPA general manager Tim Michaels is now speaking out, telling Fox News that Bond was hired to do an entertainment program. His orders were to not talk politics – nothing specific about being for or against Trump. Obviously, that’s not how Bond expressed it when he first spoke to media about his exit.
New York Festivals 2017 International Radio Program Award Winners Announced. The big winner in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards – the annual awards program honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs – was RTÉ Ireland which was presented with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year. TBI Media UK was honored with Production Company of the Year. RTÉ Radio Ireland earned an impressive 10 Gold trophies, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze, and 12 Finalist Certificates. Among the United States winners were, SiriusXM, CBS RADIO Boston, Westwood One, ESPN, ABC Radio, and iHeartMedia. See the entire list of winners here.
Edwards Returns to Lead Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago. Windy City media maven Robert Feder tips us that Steve Edwards is returning to public media outlet WBEZ, Chicago after five years away. In 2012 Edwards – who hosted a popular two-hour afternoon show – left WBEZ to become executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Now, he is set to lead WBEZ programming as vice president and chief content officer. Read Feder’s story here.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Election Hacking Hearings, GOP Health Care Plan, Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Flint Airport Attack, Tropical Storm Cindy/Western Heatwave, ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russian election hacking; the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan critics say is being devised behind closed doors; Republican Karen Handel wins the race for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the attack on a police officer at the Flint, Michigan airport by a suspected radical Islamist; Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Louisiana and the Western U.S. heatwave; the controversy over ABC-TV’s ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ program; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ, Hartford “Country 92-5” is “Damon & Cory” – Connecticut radio pro Damon Scott and incumbent WWYZ morning personality Corey Myers. iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining longtime morning host, Cory Myers. Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years. He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.” Scott spent the past 27 years as PM drive host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WTIC-FM…..The new morning show is launched on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” and it’s called “Caddy, CJ and Ali,” featuring Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac. This comes after the recent move of former morning show co-host Dallas McCade to music director and midday personality. Concurrent with the lineup changes, “Kicks 101.5” takes on the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life.”…..The Tom Kent Radio Network signs a contract with SAG-AFTRA top become the first major independent American music syndication network to ratify such an agreement. TKRN CEO and president Tom Kent states, “Our team is more than excited to become a SAG-AFTRA shop! We embrace all of its principles and look forward to a long and prosperous future together. Working with the head of SAG-AFTRA local Brian Lysell has been a total pleasure. Our current and future affiliates know how committed we have been to showcasing excellent talent and this deal is a major indication that our commitment will continue.”
iHeartMedia Throws VIP Party at Cannes. Hip hop star The Weeknd was the featured performer at the intimate VIP dinner hosted by iHeartMedia and MediaLink at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, along with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and president/COO Wenda Harris Millard, hosted the party that – for the sixth consecutive year – brought together the “senior most-influential decision makers and thought leaders in the media ecosystem.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; The Weeknd; Michele Anthony, EVP of Universal Music Group; and Scott Borchetta, founder, president & CEO of Big Machine Label Group. Photo by Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — Neither long ago (relatively speaking) nor far away in some remote galaxy, teenagers were so routinely enthralled by their local radio station of choice that summoning up the courage to actually go visit it was a personal seminal moment.
When one Dayton high school junior made such a trek in 1978, nothing short of a series of mind-boggling events followed.
Eager to see what his favorite facility looked like, this 17-year-old requested a tour, and what immediately caught his attention wasn’t a piece of equipment or seeing someone involved in the on-air process. Rather, it was a bulletin board memo, which read that the station was “still looking for a young talk-master.”
Completely fearless, he knocked on the program director’s door and confidently declared he could do that. As luck would have it, the night talent at the talk station was out with the flu.
Improbable reality number one was that, while the PD had planned to fill-in for his ailing talent, he remarkably, inexplicably said the young visitor should go ahead and give talk radio hosting a try – that night.
Either the program director was one of the foremost assessors of raw talent imaginable or, at the other end of the spectrum, had temporarily taken leave of his senses.
Regardless, the high school student did a four-hour shift and was so impressive in what was – in essence – an on-air audition that, defying logic, he was hired.