Monday Memo: Earwitness News. There are new WCBS/WINS synergies and USA top-biller WTOP offers voluntary separation buyouts. With so many radio voices now in permanent remote mode, and the post-pandemic gig economy flourishing, consultant Holland Cooke describes an opportunity “like Uber for newscasters.” Read his column here.
Pending Business: Gear Up for the Holiday Season. The midterm elections are almost history and radio sellers are getting ready for this year’s holiday season. There’s no way of knowing for certain how much consumers will spend and on what, but radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that a look at where Americans are spending now can provide a roadmap to a successful holiday sales season. Read more here.
Scott Shannon Announces Retirement. Legendary radio personality Scott Shannon didn’t work in talk radio, but it seems almost criminal not to recognize his announced retirement from his daily morning show. On Friday (10/28), he told his WCBS-FM, New York listeners that is retiring from morning radio on December 16. Among his many achievements in the radio business are his stints at three New York City stations, first at WHTZ-FM “Z100” – which is chronicled in the documentary film, Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York – and then at WPLJ-FM. He is credited with the creation of the “morning zoo” concept that was imitated throughout the 1980s. Shannon will continue his other roles with Audacy as host of the nationally syndicated “America’s Greatest Hits” program and the “True Oldies” format on WCBS-HD3.
Hubbard and VSiN Bring Sports Betting Content to Seattle. KNUC-HD2 is the new home of sports gambling radio as Hubbard Radio and VSiN partner in the effort. The press release says, “The station will deliver news and analysis from the industry’s most knowledgeable sports betting experts and legendary book makers to inform and entertain the growing number of people betting on sports. Sister station KIXI-AM 880, will also air “Action Updates” twice each weekday as well as “VSiN PrimeTime” with Tim Murray and former NFL quarterback Shaun King. Hubbard Seattle market manager Trip Reeb comments, “With the incredible growth sports betting has seen in recent years, we saw this as a great opportunity to capitalize on that rapid expansion and the specialized content VSiN delivers.” VSiN content currently airs on more than 140 terrestrial radio stations in 33 states.
iHeartMedia Announces New ‘Glee’ Podcast. The newest podcast for fans of the television hit “Glee!” titled, “And That’s What You REALLY Missed,” is available from iHeartRadio, hosted by Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale. iHeartRadio says, “Calling all Gleeks! We’re baaaaack…again. Kevin McHale (aka Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (aka Tina Cohen-Chang) are heading back to William McKinley High School to re-watch all six seasons of ‘Glee!’ We’re taking you all the way from McKinley High to New York City, from the choir room to Nationals, and from the Super Bowl to a world tour! We’ll look back on your favorite moments and never before heard stories with a slew of guests including cast, crew, celebrities and you, the fans! So warm up those vocal cords and tune those ears, because it’s all coming out.”
Midterms, Pelosi Attack, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, Affirmative Action, The Economy, Brazil Election, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debates ahead of the midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband; the legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s January 6 emails and his other legal issues; Russia’s continuing assault on Ukraine’s infrastructure; the U.S. Supreme Court takes on affirmative action in higher education; inflation and fears of a recession; Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election; and Elon Musk takes control of Twitter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New York All-Newser WINS An FM Signal. Beginning two weeks from this Thursday (10/27), Audacy New York’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” will begin simulcasting on 92.3, a frequency currently occupied by alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3.” At the same time, WINS’ longtime brand manager Ben Mevorach is boosted to vice president of New York news, overseeing WINS and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM “News Radio 880”; Ivan Lee is promoted to brand manager of both stations. As noted here yesterday (TALKERS, Monday, 10/10) WCBS-AM news director/brand manager Tim Scheld indicated in a staff memo that he’d be exiting the all-news outlet before the end of the year. A new agreement with SAG-AFTRA will allow cross-utilization of anchors and reporters for WINS and WCBS-AM. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero comments, “At a time when quality journalism and local reporting is so critical, it was the ideal moment to make a strong investment in our news creation and distribution capabilities. Audacy New York’s news organization, anchored by both WINS and [WCBS-AM], is the premier audio news outlet in the city. Now more than ever, we remain committed to serving our audiences as we have done so for over the last 50 years.” Mevorach states, “We are standing at the edge of an exciting new era for news in New York for our team, advertisers, and – most importantly – our listeners. [WINS and WCBS-AM] will be in more places, covering more stories, creating more original content, expanding our digital footprint, and now offering listeners a crystal-clear FM audio experience. Both brands will retain their distinct identities but will now harness resources with the single mission of better serving our communities and reaching the next generation of news consumers.” Mevorach began his career in Boston as a magazine writer/editor for The Library Scene. Lee previously was operations manager at Talk America, which rebranded to Liberty Broadcasting; became WCBS-AM’s operations coordinator in 2004; WINS’ news editor in 2010; and was promoted to assistant news director in 2012. From November 1985 – December 2005, WXRK (now WNYL) was Howard Stern’s flagship station. The station flipped from CHR “Amp Radio” to alternative in February 2017. Recording its third consecutive down trend (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), WNYL ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep. WINS (3.0, 6+) and WCBS-AM (2.9, 6+) rank #11 and #13, respectively.
Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; and Providence. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. News/talk is again #1 and #2 in Milwaukee – but – with a +1.1 from August (8.9 – 10.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands-owned WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” advances from second to first, while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News Talk 1130” drops seven-tenths (10.3 – 9.6, 6+) and shifts from first to second. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s WTKK “106.1 FM Talk” notches a +1.5 (7.3 – 8.8, 6+), progressing from third to first. Simultaneously with Cumulus Media Providence’s WPRO-AM & WEAN “News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM” gaining seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, seventh to sixth, 6+), cross-town iHeartMedia-owned WHJJ “News Radio 920” dips eight-tenths (1.2 – .4, #15 to #16, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX vault from #13 to #5, “104.5 The Zone” ties Columbus’ similarly-formatted WBNS-FM for the largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase of any station from the 42 PPM-markets analyzed thus far (3.5 – 6.1, +2.6). In Austin, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” posts a +1.1 from August (1.4 – 2.5, 6+), inching up from #19 to #16. See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here. His overviews of Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford will appear tomorrow.
iHM WPB, Florida Panthers Announce Broadcast Agreement. The pact between iHeartMedia West Palm Beach and the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers is effective through the 2024 – 2025 season. As part of the deal, Florida Panthers games will be aired on sports gambling-formatted WBZT “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler.” iHeartMedia market president Mark McCauley states, “We’re excited to partner with the Florida Panthers and provide listeners great play-by-play action on ‘1230 The Gambler.’” Meanwhile, Panthers chief revenue officer Shawn Thornton adds, “We’re excited for iHeartMedia West Palm Beach to join the Florida Panthers radio network. With the refresh of their sports radio station ‘1230 The Gambler’ this past summer, we look forward to working with the leading audio media company in America to broadcast Panthers games to our fans in Palm Beach County.” In addition to Panthers play-by-play coverage, WBZT will air a one-hour Florida Panthers weekend show. The eight-station iHeartMedia West Palm Beach cluster includes WBZT, news/talk WJNO “News Radio 1290,” and news/talk WZZR “92.1 Real Radio.”
“The Book of Joe” Podcast Debuts. In their iHeartMedia/Fox Sports Radio “Book of Joe” podcast, three-time MLB “Manager of the Year” Joe Maddon and three-time “Sportswriter of the Year” Tom Verducci provide insight, commentary and discussion on the MLB postseason. According to Maddon, “We are here to tell you what we think, not what we’ve heard. No regurgitation and original thoughts are valued.” Maddon managed in the big leagues for 19 years. He famously led the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years and the Tampa Bay Rays to their first-ever World Series. Five-time Emmy Award winner Verducci is the lead baseball writer for Sports Illustrated; lead analyst/reporter for MLB Network and Fox Sports; and a member of the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame. He comments, “Like its namesake [forthcoming] book, the podcast will be full of surprises and insight. From game strategy to baseball history to leadership lessons – and maybe to some rock & roll and classic cars – we’ll cover more ground than a gold glove shortstop on the most illuminating and interesting podcast in baseball.” The podcast launched yesterday (Monday, 10/10) and will air through the World Series.
TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow at 7:00 pm (Wednesday, 10/12), Hearst Television Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 AM & 101.5 FM” (and sister NBC affiliate WBAL-TV) will air a Maryland gubernatorial debate between Democrat Wes Moore and Republican Dan Cox. WBAL president/general manager Dan Joerres comments, “The production and broadcast of this debate on both WBAL ‘News Radio’ and WBAL-TV is an important part of our ‘Commitment 2022’ political coverage. Putting all of our broadcast and digital sources to work to bring voters across the state this gubernatorial debate is a major part of our continuing effort to help them make informed decisions on election day. The debate will be moderated by WBAL-TV anchor Jason Newton. … The first episode of ESPN’s “The CJ McCollum Show” was posted last Thursday (10/6). The guard of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans had teammate Brandon Ingram as the inaugural guest on the podcast, which will post episodes each Thursday. McCollum formerly hosted Cadence 13’s “Pull Up With CJ McCollum.” … Elsewhere in NBA-themed podcasts, Jam Street Media introduces 15-year-old Sloane Weinstein hosting the bi-weekly “Sloane Knows.” She’ll interview some of the NBA’s biggest names, including the Boston Celtics’ newly-signed Blake Griffin; free agent Dwight Howard; and former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Baron Davis.
Supreme Court Sides With KQED On Prop 8 Trial Video Release. The ruling concludes a 12-year effort by a media coalition guided by San Francisco public radio news/talk KQED that paved the way for the release of videotapes from the 2009 – 2010 Prop 8 trial, leading to legalization of same-sex marriage in California. Proposition 8 passed in 2008 and banned same-sex marriage in the state. The subsequent trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, questioned whether Prop. 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of the right to same-sex marriage, but said at the time that videotapes of the trial would remain sealed for 10 years. KQED “Political Breakdown” podcast co-host Scott Shafer spearheaded the effort to make the tapes public. Shafer states, “As someone who sat through the entire Prop. 8 trial, I witnessed some very dramatic and moving testimony, as well as riveting cross-examinations. I’m glad others will now get to view this important part of the historical record.” KQED chief content officer Holly Kernan notes, “If our systems work behind closed doors, with no press or public access, we have no idea how decisions are made, nor what arguments are leading to these decisions. KQED wants more sunlight on our legal system, and we will fight on behalf of the public to get that access.”
Monday Memo: Plan NOW For The Big Story. “When-the-fit-hits-the-shan, news/talk stations need to be conspicuous.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke uses that colorful quote as he provides four suggestions for stations to re-familiarize themselves with their network’s continuing coverage routine.” Read Holland Cooke’s column here.
Pending Business: To Do Lists. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa knows the importance of being organized in running a sales department or being a seller in this business. He gains inspiration from Benjamin Franklin – an incredibly busy man known for creating “To Do” lists – in drawing up five important things he suggests you include in creating yours each day. Read it here.
Bohannon’s Final Bow Set For This Friday. One of the most proficient and classiest talk/radio personalities the country has ever heard – Jim Bohannon – will hang up the headsets on his eponymous program this Friday (10/14). Having appeared on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” an astounding 27 consecutive years, the highly affable “Jimbo” is calling it quits due to health reasons. Beginning next Monday (10/17), Rich Valdes will succeed Bohannon on the weeknight, three-hour (10:00 pm – 1:00 am) Cumulus Media Westwood One broadcast. Bohannon states, “It’s been a great 40 years with Westwood One – the last 30 of which as host of ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’ I’ve enjoyed every minute of our daily nighttime town hall with my guests, callers, and all of America. “Now, I’d like to introduce Rich Valdes, a very bright, vibrant young man who will be taking over in the same tradition.” Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing/Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes remarks, “We celebrate Jim’s long radio history and all his achievements, including his induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame; the First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS Magazine; and his inductions into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. We are especially proud that Jim has been an invaluable member of our Westwood One family these many years – he is truly an industry legend. As we pass the baton to Rich Valdes, we’re excited to bring a new name and voice to talk radio. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing the best programming to our affiliates and listeners.” Valdes notes, “No one can ever fill Jim’s shoes. I consider it a blessing and great honor to be part of the next generation of late-night talk show hosts, following the tradition of Jim Bohannon and Larry King.” TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison has a very candid conversation with Bohannon on PodcastOne’s “The Michael Harrison Interview,” which drops tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/11). Bohannon joined Westwood One in 1983 and spent over 31 years as host of the early morning weekday news magazine “America in the Morning” and previously hosted “America This Week.” He began his career in 1960 at KLWT-AM, his hometown station in Lebanon, Missouri.
Sid Rosenberg Pays Tribute to Bernard McGuirk. WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg shares personal feelings about his longtime broadcasting colleague Bernard McGuirk who succumbed last week (10/5) after a courageous battle with prostate cancer. The two co-hosted the highly successful “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program since April of 2018 bringing it to the top of the ratings in the competitive Big Apple AM drive daypart. But their relationship went back many years before that to their days together as part of team backing the legendary “Imus in the Morning” program and more. Rosenberg discusses their history together and his loving perspective on McGuirk as a broadcaster and a friend in an exclusive conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. To listen to the tribute, please click here.
Scheld Schedules His WCBS-AM Departure. In a memo to the staff of WCBS-AM, news director/brand manager Tim Scheld notes he will be leaving the Audacy New York all-news facility before the end of the year. Lauding the WCBS-AM team and Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero, Scheld writes that “Audacy New York is in great hands.” Also included in the memo, Scheld states an Audacy arrangement with SAG-AFTRA signifies a new strategy, combining WCBS-AM’s resources with those of co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS. “[It’s] a plan I have endorsed and frankly helped design.” Scheld was a WCBS-AM reporter from 1987 – 1994 and rejoined the station in 2003, after a nine-year stint as a correspondent for ABC Radio News. In addition to his WCBS-AM duties, he’s chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association.
KGO Betting On The Spread. Confirming a story reported here last Friday (TALKERS, 10/7), Cumulus Media San Francisco today transitions longtime news/talk KGO to “The Spread 810 AM,” the Bay Area’s first station focused on sports betting. Cumulus San Francisco vice president/market manager Larry Blumhagen comments, “This is a bittersweet day for us, as it’s hard to say goodbye to the legendary KGO, which has been a part of listeners’ lives for so many years. We want to thank all the people who have been a part of KGO’s historic run these many years and the listeners who loyally tuned into the station. Times change, and we must change with them. We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to serving the Bay Area’s passionate sports fans in an incomparable way.” Cumulus San Francisco sports talk KNBR and KTCT program director Kevin Graham adds PD duties for “The Spread” and notes, “We are pleased to introduce sports-betting radio to our community. The station will feature a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage. While [KGO] will feature specific gambling information, we believe our entertaining presentation will make it a favorite for all Bay area sports fans and a perfect complement to the legendary KNBR and KTCT.” The station’s weekday programming lineup includes: Joe Ostrowski, Joe Giglio, and Erin Hawksworth (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Jim Rome (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley (12:00 noon – 4:00 pm); Quinton Mayo, Trysta Krick, and Ryan Horvat with “Bet MGM Tonight” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 San Francisco sweep, KGO “810 AM” was up two-tenths from August 2022 (1.5 – 1.7, #21 to #20). In San Jose, KGO registers its fourth straight uptick for a combined +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+) and ranks #13.
Round Three of September PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 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 Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of 12 markets. News/talk packs a one-two punch (6+) in Salt Lake City, where iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” erupts with a +2.5 (9.1 – 11.6, 6+) to rank on top for the eighth month in succession, while Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” adds six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+), advancing from fourth to second. In addition to SLC, the format registers number one showings in Sacramento with iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” gaining eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.9, third to first, 6+), and in Cincinnati, where co-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” – despite being off six-sixths – is on top for the seventh consecutive month (11.7 – 11.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” dials up a +1.3 (3.7 – 5.0, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). The largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is in Columbus, where Tegna-owned sports talk WBNS-FM logs a +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, 6+); “97.1 FM The Fan” vaults from fourth to first. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of 12 markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Hurley Charity Event Hauls in $65,00+. The fourteenth Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction was held last Friday (10/7) at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. This year’s event raised more than $65,000 and featured congressman Jeff Van Drew as guest of honor/keynote speaker. An additional supplemental live on-air auction is still to be staged. According to “Hurley in the Morning” Charity founder/chair Harry Hurley (pictured at the right with Jeff Van Drew), “It was an amazing, ‘Who’s Who’ evening, which will directly benefit many worthy non-for-profit organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond. For example, this special event will make it possible for the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” to make a $7,000 contribution [next June] to The Broadcasters Foundation of America. Jeff Van Drew arrived early and was the last to leave.” To date, The Harry Hurley charity has donated $21,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” Hurley, who does morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” reveals that Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade will be guest of honor/keynote speaker September 29, 2023 at “our fifteenth annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction.”
TALKERS News Notes. As part of cutbacks at Beasley Media Group Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Toucher & Rich morning show producer Mike Lockhart and nighttime Adam Jones Show co-host Christian Arcand exit. Meanwhile in Philadelphia at co-owned/similarly-formatted WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” John Kincaid Show member Jaimie Lynch departs. … Almost seven months to the day from his kidney transplant, Zimmer Broadcasting Cookeville (Tennessee) news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” program director/6:00 am – 8:00 am host/promotion director/assistant news director Brent Carl Fleshman won two first-place trophies at last week’s inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasting’s “Excellence Awards.” Fleshman was named “Best Local On-Air Personality” and “Best Local Talk Show” in the “Small Market Radio Division,” which consists of stations not in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.In 2016, Fleshman won the NAB Marconi Award as “Small Market Personality of the Year” and was a finalist for that award in 2019. … “Fridays with Frankie,” a limited-edition Audacy series hosted by reality show star Frankie Grande, debuted last Friday (10/7). Each episode will feature a different topic and will be live aired on Audacy’s digital platform at 8:00 am (ET) and replayed until 12:00 midnight (ET). The show will also air across Audacy’s Channel Q’s network of stations. … The Society of Professional Journalists names the headquarters of the Voice of America – 330 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, DC – as a Historic Site in Journalism. The Voice of America is the editorially independent international broadcaster funded by the United States government. SPJ international community co-chair Dan Kubiske states that, “For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism. From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered.”
Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC drops 1.3 shares to post a 3.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), falling into a tie at the #11 rank with Audacy’s all-news WINS, which adds two-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share. Although shedding one-tenth for a 4.7 share finish, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles remains ranked #4. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM dips one-tenth for a 3.5 share finish good for the #9 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM adds three-tenths to finish the survey with a 4.9 share that pushes it to the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth continues its upward trajectory by adding four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.9 share that lifts it to the #3 rank. After adding eight-tenths for a 6.3 share finish, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remains ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
New York Festivals Radio Awards 2023 Competition Open for Entries. The New York Festivals 2023 Radio Awards competition is open for entries. New York Festivals Radio Awards 65-year legacy provides a showcase to celebrate world-class storytellers from around the globe. The competition honors creative innovation and excellence in broadcast and audio content across all genres and platforms. NYFestivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson says, “Journalists today are finding new ways to keep viewers informed and engaged in our ever-changing and interconnected world. Here at New York Festivals, we want to be able to amplify their dedication with categories tailored for those purposes along with stories that show how individual actions can change the world and the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.” This year, New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two additional categories that reflect the evolving industry: Investigative Journalism and Best Nonfiction Series. The 2023 Storytellers Gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 18, 2023. This is the 13th year of NYF’s and NAB’s strategic partnership. Radio Award winners will have access to the multi-day event taking place April 15-19, 2023. New York Festivals Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. Also, New York Festivals invites award-winning industry leaders from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury. The 2023 Grand jury will be recruited in the coming weeks. Those jurors will include some of the most world’s recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry. Entries are judged on production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, achievement of purpose, and audience suitability. To see last year’s winners, click here. To see this year’s categories and for information about entering, click here.
Michael Harrison’s “Idiots” is an Internet Hit. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past month discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a remarkably catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up more than 52,000 views on YouTube alone and gotten both audio and video exposure on hundreds of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland. “Ironically, the song has become somewhat of a talk radio hit – if such a strange thing is possible,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. However, talk radio programmers get it.” Nationally syndicated talk radio star Lars Larson – one of the first to play the song on air – tells TALKERS, “The minute I put ‘Idiots’ on my talk show, emails flooded in. Gunhill Road hit the note that all of us have been sensing for a long time.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of both an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the virtual Talk Radio Idiots Interview Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing email@example.com or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.
Zimmer Broadcasting Simulcasts Morning Show to KWOS-AM, Jefferson City. The Jefferson City news/talk outlet owned and operated by Zimmer Communications is adding the “Wake-Up Mid-Missouri with Branden Rathert” program to its lineup. The program emanates from the company’s news/talk KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri. The company says that lead host Branden Rathert has been recognized for his work during the 2010 BP Gulf Coast oil spill, the unrest at University of Missouri in 2015, and has been awarded for documentaries on homelessness and SWAT teams. The program also features local attorney Stephanie Bell, Centralia native Hannah Adkisson, news director Brian Hauswirth, and fellow journalist John Marsh. Zimmer Communications operations manager Chris Carson says, “We are excited to take what has been an extremely successful show for Columbia and bring that to a much larger audience covering a broad portion of the center of the state. The way they approach each news story, no matter how local or national, and provide a take that appeals to every Missouri listener is incredible. Their service work to the community and relationships with newsmakers and political leaders across parties across the state is unmatched by any other radio show statewide! This is going to be fun!”
Bold Gold Foundation’s 7th Annual Event & Dinner to Pay Tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The non-profit arm of the Bold Gold Media Group, The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, which supports educational programs that help students prepare for careers in broadcast journalism, announces that Abraham Lincoln will be the focus of this year’s 7th Annual Event and Dinner to be held on Friday, October 28 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre. The Bold Gold Foundation has chosen the theme: “Abraham Lincoln – Leadership & Statesmanship in a Nation Divided.” Dr. Matthew Spalding – the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government at Hillsdale College and the dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus – will keynote the event. Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto says, “Our theme last year centered around Winston Churchill, as a defender of Western Civilization and free speech. Prior to this, we focused on the leadership of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. It seems only appropriate that we now turn our attention to the greatest statesman of the 19th century, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a leader with great moral courage, who proved extremely capable of communicating and defending the American constitutional order and our founding principles. The purpose of the Bold Gold Foundation is to support the next generation of media leaders. What better way to learn about leadership and the communication of great ideals in times of deep division than by studying Abraham Lincoln?” The Bold Gold Foundation will also be honoring Northeast PA business leader William Rosado, of the Rosado Group and Milford Hospitality Group, with a special citizenship award during this year’s event. The Atlas Award for Citizenship is awarded to individuals who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue.
KWAM, Memphis Wins TAB Awards. Memphis news/talk KWAM “The Mighty 990” was honored with three Excellence in Broadcasting awards at the recent Tennessee Association of Broadcasters gala and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Tim Van Horn and Ben Deeter won second place honors for Best Talk Show. Grace Baker and the KWAM staff won first and second place for Best Digital Media. Pictured above are (from l-r): general manager Kevin Davis, KWAM political analyst Steve Gill, KWAM owner Todd Starnes, managing editor Caleb Parke, chief engineer Chuck Condron and CEO Dalton Glasscock.
TALKERS News Notes. The board of trustees of New York Public Radio are naming LaFontaine Oliver the next president and CEO of the organization that includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio. His appointment is effective in January 2023. Oliver comes to WNYC from Your Public Radio (WYPR) in Baltimore, where he currently serves as president and CEO. WNYC says Oliver has led the station “through the unprecedented change of the pandemic while growing revenue and listenership, launching a new health vertical and podcast, and overseeing the acquisition of station WTMD from Towson University. Oliver also drove the significant expansion of the WYPR newsroom and launched a joint operating agreement with digital news startup, The Baltimore Banner.”…..PodcastOne adds to its roster podcasts from World Series Champion Nick Swisher, NBA Champion Bobby Portis and retired NFL running back Chris Howard, as well as the recent launch of “Hammered Heroes” hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons and Sophie Santos. The quartet of shows all launch as part of the expanding PodcastOne’s sports vertical of programming for the podcast network. PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “Sports fans are loyal, they’re engaged and they’re passionate. With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks. Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”…..iHeartRadio Raleigh is hosting a Hurricane Ian relief donation drive today (10/5) from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm at a local Walmart Supercenter. iHeartRadio Raleigh stations – including news/talk WTKK-FM – are encouraging listeners to donate much-needed supplies for those in Florida affected by the storm. “Our team has heard from many Triangle-area listeners who have a connection to Hurricane victims in Florida, whether it be friends or family,” says Trevor Morini, vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Raleigh. “The overwhelming desire to help those victims is what makes us proud to be part of this community.”…..Cox Media Group today kicks off a “Neighbors in Need” initiative at its TV and radio stations in Florida and Atlanta to support those impacted by Hurricane Ian. This follows WSB-TV’s and Atlanta Radio’s highly successful “Convoy of Care” that saw food, water and other provisions sent from Atlanta to those who needed it in Florida. CMG’s on-air talent across its Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa TV and radio stations will use their platforms to broadcast tales of heroism, discuss rescue efforts, and encourage audiences to donate to Hurricane recovery efforts.
Putin’s Ukraine Annexation, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Trump Legal Issues, Inflation/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Record U.S. Debt, Oath Keepers Trial, and Tom Brady Marriage Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The annexation of portions of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin; the search for missing Floridians in Hurricane Ian’s wake and President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the region; former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago documents; the record high inflation, OPEC’s potential reduction in oil output, and fears of a deep recession in the U.S.; Elon Musk’s reversal of his attempt to get out of acquiring Twitter; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the U.S. national debt hits a record $31 trillion; the trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy; and rumors of a possible split for Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.