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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.

December 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Three

| January 3, 2022

December 2021 PPM Data – Information for the December 2021 ratings period has been released for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

Nielsen Audio’s December 2021 sweep covered November 11 – December 8.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty.

Cited as well are each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are November 2021 – December 2021 (6+).

 

PORTLAND

News/Talk: Alpha Media’s KXL “FM 101 News” flat at 7.1, second to fourth

iHeartMedia-owned KEX “News Radio 1190” 3.1 – 2.5, -.6, unchanged at #16

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB 6.9 – 7.2, +.3, fourth to third and KOPB’s internet stream steady at 2.2, #19 to #17

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW, first month, 7.1 – 12.4, +5.3

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KKCW (+5.3)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: hot AC KRSK (-.8)

CHARLOTTE

News/Talk: Radio One-owned WBT AM & WBT-FM “Charlotte’s News Talk” (Carolina Panthers) 4.5 – 3.8, -.7, #8 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” (Hornets) 1.0 – 1.1, +.1, remains at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: University Radio Foundation-owned WFAE 4.1 – 4.3, +.2, tenth to ninth

South Carolina Educational Television Commission’s WNSC steady at .5, locked at #20

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC, first month, 5.0 – 8.8, +3.8

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WKQC (+3.8)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: classical WDAV (-.8)

SAN ANTONIO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WOAI “News Radio 1200” (Spurs) 4.3 – 4.2, -.1, tenth to eighth

Alpha Media-owned KTSA “Stay Connected” 2.1 – 2.2, +.1, #16 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Texas Public Radio’s KSTX 3.3 – 3.1, -.2, #13 to #12

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT, first month, 5.9 – 10.8, +4.9

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KQXT (+4.9)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (-1.8)

SACRAMENTO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” 9.1 – 7.3, -1.8, first to third and cluster-mate KSTE “Talk 650” 2.7 – 2.9, +.2, #14 to #12

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320” 1.0 – .9, -.1, #18 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Capital Public Radio’s KXJZ 4.9 – 4.5, -.4, seventh to eighth

Number One 6+: Audacy classic rock KSEG, first month, 8.3 – 10.2, +1.9

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KYMX (+3.1)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KBEB (-2.2)*

*Represents the largest November 2021 – December 2021 decrease (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

PITTSBURGH

News/Talk: Audacy’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020 AM” 4.1 – 3.7, -.4, remains in ninth-place

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan All Sports All The Time” 8.7 – 7.8, -.9, stays at #4

Public Radio News/Talk: Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting’s WESA 3.3 – 2.7, -.6, #11 to #13

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW, first month, 8.9 – 11.1, +2.2

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase:  adult contemporary WSHH (+2.5)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: sports talk KDKA-FM (-.9)

SALT LAKE CITY

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” 7.2 – 7.1, -.1, anchored in second-place

Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” 7.5 – 6.0, -1.5, first to fifth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Utah’s KUER steady at 4.1, repeats at #8

Number One 6+: Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI, first month, 5.5 – 10.9, +5.4

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KSFI (+5.4)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: news/talk KSL (-1.5)

LAS VEGAS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KXNT “News Talk 840” 1.9 – 1.8, -.1, #21 to #16

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE, first month, 6.0 – 13.1, +7.1

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KSNE (+7.1)**

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KSOS (-2.1)

**Represents the largest November 2021 – December 2021 increase (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

ORLANDO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” 5.6 – 5.3, -.3, seventh to eighth

Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” 2.1 – 1.9, -.2, flat at #16

iHeartMedia’s WFLF “Orlando News Radio” 1.8 – 1.3, -.5, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WYGM “96.9 The Game” (Magic) 2.3 – 2.2, -.1, #15 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: Community Connections’ WMFE 2.5 – 1.7, -.8, #13 to #17

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF, first month, 6.1 – 12.0, +5.9

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WMGF (+5.9)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: rock WJRR (-1.5)

CINCINNATI

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” 11.8 – 10.2, -1.6, flat at #2 and cluster-mate WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station” 5.8 – 5.2, -.6, fourth to sixth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WCKY “ESPN 1530” (Bengals) locked at 1.4, repeats at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Cincinnati Public Radio-owned WVXU steady at 3.9, tenth to eighth

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR second month in a row, 12.3 – 11.0, -1.3

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WRRM (+1.8)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: news/talk WLW (-1.6)

CLEVELAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTAM “News Radio 1100” (Cavaliers) 4.7 – 4.0, -.7, stays in ninth-place

News: iHeartMedia-owned WMMS-HD2 “BIN 99.1 Because Truth Matters” unchanged at .2, #18 to #20

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (Browns) 5.5 – 4.6, -.9, seventh to eighth and WKRK’s internet steam debuts with a 1.5, #14

Public Radio News/Talk: Ideastream-owned WCPN steady at 2.6, #13 to #12

Kent State University’s WKSU 1.3 – 1.1, -.2, #15 to #17

Number One 6+: Audacy adult contemporary WDOK first month, 9.8 – 10.4, +.6

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase:  iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (+1.4)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: sports talk WKRK (-.9)

KANSAS CITY

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMBZ-FM “98.1 FM News, Traffic, Weather” 5.0 – 4.6, -.4, seventh to sixth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KCSP “Sports Radio 610 Our Teams, Our Town” 2.1 – 2.3, +.2, remains at #16

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KCUR 6.6 – 6.1, -.5, continues in third-place

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX, third consecutive month, 8.9 – 9.7, +.8

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KCKC (+3.4)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: country WDAF (-1.6)

COLUMBUS

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WTVN “News Radio 610” 6.7 – 6.5, -.2, remains in fourth-place

News: iHeartMedia’s WYTS “Columbus’ BIN 1230” .2 – .1, -.1, locked at #19

Sports Talk: Tegna-owned WBNS-FM “97.1 FM The Fan” (Blue Jackets) 9.6 – 10.3, +.7, #1 and cluster-mate WBNS-AM “ESPN 1460 AM” .6 – .5, -.1, #16 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Ohio State University’s WOSU 6.2 – 6.5, +.3, sixth to fourth

Number One 6+: sports talk WBNS-FM, fourth successive month, 9.6 – 10.3, +.7

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Increase: adult hits WODC (+2.1)

Largest 6+ November 2021 – December 2021 Decrease: classic rock WLVQ (-1.2)

 

Up next: December 2021 overviews for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford.

 

Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.  

Monday, June 21, 2021

| June 21, 2021

Monday Memo: Podcasters, Tell The World. “While broadcast content must be mass-appeal, your topic can engage followers – everywhere – if it is specialized and high-affinity.” That’s the word from consultant Holland Cooke who this week explains why “broadcasters need to think ‘narrow-cast’” to make it as podcasters. In addition, he includes three useful links; read more from Holland Cooke here.

Pending Business: The Water Bottle. In today’s column, Lapcom Communications Corp president Steve Lapa, writes “You feel like the second half of 2021 will be a walk in the park compared to the COVID numbers of 2020. Experienced sellers often reach a point where autopilot kicks in and personal improvement stops.” Lapa then asks, “How does a top biller improve when #1 is as good as it gets?” Since “nobody bats 1000,” he advises, “never stop learning.” Grab a fresh, unopened bottle of your favorite brand of bottled water and read more here.

Round Three of May PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2021 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 May 2021 sweep covered April 29 – May 26. Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. Albeit -1.6 from April 2021 (12.7 – 11.1), iHeartMedia-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” (Reds flagship) is the lone mainstream news/talk outlet from these 12 markets to reach #1 (May 2021, 6+). Off a combined two full-shares from April 2021 are Bonneville Salt Lake City’s KSL “News Radio” (8.3 – 6.8, -1.5, first to second, 6+) and cross-town iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” (6.3 – 5.8, -.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). Only two news/talkers in these markets that finished in the top 20 post April 2021 – May 2021 improvements: WLW cluster-mate WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, unchanged at #8, 6+) and Audacy Las Vegas’ KXNT “News Talk 840” (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #21 to #20, 6+). The latter’s Cleveland sibling – WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” – registers sports talk’s heftiest April 2021 – May 2021 increase (3.2 – 4.3, +1.1, #12 to #10, 6+). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds of markets) here.

Audacy Adds Seven “BetQL Network” Affiliates. The following Audacy outlets will rebrand today (Monday, 6/21) as part of the “BetQL Network”: KIKK “650 AM The Bet,” Houston; WJFK-AM “1580 AM The Bet,” Washington, DC; WXYT-AM “1270 AM The Bet,” Detroit; WJZ-AM “1300 AM The Bet,” Baltimore; KXST “1140 AM The Bet,” Las Vegas; and KWOD “1660 AM The Bet,” Kansas City. WWWL-AM “1350 AM The Bet,” New Orleans will make the switch next Monday, 6/28. According to Audacy executive vice president of programming Jeff Sottolano, “When we launched the ‘BetQL Network’ in January, we committed to giving our national audience a home for compelling sports betting content as this new landscape was rapidly growing. This expansion is the next step in that goal and we’re pleased to bring new and dynamic ‘BetQL Network’ programming to additional markets and new digital platforms. We are proud to build on our local and national sports audio leadership position with this expanded commitment to production and distribution of entertaining sports betting content to audiences across the country.” The aforementioned rebrands are in addition to previously launched “The Bet 93.1 HD3,” Los Angeles; “The Bet 105.9 FM-HD2,” Chicago; and KEZW “1430 AM The Bet,” Denver. “BetQL Network” programming will also be heard in various times on WTEM “980 The Team,” Washington, DC; WQAM “560 The Joe,” Miami; and WRNL “The New Sports Radio 910 AM & 105.1 FM,” Richmond. The expanded “BetQL Network” weekday programming lineup includes: “The Daily Tip” with Chelsa Messinger and Michael Jenkins (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “BetQL Daily” with Joe Ostrowski and Joe Giglio (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Bet MGM Tonight” with Quinton Mayo and Ryan Horvat (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm).

Cumulus Media Birmingham Taps Robinson As VP/MM. Former Univision Communications San Antonio vice president/director of sales, radio, television & digital James Robinson is appointed vice president/market manager of Cumulus Media Birmingham. Cumulus Media’s cluster in that Alabama metro consists of: sports talk WJOX-FM “JOX 94.5”; sports talk WJOX-AM “JOX 3 690 AM”; sports talk WJQX “ESPN 100.5 JOX 2”; news/talk WZRR “Talk 99.5”; news/talk WAPI; and urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.” Senior vice president, operations Mark Sullivan remarks, “I’m extremely pleased that James will be bringing his experience and talent to the Cumulus Media team. I’m looking forward to many shared successes with him.” Robinson states, “Now is the best time to work in radio [and] Cumulus Media is a dynamic and innovative company. I’m honored to join the talented team in Birmingham. The Cumulus Media stations in Birmingham are iconic brands that have a history of deep commitment to the community and partner success. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on this success with the talented team in Birmingham.” Prior to his San Antonio tenure, Robinson was director of sales for Radio One Houston; vice president of sales for iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.; and general sales manager for iHeartMedia in St. Louis and Memphis.

Video Coverage of TALKERS 2021 Begins Next Monday June 28.  Every keynote speech, fireside chat, special presentation and panel discussion that took place at the recent 24th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, largest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University – was recorded under the direction of renowned industry videographer and chronicler Art Vuolo. These videos will be posted one per business day beginning next Monday June 28, right here on Talkers.com.  If you were unable to attend the event in person, you will not want to miss the opportunity to take in some of the most pertinent industry conversation about the state of radio, talk programming, and related media to take place since the start of the pandemic.

COVID-19 Delta Variant, Post-Summit Analysis, January 6 Investigation, Southern Border Crisis, Juneteenth, and the Western Heat Wave & Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  COVID-19 – particularly the Delta variant and the rate/progress of vaccinations – continued to be a dominant topic on talk shows over the weekend along with microscopic analysis of the optics of the BidenPutin meeting in Geneva on news/talk stations across the nation.  Immigration Reform remains a front burner topic, fueled largely this weekend by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plan for the Lone Star State to build a wall on its own.  The naming of Juneteenth as a Federal holiday came at a very timely juncture for the weekend and the Western States Heatwave & Drought could not be ignored, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

“Hurley in the Morning” Charity Golf Open Raises $45,000+. Held this past Friday (6/18) at the Linwood (New Jersey) Country Club, the 14th annual Harry Hurley in the Morning Charity Golf Open was not only a sold-out success, it raised roughly $45,000. Event founder/chairman/morning host of Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM” Hurley states, “We had an amazing day with picture perfect weather. We have a wonderful community comprised of some of the most generous people in America.” Hurley’s morning show aired live on-site (6:00 am – 10:06 am) from the country club. With more to follow, the charity this year has awarded grants to: The Broadcasters Foundation of America; The Shore Medical Center Foundation; Stockton University; FACES 4 Autism; Atlantic County Toys For Kids; and The Joan Fineran Nursing Scholarship. In the photo at the right, Hurley (left) – who appears at #37 in the recently released TALKERS Magazine 2021 “Heavy Hundred” – is pictured with Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio.

TALKERS News Notes: As reported here last Friday (TALKERS, 6/18), Premiere Networks debuts the “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” today (Monday, 6/21) in the timeslot formerly occupied by talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm). Victor Lisle is selected as image/brand voice of the new venture and states, “I’m genuinely humbled beyond belief for this amazing opportunity. Never in a million years did I expect something of this magnitude could happen.” … The entire “JOX Roundtable” morning show – consisting of Lance Taylor, Jim Dunaway, Ryan Brown, and Sean “Rockstar” Heninger” – departed Cumulus Media Birmingham sports talk WJOX “JOX 94.5” last Wednesday (6/16). The four call the exit “amicable” and will start a still undisclosed digital project … According to The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, former KSRO, Santa Rosa (California) morning talent Pat Kerrigan has returned to the Amaturo Sonoma Media Group news/talk station to host a series of hour-long monthly specials, as well as a podcast, “Pat Kerrigan Unleashed.” … University of Hawaii football announcer Robert Kekaula died Saturday morning (6/19) at the age of 56. Prior to becoming the television play-by-play voice of the Rainbow Warriors in 2011, Kekaula was radio analyst for Hawaii football (1992-2010) … Benztown and P1 Media Group will host a free 30-minute webinar this Thursday (6/24) at 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST. Hosted by Benztown CEO Andreas Sannemann and P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson, “Next: Creating Amazing Radio, Round 2” will feature Lee Abrams. The programmer/consultant will field attendees’ questions and cover topics that will include: how to create “entertainment magic” on a station; radio predictions for 2026; the future of streaming and podcasting (and how that will affect radio); if contesting is still relevant; and how radio should be using social media … On the opening day of the National Religious Broadcasters conference in Dallas, SRN NewsLori Tradup (seen in the photo at the left) interviews the head of Voddie Baucham Ministries, Voddie Baucham. Approximately 3,500 delegates from the U.S. and around the globe are attending the annual conference at the Gaylord Texan Hotel … Additions to “The Erick Erickson Show” include Pinehurst Broadcasting news/talk WEEB “Talk Radio 97.3 FM & 990 AM,” Southern Pines, North Carolina and WULK, Crawfordville, Georgia; the show broadcasts via Premiere XDS.

Friday, December 4, 2020

| December 4, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, 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, “Hazy Shade of Winter, looks back at this past week of November 30 – December 4, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneHeidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Stephanie Miller, talk show host, WYD Media ManagementAmy Hao, talk show host, KSCO, Santa Cruz; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio 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 (“Freedom 93.7”), 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; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer 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.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey (October 8 – November 4), today focusing on the news/talk format. This survey leading up to the November 3 presidential election was, in general, a boon to the news/talk format. In fact, 78% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase from the November of 2019 survey to this November 2020 survey. Comparing the October 2020 survey to the November survey, 68% of news/talk stations’ ratings were up, with gainers led by iHeartMedia’s WKRC, Cincinnati (+2.3), KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City (+1.9), KFYI, Phoenix (+1.7), and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+1.7). Returning to year-over-year numbers, big gainers here included iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM, Milwaukee (+7.6), KFYI-AM, Phoenix (+5.0) and WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+4.5). In what is a first, the top 10 news/talk stations by market rank were all #1 in their respective markets during the November 2020 survey. See which stations those were and a whole lot more in Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Dan Le Batard and ESPN Agree to Part Company. This is one of those separations that might have been termed a “shocker” simply because of the successful nature of the relationship between ESPN and Dan Le Batard. But as industry watchers are aware, the relationship has been contentious recently and Le Batard made no secret about his displeasure with ESPN’s directive during the summer to steer clear of politics. He was also not pleased that ESPN laid off his radio producer Chris Cote as part of its staff cutbacks (Le Batard brought Cote back by paying his salary out of his own pocket). Pile on top of that the fact that ESPN recently moved the video simulcast of his show from cable’s ESPNews to the subscription ESPN+ platform and reduced his radio show from three to two hours. Le Batard’s final programs will be on January 4. In a statement, ESPN EVP and executive editor Norby Williamson says, “It was mutually agreed that it was best for both sides to move on to new opportunities and we worked together closely to make that possible. We thank Dan for his many years and contributions to ESPN and wish him all the best going forward.” Le Batard’s official statement is as follows: “Gracias to ESPN for unleashing Papi and Stugotz upon an unsuspecting America, and for lending its substantive credibility to our careening clown car. Can’t believe Stugotz finally achieved his dream of becoming a high-priced free agent. I’m forever indebted to Erik Rydholm, Matt Kelliher and their vibrant team for providing a creative oasis across a decade, and for expanding the Le Batard family to include so many brilliant colleagues who have become forever friends, bonded eternally by laughter and love. Want to also extend my gratitude to Chuck Salituro, Jimmy Pitaro, Traug Keller, Marcia Keegan, Connor Schell, Juan Diaz, Mike Foss, Amanda Gifford, Liam Chapman, Megan Judge, Elizabeth Fierman, the Hialeah-soaked crew at Imagina …and when did this become a droning acceptance speech instead of a quick goodbye? In short, thank you, Disney and ESPN, for a quarter century of absurd blessings. To our loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it is a very exciting time for us, not a sad one. And that you’ll be hearing our laughter again soon enough.”

New ESPN Radio Schedule to Launch on January 5. With the departure of Dan Le Batard from the ESPN Radio and ESPN television schedules, ESPN announces the broadcast schedule for the radio network that begins effective on January 5. ESPN moves “Greeny,” with Mike Greenberg from the early afternoon slot to Le Batard’s current 10:00 am to 12:00 noon air time. It inserts the WEPN-FM, New York duo “Bart & Hahn” – Bart Scott and Alan Hahn – into the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm daypart. As for the television program “Highly Questionable,” it will continue with a “contributing team” consisting of Elle Duncan, Domonique Foxworth, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Mina Kimes, Katie Nolan, Sarah Spain, Pablo Torre, and Clinton Yates.

Joe Madison to Be Honored by the National Black Radio Hall of Fame. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is being honored by the National Black Radio Hall of Fame as a 2021 inductee for the “National Satellite Talk Radio Award.” Organization president Bernard Hayes says, “We as a board decided that it would be only fitting to continue the honoring of our leaders in Black Radio despite the current climate in our country and have thereby decided to continue honoring the legacy of those who have done so much to support our communities at large. We will fulfill this task by using the services of the Zoom application.” The National Black Radio Hall of Fame, whose main facility is located at Harris Stowe State University, will have its program hosted by its National Board Members and the local Atlanta Chapter on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm ET.

WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia Talk Host Martha Zoller Recovering from Health Issue. Georgia talk radio host Martha Zoller is off of her regular talk show on Jacobs Media’s news/talk WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia after having emergency surgery on a burst abscess on a lung that sent her to the hospital on November 21. She tells TALKERS magazine that she is recovering at home and will be away from her radio show for a couple of weeks and then expects to be hosting her program from home until she’s cleared to return to WDUN’s studios.

WAMU Staff Joins SAG-AFTRA. The content creation staff at American University’s public radio outlet WAMU-FM, Washington voted unanimously to recognize SAG-AFTRA as its union. The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for all areas of the station, including DCist.com, “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” “1A,” “The Big Broadcast,” “Hot Jazz Saturday Night,” and the podcasts “Dish City,” “What’s With Washington,” and “Diane Rehm: On My Mind.” The newly formed bargaining unit will be made up of 80 employees, including hosts, reporters, producers, editors, and engineers who create content for the news, programming and digital units. WAMU “Morning Edition” host Esther Ciammachilli says, “WAMU’s content creators, as a collective bargaining unit represented by SAG-AFTRA, are thrilled to advance our shared beliefs in transparency, accountability, fairness and most importantly, the truth.”

Longtime Chicago Cubs TV Personality Len Kasper Joining WMVP Radio for White Sox Broadcasts. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, 16-year Chicago Cubs television play-by-play man Len Kasper is joining Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk outlet WMVP-AM as announcer for Chicago White Sox broadcasts. Feder says that Kasper – who replaces Andy Masur in the play-by-play role – will work alongside analyst Darrin Jackson.

COVID-19 Spike, Vaccines, and Prevention Tie for Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the anticipated rollout of vaccines, and prescriptions for prevention of the disease tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30 to December 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing to claim election fraud. Coming in at #3 was the pardons granted by President Trump and the possibility he’ll grant pardons to his children and himself, followed by the Georgia Senate runoff elections 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 complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Las Vegas adult contemporary outlet KSNE-FM “Sunny 106.5” and KLAS-TV “8 News Now” is presenting a special broadcast titled “A Very Sunny Christmas” to benefit Opportunity Village in Southern Nevada – a nonprofit organization serving adults in the Southern Nevada community with intellectual and related disabilities. Airing on the iHeartMedia radio station and KLAS-TV on December 18 and 25, it will feature Sunny 106.5 morning hosts AJ and Joanna plus performances by Nevada-based entertainers including Wayne Newton, Little Big Town, Debbie Gibson, Darius Rucker, Mat Franco, Brian Newman, Russell Dickerson, Shin Lim, Daniel Emmet, Piff The Magic Dragon, Xavier Mortimer, and many more. AJ says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges to Opportunity Village and the people they serve, particularly with the upcoming event season as their normal holiday events like Magical Forest have been cancelled for the 2020 season.”

Monday, June 22, 2020

| June 22, 2020

Monday Memo: ‘Mainstream Media’ Redefined.  “For several decades,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, “the term has been weaponized, first by scrappy fringe voices railing against legacy networks and newspapers; more recently by FOX News Channel and Rush Limbaugh,” which Cooke finds “ironic, since ratings qualify them as ‘mainstream.’” Now, as Spotify pays former “Fear Factor” host and MMA commentator Joe Rogan a reported hundred million dollars to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounces him “the new Mainstream Media.” And after a bystander’s smartphone captured the George Floyd killing, Cooke asks, “Are not We The People now ‘Mainstream Media?’”  In special segment on his TV show, Cooke and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison discuss how the publisher/consumer balance of power has shifted, even during the pandemic. To view the segment, please click here. To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, please click here.

Pending Business: Creative Always Counts. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that “when it comes to selling a personality live read, audience size often takes a back seat. The power of personality reads is based on the trust the audience has in your on-air talent. The trust between them is real because your on-air talent earns that trust with every show. Until you see it at work for your advertisers, you will never truly understand the sell.” Read his entire column here.

NRG Media Names Allyson Hillman Market Manager for Waterloo, Iowa. Radio management pro Allyson Hillman is named market manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo, Iowa cluster that includes news/talk KXEL-AM, rock KFMW-FM, classic hits KOKZ-FM, and classic country KPTY-AM/FM. NRG Media president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We are thrilled to have Allyson join NRG. She brings extensive experience in management and sales to the market. She understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio. We are confident with Allyson’s belief that success comes from a positive culture and strength development that she will continue to develop innovative strategies for the market while providing great local radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. The weekly, 6+ AQH shares for news/talk stations in our panel are largely coming back down after skyrocketing during the April 2020 PPM survey. Comparing April to May, 65% of news/talk stations regressed while just 24% of news/talk stations improved. Gainers were led by Cumulus Media’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.4, 6.8 share) and iHeartMedia’s WKRC, Cincinnati (+0.8, 4.3 share). A year-over-year comparison shows 65% of stations improve while 24% of news/talk stations decline. Stations improving most since May of 2019 include Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (+4.8, 11.1 share), Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+4.1, 9.3 share) and iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus (+4.0, 9.0 share). During the May 2020 survey, six news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets. See the complete report here.

Pittsburgh Play-By-Play Talent Charged with DUI. Radio play-by-play personality Bill Hillgrove has been charged with DUI in Murrysville, Pennsylvania after driving his car through a grocery store’s plate-glass windows. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hillgrove – the announcer for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers football games – went into the store to fill a prescription after hitting the building and drove home in his damaged car. Authorities found him there and arrested him after he failed a preliminary breath test.

Trump Tulsa Rally, NY Prosecutor Fired, Bolton Book, Re-Opening of America/COVID-19 Stats, Police Defunding Debate, Presidential Race, and Deadly UK Stabbing Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s Trump campaign rally at Tulsa’s BOK Center; Southern District of New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman is fired by President Trump; the controversy over the tell-all book by former national security adviser John Bolton; states across the country continue re-opening their economies and the COVID-19 statistics and projections; the debate over protestors’ defund the police demands; the presidential race; and the stabbing in England that took the lives of three and is being investigated as a terrorist attack were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Larry Elder Premieres New Film UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (at center, waving) acknowledging a standing ovation at the Dallas premiere of his new documentary film, UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Elder is executive producer of the film that explores the personal journeys of black conservatives. Attendees at the premiere included former U.S. Congressman Allen West, 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, and media personalities, ministers and civil rights activists. SRN V.P. news & talk Tom Tradup says the film is “a groundbreaking documentary that examines self-empowerment and individualism of black conservatives in a compelling, eye-opening perspective.” Elder will talk about the film on FOX News Channel this evening (6/22) when he’s interviewed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Independent Broadcasters Association Momentum Growing. The movement to create the Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) is continuing to grow and is approaching its stated goal of 3,000 member stations. The IBA announces that an additional 600 outlets have joined during the past week. The movement was launched by Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone when he reached out to 4,000 radio stations gauging their interest in the association. Stone says, “The momentum we are seeing is incredible. We are now up to 424 owners and operators and 2,395 stations. It takes time to build any organization as we all know. To see this kind of growth every week it screams volumes of how much independents need the help this association can deliver. We are going to hit our goal for sure… and very few independents will shy away once the organization is formed and they realize the benefits. It would not surprise me to ultimately have most of the 7,000 independents participating. Our future is in our own hands and we have to make the right choices now.” Stone says benefits of membership in the organization could include: Group Employee Benefits – better coverage and lower prices, and potentially add additional benefits for our employees; Revenue Generation – An unwired network & digital platform supported by a national sales team to monetize for us; Digital Services Group – This would enable continuity across independent stations giving us the opportunity to accomplish double digit digital revenue through Web, Mobile, Alexa, & Streaming; Shared Resources – A system that allows sharing of that talent in non-competitive situations and reduces our dependence on national syndication that requires cash, barter and sometimes both; and Proprietary Systems and Services – Under the umbrella of a member owned association, we can create proprietary systems that we control and eliminate some of the costly monthly per station fees for traffic, accounting, CRM, Yield Management, even automation and music scheduling. Interested stations can visit the IBA website here.

QGoLive RV Radio Road Trip Seeks Affiliate Stations. The RV pictured above is the vehicle QGoLive’s James Copeland is using to tour the country visiting radio stations offering demos of the QGoLive software that enables studio-quality audio from anywhere on any smartphone or computer. AdLarge Media is serving as affiliate sales rep for the service and it notes that QGoLive is already serving more than 100 stations around the country and recently added affiliates such as Cenla Broadcasting of Alexandria, Louisiana; Jam Media; and classic hits WATH-AM and CHR WXTQ-FM, Athens, Ohio. AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman says, “Our QGoLive team are experts in remote broadcasting software. James is on the road to get the word out and to help all operators, large and small, equip their entire team and contributors with remote capabilities. The pandemic has taught us all that radio needs easy solutions for broadcasting from home that sounds great. QGoLive delivers just that, but we can be so much more as broadcasters open up to our new reality”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Saturday, June 27, Global Citizen and the European Commission will present “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert” hosted by Dwayne Johnson and featuring performances by Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Quavo, J Balvin, Chloe x Halle, Yemi Alade, and Christine and the Queens. The concert will air on 150 iHeartMedia radio stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app. The purpose of the event is to “combat the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities and to call on world leaders to make COVID-19 tests, therapeutics and vaccines available for everyone, everywhere.”…..Bonneville’s classic rock KUFX, San Jose “98.5 KFOX” officially announces its new morning show “San Jose’s Great Radio Experiment” featuring Joey V, Chris Jackson, and Karina Farias. Station director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Congratulations to Chris Jackson, celebrating 30 years of rock radio excellence on KFOX.  Joey, Chris and Karina’s unique chemistry has already resonated with rock fans all over the South Bay.”…..Reach Media nationally syndicated radio host D.L. Hughley is in quarantine in Nashville after passing out on stage during a performance. While being treated, Hughley was tested for COVID-19 and the result was positive. Hughley said via social media that he was asymptomatic….. Beasley Media Group Detroit radio personalities Mason and Angie Star (WDMK “105.9 KISS-FM), Gello (WMGC “105.1 The Bounce”) and Randi Myles from “The Detroit Praise Network” are hosting a Zoom conference call with community leaders to discuss ways to bridge the gap between residents and the police department to create “Solutions Not Slogans.” The event will take place on Thursday (6/25) at 7:00 pm and will feature Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Washtenaw Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Shiefield, Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, and Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren.