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Friday, August 5, 2022

| August 5, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mixed Messages,” looks back at this past week of 8/1 to 8/5. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Jack Heath, talk show host, The Pulse of NH, New Hampshire; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TV. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

iHeartMedia Q2 2022 Revenue Up 10.7%. The company reports that its 2022 second quarter consolidated revenue was $954 million, an increase of 10.7% over the same period in 2021. For the quarter, iHeartMedia posted net income of $15.2 million compared with the net loss of $32 million it reported for Q2 of 2021. iHeartMedia reports financial data in three segments: the Multiplatform Group (broadcast, networks, and sponsorships & events), Digital Audio Group, and Audio & Media Services Group. The company says revenue from the Multiplatform Group increased $27.5 million, or 4.5% year-over-year, primarily as a result of the continued recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadcast revenue grew $12.2 million, or 2.7%, driven by higher spot revenue and political advertising revenue as 2022 is a midterm election year, partially offset by lower trade and barter revenue due to the impact of the timing of the iHeartRadio Music Awards show, while Networks grew $3.9 million, or 3.2%. Revenue from Sponsorship and Events increased by $9.5 million, or 33.2%, primarily as a result of the return of live events. Revenue from iHM’s Digital Audio Group increased $54.6 million, or 27.6% compared to the same period in 2021. Digital, excluding podcast revenue, grew $22.4 million, or 15.5%, driven by increased demand for digital advertising. Podcast revenue increased by $32.3 million, or 60.4%, driven by higher revenues from the development of new podcasts as well as growth from existing podcasts. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of solid results for iHeart in terms of consumer usage, revenue and earnings growth and, most importantly, strong free cash flow generation. The Digital Audio Group continues to deliver industry-leading growth, and our Multiplatform Group continues to demonstrate that it is a growth engine for the company as well. As the #1 audio company in America across broadcast radio, digital radio and podcasting – and the largest consumer reach audio company in the U.S. by far, we remain committed to building our businesses for future growth and continuing to deliver both trusted companionship to our listeners and significant and unique value to our advertising partners.”

Audacy Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5%. Citing “declining macroeconomic conditions,” Audacy reports net revenue of $319.4 million, an increase of 5% over the same period in 2021. The company says that core spot revenue was $200.5 million – flat compared to the second quarter of 2021, and digital revenue was $69.3 million, up 19% compared to the second quarter of 2021. The company reports a net loss of $773,000 in Q2 of 2022 compared to the net income of $1.4 million it reported during the same period a year ago. Audacy breaks down its revenue by format categories and says that the news/talk category revenue (news/talk and all-news stations) was $51.8 million, an increase of 4.2% over the same period in 2021. Audacy president and CEO David Field comments, “After a very strong first quarter in which we grew revenues by 14% and significantly increased margin, our second quarter results were adversely impacted by declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds which reduced our top line growth to 5%. While we navigate the turbulent current market conditions, we are excited by our future growth potential across our scaled, multi-platform businesses, capitalizing on a number of important recent developments that include an enhanced national sales organization, expanded podcast and streaming audio networks, and during the second half of this year, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform and ad tech capabilities that will enable us to unlock pools of ad demand and supply that we can’t effectively monetize today. Our transformational development over the past couple of years has meaningfully enhanced our competitive position, strengthening our capacity to serve listeners and customers and enabling a powerful set of opportunities for revenue and EBITDA growth in the dynamically growing audio market.”

Audacy Gets Listing Standards Notice from NYSE. The company received notification from the New York Stock Exchange that its Class A common stock is not in compliance with the exchange’s continued listing standard requiring a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share over 30 consecutive trading days. The notice does not result in the immediate delisting of the common stock from the NYSE. Audacy says it plans to notify the NYSE that it intends to regain compliance and is considering all available options that are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. Audacy can regain compliance during a six-month cure period if, on the last trading day of any calendar month during the cure period, the common stock has a closing share price of at least $1.00 and an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over the 30 trading-day period ending on the last trading day of that month.

Salem Media Group Revenue Climbs 7.7% in Second Quarter of 2022. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Salem Media Group reveals total revenue of $68.7 million, an increase of 7.7% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $9.1 million, an increase of more than 300% from the net income of $2.25 million reported in the second quarter of 2021. Salem reports in three segments: Broadcast, Digital Media, and Publishing and for Q2 of 2022, net broadcast revenue increased 12.1% to $52.5 million. Digital Media revenue increased 4.5% to $10.8 million, while Publishing revenue decreased 18.5% to $5.4 million.

Saga Communications Second Quarter Net Revenue Up 6.3%. For the second quarter of 2022, Saga Communications, Inc posts net revenue of $29.8 million, an increase of 6.3% over the same period in 2021. Station operating income increased 10.6% to $9.3 million and operating income was $5.4 million compared to $4.6 million for the same quarter last year. Free cash flow was $3.2 million in Q2 of 2022 compared to $4.2 million for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter were $2.6 million compared to $921 thousand for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter included the $1.1 million purchase of a building in Norfolk, Virginia that will replace the company’s existing leased studio and office facility. Saga reports net income of $3.8 million for the second quarter of 2022 compared to net income of $3.3 million for the same period a year ago.

Audacy and CBS Sports Digital Patner for Content Distribution and Ad Sales. This exclusive, multi-year deal between Audacy and CBS Sports Digital makes Audacy the exclusive, ad sales and distribution partner for CBS Sports’ network of sports podcasts. The press release states that CBS Sports Digital has grown to reach more than 90 million monthly active users, making it the second-largest sports group in the U.S, and with more than 65 shows and nearly 100 million downloads in 2021. Audacy EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with CBS Sports in the podcasting space – properties I know well from my time spent there. Adding this family of content to our roster provides Audacy with a number of the leading sports, fantasy sports and betting podcasts, areas we have enjoyed significant success to date and are important to our clients.  This partnership could not come at a better time with football season fast approaching.”

TALKERS News Notes. The John Fredericks Media Network announces a programming agreement for the newest member of its growing portfolio of radio stations as the network’s programming is now airing on Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation’s WTJZ-AM, Portsmouth, Virginia. JFMN chief operating officer Anne Fredericks says, “The Norfolk market is critical to our Virginia network as it represents the biggest U.S. naval base in the world at a very uncertain time for our nation’s Navy personnel. The uncertainty of potential hostility in the Asian perimeter and the South China sea makes this opportunity more important than ever. We will continue to provide all our listeners with extensive and in-depth coverage of China’s military and economic moves in the area, as well as top-flight analysis of the evolving events.”…..FOX Sports Radio’s LaVar Arrington announces an addition to his Up On Game Presents podcast lineup as musician, songwriter and creative director Flash Garments launches the “Under Appreciated with Flash Garments” show. Arrington says, “We’re super excited to have Flash Garments join the Up On Game Presents lineup with the launch of his ‘Under Appreciated’ podcast. Flash knows everybody, is very well respected, and has a lot to say! I think listeners will really enjoy this inspiring and enlightening program, and we look forward to sharing it with our audience every Friday!”…..WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro has been filling in this week for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dawn Stensland on her 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..The GCN-syndicated program “Classic Radio Theater with Wyatt Cox” adds new affiliate stations as KVOE-AM, Emporia, Kansas and KGEZ-AM, Kalispell, Montana adds the show to their program schedules. Cox comments, “I grew up on Sunnyslope Street in Emporia and listened to KVOE, enjoying some of the great music of the 60s and the fun personalities like the late Roger Hartsook. It’s a source of pride to be back in Emporia, if just virtually, every weekday.”

Video Tribute to Rich Stevens. The radio personality died on July 30 after suffering a heart attack. Rich Stevens enjoyed a career in music radio as well as in the talk radio format, hosting a program on Hubbard Radio’s WFTL, Fort Lauderdale. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo put together a tribute video that you can see here.

The Economy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 1-5. The state of the U.S. economy – the still-high cost of food and gasoline and the threat of a recession – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between partisan politics, the elections, and abortion rights, followed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan tied with the related U.S.-China relations at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Friday, July 22, 2022

| July 22, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Hot! Hot! Hot!” looks back at this past week of 7/18 to 7/22. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; John DePetro, talk show host WNRI, Woonsocket, RI; Hal Row, talk show host, Hickory, NC; Tim Van Horn, talk show host. KWAM, Memphis; and Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is 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.

 

Telstar and Me: July 23, 1962. Tomorrow (7/23) is the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast on the satellite called Telstar 1. Longtime radio personality and voice performer Mark Wainwright wrote about the launch and first broadcast using Telstar in a piece TALKERS published first in 2020. Wainwright has updated this piece for the 60th anniversary. He says that although the idea of worldwide video transmission is nothing extraordinary these days, back in 1962 it was the stuff of science fiction. He writes, “By the early 1960s, live worldwide radio had been around for decades. With a combination of shortwave transmission and some intricate international phone links, you could get a radio broadcast from just about anywhere to just about anyplace. There were limitations, and the audio quality wasn’t great, but it could usually be done. The bandwidth demands of “broadcast-quality” television, however, were a much higher hurdle.” Read the whole story here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A new live presentation from the RAB features J.D. Power director, global insurance intelligence Robert Lajdziak providing the current state of mind of automotive insurers and what drives customer satisfaction. The July 27 presentation – free for RAB members – takes place at 1:00 pm ET. Lajdziak will also share what broadcasters need to know to aid and prospect in the category…..FOX News Media expands distribution of its direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service FOX Nation across live TV streaming platform FuboTV. FOX Nation president Jason Klarman says, “We’re delighted to partner with FuboTV to offer FOX Nation as part of their growing content offering and bring our loyal audience more ways to access the wide variety of signature content that they crave.”…..Noted talk media commentator and Trends Journal publisher Gerald Celente is organizing Occupy Peace’s “Peace & Freedom Rally” tomorrow (7/23) at 2:00 pm in Kingston, New York, where, he says, “the seed of democracy was sown.” Celente says the mission of the rally is “to reverse the negative trends of ongoing wars, hatred and destruction… and bring Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.” He adds that the event is in honor of America’s first president and true warrior, George Washington. The country’s first president, in his farewell address, said the U.S. should “observe good faith and justice towards all nations: cultivate peace and harmony with all.” Get more information about the rally by contacting Jane Campbell via email: janecampbell@occupypeace.com.

 

January 6 Committee Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 18-22. The January 6 Committee hearings and the related trial of former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon combined as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race, followed by the issue of high violent crime rates in America’s major cities tied with gun control at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

 

 

 

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

Thursday, July 14, 2022

| July 14, 2022

KFNX, Phoenix Owner Bill Brady is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The veteran radio broadcaster who rolled up his sleeves in 2019 and fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning and operating a radio station by acquiring news/talker KFNX (1100 AM) in Phoenix is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Michael Harrison has known and closely followed the solid career of Bill Brady since hiring him as program director and afternoon drive host at WSPR, Springfield in 1986. Harrison says, “Bill Brady is one of the smartest, most-talented, and dedicated talk radio broadcasters on either side of the microphone that I have ever met, and I’m delighted to have him on the podcast this week to talk about hosting and managing in 2022.” In his steadfast career, Brady served in a number of key industry positions on air and in sales management in large market radio and television as well as the newspaper business. His resume includes stints with Clear Channel Radio, Citadel Communications, Comcast and the Miami Herald. His radio background includes the aforementioned WSPR, Springfield; WQBK, Albany and WPRO, Providence among others. When Brady purchased KFNX right before the pandemic hit, he vowed to upgrade the Phoenix talk outlet to competitor status by eliminating much of its brokered clutter, adding high-caliber syndication and local shows (including his own 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily program) bolstering the sales initiative, instituting a modern expansion of its digital presence and growing its community involvement and outreach. He is well on his way to achieving his goals. News/talk radio practitioners will find this interview illuminating. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Cary Pahigian Named VP/GM of Salem News Channel. Broadcasting industry management pro Cary Pahigian is named vice president and general manager for Salem Media Group’s Salem News Channel (SNC), effective July 18. Pahigian was most recently president and GM for Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM and rock WIYY-FM in Baltimore. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Cary has been an active, hands-on executive in radio for years, but his last eight years at Hearst Television prepared him well for the burgeoning OTT television market. In Cary we have a strong experienced general manager, who will help us get SNC to the next level. Cary was ready for the next adventure in his long and storied career, and we are extremely fortunate to have that opportunity to give him.” Salem says the new SNC platform “is providing news-oriented content using a combination of Salem Radio Network hosts, and new TV-only content, and recently began top- and bottom-of-the-hour news capsules.” Pahigian will supervise all elements of production on the network including talent, content, sales, marketing, and social media. He comments, “I have long admired Salem Media Group’s unique culture and dedication to community service, quality content and client partnerships. Salem News Channel has put Salem Media Group front and center in the fast-growing video streaming arena with a lineup of prominent hosts and straightforward news and analysis.”

Round Two of June PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s June 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s June 2022 sweep covered May 26 – June 22. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM adds two-tenths for a 4.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish lifting it up to the #7 rank, while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP falls nine-tenths to a 6.9 share but remains ranked #3. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston dips eight-tenths to finish with a 3.4 share good for the #11 rank as sister all-news WBZ-AM is steady at a 4.8 share and stays ranked #6. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM is ranked #1 after adding four-tenths for a 7.3 share finish, while Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM falls six-tenths for a 3.3 share finish good for the #14 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as yesterday’s round one) here.

Beasley Unveils New PM Drive Show for ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ in Philly. The new afternoon drive show at Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” is announced. In the wake of longtime PM drive host Mike Missanelli’s May departure, the station unveils “The Best Show Ever?” featuring (pictured from l-r) former MLB pitcher and NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Ricky Bottalico, digital sports media influencer Hunter Brody, air personality Jennifer Scordo, and current “Fanatic” personality Tyrone Johnson. The 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program that will be simulcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia debuts on August 1. Beasley VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “When you put long time ‘Fanatic’ personality Tyrone Johnson together with social media star Hunter Brody and former Phillies pitcher Ricky Bottalico, then mix in ‘Ring Master’ Jenn Scordo, you’re going to have some exciting afternoons on ‘The Fanatic.’” Station PD Chuck Damico adds, “Philadelphia fans are the best fans ever and they deserve ‘The Best Show Ever?’ We look forward to this diverse group of passionate sports experts providing some of the most entertaining sports talk in Philadelphia.”

Morgan Zegers Latest Addition to Salem Podcast Network. The latest addition to Salem Media Group’s growing slate of programs on its Salem Podcast Network is Morgan Zegers. Her eponymous podcast officially joins the platform on July 18. Salem Media Group VP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “When we talk to consumers about podcasts, they keep telling us to give them more young, female hosts. Morgan is a perfect example of the nation’s young females taking a stand in favor of America, and we could not be more pleased to add her to SPN.” The 25-year-old Zegers comments, “I am so honored to join the Salem Podcast Network with my show highlighting key issues and events in our nation from the perspective of a young conservative woman. Americans, especially members of my generation, are sold a heap of lies by our education system, media, and pop culture. To get America back on track, we must embrace our roots, rethink education and leadership, and take back control of ourselves, our families, and our country. I hope to inspire my listeners to join into this hopeful and mindful American mentality! I’m thankful to Salem for giving me the opportunity to grow with their support.”

Wayne Allyn Root Featured at FreedomFest Convention. Las Vegas-based, USA Radio Network-syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root is playing a couple of roles at this week’s FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas. The event, billed as “a big tent event that strives for attendees to come to a deeper understanding of freedom and important social issues through open conversations, debate and civil discourse by bringing together a variety of perspectives” will include Root on a Saturday (7/16) panel debate exploring the question “Was the 2020 election stolen and is Trump the best choice for the 2024 GOP nomination?” Root will also serve as the “judge” during a debate over the legalization of drugs.  Root tells TALKERS magazine that on Saturday he will also announce not one, but two TV deals he has signed.

Cox Media Group Sells CoxReps and Gamut. Noting that this sale will allow Cox Media Group to “focus on our core businesses,” the company announces it is selling national television rep firm CoxReps and multiplatform ad firm Gamut to private equity firm One Equity Partners. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. OEP managing director Andrew Dunn states, “OEP is thrilled to begin its investment partnership with these two superb teams leading two companies at the forefront of the television advertising and digital streaming industries. While both CoxReps and Gamut are leaders in their respective markets, and will continue to operate as sibling companies, we expect to foster even greater collaboration between them, increasing the flow of advertising dollars into local video. We will assist these efforts with increasing investment in technology and by capitalizing on OEP’s own deep expertise in the media industry.”

Industry Mourns Tanita Myers. Radio programming pro Tanita Myers – VP of news operations for iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network – died unexpectedly at age 49 on Tuesday (7/12). The Black Information Network posted news of her death on its website, including part of a memo from BIN president Tony Coles, who wrote: “Tanita was a passionate leader, a champion of women in journalism, and one of the driving forces behind the Black Information Network. We are a better organization because of her dedication to our mission, and we are better humans because of her love, her humor, and her spirit. While she took great pride in her work, it was her friends and family who brought her the most joy. Tanita’s smile always got a bit brighter when she spoke about her mom and her son Brandon.” Myers joined iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network in June 2020, following 15 years at Reach Media where she was senior director of radio operations. She previously served as director of operations for “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and executive producer of “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island midday talk host John DePetro is now also heard on Audacy’s WPHT, Philadelphia on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. In addition to his radio work, DePetro is a frequent contributor to Newsmax TV…..The Independent Broadcasters Association announced it will conduct the IBA Fall 2022 National Cash Contest, its fifth since the birth of the IBA in 2020. IBA president and executive director Ron Stone says, “We fully expect this upcoming IBA National Cash Contest to be the most successful campaign we’ve done so far! IBA member stations invest $300 to leverage thousands of prize monies, making this the best ratings and revenue opportunity ever presented. But remember, stations must be an IBA member to participate. Nearly $3 million in sponsorship revenue has been generated for participating IBA member stations thus far, with an average of 14.7 to 1 ROI.”…..The Society of Broadcast Engineers is holding its national meeting, awards dinner, board of directors and committee meetings at the Ramada by Wyndham in Liverpool, New York on September 28 and 29. The event includes the SBE22 Broadcast and Technology Expo with a trade show exhibit hall and technical sessions.

The Economy, Biden in Middle East, January 6 Hearings, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Southern Border Crisis, Russia-Ukraine War, Abortion Battle, Musk vs Twitter, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13). The latest inflation report, pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates again, and fears of a recession; President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East; the ongoing January 6 hearings; November’s midterms elections and speculation about who the nominees will be for the 2024 presidential race; the migrant problem at the U.S.-Mexico border; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s potential arms deal with Iran; the abortion rights battles at the state level after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v Wade; Elon Musk’s legal battle with Twitter over his canceled takeover bid; and the spread of the coronavirus BA.5 variant were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, March 14, 2022

| March 14, 2022

Monday Memo: Your Egg-Timer? “Baseball stations: Exhale!” As Spring Training is underway and with Opening Day now April 7, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “we need this,” as we’re shocked by the Ukraine crisis and suffering inflation. And in this week’s column, HC shares a revered baseball announcer’s simple trick “that can help radio matter more as listeners cope.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Happy Mother’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa is predicting “one of the biggest Mother’s Day sales cycles on record.” He says that professional sellers are already prepping for it because they fully understand the importance of “planning, organization, focus and adjustment.” Read his column here.

 

Michael Harrison Interviews John DePetro from Poland Near Ukraine Border. As reported in TALKERS last week, WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro has taken his independent program live to Rzeszow, Poland – the closest city with an airport near the border with Ukraine. He landed there last Monday (3/7) and has been sending back live feeds since his arrival interviewing Ukrainian refugees pouring over the border by train, as well as local Polish citizens. DePetro has been using a combination of Q-Go Live and basic cell service as well as Facebook live stream to connect with his station and listeners. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison interviewed DePetro on Thursday (3/10) for “The Michael Harrison Wrap.” To listen to that dramatic conversation in its entirety, please click here.

‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis Raises $105k (and counting) for Ukraine Aid. Twin Cities talk outlet KTMY-FM “myTalk 107.1” is partnering with Minnesota-based Alight to raise money that will directly aid refugee care of displaced Ukrainians in Poland. The Hubbard Radio station says that Alight (formerly known as American Refugee Committee) has a team on the ground at the Ukraine border in Poland, assisting refugees with relief items and medical supplies for people fleeing Ukraine. They are providing baby food, diapers, sanitary items, blankets and phone chargers so people can stay connected with loved ones. Alight is offering safe transport for families once inside Poland and secure shelter in Poland. Plus, support for host communities who’ve been openly welcoming Ukrainians. So far, “myTalk 107.1” has raised $105,000 and will continue to solicit donations through this week. KTMY program director Amy Daniels says, “We’ve said it for years, ‘myTalk 107.1’ listeners, we call them ‘myTalkers,’ are the best listeners in the world. Our amazing airstaff has been telling Alight’s story with genuine caring and passion and our listeners have responded and given with full hearts.”

 

Former Atlanta Talk Host Kara Stockton Dies. WSB-TV.com is reporting that former “Talk 106.7” radio personality Kara Stockton died on Thursday evening at the age of 44. Stockton worked on air with Shannon Burke from 2016 to 2019 on the former Cumulus Media talk station (currently contemporary Christian WAKL-FM). After leaving Cumulus, Stockton worked producing the radio show “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” for Sirius XM. The WSB-TV story notes that “family members told the AJC that Stockton had recently had her gallbladder removed and was having liver problems. She also had recently recovered from COVID-19” but indicated in a recent Facebook post a month ago that she was in the hospital dealing with medical complications.

 

 Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Violence, COVID-19, Actor William Hurt Dies, and Tom Brady Returns to the NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the refugee crisis, and relations between Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping; soaring gas prices and the ongoing rise in consumer retail prices; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the increased rate of violent crime and homelessness in America’s urban centers; the tailing off of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the relaxing of mask mandates; actor William Hurt dies at 71; and Tom Brady announces he’s returning to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

| December 8, 2021

Jim Bohannon to Be Inducted into NAB’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Nationally syndicated late-night talk host Jim Bohannon is being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the Achievement in Broadcasting event at NAB Show scheduled for April 23–27, 2022 in Las Vegas. Bohannon’s eponymous Westwood One program is heard on some 300 affiliate stations across the country. Bohannon spent more than 31 years as host of the early morning weekday news magazine, “America in the Morning,” for which he still provides interviews and his feature “The Offbeat.” He previously hosted the weekend news magazine “America This Week.” Bohannon began his radio career in 1960 at KLWT-AM in his hometown of Lebanon, Missouri. Following college and military service during the Vietnam War, he returned to radio in the Washington, D.C. market, covering news at both WTOP-AM and WWRC-AM. He later worked as a morning anchor at WCFL-FM in Chicago and as a freelance reporter for CNN. Bohannon hosted his own Saturday night call-in program starting in 1984 and served as the principal back-up for Larry King on the “Larry King Show.” In February of 1993, Bohannon assumed the full-time role of the late night radio show that was launched by King. Bohannon’s relationship with Westwood One goes back to 1983. He’s anchored newscasts, political conventions and election night coverage in addition to his weekday programs. Bohannon is a recipient of a Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and was named by TALKERS magazine’s editorial board as the 2013 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2003, and into the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2020. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Jim encompasses the spirit of radio. His distinct voice, humor and engaging programs have informed and entertained listeners for 50 years, while addressing historic milestones affecting our nation. I am grateful for his friendship and the opportunities I have had to be a guest on his show. We congratulate Jim on this befitting honor.”

Audacy Launches Sports Betting Station on WMC-AM, Memphis. Heritage Memphis AM signal WMC is being flipped to a sports talk and sports betting format as Audacy unveils “The Bet 790 AM” using content from the BetQL Network and CBS Sports Radio. The changes take place tomorrow (12/9). In addition to sports betting shows, the station will air CBS Sports Radio’s “The Jim Rome Show,” “Andy Gresh” and “Amy Lawrence.” Audacy Memphis SVP and market manager Dan Barron says, “Since launching in January 2020, the BetQL Network has given listeners a destination to obtain quality sports betting information and entertainment, while making them smarter, more well-equipped bettors in the process. We’re thrilled to add that rolodex of content to our portfolio here in Memphis and deliver that one-stop-shop that millions of listeners are enjoying to our local audience.”

iHeartMedia Names Daniel Lenz to SVP of Sales for Milwaukee and Madison. Radio sales pro Daniel Lenz is promoted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee and Madison station groups. The markets include news/talk juggernaut WISN-AM, Milwaukee and WIBA-AM, Madison plus sports talk outlets WRNW-FM, Milwaukee and WTSO, Madison. Lenz was most recently VP of sales for iHM Milwaukee. iHeartMedia area president Jeff Tyler says, “We are thrilled to have a leader with Dan’s knowledge, leadership and credentials to lead the iHeartMedia sales organizations in both Milwaukee and Madison. Dan’s knowledge of the company will provide strong strategic thinking and results for our advertisers.” Lenz comments, “I’ve had a rewarding career in Milwaukee working alongside some really great media professionals and I am excited to take on this new role with iHeartMedia Milwaukee and Madison. I look forward to continuing the success we have established while contributing new ideas and leadership to the team.”

WGN, Chicago Announces Christmas and New Year’s Specialty Programming. WGN Radio announces it will broadcast special holiday programming on Christmas with 27-hours of “Christmas Radio Theatre” hosted by Carl Amari and a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with hosts Steve [King] and Johnnie [Putman] and John Landecker. “Christmas Radio Theatre” is curated by Amari who has selected half-hour holiday-themed selections from old-time radio programs including “Miracle on 34th Street,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Bing Crosby Show,” “The Burns & Allen Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “Our Miss Brooks,” “The Great Gildersleeve,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Nero Wolfe,” and more. In addition to the 27-hour marathon, WGN Radio has added “WGN Radio Theatre with Carl Amari” to its weekend program schedule, airing Sundays 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm beginning December 12. The show will feature programs from radio’s golden age. In the first few weeks, episodes from “The Jack Benny Program,” “Gunsmoke,” “My Favorite Husband” starring Lucille Ball, “Suspense,” and “Fibber McGee and Molly” will be featured. Amari has spent decades licensing and preserving classic radio broadcasts from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, is the curator of the Classic Radio Club, and board member of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. On New Year’s Eve, Steve and Johnnie will host from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by John Landecker, who will lead the countdown to 2022. Steve and Johnnie were heard overnights on WGN Radio for 27 years before signing off in 2011. Landecker is currently heard Mondays through Thursdays, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on WGN Radio.

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Offers $100,000 Reward in Providence Murder Case. According to a story in the Providence Journal, WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who can provide “accurate and  direct” information that is deemed “crucial” to finding the person or persons responsible for the drive-by shooting death of 24-year-old Miya Brophy-Baermann that happened on August 1 of this year. The money is not coming from DePetro himself or the radio station, but apparently from anonymous donors. The Providence Journal piece states, “The situation raises lots of questions that DePetro didn’t answer thoroughly during a brief email exchange. Where exactly is the money? Is the money donated or pledged? If the case goes unsolved for say, 20 years, how would the money be disbursed if someone provides the information and breaks the case? ‘Twenty years from now?’ DePetro said in an email. ‘I admittedly am in new territory here. I will tell you the reward is very real.’ The donors ‘are real and have been vetted,’ he said.”

TALKERS News Notes. The podcast production and distribution deal between Audacy’s Cadence13, and Cosgrove/Meurer Productions – the creators and producers of the Emmy-nominated series “Unsolved Mysteries” is extended. Season two of the “Unsolved Mysteries” podcast, based on the long-running hit television and popular Netflix streaming series, will come back next spring with 40 new episodes. The podcast is narrated by award-winning voice actor Steve French and presents all-new unsolved cases from the vast “Unsolved Mysteries” database – including unsolved crimes, missing persons, fugitives, mysterious creatures, and the paranormal – with each episode taking a deep dive into one specific mystery. Cadence 13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We’re extremely proud of our partnership with Cosgrove/Meurer and the ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ podcast, which became an instant fan favorite with a devoted following of listeners around the world. We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with this iconic show, and look forward to this new season.”…..Premiere Networks and Amy Brown, co-host of iHeartMedia’s “The Bobby Bones Show” and host of the popular “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast, announce the addition of “Here After with Megan Devine” to The Amy Brown Podcast Network. “Here After with Megan Devine” is a weekly podcast guiding listeners through one of the trickiest parts of being human: what to do when life goes horribly wrong. In each episode, best-selling author, psychotherapist, and grief advocate Devine shares her inclusive and realistic approach to grief. Devine says, “Grief is the foundation of being human: from the big losses to the everyday stressors, it’s hard to be here sometimes. I’m excited to use my experience as both a grieving person and a clinician to explore new ways to respond – and survive – when life goes horribly wrong.”

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Biden-Putin Meeting, January 6 Investigation, Jussie Smollett Trial, the GOP and the 2022 Mid-Terms, Kim Potter Trial, Youth Mental Illness Crisis, and FOX Christmas Tree Torched Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). The threat of the new Omicron coronavirus variant and the issue of vaccine mandates; President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the House investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and Donald Trump loyalists who are refusing to cooperate; the trial of actor Jussie Smollett who’s accused of staging an attack on himself and blaming homophobia; Republicans, including former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley via her new book, promoting the party in advance of the 2022 mid-term elections; the manslaughter trial of former cop Kim Potter who killed black motorist Daunte Wright after mistaking her gun for a taser; Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s report on the pandemic-influenced rise in mental health issues among the nation’s youths; and authorities arrest a suspect in the burning of FOX News’ Christmas tree in Midtown Manhattan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.