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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

| September 20, 2022

Streaming Has Saved Talk Radio. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the ways in which digital audio – streaming and podcasts – has “given talk radio life beyond what could have been imagined years ago.” She adds, “When a buyer asks me to send him a ranker, I have a pretty good idea of his age. Shouldn’t the question be: Tell me about your top five clients and how long they have been with you?  Doesn’t that more accurately show the client your success rate?” And the reason that’s a better question is because of the different ways people are accessing talk radio these days. Read her column here.

The Ramsey Show Celebrates 30th Anniversary On Air. The nationally syndicated program “The Ramsey Show” is celebrating its 30th anniversary on the radio. The program was founded by Dave Ramsey whose core message of living life debt free has “helped millions of listeners by giving practical answers to callers’ questions about money, careers, relationships and mental wellness.” Dave Ramsey, CEO of Ramsey Solutions, says, “I always want listeners to come away with a sense of power over their situation. Over three decades of taking calls, I’ve watched millions of people get out of debt, find jobs they love, have healthier marriages, become millionaires, and ultimately live better, more peaceful lives. That’s what the show is about — providing REAL hope.” See the show’s YouTube channel trailer here.

FOX News Digital Continues to Lead Multiplatform Minutes and Views. According to the most recent data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished the August 2022 period as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views. FOX News Digital says that this marks 18 consecutive months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes and three consecutive months as the leading news brand with multiplatform views. FOX News Digital closed out August reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes – compared to CNN.com with 2.3 billion and NYTimes.com with 1.3 billion. FOX News Digital also wins in multiplatform views with 1.5 billion, compared to CNN.com’s 1.36 billion and NYTimes.com’s 1.32 billion. In the category of multiplatform unique visitors – the digital version of radio’s cume – FOX News Digital comes in third place with 77.5 billion. CNN.com wins that measurement with 116 billion followed by NYTimes.com with 83.5 billion.

Cumulus Announces Programming Promotions in Syracuse. At the Syracuse cluster, Cumulus Media announces the promotion of programming staffers to expanded roles within its four-station group. On the spoken-word side, Joe DeTomaso – program director, content production manager and midday host for alternative rock WAQX-FM “95X” – takes on programming duties for sports talk WSKO-AM “The Score 1260.” He says, “I’m excited to add ‘The Score 1260’ to my programming duties here in Syracuse. We will continue to expand our audiences on both ‘The Score 1260’ and WAQX in the digital footprint thru outstanding relevant local content.”

Tyler Polumbus Exits KKFN-FM, Denver. According to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver, Tyler Polumbus exits Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan” as his contract was not renewed. Polumbus was co-host of “The Drive” alongside with Darren “Dmac” McKee.  He tweeted, “My contract at The Fan has come to an end. Thank you to all of the listeners that made the last three years a joy. We laughed and created memories, we consoled each other through the Broncos rough years, and together we did so much good through Pedal with Polumbus to beat Ovarian Cancer. I won’t name all my colleagues that will forever be a part of my life but you guys know who you are. I love you guys.” This comes a week after evening co-host Sandy Clough retired from his full-time gig with the station after a 25-year career with “The Fan.” Clough co-hosted with Shawn Drotar, who will remain with KKFN-FM in a yet-to-be-announced capacity.

G Audio Networks Enters into Deal to Rep SPARC Media Hub. This new deal between G Audio Networks, a Gen Media Partners company, and SPARC Media Hub means G Audio Networks will offer radio stations the ability to use the SPARC Media Hub radio station workflow system on a barter basis. G Audio Networks chief development officer Rich O’Brien states, “Every day, SPARC Media Hub continues to develop its product to be the best workflow system available. Using customer feedback, researching the latest trends in media, and always thinking ‘what’s next?’ are just some of the pillars that make SPARC a leading-edge product in the industry. We’re very excited about bringing this superior product to radio stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated, Atlanta-based talk host Erick Erickson hosted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on his program yesterday (9/19) in what was the governor’s first national radio interview in the aftermath of the transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the release of two special episodes of the “Sound, Sobriety & Success” podcast hosted by rock journalist and former MTV host Matt Pinfield in recognition of Sobriety Awareness Month in September. The first of the two new episodes features AJ McLean, actor, dancer, and Grammy-winning singer of the Backstreet Boys. McLean shares his journey from addiction to recovery, the highlights of performing, and how getting sober has improved his music and changed his perspective. In the second new episode, Pinfield talks to Chrissy Metz, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and singer known for her portrayal of Kate Pierce on NBC’s award-winning TV series “This is Us.”…..AdLarge announces it has entered into an ad sales partnership with Eeriecast, The Horror Podcast Network. AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the audio ad sales for the Eeriecast network dedicated to horror-themed content.

Immigration/Migrant Flights, Inflation/Financial Markets, Trump Documents Case, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Fiona, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The immigration problems at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants to Democrat-leaning cities & investigations into the legality of the moves; the stubborn rate of inflation and Wall Street’s nervousness over the looming Fed interest rate hike decision; the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; the destruction in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Fiona; and the conflicting opinions about COVID-19 by President Joe Biden and Dr. Tony Fauci were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

| April 6, 2021

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Names Skyler Cooper ‘Evening News’ Host. Nine-year KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa staffer Skyler Cooper rises from his reporter position to a new role as the host of the “KRMG Evening News” that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm weeknights. Station director of branding and programming Levi May says, “The ‘KRMG Evening News’ has a great history of hosts informing and entertaining Tulsa’s radio audience on their drive home. Skyler’s the perfect local host to carry on this tradition.” Cooper is a Tulsa native who began his career with the Cox Media Group station as a part-time board operator and moved up through the ranks. During his nine years with the station, he’s covered the construction and opening of the Gathering Place, the historic 2019 Arkansas River flood, tornadic weather, and the tragic shooting of two Tulsa Police Department officers in 2020. He says, “I am beyond excited to take on this new challenge and I am looking forward to working with the ‘KRMG Evening News’ team. It’s such a thrill to work for the most powerful radio station in Oklahoma and it’s right here in my hometown!” Cooper replaces Dick Loftin who served as the “KRMG Evening News” host for eight years.

Larry Blumhagen to Lead Cumulus Media San Francisco. Radio sales and management pro Larry Blumhagen is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group that includes news/talk KGO, news/talk KSFO, sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, and classic rock KSAN-FM. He takes over for Doug Harvill, who announced his retirement from the industry in January. Blumhagen was most recently VP and director of sales for Audacy Los Angeles. Cumulus EVP of operations Dave Milner says, “Larry brings a strategic mind focused on building successful sales organizations and positive cultures. Aligning his exceptional leadership abilities and deep knowledge of the San Francisco market with our talented team and strong brands is a winning combination.” Blumhagen comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to return to San Francisco and to join the exceptional team at Cumulus Media. Leading these great brands forward while meeting the needs of both our listeners and advertisers will be an exciting journey. I’m fortunate to be stepping into Doug Harvill’s shoes, as I know first-hand that he is a man of deep integrity and immense passion for the industry.”

‘The Dana Show’ Announces New Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch – adds a number of new affiliate stations. Syndicator Radio America reports that “The Dana Show” recently replaced “The Rush Limbaugh Show” on KURV-AM, McAllen-Brownsville, Texas; KJNO-AM/FM Juneau, Alaska; and KJMT-FM, Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Other stations to recently add the program to their lineups include: KERN-AM, Bakersfield; KYUL-AM & KIUL-AM Wichita; and KGYN, Guymon, Oklahoma.

Sebastian Gorka’s ‘Reality Check’ Debuts on Newsmax TV This Sunday. Former Trump White House strategist and deputy assistant – and current Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host – Sebastian Gorka’s new television show on Newsmax TV debuts this Sunday (4/11) at 7:00 pm ET (with a rebroadcast at 10:00 pm ET). The program is called “The Gorka Reality Check” and Gorka says, “Newsmax is the new force for truth in the face of a morally bankrupt legacy media and I am honored to join Chris Ruddy’s sterling team. There is a good reason that Newsmax’s daily shows are scaring legacy competitors, and our new weekly show, ‘The Gorka Reality Check,’ will reveal the truth behind the most important stories our loyal viewers need to be aware of in order to stop the radical Left.”

Martha Zoller’s Show Expands on WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Martha Zoller’s talk show on Jacobs Media’s news/talk WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia is getting a new name and another hour of air time. The AJC’s Rodney Ho reports that the station’s program changes in the aftermath of the death of 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk legend Rush Limbaugh include the expansion of Zoller’s program. While the early afternoon daypart previously occupied by Limbaugh is being filled by syndicated radio personality Todd Starnes, Zoller’s show grows from one to two hours and now airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily. It’s also changing its title from “Morning Talk with Martha Zoller” to “The Martha Zoller Show.”

The Mightier 1090’s “Kaplan & Crew” Airing on So Cal Cable TV. According to a story in the Times of San Diego, best of segments of the XEPRS-AM “The Mightier 1090” afternoon drive show “Kaplan & Crew” are being featured in an hourlong program airing from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly on Cox Communications’ regional cable channel “YurView.” Scott Kaplan, along with co-hosts John Browner and Alex Padilla, re-joined XEPRS for its re-launch in August of last year. The station’s previous operator Broadcast Company of the Americas lost its lease with XEPRS’ owner and Flagstaff, Arizona-based advertising executive Bill Hagen began the process of bringing “The Mightier 1090” back to the airwaves. Kaplan tells the Times, “We are stoked to add TV as a distribution platform. Two years ago, we were heard exclusively on radio, then we evolved into a podcast broadcasting on terrestrial radio and now cable TV. I am excited to share with the Cox viewers our brand of sports and life talk. Thankfully, my man Bill Hagen revived 1090, who has been instrumental in our growth, and getting us onto televisions throughout the mega market.”

Former Nielsen PPM Panelist Sues Ratings Company for Revealing His Identity in Bubba the Love Sponge Ratings Manipulation Case. A report in the Tampa Bay Times indicates that the rabid fans of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge forced Nicolas Tabachuk and his family to move out of Florida after his identity was revealed along with this role in outing Bubba in a PPM ratings manipulation scheme. Tabachuk is suing Nielsen in Pinellas County, Florida complaining that the company promised to keep his identity hidden but failed to do so. This suit stems from the 2015 case in which Nielsen sued Bubba the Love Sponge for paying a PPM panelist to tune in to the show. Bubba and Nielsen settled that suit for an undisclosed amount. This suit claims that after promising to keep Tabachuk’s identity secret, Nielsen revealed it to Bubba during a meeting with him. It goes on to claim that Bubba’s fans harassed Tabachuk with death threats, rape threats and stalking, hacking his social media accounts, showing up to his home and the home of his parents. The suit is seeking in excess of $30,000 from Nielsen. Bubba the Love Sponge is not named in the suit.

WWO: Podcasting Accounts for All the Growth in Audio. Using data from Edison Research’s Q4 2020 edition of the Share of Ear study, this week’s Westwood One blog observes what it calls “stunning news” – that “for the first time, audience shares for podcasting surpassed the combined audiences of ad-supported Pandora and ad-supported Spotify.” Some of the takeaways from this blog report include: AM/FM radio’s 74% share of ad-supported audio is 11 times bigger than Pandora’s and 19 times larger than Spotify’s; adding podcasts and AM/FM radio streaming generates incremental reach to over-the-air AM/FM radio media plans; and podcasting now accounts for all the growth in audio. A four-year comparison of Share of Ear  data reveals ad-supported Pandora and Spotify shares have dropped from a 12% share in 2016 to a 11% share in 2020. Over the same period, podcast shares increased 4 times, 3% to 12%. See the Westwood One blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Syracuse.com, radio sales and management pro Rick Yacobush has come out of retirement to join the sales and marketing team at Cumulus Media’s Syracuse cluster as a senior account executive. Yacobush has worked for more than 42 years in the Central New York radio market. The Cumulus cluster in Syracuse includes sports talk WSKO-AM and three music brands…..New York Times bestselling author and TV personality Nicole Lapin announces the launch of her new daily financial podcast, “Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin,” distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. The podcast is a call-in style financial podcast “that demystifies money topics for everyday people.” Each week, Lapin invites a listener to come onto the show for a one-on-one “listener intervention,” where she has an extended conversation with the listener about a money issue and gives them advice so they can “rehab” their finances…..Audacy’s Cadence13 and NBA veteran JJ Redick and Tommy Alter’s ThreeFourTwo Productions unveil “FAIRGAME,” a limited-run podcast series hosted by former world No. 1 champion golfer Adam Scott in which “he’ll take listeners inside the ropes to provide a never-before-heard account of what it takes to compete at the game’s most prominent event, the 2021 Masters Tournament.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 85th Masters Tournament from Wednesday (4/7) through Sunday (4/11). Each day during the tournament, Westwood One will offer two-minute-long leader board updates and breaking news reports at :16 and :46 past the hour for a total of 102 updates throughout the Masters. In addition, Westwood One Sports will air “The Masters Tonight,” an hour-long show featuring highlights, player audio, and more to recap the day’s events, hosted by Kevin Kugler with former PGA Tour player Charlie Rymer…..The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announces it has partnered with Cumulus Media’s KCSF-AM, Colorado Springs “XTRA Sports 1300” to broadcast Switchbacks games in 2021. KCSF-AM program director and afternoon drive host Ryan Kaufman will handle play-by-play duties. He’d served as TV play-by-play announcer since 2018.

COVID-19, Biden Infrastructure Plan, Border Troubles/Immigration Policy, Derek Chauvin Trial, Voting Rights/MLB Moves All-Star Game, Matt Gaetz Investigation, Hunter Biden Book, Credit Suisse Loss, and Netanyahu Corruption Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the spread of the variants, and the rollout of vaccines; President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan; the problem of large numbers of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the new voting laws in Georgia, the Democrats’ federal voting rights bill, and the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game out of Atlanta in response; the investigation into allegations of sex with a minor against Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz; the new book by Hunter Biden that details his addiction troubles and more; Credit Suisse loses $4.7 billion after a hedge fund collapses; and the corruption trial facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.