With just a few weeks until Election Day 2016, Nielsen reports that although most of the political buzz is focused on the presidential candidates, voters in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania could not only be a major part of deciding who wins the White House, but they could also potentially change the balance of power in Congress. To analyze the opportunity radio offers to those running in local and state races, Nielsen matched voter registration data with data from its Portable People Meter (PPM) panel in major markets across the three battleground states. “Radio has the ability to reach more than 16 million voters across the major metropolitan areas of Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania,” notes Nielsen in a just released report. “The upside for candidates and campaigns looking to focus their efforts in the home stretch is radio — a powerful medium that reaches all voters, regardless of their political affiliations.
George Noory, host of Premiere Networks’ Coast To Coast AM and ringmaster of the nightly nationwide discussion of all things unexplained and stuff that makes you go, ‘hmmmmm’ — was a featured guest and panelist at the recently held Lee Harvey Oswald Conference in New Orleans. At the group’s 3rd annual Conference (which is dedicated to conspiracy theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) Noory (left) spoke about how the current race for the White House and the overall political climate is offering increasing support for many of the charges he and fans of the late-night radio talk show have been discussing for years. “What we’ve been talking about [on Coast to Coast AM] for 14-plus years — about conspiracies, about the unknown — it’s proven us to be right,” he told New York Times reporter Campbell Robinson in a feature about the Conference. “These things are real, and they are happening.”
Speaking of the Presidential race (because who isn’t talking about it these days), as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton get set to face-off tonight in Las Vegas for their final scheduled debate before Election Day, the latest campaign ad-tracking by Media Monitors shows Trump has pretty much faded from radio’s airwaves when it comes to campaign advertising. During the monitoring period from October 7th-16th, Media Monitors reports the Trump campaign and other groups supporting his presidential bid aired a total of just 208 radio ads. That contrasts with 15,498 radio ads that aired for Clinton and 84 ads that aired for Libertarian Gary Johnson. On the negative side of politics, during the monitoring period there were 3,483 radio ads aired by groups opposing Trump and 180 ads that aired against Clinton. Meanwhile, Media Monitors showed that both campaigns were very active television advertisers during the latest monitoring period.
Congrats to talk host Stephanie Miller whose book, Sexy Liberal: Of Me I Sing, won the 2016 Wild Card Book Award at the recent Northern California Book Festival. The WYD Media syndicated talk host is also prepping for the last date on this leg of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour that will take place on November 5th at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles. That show will be filmed and broadcast on Election Eve — November 7th — at AMC movie theaters across the country. Find out more HERE … Recently hired WABC/New York Sunday night personality Joey Reynolds got unexpectedly delayed on his way to do his show last weekend. Seems Reynolds got stuck in the elevator at NYC’s Penn Plaza on his way up to the studios, with just 15 minutes to go before airtime. Ironically, Joey had the very same experience several years ago, when he got stuck in an elevator at 1440 Broadway while on his way to do his then nightly show at crosstown WOR. But in these high tech days, this time around Joey took to his iPhone and captured his “ordeal” on video to share. See it HERE. Reynolds’ WABC-based weekend show is scheduled to begin airing next week on sister News/Talker KABC/Los Angeles.
Newsradio 780 and 105.9 WBBM/Chicago Morning Editor Jim Benes was saluted by his colleagues at a party held last Friday (10/14), as the veteran Windy City radio news pro called it a career. Benes joined WBBM back in 1968, just months following the station’s launch as an all-newser.
Cumulus Media and WABC/New York announce a multi-year renewal of the long-running Imus In The Morning show, hosted by Don Imus and his cast of characters. WABC serves as the local flagship for the daily morning show that is also syndicated nationally through Westwood One. “Don Imus is not a media icon, he is much more than that,” said Mike McVay, SVP Content & Programming for Cumulus Media. “He is an American icon. Mr. Imus brings his ‘A’ game every day, and if you miss one day you miss a lot. We’re thrilled to have Don continue with Westwood One, Cumulus and WABC.” A four-time NAB Marconi Award winner and a 1996 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Imus has been heard since the 1970s on NYC radio, first on WNBC, then WFAN, and — for the past nine years — on WABC. As part of his new deal, beginning in January the now 6-10am weekday show will be trimmed by one-hour and will air from 6-9am. The Imus In The Morning show also includes Executive Producer Bernie McGuirk, comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, producer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf, and News Anchor Connell McShane. Commenting on the contract renewal announcement Imus said, “I don’t know anything about this. Who are these people?” (photo provided by Cumulus Media)
Veteran Bay Area News anchor/reporter and Talk radio personality Melanie Morgan — currently anchoring mornings at KSRO/Santa Rosa — told fans, “After 30 years of setting an alarm clock for an unbelievably crazy early hour, I have decided to end my reporting and anchoring stint for morning drive radio.” Prior to her past two and a half years at KSRO, Morgan had a long run in San Francisco at both KGO and KSRO — where she co-hosted wake-ups on the conservative Talk station for 14 years. Making a point that she’s simply hitting the pause button Morgan added, “I am not writing my obit, I am not retiring, and I won’t be leaving the airwaves until after November, or as late as December in order to allow time for my boss to find my replacement. So until then, see you on the radio at 0’dark hundred.” Read Melanie’s Facebook post with more details HERE.
THIS JUST IN: During an appearance earlier today on Cumulus Media News/Talker WPRO/Providence former Boston Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling told WPRO host John DePetro that he plans to run for the United States Senate, taking on incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Needless to say, the Twitter world went a little bit nuts (both for and against the idea) and WPRO was the fortunate beneficiary of tons of local and national news coverage, courtesy of Curt’s exclusive announcement.
Westwood One announces the Cumulus Media-owned network will give WMAL/Washington, DC host Chris Plante a national roll-out. Beginning January 2, 2017, The Chris Plante Show will air from 9am-noon (ET) in the time slot previously occupied by Jonathan Brandmeier. Plante (right) joined Cumulus’ DC News/Talker in 2005, following a 17-year run at CNN’s Washington Bureau where he served as the network’s Pentagon Correspondent … Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo, MI Brand Manager Jay Morris has announced he’s leaving that post for a job outside the broadcasting biz. Director of Ops and Programming Steve Mills is handling Jay’s former duties on an interim basis … There is still time to sign up for this weekend’s MMTC Tech Prep Summit, October 22nd at the University of DC Van Ness Campus’ Theater of the Arts. The free, all-day event, hosted by The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is designed to introduce students of color to the boundless opportunities in tech employment and entrepreneurship. Learn more HERE … A North Dakota judge has dismissed charges of inciting a riot against Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now host/reporter Amy Goodman. Those charges, which arose from Goodman’s coverage of protests by Native Americans of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, have sparked concerns over freedom of the press among journalists and news organizations across the country.
Beasley Broadcast Group has entered into a definitive agreement to sell four radio stations in Charlotte, NC to Entercom for $24 million in cash, following the completion of, and contingent upon, Beasley’s previously announced acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media, Inc. Entercom will acquire heritage News/Talker WBT-AM & FM, AC WLNK-FM (The Link), and WFNZ-AM (Sports Radio The Fan), along with that station’s FM translator at 102.5. In addition, a statement released by BBGI says Entercom will begin operating WBT and WLNK upon closing of the Greater Media acquisition, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement. The sale of the four Charlotte stations, expected to be completed later this year, is subject to FCC and other regulatory approvals and the closing of Beasley’s acquisition of Greater Media.
Recently, NextRadio, the smartphone app that provides free, portable FM radio listening, conducted an in-app survey that asked one simple question: “Election Day 11.8.2016: Do you plan to vote?” Some 40,000 users across all 50 states viewed the poll taken from June 19th to July 6th — before either party had officially nominated their candidate, prior to the weeks of non-stop mudslinging and prior to the official candidate debates. Yet even back then, 58% of respondents said they were “unenthusiastic” about voting in the 2016 presidential election, with 23% reporting they were ‘Undecided’ and a whopping 35% saying they don’t plan to vote at all. Not surprisingly, 74% of respondents who identified as News/Talk listeners said ‘Yes’ to the question of voting, with just 18% saying ‘No’ and only 8% saying they are ‘Undecided.’ Get more details on the NextRadio voter survey HERE.