Newsy — self-described as “an over-the-top news network that provides ‘news with the why'” — is now available via TuneIn to the audio streaming app’s reported 60 million-plus active users. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the E.W. Scripps Company, Newsy will offer two weekly podcasts — Newsy Politics and Givin’ Takes — along with three daily podcasts focused on U.S. and world news, tech, science and health, and current events. “Newsy joins an elite roster of the world’s most innovative content creators on TuneIn, creating audio for a mobile audience,” said Kevin Straley, TuneIn’s Chief Content Officer. “We’re excited to add Newsy to our premium offering of news properties. Their unique ability to deliver news in a way that resonates with a younger audience is a perfect fit for our diverse news platform we’re establishing to cover the topics we’re all talking about, from the 2016 presidential election to social inequality.” Newsy entered the digital audio space in 2015 with the release of the free Newsy Radio app for iOS. Today its distribution platforms also include Sling TV, Roku, Watchable from Comcast and Apple TV.
NTS MediaOnline Today sends our congrats to long time Bay Area journalist and Talk radio host Melanie Morgan — currently anchoring Sonoma County’s Morning News at KSRO/Santa Rosa, CA — and everyone involved in yesterday’s (6/23) successful 2106 ‘Troop-A-Thon’. The annual live online event raised more than $300,000 this year — with donations still pouring in — to help send Care Packages to U.S. military troops overseas. Back in 2004 Morgan (right) co-founded Move America Forward, a military charity dedicated to supporting America’s Armed Forces. Since its inception, MAF reports the charity has delivered more than 315 tons of those always welcomed Care Packages to our U.S. military men and women serving far from home. Although the 2016 Troop-A-Thon live webcast has now ended, those wishing to offer support can still contribute to this year’s fundraiser HERE.
iHeartMedia/St. Louis has launched Pride Radio St. Louis, the company’s fourth radio station in the country that features programming devoted to the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community . Along with music, the station will also include an emphasis on community news coverage. “It’s Pride Week in St. Louis, and as the exclusive radio partner of the event, we can’t think of a better time to launch Pride Radio St. Louis,” said Tony Banks, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHM’s Gateway City cluster. “Our city has one of the most passionate LGBT communities in America and we look forward to an even greater bond with our local listeners as they engage with our on-air personalities and programming, customized for our city!” The new Pride Radio St. Louis, a broadcast extension of the digital Pride Radio channel on iHeartRadio, can now be heard via PrideRadioSTL.com, iHeartRadio.com, the iHeartRadio mobile app, and at 107.7-HD2 in St. Louis.
With podcasting and other digital media regularly cited by pundits as the future of radio, a report by eMarketer on a recent study by Wondery.com and comScore.com suggests that future could be just a little further off than some predict. In a summary report of the study, eMarketer says, “Most Internet users are familiar with podcasts, but have either not listened to them within the past six months, or have never listened to them.” The survey found that about 1 in 5 online users reported tuning in to a podcast in the past half-year, and adds that of the 21% of respondents who have listened to podcasts recently, just one-third said they listen to them more than once a week. Meanwhile, in addition to its podcast listening analysis, eMarketer also makes note of a separate recent study by Bridge Ratings on the “abandonment rates” of podcasts among listeners in the U.S. The Bridge study reported a quarter of podcast listeners bail-out on podcasts that run 45-60 minutes, while shorter podcasts — especially those under five minutes — showed “significantly lower abandonment rates.” Read more HERE.
Long-time media industry executive Jim Berk is named CEO of PodcastOne, the advertiser supported podcast network founded by industry veteran Norm Pattiz. As CEO, Berk (left) will report directly to Pattiz, who retains his post as Executive Chairman of the company. Berk brings over 20 years of heading up media, entertainment and hospitality companies, most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of global entertainment firm Participant Media. “We have created an unmatched footprint in the podcast space and now are building a more robust executive team to allow PodcastOne to take full advantage of our organic growth and strategic opportunities,” said Pattiz. “Jim has done tremendous work in transitioning companies to their next stage of growth, and with him joining the PodcastOne leadership team, our possibilities are endless.” The announcement of Berk’s hiring comes as PodcastOne has embarked on an accelerated expansion to grow its share of the audio on demand marketplace, following a recent investment in the company by Hubbard Broadcasting.
Westwood One announces a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to bring Fantasy Free — free fantasy sports and entertainment games — to the network’s broadcast radio affiliates, starting with the upcoming 2016 NFL season. WW One’s reports its Fantasy Free package offers games that are “100% legal” that can be integrated into a station’s website, providing both station and client branding opportunities. “We are proud to offer our affiliates a terrific way to leverage the fantasy sports world, which shows no signs of slowing,” said WW One Senior VP/Affiliate Relations Dennis Green. “Stations and their listeners will get a chance to play fantasy sports through their favorite stations from coast-to-coast, absolutely free, while competing for unique prizes. Let the games begin!” Meanwhile, Gabe Hobbs Media namesake and veteran radio programmer Gabe Hobbs — who partnered with Loyal Ears Digital on Fantasy Free’s new WW One integration — noted the value of having a weapon in your station’s arsenal that will attract the large and active fantasy sports fan. “What station wouldn’t want a contest that drives digital engagement through the roof, and is driven by on-air promotion with no special programming required? Advertisers and clients can create incredible online impressions, all driven by traditional radio. Everyone wins — except the station that doesn’t have it across the street.”
CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products team up to launch Engage: The OFFICIAL Star Trek Podcast, hosted by film critic and One Trek Mind blogger Jordan Hoffman. The first three episodes of the hour-long podcast will be available on Wednesday, June 15th via Play.it/StarTrek, iTunes and StarTrek.com. “There is no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek than with the official podcast coming to CBS Radio and CBS Local Digital Media,” said Andre Fernandez, President of CBS Radio. “It is a groundbreaking and noteworthy franchise that we are proud to be a part of.”
SiriusXM announced yesterday (5/31) it was “temporarily suspending” The Glenn Beck Show from the satcaster’s Patriot channel for one week. The action was announced in response to comments made by author Brad Thor during a recent interview on Beck’s Premiere Networks-distributed radio show. Late Tuesday, Dom Theodore, GM for Beck’s radio show, released a statement saying (in part), “Glenn is on vacation so I wanted to respond on his behalf so that the unfortunate fabrications surrounding his interview with Brad Thor don’t spread any further. As every listener of the show knows, Glenn has never — and will never — advocate violence. We are grateful to our partners at Premiere Networks, our many local affiliates, and all of our extended partners who support and celebrate a diversity of opinion. We hope you will reach out to all of them and thank them for having the backbone and integrity to stand-up for all voices, even those with which they may disagree.” Beck is expected to address the controversy when he returns to his show next Monday (6/6). Read the full statement released by Theodore on behalf of Beck — and get a link to the interview that caused the brouhaha — HERE.
With recent news that Facebook plans to test how its users might take to its version of a morning radio/TV show, another recent roll out by the social media giant is apparently not all that much of a hit with fans. Digital research firm eMarketer.com reports Facebook users aren’t really “feeling” those recently expanded ‘Reactions’ option, which were launched to allow users to go beyond simply ‘Liking’ a post. eMarketer reports that, in a study of some 130,000 Facebook posts by social analytics site quintly, “The lion’s share (97.0% ) of Facebook post reactions consist of “Likes.’ In fact, Facebook’s ‘Reactions’ — which include emojis such as angry, sad, love, or wow — only make up a 3% share of reactions.” So why is the new feature — one many users have long asked for and polls said they’d embrace — not exactly wowing Facebook’s fans? Read more HERE.
On Thursday, June 2nd, Mark Ramsey will kick off Hivio 2016 — his annual “unconvention” — in Los Angeles. If you didn’t manage to score a ticket to this year’s two-day event, Ramsey reports it will all be streamed live via ‘LiveStream.’ See the full Hivio agenda and bookmark the streaming site HERE.… This Sunday (5/29) SiriusXM — the ‘Official Satellite Radio Partner of INDYCAR’ — will offer subscribers live coverage of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Raceday coverage begins at 8am (ET), with extensive pre-race programming hosted by Pete Pistone … In other news from SiriusXM, the satcaster will commemorate the Memorial Day observance of our nation’s fallen military men and women by broadcasting Taps across all its music, sports, talk, and entertainment channels. The one-minute observance will take place at approximately Noon (ET) on Monday, May 30th.