Top Story

    Spoken word formats crushed it in Nielsen’s November PPM survey. News/talk rode a wave of extraordinary engagement with the 2020 presidential election to notch its best showing since April. And sports stayed at a high level with the NFL season in full swing and post-season Major League Baseball action that saw the Dodgers win their first World Series championship in 32 years. Read more

    Inside Radio News

    The new Chicago White Sox broadcast team on Good Karma Brands sports “ESPN 1000” WMVP will include Len Kasper, who for the past 16 years has been calling games for the crosstown Chicago Cubs on TV. Kasper will serve as play-by-play announcer, joining longtime analyst Darrin Jackson in the booth as games move to WMVP with the 2021 MLB season. Read more

    The closures of Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country at the end of the year will result in the dismissal of all of the networks’ 36 full- and part-time employees. While the shuttering signals the end of an outlet that helped launch the careers of pop stars such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, the dismantling of Radio Disney began a decade ago when parent The Walt Disney Co. began selling its broadcast radio portfolio. Read more

    American University news/talk WAMU Washington (89.5) is the latest public broadcaster to unionize. Station content creators voted unanimously to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union. The newly formed bargaining unit will be made up of 80 employees, including hosts, reporters, producers, editors and engineers who create content for all areas of the station. Read more

    One of free-form radio’s pioneering air personalities, Jimmy Rabbitt, 79, died Nov. 25, at home in Grand Junction, Colorado. An influence on such early FM rock radio jocks as KLOS’s Geno Michellini, Rabbitt would, half-jokingly, refer to his career of working at more than 500 radio stations and 10,000 honkytonk. Writer Ed Kociela chronicles his restless radio and music career in this piece penned for Inside Radio. Read more

    Longtime Vanderbilt University football and men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Joe Fisher has resigned and checked himself into rehab following an on-air appearance where he was slurring and repeating questions. “As of this morning I am checking myself into a rehab facility to address an issue I’ve struggled with for a long time,” Fisher wrote on Twitter, adding “I have resigned my position at Vanderbilt effective immediately.” Read more

    The prospects of a deadlocked FCC may sound like an exercise in frustration for the regulators who serve there. But Republican Brendan Carr says he would welcome such a situation at the agency to prevent the Democrats from changing course when the Biden administration takes office. Carr says it would “help forestall what really would be billions of dollars’ worth of economic damage that a Democrat FCC would look to jam through from day one.” Read more

    With nearly five hundred programs under its banner, the iHeartPodcast Network has become one of the biggest producers of content in the podcast industry. But with a portfolio that extensive, it can be difficult to sell all the advertising for every show – even with a large sales team. The ability to monetize the so-called “longtail” is what iHeart executives say was the driving force behind the company’s recent acquisition of Voxnest. Read more

    People Moves

    Former Journal Communications Chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith joins INYO Broadcast Holdings as Executive Chairman. Smith retired from Journal Communications in 2015, after selling the company. In his new role at the newly formed television company, Smith will also join INYO’s operating committee.  Read more

    Veteran Tampa on-air personality Ron Diaz has announced his retirement. Diaz, who currently co-hosts the “Ron & Ian” afternoon show on iHeartMedia sports WDAE (620), which is also carried on the Pinellas Park translator W237CW at 95.3.  Read more

    Veteran programmer Ken Wall of Partnered Programming Group joins Clear Media Network where he will program the network’s slate of country formats, including “Great Country” and the soon to be added “Today’s Country” and “Classic Country.”  Read more

    Former NFL player Geoff Schwartz joins the weekend lineup of Fox Sports Radio, joining Steve Hartman Saturday’s (3-5pm ET), effective Dec. 5. Schwartz has served as the primary fill-in host for FSR’s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” for the past three years and is also a weekly guest on the program.  Read more