Top Story

    The latest signal that the era of the big podcast companies merely being creators of content is over comes with iHeartMedia’s announcement that it is buying Voxnest. Launched in 2018 following the merger of Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio, Voxnest brings to iHeart a suite of advertising capabilities and tools including podcast analytics, enterprise publishing, programmatic integration, and targeted ad serving. Terms of the deal weren’t immediately released. iHeartMedia had owned a minority stake in Voxnest. Read more

    Inside Radio News

    The ongoing drama behind what’s been heralded as the “imminent return” of Craig Carton to Entercom sports “The Fan” WFAN-AM/FM New York continues to play out in the New York Post. The latest twist has station brass trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade Bart Scott to leave crosstown rival “ESPN NY 98.7” WEPN-FM and sign-on as Carton’s co-host for a new afternoon show. Read more

    Another public radio station has decided to be represented by a union. This time it’s employees at Newark Public Radio “Jazz 88” WBGO, which has agreed to a card check agreement to count the signatures of content creators wishing to organize with SAG-AFTRA. Joining the union “will ensure all our voices are heard,” the organizing committee said in a statement. Read more

    Daily time spent listening to smart speakers has risen 43% since the beginning of the year, while PC and desktop audio streaming has grown 54%. This is according to the “Pandora 2021 Definitive Guide to Audio,” which targets current and prospective advertisers of the audio streaming platform. The guide was released in partnership with Edison Research and Omnicom Media Group. Read more

    Nexstar Media Group, which owns talk WGN Chicago (720), undergoes a strategic alignment that combines its two primary operating subsidiaries, merging Nexstar Digital and Nexstar Broadcasting into a single operating unit known as Nexstar Inc. Among other executive appointments as part of the restructuring, Sean Compton will serve as President, Networks overseeing WGN America, AntennaTV and WGN Radio. Read more

    “Stanley the Dog and His First Day of School,” a children’s book based on Bobby Bones’ bulldog Stanley, is scheduled for a summer 2022 release. It’s the first children’s picture book from the host of Premiere Networks’ syndicated “The Bobby Bones Show.” The book includes illustrations by Stephanie Laberis and is published by David Linker at HarperCollins. Read more

    Now that Stitcher has new owners in SiriusXM, it has unveiled a redesigned podcast app that it says will offer a more personalized listening experience. The new Stitcher platform has been revamped end-to-end, from the technology backbone to the front-facing user interface. The company says a simplified design prioritizes a new, more customizable experience that fits the myriad ways users manage their shows and personal app experience. Read more

    The virtual iHeartCountry Festival will be broadcast across iHeartMedia country stations tonight… WIP-FM Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin diagnosed with COVID-19… WKKV-FM Milwaukee hosts “Your Vote is Your Voice,” a special broadcast featuring Kamala Harris… The end of the Radio Duplication Rule… KZTL Paxton, NE rebrands as “Z93.5” and shifts from classic country to mainstream country. Read more

    A common thread through many of the discussions at this year’s virtual Podcast Movement conference is talk of growth, and how to capitalize on a media that is seeing its audience and revenue expand. Since the industry gathered for last year’s event in Orlando, there have been several more large deals reshaping the industry. Executives think that means not only more consolidation but a growing focus on the kinds of ad tech that are bringing brand dollars to the space. Read more

    The holly jolly of Christmas music has long filled radio airwaves and in a year dominated by COVID, Americans are craving even more cheer. A joint project by iHeartMedia and Podtrac will offer opportunities for podcasts too, as holiday travel plans come together. An iHeart survey shows three-quarters of podcast listeners are looking for experiences that improve their mood this holiday season. Read more

    People Moves

    DC Daniel, Brand Manager of Gulf South Communications CHR WKMX Dothan, AL (106.7) add those duties at sister country WTVY-FM (95.5), where he also co-hosts mornings. He succeeds “Big Rick” Daniels, now in mornings at Reising Radio “Korn Country 100.3” WYGB Indianapolis.   Read more

    John Stewart exits Rubber City Radio classic rock WONE-FM Akron (97.5) where he has served as Program Director since August. Stewart joined the station in February as midday host.  Read more

    Jack Heath joins Binnie Media New Hampshire where he will host 9am-12pm on the company’s talk WTSN Dover (1270), news/talk/sports WTPL Manchester (107.7), and WEMJ Laconia (1490), which is currently simulcasting CHR sister WJYY Concord. Read more

    Jennifer Keiper, news reporter at Entercom WBBM/WCFS-FM Chicago (780/105.9), will take on the role of national news anchor for CBS News Radio, effective Nov. 9. Read more