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    It’s no secret that Major League Baseball’s flagship stations experience a massive ratings spike when the Boys of Summer return to the ballpark. New data from Nielsen Audio quantifies just how big that listening surge was on Opening Day. The average MLB radio flagship experienced a 203% increase in 6+ average audience and a 165% surge among Men 25-54 on Opening Day (March 30), when compared to Nielsen’s March PPM survey. Read morePlay Ball: Listening To MLB Flagship Stations Shot Up 203% On Opening Day.

    Inside Radio News

    If policymakers considering whether to require AM radio in cars are looking for fresh evidence of the role the band serves during emergencies, they only need to look at the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. That is where Super Typhoon Mawar struck and now the FCC says all the AMs remain on the air while three FMs and two television stations are out of service. The FCC has also given the U.S. Navy permission to broadcast on FM in Guam to reach locals and personnel stationed there. Read moreAM Holds Up As Hurricane Hits Guam. U.S. Navy Turns To Radio To Reach Residents.

    Bob Bittner, owner and host of “Memories Radio,” a network of five New England radio stations, has passed away at the age of 73. The stations included WBAS Cape Cod, WJIB Boston, and WJTO, WLAM, and WLVP in the Portland, ME market. The stations are currently running prerecorded shows hosted by Bittner and hourly announcements alerting listeners of his passing. Read moreNew England’s ‘Memories Radio’ Owner/Host Bob Bittner Has Died.

    Memorial Day Weekend ushered in format flips and rebrands, including WXTQ Athens, OH dropping hot AC in favor of classic rock and “Bob FM” finding a home on a pair of Missouri signals: KRZD Springfield and KWXD Joplin. Meanwhile, KNAH Oklahoma City rebranded from “99.7 Hank FM” to “99.7 The Wolf,” and “Que Buena 105.9” KHOT Phoenix added a simulcast on KHOV Wickenburg, AZ. Read moreA Flurry Of Memorial Day Weekend Format Shuffles.

    Comedian Bobby Lee has filed a lawsuit against podcast company Wondery for allegedly breaching its contract with the host of the TigerBelly podcast. The suit says Lee and co-host Khalyla Kuhn had struck a 39-month deal with the Amazon-owned studio last December that included “multimillion dollar guarantees.” But Wondery cut ties with the seven and a half year-old podcast last month. TigerBelly has continued to release new episodes, however. Read moreWondery Sued Over Splitting With TigerBelly Podcast.

    WQQK Nashville presents “Family Day in the Park” this Saturday… “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest” are added to Saudi Arabia’s MBC Loud FM… Superadio Networks’ radio special “Hip Hop @ 50” is available in four two-hour specials to run in June… WIXV Savannah is named Best Local Station in the Best Of Savannah Awards. Read moreNews Bites: ‘Family Day in the Park,’ Ryan Seacrest/MBC Loud FM, Hip Hop @ 50, WIXV.

    Following Ford’s about-face last week, AM radio operators are eager to find out whether any of the other automakers who plan to exclude AM receivers from their electric vehicles will follow Ford’s lead and reverse course. Broadcasters and industry trade groups are awaiting automaker responses to individual letters sent May 15 by Reps. Bob Latta, Greg Pence and 100 of their House colleagues to nine automakers urging them to maintain AM radio in all their vehicles. Read moreWhat’s Next In AM Radio’s Dashboard Battle?

    The radio industry will once again be called into action to test the Emergency Alert System after a one-year break in 2022. Sources at the Federal Emergency Management Agency tell Inside Radio that while a date for a national test of EAS has not yet been set, a decision has been made to return to what has become an annual tradition in recent years for broadcasters. Read moreAfter One-Year Pause, FEMA Will Hold National EAS Test This Year.

    Broadcasters and podcasters have sung from a similar hymnal when complaining that the amount of ad dollars funneled into the two forms of audio has not kept pace with actual consumer usage. But the size of the digital audio opportunity may bring a chorus of hallelujah based on new estimates from Luma Partners, which pegs the potential value of audio’s combined ad and subscription model at $45 billion. Read moreHow Big Is The Digital Audio Opportunity? Luma Pegs It At $45 Billion.

    People Moves

    Veteran programmer and on-air personality Bob Waugh joins Paragon Research as a consultant. Waugh, who most recently served as PD/afternoon host at Empire Broadcasting System’s former adult alternative WRNR-FM Annapolis, MD (103.1), will work with the firm’s adult alternative consulting and research radio station clients. Read moreBob Waugh

    John Weatherford, who served as Senior VP/GM and eventually COO of the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE (90.1) and WABE-TV for 11 years has died due to complications from pancreatic cancer. Weatherford is credited with transitioning WABE radio to a news/talk and placing the classical format on its HD2 channel.  Read moreJohn Weatherford

    Robert Sherman, a longtime host at classical WQXR Newark, NJ (105.9), will retire after 68 years at the station. Sherman has hosted the weekly show “Young Artists Showcase” since its launch in 1978. The program will continue with guest hosts until a successor is named.  Read moreRobert Sherman