Thursday, October 28, 2021

Comcast Beats Expectations, Hedging On Peacock Metrics

UPDATE 10AM THURSDAY:  Comcast and NBCUniversal executives are suddenly quite cagey about the number of Peacock signups, according to The Wrap. “Everything on Peacock is heading in the right direction, and there’s really nothing from a trajectory perspective that’s any different than it was last quarter or the quarter before. All metrics are pointed up,” NBCU boss Jeff Shell said on Thursday during a conference call with media analysts. “Our usage continues to be great, our mix of users continues to be great. We added a few million more subs, more MAAs.”  “We couldn’t be more excited about where Peacock is,” he added. Last we heard, Peacock had reached 54 million users by July 29, which was the day Comcast reported its second quarter financial results. At that time, Comcast also said the streaming platform boasts 20 million monthly active accounts.


Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable provider, topped Wall Street’s forecasts for third-quarter sales and profit, benefiting from growth in broadband subscribers and a recovery at its theme parks after pandemic-driven closings.

Earnings rose to 87 cents a share, excluding some items, Comcast said Thursday, beating the 75-cent average of analysts’ estimates. Revenue soared to $30.3 billion, also beating projections.

The company added 300,000 broadband internet customers, in line with analysts’ forecasts of 301,000.

Key Insights
  • Comcast investors typically focus on the pace of broadband subscribers, and the lighter showing was largely expected after Chief Financial Officer Michael Cavanagh warned last month of a slight slowdown in new customers, citing disruptions caused by the pandemic.
  • The company lost 408,000 pay-TV customers. That’s fewer than the 421,000 analysts were expecting but nearly 50% higher than the third quarter a year ago. Cord cutting is accelerating as customers abandon cable TV in favor of online streaming, and Comcast is less interested in fighting to keep low-margin customers.
  • Revenue at NBCUniversal’s theme parks rose to $1.45 billion, from $385 million a year ago.
  • NBCUniversal’s media revenue, which includes its TV networks and Peacock streaming service, increased 9% when the Olympics are excluded. Despite a sharp decline in TV viewership for the games this summer, NBC generated $1.8 billion in revenue for the broadcast of the games and turned a profit.
  • Comcast did not report sign-ups for Peacock. The streaming service, which offers both paid and free options to customers, had 54 million sign-ups as of July.
  • Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service, generated $230 million in revenue, roughly doubling from $122 million in the second quarter of this year. It posted a loss of $520 million, up from $363 million three months earlier in losses, as Comcast invested more in programming.
“I am pleased with our strong operating and financial results this quarter. Each of our businesses posted significant growth in Adjusted EBITDA, contributing to a double-digit increase in our Adjusted EPS,” Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a prepared statement accompanying the financials. 

“At Cable, our customer and financial metrics remained strong, highlighted by 10% growth in Adjusted EBITDA, the highest level of customer retention on record for a third quarter, and the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017. Our results at NBCUniversal continue to be driven by the ongoing recovery at our domestic Theme Parks, as well as the success of our linear and streaming Media platforms.”

SiriusXM Beats Revenue, Boosts Subscribers

  • Third Quarter Net Income of $343 Million; Diluted EPS of $0.08
  • Record Quarterly Adjusted EBITDA of $719 Million, Up 9% From Prior Year Period
  • SiriusXM Self-Pay Net Subscriber Additions of 616,000 in Third Quarter and 1.1 Million Year to Date
  • Company Increases 2021 Subscriber and Financial Guidance
  • SiriusXM Recently Increased Quarterly Cash Dividend by 50%

SiriusXM today announced third quarter 2021 operating and financial results, including revenue of $2.20 billion in the quarter, an increase of 9% compared to the prior year period.  The company recorded net income of $343 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $272 million in the prior year period.  Net income per diluted common share was $0.08 in the third quarter 2021, compared to $0.06 in the prior year period.

Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter was $719 million, up 9% from $661 million in the prior year period.

"By adding a record 616,000 net new SiriusXM self-pay subscribers in the third quarter, we attained our prior full-year guidance of approximately 1.1 million net additions in just nine months.  We are increasing all of our financial guidance for 2021 and expect to add more than 1.1 million net new self-pay SiriusXM subscribers this year, making 2021 our best for self-pay subscriber growth since 2018.  During the quarter, we saw continued low monthly churn and outstanding ARPU performance in the SiriusXM business, and we are also making important progress driving advertising growth at Pandora," said Jennifer Witz, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM.

"We continue leaning into new investments in unique content, improved digital experiences in- and out-of-car, and effective marketing that tells this story.  We recently launched new shows, podcasts, and channels across our platforms with marquee talent and brands, including Megyn Kelly, Seth Rogen, and TikTok, showcasing how SiriusXM works with creators to inspire conversations and moments that are appealing across generations and lifestyles.  SiriusXM recently signed new deals with NFL legends Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald and launched Pandora's biggest-ever Artist Takeover with U2.  Our Small Stage Series has brought back thrilling live performances, including Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, J. Cole, and – up next, H.E.R.  We look forward to achieving a strong finish to the year and continued value for our stockholders by delivering the best content in audio entertainment," added Witz.

"SiriusXM's third quarter results were strong across the board and support the new, higher financial guidance we have provided today.  We expect to see continued net self-pay subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, but the third quarter's lower auto sales – primarily driven by supply issues – will reduce conversion opportunities beginning in the fourth quarter," said Sean Sullivan, Chief Financial Officer of SiriusXM.


Self-Pay Subscribers Reach a Record-High 32.0 Million. SiriusXM added 616,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the third quarter, a 264% increase from the 169,000 added in the third quarter of 2020. Paid promotional subscribers decreased by 828,000 in the third quarter. Continuing impacts of new vehicle trial structures with certain automakers as well as lower vehicle shipments due to reported semiconductor supply shortages contributed to negative paid promotional net additions during the quarter. Total subscribers at the end of the third quarter were 34.3 million. The total SiriusXM funnel of trial subscribers stood at approximately 7.5 million at the end of the third quarter, down from approximately 9.1 million at the end of the second quarter 2021. Self-pay monthly churn for the third quarter improved approximately 11 basis points to 1.5% from 1.7% in the third quarter of 2020.

SiriusXM Revenue Increased 5% to $1.66 Billion. Third quarter 2021 revenue grew 5% to $1.66 billion compared to the third quarter of 2020. This growth was driven by a 5% increase in SiriusXM's average revenue per user (ARPU) to $14.84 and a 5% increase in SiriusXM self-pay subscribers, partially offset by the effects of a lower number of paid trial subscribers.

Gross Profit Increased 4% to $1.02 Billion and Gross Margin Was Stable. Total cost of services at SiriusXM increased by 6% to $645 million in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020. Gross profit at SiriusXM totaled $1,015 million, an increase of 4% compared to the third quarter of 2020, producing a gross margin of 61%, a 1 percentage point decrease from the prior-year period.

Growing Premium Content. SiriusXM continued to create multiple new and limited-time streaming channels, including channels for Bon Jovi, Grateful Dead, Halsey, Metallica, and SoundCloud Radio. SiriusXM also launched special streaming channels to celebrate women in Pop, Hip Hop, and Rock, and the company created programming to celebrate the careers of comedy greats Joan Rivers and Lucille Ball. During the quarter, SiriusXM completed an investment and programming agreement with Audio Up, the podcast production studio, which is expected to create a variety of podcasts for SiriusXM's platforms and collaborate on new audio entertainment concepts.


Advertising Revenue Increased 32% to $404 Million. Third quarter ad revenue at Pandora, which includes off-platform results such as the company's AdsWizz business, increased by 32% year-over-year to $404 million. Ad revenue was boosted by strong monetization of $109 per thousand hours at Pandora, compared to $84 from the prior year period. Ad revenue also benefited from the acquisition of Stitcher in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Growing Off-Platform and Podcasting Revenue. In the third quarter of 2021, Stitcher and the company's off-platform advertising businesses recorded $89 million in revenue. Off-platform revenue, excluding Stitcher, increased approximately $18 million or 41% compared to the third quarter of 2020. Stitcher recently announced podcasting an agreement covering the Audiochuck network and its chart-topping show Crime Junkie, as well as agreements with New Rory & MAL, For Colored Nerds, The Bellas, and Last Podcast on the Left.

Total Advertising-Supported Listener Hours of 2.89 Billion. Monthly Active Users (MAUs) at Pandora were 52.6 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from 58.6 million in the prior year period. Total ad-supported listener hours were 2.89 billion in the period, down from 3.12 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Average monthly hours per ad-supported active user were 20.1 in the third quarter of 2021, up from 19.5 in the third quarter of 2020.

Self-Pay Subscribers Decline Modestly. Self-pay subscribers to the Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium services decreased by 59,000 in the third quarter 2021 to end the period with 6.5 million self-pay subscribers to those services.

Gross Profit Grew 22%. Subscriber revenue increased by 2%, advertising revenue increased by 32% and total cost of services increased by 24% during the third quarter of 2021. This resulted in gross profit at Pandora of $197 million, up 22% over the third quarter of 2020, and produced a gross margin for the quarter of 37%, in-line with the prior year period.

Nielsen Reports Revenue Increase of 5.5 Percent

  • Revenues increased 5.5% to $882 million on a reported basis, 5.1% on a constant currency basis & 6.6% organic- Net income per share of $0.32 (diluted, from continuing operations); Adjusted EPS of $0.45
  • Raising 2021 revenue and EPS guidance; raising low end of adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow guidance
  • On track to deliver Nielsen One, transformative single cross-media measurement solution, in 2022
Nielsen Holdings plc announced its results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. The Company also increased its 2021 guidance, raising its revenue and adjusted earnings per share ("EPS") ranges, and raising the low-end of its adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow guidance ranges.

David Kenny
David Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased with our strong third quarter results, building on our track record of execution and demonstrating continued progress on our strategic growth plan. In Audience Measurement, clients see the value in our enhanced and expanded products, and it is driving strong performance across national media and digital-first clients. In Outcomes and Content, growth was driven, in part, by improving trends post-Covid, and we are continuing to build on our global leadership position. Our updated guidance today reflects our strong performance year to date and confidence in our ability to deliver on our objectives."

"The media ecosystem is undergoing significant change as viewing accelerates to streaming. We are making strong progress advancing the development of Nielsen One, our cross-media measurement solution, to provide the market with comparable metrics across streaming and TV. We are building on our strong foundation in linear and digital, we have a clear timeline leading up to the launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, and we are delivering on interim milestones as planned. We believe that Nielsen is the only company positioned to deliver effectively on the promise of representative, currency-grade cross-platform measurement that is essential to the industry."

NYC Radio: WOR Adding John Batchelor Show for Evenings

WOR 710 AM
, The Voice of New York, announced today that veteran talk show host and novelist John Batchelor returns to New York radio. 

Effective Monday, November 1, “Eye on the World with John Batchelor” will be heard weeknights from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET.

“I am astounded to be invited to join the legendary WOR at this promising time, when the listeners of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut begin the hard work to recover from these last rough years. This is a privilege,” said Batchelor.

WOR Program Director Tom Cuddy shares “I have been a fan of John’s for almost two decades and the dedication he consistently displays in tracking down the details behind the important stories anywhere in the world and then sorting them out for listeners.”

“Eye on the World with John Batchelor” broadcasts nightly from New York and is syndicated by CBS Audio.

Boston Radio: iHM's Talka WXKS-AM Adds Jim Polito Show

iHeartMedia Boston’s Talk 1200 announced today the addition of Jim Polito to the programming lineup. Polito, already heard in Worcester, Mass., Springfield, Mass., and Providence, R.I., will now be heard in Boston beginning November 1st.

“The Jim Polito Show” will be heard weekdays from 5am-9am on WXKS Talk 1200 AM as well as weekday mornings on iHeartMedia stations NewsRadio 580 and 94.9FM WTAG Worcester, NewsRadio 560 and 98.9FM WHYN Springfield and NewsRadio 920 and 104.7 WHJJ Providence.

“I am proud of Jim and his growth. More than anyone I know, Jim loves politics and the ‘give and take’ that goes with it. For him to be heard in Boston is so exciting and the natural next step in Jim’s growth,” said Sean Davey, President of the New England Area Community Markets for iHeartMedia.

Jim Polito adds, “Boston is the next stop for making serious talk fun. I do battle with the political establishment and succeed where others fail by changing minds and waking people up on the ‘right’ side of the bed.”

Wake-Up Call: Biden Pushes To Get Building Back Better Deal

President Biden will be on Capitol Hill this morning to urge Democratic senators to finally get the Build Back Better legislation agreed to before he leaves the country later in the day for international summits in Rome and Scotland. He tweeted late yesterday, "Let's bring these bills over the finish line." AP reported last night that top Democrats had signaled that a deal was within reach on the social services and climate change bill, but that appeared to fade some as another key progressive priority, paid family leave, was apparently taken out and a proposed tax on billionaires that had been floated to help pay for the package also appeared to be dropped. However, the bill appears to be coming in at a still hefty $1.75 trillion, down from the original $3.5 trillion.

Biden will be attending the Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in Rome first and then the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow.

➤CHEAP, WIDELY AVAILABLE ANTIDEPRESSANT PROMISING IN TREATING EARLY COVID-19: The results of a study showed that a cheap, widely-available antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization in high-risk adults with Covid-19 who were given it early in their infection. Fluvoxamine, which is used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, was tested because it's known to reduce inflammation. The results were so strong that experts monitoring the study recommended ending it early because the results were clear. Researchers have given to the results to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which publishes treatment guidelines, and are hoping to get a recommendation for it from the World Health Organization.

➤U-S, ARGUING FOR ASSANGE EXTRADITION, SAYS COULD SERVE JAIL TIME IN NATIVE AUSTRALIA: The U.S. argued to judges in Britain yesterday in favor of Julian Assange being extradited to the U.S. on espionage charges over the publication of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents, saying the WikiLeaks founder could service any prison sentence in his native Australia. The U.S. is making its argument to the High Court in London that it appealed to after a lower British court refused the extradition request, finding Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh prison conditions in the U.S. The U.S. also promised that Assange wouldn't be held before trial in a top-security Supermax prison or be subject to strict isolation. Assange's attorney accused the U.S. of trying to, quote, "minimize the severity of Mr Assange’s mental disorder and suicide risk." He also said Australia hadn't yet agreed to allow Assange to serve his prison sentence there if he's convicted, and said the legal process in the U.S. could take as long as 10 years, during which Assange would be detained. Assange is currently being held in a high-security prison in Lodnon, where he's been since being arrested in 2019 for skipping bail in separate rape and sexual assault cases, during which time he spent seven years holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London.

➤U-S ISSUES FIRST PASSPORT WITH 'X' FOR GENDER: The U.S. has issued its first passport with an "X" for gender, indicating someone who doesn't identify as male or female, and the State Department said yesterday that it expects to offer the option more broadly next year. The State Department didn't identify the passport recipient, but the Associated Press spoke to a Colorado intersex activist, Dana Zzyym, who said they'd received it. The 63-year-old Zzyym has been battling since 2015 to have a passport that didn't require indicating either male or female gender. According to court filings, Zzyym was born with ambiguous physical sexual characteristics, but was raised as a boy and had several surgeries that failed to make Zzyym appear fully male. The State Department said in June it was moving toward adding a third gender marker for intersex, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people.

🏫NY STATE SCHOOL BANS 'SQUID GAME' HALLOWEEN COSTUMES:  A school district in upstate New York has banned Squid Game Halloween costumes in its elementary schools, citing the mature content and violence in the hit Netflix show. Fayetteville-Manlius School Distrcit Superintendent Dr. Craig Tice told CBS News that their guidelines don't allow Halloween costumes with items that can be interpreted as weapons, like toy guns or swords, or that are "too gory or scary." Squid Game is rated for mature audiences by Netflix, but Tice said some elementary school students in the district have been reenacting games from the show at recess. Principals have asked families to speak with their children and, quote, "reinforce the school message that games associated with violent behavior are not appropriate for recess." In Squid Game, people who are financially struggling play deadly, violent versions of children's games in hopes of winning a cash prize.

🍲STUDY..FOOD TEXTURE FILLS IN DURING LOSS OF SMELL, TASTE AFTER COVID-19:  People who’ve lost their senses of smell and taste due to COVID-19 have ways to cope with their situation, finds a new study. University of Cincinnati researchers found losing the two senses can lead to anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life, but that some had also found creative ways to cope. Study author, Dr. Katie Phillips says, “Crunchiness was one of those things that people mentioned along with texture, and then the temperature and carbonation was brought up in multiple interviews, too.” For example, strawberries were among the foods the women reported eating because they could sense the texture of the fruit. Other strategies included going to a candle store or a coffee shop to experience strong smells. Phillips adds, “It’s more about how people in that situation can compensate. I don’t think it’s a treatment mechanism for taste and smell loss. It’s more how you deal with this loss.”

🐶WHY DOGS TILT THEIR HEADS:  Some dogs are smarter than others, and a new study finds that dogs who learn the names of their toys will tilt their heads upon hearing their owners requesting a toy. Study co-author Shany Dror says only the smartest dogs they looked at could learn the names of multiple toys and exhibited the head tilt when their owners asked for a toy by name, suggesting there’s an association between head-tilting and “processing relevant and meaningful stimuli.” The experts say we still do not have a full understanding as to why or when head-tilting in dogs takes place, but that a study like this is the first step in the direction of showing how the behavior could be related to the presence of “meaningful and salient auditory stimuli for the dog.”

➤STARBUCKS UPPING PAY, IMPROVING WORKING CONDITIONS: Starbucks announced Wednesday that it's raising pay for U.S. workers -- for the third time in 24 months -- and is taking steps to improve working conditions. All hourly pay workers will now make at least $15 an hour and average nearly $17 by next summer, and employees with two or more years of service will get a five percent raise. To boost hiring, a $200 recruitment bonus is being offered. Starbucks also said it will increase training time and redesign its "Barista Basics" guide. Complaints from employees who've been trying to unionize in certain locations have included inadequate training, along with consistent understaffing.

➤STUDY..WE’RE NOT AS SMART AS GOOGLE MAKES US THINK WE ARE:  It seems using Google to answer all our questions is making us think we’re smarter than we actually are. University of Texas researchers say though humans have long relied on external knowledge sources, online search has made the break between internal thought and external information faster and more seamless, making it harder for us to tell what came from our own brains. In addition, the process of searching Google is a lot like searching our own memories, which can cause people to confuse information found online with information in their own heads. The experts say this all suggests that we should be careful, as this could make us believe we are smarter than we really are, which could lead us to rely on our own knowledge in risky situations and could even make us more entrenched in our views of science and politics. Lead researcher Adrian Ward adds that when we immediately jump to Google we “don’t do the remembering. We’re not exercising those muscles.”

⚾ASTROS BEAT BRAVES 7-2 TO EVEN WORLD SERIES AT 1-1: The Houston Astros beat the Atlanta Braves 7-2 last night before their home fans at Minute Maid Park to even the World Series at one game each. Jose Altuve hit a leadoff double and scored in the first inning, and later added a solo home run in the seventh. It was a special night for rookie outfielder Jose Siri, who made his MLB debut on September 3rd after being in the minor leagues since 2013. He beat out an infield single in the second inning to score Kyle Tucker from third and put the Astros ahead 2-1. Martín Maldonado then hit a single that scored Yuli Gurriel and Siri headed to third. But the Braves misplayed the ball and it went in to foul territory, allowing Siri to dash home and score, putting the Braves up 4-1. Game 3 will be Friday in Atlanta.

🏈CARDINALS' J.J. WATT TO HAVE LIKELY SEASON-ENDING SURGERY: Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt will undergo what's likely to be season-ending shoulder surgery, ESPN reported last night (October 27th). Watt injured his shoulder in the second quarter against the Houston Texans Sunday, but was able to play the rest of the game. The news about Watt came the day before tonight's match-up between the 7-0 Cardinals and the 6-1 Green Bay Packers.

🏒PANTHERS TOP BRUINS TO GO 7-0-0, 14TH IN NHL HISTORY TO START SEASON: The Florida Panthers defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 last night, becoming just the 14th team in NHL to start the season with a 7-0-0 record. The latest victory came one day before head coach Joel Quenneville is scheduled to meet today with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman after he was named in a report about the Chicago Blackhawks improperly handling a sexual assault claim a player made against an assistant coach in 2010, when Quenneville was their head coach.

The player who claimed the sexual assault came forward yesterday to reveal himself. Kyle Beach is now 31 and playing professionally in Germany.

⚾ROLLER DERBY TEAM SUES MLB'S INDIANS OVER NEW 'GUARDIANS' NAME: MLB's Cleveland Indians announced in July that it would be changing it name to the "Guardians" for the 2022 season, after years of criticism from Native Americans and other critics over its name and Chief Wahoo logo. But now a roller derby team that's called itself the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the team yesterday, charging that the new name infringes on its trademark. The lawsuit stated, "There cannot be two 'Cleveland Guardians' teams in Cleveland, and, to be blunt, Plaintiff was here first." The Indians said in a statement, "We believe there is no conflict between the parties and their ability to operate in their respective business areas." Negotiations between the two team over rights to the name broke down on Tuesday.

⚾REPORT: TRUMP TO ATTEND GAME 4 OF WORLD SERIES: Former President Donald Trump will attend Game 4 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves at Truist Park in Atlanta, USA Today reported yesterday. Braves CEO Terry McGuirk said the team was surprised when Trump called the league to request tickets, stating, "Of course, we said yes. We are apolitical. We’re open to anyone coming. It’s great that he wants to come to our game." McGuirk said Trump will be in a private suite.

Report: Shift To Buying Impressions Quickens

A new Nielsen study commissioned by The Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) demonstrates the power of impressions for the radio industry. These findings show that agencies are increasingly using impressions to evaluate media, and the usefulness of impressions to evaluate radio and digital using a common metric.

According to the study, the benefits of impressions based buying offers increased granularity over ratings and adds value to more dayparts and easier comparison across markets. It also gives audio and digital platforms the ability to capture all of their audiences no matter where content is consumed. Additionally, the study showed that impressions also provide a brand safe environment for advertisers looking for premium impressions at the local level.

"The importance of combining radio and digital advertising effectively cannot be overstated, and impressions are clearly where the industry is headed," said Southern California Broadcasters Association President Miles Sexton. "As radio continues to evolve within the digital ecosystem, the building blocks of a successful cross-platform campaign will include impressions."

Additional highlights from the study include:
  • The shift to buying on impressions is accelerating. In fact, 54% of agency professionals are now buying on impressions.
  • Buying on CPM levels the playing field, where supply and demand determine pricing rather than market size.
  • The line between radio and digital is starting to blur, and impressions are key to evaluating radio station app and website audiences.
Data from the study further demonstrated that impressions allow radio to add scale to media plans in a cross-platform environment and recommended best practices for converting to CPM for buyers and sellers in the radio industry. Among these recommendations are the importance of looking beyond price and evaluating other items that add value, focusing on quality over quantity, and looking for opportunities to combine radio and digital impressions for cross-platform opportunities.

To view the SCBA/Nielsen study results click here.

Insiders: Dan Bongino, Westwood One Feud "An Ugly Fight"

Conservative TV and radio host Dan Bongino's standoff with Cumulus Media over the broadcast giant's vaccine mandate continued Wednesday with The Dan Bongino Show's third straight absence from the airwaves, reports The Washington Examiner.

Bongino said Tuesday and Wednesday on his podcast, which is separate from his live radio show, that the negotiations were turning "ugly" after he issued Cumulus Media an ultimatum earlier this month that it could either have his show or its vaccine mandate. Reruns of his show have been aired in his slot instead of a live show this entire week.

Westwood One reportedly is telling affiliates, “Dan has not taken significant time off since launching the show and is taking a well-deserved vacation.” However, Bongino, who continues to do his daily podcast, didn’t sound like he was on vacation, reports InsideRadio.

“The fight with them is having a real impact. Behind the scenes it’s getting a little ugly here,” he said on Tuesday’s podcast episode. “I wasn’t on the radio today. I don’t know what they did, played the ‘best of’ or whatever.”

“It is unfortunately an ugly fight, I wish it weren’t,” Bongino said as he re-hashed the developments with his employer on Wednesday’s podcast. “Some of the people who were fired by Cumulus whose stories are piling in, they are really disturbing. I hear you… I read one of the emails yesterday and I’m going to get to more of them as time goes on.”

"Behind the scenes, it's getting a little ugly here," he said Tuesday. "I wasn't on the radio today or yesterday. But you don’t treat people this way."

He reiterated Wednesday that "it's unfortunately an ugly fight. I wish it weren't. But some of the people who have been fired from Cumulus, their stories are piling in, and they're pretty disturbing," referring to an email he read the previous day from an employee allegedly fired from the company for not complying with the mandate. The employee claimed Cumulus rejected his religious exemption within a day.

"This fight's been wearing me down but not wearing me out," Bongino said, adding he'd learned not to choose business partners who "treat people poorly and just have poor character."

The former Secret Service agent turned commentator is opposed to vaccination mandates on the grounds of bodily autonomy, although he himself is vaccinated.

“Cumulus is going to have to make a decision with me—if they want to continue this partnership or they don’t,” Bongino told listeners in a recent program. “It’s really unfortunate that people with a lower profile than me, who don’t have 300-plus stations, have been summarily either shown the door or been put in really untenable circumstances because they simply want to make a medical decision by themselves.”

Bongino’s show with Westwood One debuted in May and is being distributed to more than 300 stations, according to the company. He holds the time slot previously occupied by the late Rush Limbaugh. 

Streaming Powers UMG’s Core Earnings By 21%

Universal Music Group NV, the record label behind many of the music industry's biggest stars, on Wednesday reported a 21% rise in third quarter core earnings it attributed to growing revenue from streaming and social media platforms, reports Reuters.

UMG's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 461 million euros ($535 million) compared with 382 million euros in the same period a year ago.

"I firmly believe the music industry is only at the beginning of a new wave of growth and evolution," said CEO Lucian Grainge in a presentation.

It is the first time the label behind stars such as Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift has published earnings as an independent public company after it was spun off from former parent Vivendi in September in Europe's largest listing of the year.

Grainge said the results showed the strength and diversity of Universal's artist catalogue, noting important deals struck in recent months with South Korean pop band BTS, Indian rapper Badshah and German singer Helene Fischer, as well as innovative deals with U.S. rock band Aerosmith and Sweden's ABBA.

UMG is also betting that a boom in music streaming led by Spotify, that has fuelled royalty revenue and profit growth for several years, still has a long way to run in a music industry it dominates along with Warner and Sony Music.

Universal's quarterly revenue rose 16% to 2.15 billion euros, it said, citing growth in recordings, publishing and merchandising.

It has forecast full year 2021 revenue to grow by more than 10% and adjusted EBITDA by more than 20%.

TV Ratings: MLB-WS Game 1 Increase 17.5 Percent

Atlanta’s 6-2 victory over Houston in Game 1 of the World Series drew an average of 10,811,000 viewers on Fox, up 17.5% from the record low of 9,195,000 for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ opening 8-3 win over Tampa Bay last year, reports The Associated Press citing Nielsen data.

Tuesday night’s game averaged a 6.1 rating, 15 share on Fox. Fox said it averaged 11,077,000 viewers combined for Fox, Fox Deportes for Spanish-language coverage and Fox’s streaming apps. The game was the most-streamed World Series opener at 273,619, an increase of 82%.

\The Braves-Astros number was the second-lowest total to start a Series.  Before last year, the low for a Game 1 had been San Francisco’s 7-1 win over Kansas City on Oct. 21, 2014, viewed by an average of 12,191,000 on a Tuesday night.

Last year’s Series, played at the neutral site of Arlington, Texas, because of the pandemic, received an average television rating 32% below the previous World Series low. The six games on Fox last year averaged a 5.2 rating, 12 share and 9,785,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The previous low was a 7.6 rating, 12 share and 12,660,000 viewers for the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned in to a broadcast. The share is the percentage viewing a telecast among those households with TVs on at the time.

Milwaukee Radio: iHM's WRNW Poaches NFL Packers From WTMJ

After more than 90 years of Green Bay Packers football on WTMJ 620 AM, the station and the Packers Radio Network are parting ways with the Packers switching to iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee sports-talk station WRNW 97.3 FM The Game.

Packers games and related programming in Milwaukee will transition to The Game 97.3 WRNW from 620WTMJ Radio, a longtime Packers affiliate that began broadcasting Packers games in 1929. The transition in Milwaukee is with the affiliate station only, as the Packers have produced games and related content and also managed the Packers Radio Network in-house since 2018.

"We are excited to welcome a new station to the Packers Radio Network in the Milwaukee area beginning in 2022," said Craig Benzel, Packers vice president of sales and business development. "iHeartMedia enthusiastically pursued the opportunity that being a part of the network creates, and we are looking forward to how their innovative approach will appeal to Packers fans in southeastern Wisconsin.

"The Packers have greatly appreciated the partnership with WTMJ over the years and will always respect the history they have with the franchise," said Benzel.

The transition to The Game 97.3 WRNW expands on the existing relationship between the Packers and iHeartMedia as the station joins iHeartRadio affiliate partners in Madison (WIBA AM and WIBA FM), Eau Claire (WBIZ) and Moline, Illinois (WFXN Fox Sports).

97.3 The Game WRNW and iHeartMedia Milwaukee will offer an attractive demographic opportunity to reach new listeners with a growing sports talk radio segment and other programming formats in the Milwaukee area.

Additionally, the partnership offers a variety of new platforms that will support key Packers initiatives, including iHeartMedia's new audio partnership with the NFL which features podcast distribution.

"All of us at iHeartMedia are honored, excited and passionate about the future of our Milwaukee affiliation with the Green Bay Packers," said Jeff Tyler, Area President for iHeartMedia Wisconsin.

The move will leave a void in WTMJ’s late summer-through-early winter programming and its role as home for game broadcasts of Wisconsin’s major professional sports teams. WTMJ  continues carrying Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers game broadcasts.

The addition of Packers games will raise the profile and presumably the audience for WRNW, which was best known until now as the home of the Steve Czaban morning show.

“While we’re disappointed in the Packers’ decision, we are grateful for our partnership over the years with the team,” said Steve Wexler, vice president and market manager of WTMJ owner GKB Milwaukee. “It’s been an honor to be steward of the Packers brand and we’re looking forward to continuing to serve sports fans and our marketing partners with a new era of football content. We’ll continue to cheer on the Packers for years to come.”

Not only Packers games but also related programming in Milwaukee will transition to 97.3 The Game. The change in Milwaukee impacts only the Milwaukee market, as the Packers have produced games and related content and also managed the Packers Radio Network in-house since 2018.

iHeartMedia Completes $60M Stock Buyback

iHeartMedia, Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, iHeart Operations, Inc., has repurchased and cancelled all of its 60,000 outstanding shares of Series A Perpetual Preferred Stock, utilizing cash on hand.

“We are pleased to have voluntarily repurchased the full balance of our $60 million preferred stock, demonstrating our commitment to strengthening our balance sheet and increasing free cash flow, while still maintaining ample liquidity,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “Repurchasing early allows us to realize interest savings, exit the most restrictive instrument on our balance sheet, and continue to reinforce iHeart’s commitment to improving our capital structure. This action continues to demonstrate our confidence in our business moving forward.”

The cash repurchase price for each Series A Perpetual Preferred Stock is $1,000.00, plus a premium equal to the remaining dividends required to be paid through the optional redemption date of May 1, 2022 (the “Redemption Date”) discounted at a negotiated rate. This results in an aggregate redemption amount of $64.35 million to be paid to the holders of the $60 million Series A Perpetual Preferred Stock.

Denver Radio: Bob Call Ready To Cap His 50-Year Career

Bob Call
After more than 50 years in the radio industry, Bonneville Denver Market Manager and Senior Vice President Bob Call announced he is retiring the end of the year.

“Bob Call has had a tremendous career, and he leaves behind a well-earned reputation for excellence as a leader in broadcasting,” said Bonneville president Darrell Brown. “In the years we’ve worked together, he’s consistently achieved great results for the business, and I deeply appreciate his ability and willingness to lead with integrity. I believe that his leadership has made a positive impact on the day-to- day experiences of his employees, while producing exceptional outcomes for the business. That’s a significant legacy, and one that I think he should be very proud of. As we say here, he is one of Bonneville’s best, and we’re grateful for all he has done.”

Call began his 52-year radio career in Dover, Delaware and followed a path that took him to Wilmington, Delaware, Huntington, West Virginia, Charlotte, North Caroline and Denver, Colorado in various roles including On-Air Personality, Sales Representative, Program Director, Operations Manager and General Manager. Call was Senior Vice President and Market Manager for Lincoln Financials’ Denver cluster before Bonneville International purchased KYGO, KOSI, KKFN and KEPN in July 2015.

“I’ve wanted to be in radio since I got a tour of a radio station as an 8-year-old cub scout. It’s been a dream come true. I am grateful for the support of my family, colleagues, and friends over the decades. I want to thank Darrell Brown for his inspiring leadership, and the outstanding team at Bonneville Denver for the great work they do every day,” said Call.

Call has also served as Chair of the Colorado Broadcaster’s Association Board twice during 14 years of service to the CBA. He also served the industry as Top Five Group Representative PPM Markets on the Nielsen Advisory Council, was named 2014 Colorado Broadcaster of the Year, and was recently inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame, class of 2021.

Call’s retirement leaves Bonneville with two open Market Manager/GM positions, one in Denver and another in Phoenix, which is open due to the internal promotion of the previous GM, Scott Sutherland. Bonneville is working to fill those roles.

Industry Vet Charlie Sislen To Retire As The Research Director

After 24 years working devotedly as a Partner at Research Director,  Inc., Charlie Sislen, a resident of Annapolis, Maryland, announced his plans to retire on December 31, 2021.

Charlie joined Research Director, Inc. after 16 years' experience in the radio industry. During his time at Research Director, Inc., he participated with the entire team to ensure that clients grew their billing and ratings.  He also represented the company at many industry functions. 

“It has been a pleasure being part of Research Director, Inc. for the past 24 years. I woke up every day excited not only about what would come next, but also more importantly the people I would interact with. I enjoyed every conversation with Research Director, Inc.’s amazing team, our tremendous clients, and everyone who  makes our industry great. I want to especially thank my partner, Marc Greenspan, who had the vision to bring  me into this company and partnered with me to build a truly remarkable organization.  I am leaving a phenomenal team, whose hard work made my role as the face of the company easy. They made  the difference for every one of our clients. 

Charlie Sislen, Karen Morriss
"Now is the time of my life where I must shift my focus from my career, which I love, to my family and my community. Research Director, Inc. and the radio industry will always be in my heart. My thanks to all who were such an integral part of this life‐changing journey” says Charlie. 

“Charlie, thank you for your impactful contributions. It has been a pleasure to partner with you in the growth of Research Director, Inc.”, says Founder and CEO Marc Greenspan. “We wish you much success in the next chapter of your journey.” 

Over the next couple of months, Charlie will support Research Director, Inc. during the transition. As a part of that transition, Karen Morriss will join the team as the Director of Client Services.  

Karen Morriss has 20+ years of experience in the radio industry. She consistently produced revenue in an ever‐changing marketplace by collaborating with radio station management, establishing and analyzing research projects, and creating revenue‐generating presentations and sales materials. Research Director, Inc. is excited to welcome Karen as a member of the team. 

Research Director, Inc. is based in Annapolis, Maryland. Coined “The Ratings Experts” by their clients, the company helps radio stations’ programming and sales departments maximize the value of their research. For more information about Research Director, Inc., visit

Charlotte Radio: WBT's John Hancock Makes It To The NCAB Hall

John Hancock
The North Carolina Broadcasters Association held its Annual Business Meeting virtually and presented its 2021 Broadcast awards. Trip Savery, President and COO at Curtis Media in Raleigh, NC and President of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters emceed the Awards ceremony.

NCAB Hall of Fame Award for 2021included the induction of John Hancock. John recently retired after 50 years of on-air service with the past 30 years in Charlotte. John arrived in Charlotte and at WBT in December of 1990 and has helped shape the conversation in the Queen City ever since by musing on the issues of the day with his unique perspective.

John Hancock aired his final daily show on WBT 1110 AM on October 17, 2019. But, even in retirement, he remains active in radio and at WBT in the form of two commentaries a week and joining Bo Thompson on the WBT morning show for an hour every Friday.

Other personality recipients included: Radio Personality or Team of the Year: The Aaron Keck Show on WCHL-FM in Chapel Hill, NC. Radio Personality Award for a Large Market: Jared and Katie on WKZL-FM in Greensboro, NC.

October 28 Radio History

In 1922...WEAF in New York broadcast the first collegiate football game heard over a widespread radio network.  Princeton played the University of Chicago at Stagg Field in the Windy City. The broadcast was carried on phone lines to New York City, where the network transmission began.

In 1940...comedian Henry Morgan‘s radio career took a turn for the better as he debuted ‘Here’s Morgan,’ a nightly 15-minute strip on Mutual's WOR NYC.  He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing.

He strenuously objected to the professional name "Morgan". What was wrong with his own name, Henry van Ost, Jr.? he asked. Too exotic, too unpronounceable, he was told. "What about the successful announcers Harry von Zell or Westbrook Van Voorhis?" he countered. But it was no use, and the bosses finally told Henry he could take the job or leave it.

Thus began a long history of Henry's having arguments with executives.

In 1945...CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station.

On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, owner Allan Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built a new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power to its current 50,000 watts (DA-2) around the clock.

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario. By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored. Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY.

He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. Nelson was Morning Host for more than 20-years on CHUM.

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950s and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

In 1946....Sky King debuted on ABC radio.  The radio seriedswas based on a story by Roy Winsor, the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created Captain Midnight. Several actors played the part of Sky, including Earl Nightingale and John Reed King.

"Radio premiums" were offered to listeners, as was the case with many radio shows of the day. For example, the Sky King Secret Signalscope was used on November 2, 1947, in the "Mountain Detour" episode. Listeners were advised to get their own for only 15 cents and the inner seal from a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, which was produced by the sponsor, Derby Foods. The Signalscope included a glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass, and Sky King's private code. With the Signalscope, one could also see around corners and trees.

The premiums were innovative, such as the Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, which had a "decoder" (cipher disk), magnifying glass, measuring scale, and printing mechanism in a single package slightly over two inches long. Other notable premiums were the Magni-Glo Writing Ring, which had a luminous element, a secret compartment, a magnifier, and a ballpoint pen, all in the crown piece of a "fits any finger" ring.

The radio show continued until 1954, broadcasting simultaneously with the first portion of the television version.

In 1950...Jack Benny's radio program on CBS made the transitioned to CBS Television where it stayed until 1964 before moving to NBC-TV for its final year. His weekly radio show ran from 1932 to 1955.

In 1953...Red Barber resigned after 14 seasons as the radio voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Prior to the 1953 World Series, Barber was selected by Gillette, which sponsored the Series broadcasts, to call the games on NBC along with Mel Allen. Barber wanted a larger fee than was offered by Gillette, however, and when Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley refused to back him, Barber declined to work the Series and Vin Scully partnered with Allen on the telecasts instead.

As Barber later related in his 1968 autobiography, Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat, he was rankled by O'Malley's lack of support, and this – along with a dispute over the renewal of Barber's $50,000 a year contract – led to his departure from the Dodgers' booth later that October, when he joined Mel Allen on the New York Yankees broadcast team.

In 1961...While working as a clerk at a record store in Liverpool, England, Brian Epstein was first asked asked by a customer for a copy of "My Bonnie", the new single by a group called The Beatles.

Brian Epstein
Epstein first noticed the Beatles in issues of Mersey Beat and on numerous posters around Liverpool created by his commercial artist associate Tony Booth, before he asked Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry who they were. Harry had previously convinced Epstein to sell the magazine in the store where he worked.  The Beatles were featured on the front page of its second issue. The Beatles had recorded the "My Bonnie" single with Tony Sheridan in Germany.  Epstein would later say that customer Raymond Jones walked into his record shop and asked him for the "My Bonnie" single, which made Epstein curious about the group.  Taylor later claimed that he had used the name of Jones (a regular customer) to order the single and paid the deposit, knowing that Epstein would notice it and order further copies.

Harry and McCartney later repudiated Epstein's story, as Harry had been talking to Epstein for a long time about the Beatles—the group that he promoted the most in Mersey Beat—with McCartney saying, "Brian knew perfectly well who the Beatles were; they were on the front page of the second issue of Mersey Beat".  On 3 August 1961, Epstein started a regular music column in the Mersey Beat called "Stop the World—And Listen To Everything In It".

In 1963...New York radio personality Murray the K played "She Loves You" by the Beatles. This is believed to be the first time a Beatles song was played in the U.S.

However, the claim is disputed by several.   Pacific Northwest deejay Pat O'Day maintains that it was not Murray the K that played the first ever Beatles record in the US but in fact it was played in Seattle at Pat's station KJR 950 AM. (Date undisclosed)

WLS in Chicago charted it for the weeks of March 8 and March 15, 1963 (peaking at #35), before dropping it off. Some fairly exhaustive research at Kent Kotal’s Forgotten Hits establishes pretty clearly that WLS was the first station in America to play The Beatles, in late February 1963, nearly a year before the outbreak of Beatlemania across the country.

In 1986... Stanley E. Hubbard's KOB sells the company's Albuquerque, New Mexico radio stations, KOB-AM and KOB-FM, the AM station changed call sign to KKOB 770 AM.

KOB was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island. New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.

KOB 770 AM (50kw-Night Pattern)
In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters.

KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston.

While the FCC requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to operate over large areas, the station refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover.

Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.

Bwana Johnny
In 2005…Top 40 radio personality Rick "Bwana Johnny" Johnson died of heart failure at the age of 56.

Bwana had been a popular disc jockey at KYA 1260 AM S-F in the late 1960s.

Before coming to the Bay Area in 1969, "Beautiful Bwana" worked at KLOG Kelso, Wash., WUBE Cincinnati and KJR Seattle. He moved on to WWDJ New York as music director and afternoon-drive jock (1971-1973) and had a stint for a year at WFUN Miami before returning to his hometown, Portland, Ore., as "Crazy Dick Simms" on the Rose City's legendary KISN in 1975.


  • Jazz singer Cleo Laine is 94. 
  • Actor Joan Plowright is 92. 
  • Actor Jane Alexander is 82. 
  • Actor Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”) is 77. 
  • Actor-singer Telma Hopkins (Tony Orlando and Dawn) is 73. 
  • Actor Annie Potts is 69. 
  • Songwriter-music producer Desmond Child is 68. 
  • Drummer Stephen Morris of New Order is 64. 
  • Singer-guitarist William Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain is 63. 
  • Actor Mark Derwin (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” ″Life With Bonnie”) is 61. 
  • Lauren Holly is 58
    Actor Daphne Zuniga (“Melrose Place”) is 59. 
  • Actor Lauren Holly is 58. 
  • “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood is 58. 
  • Actor Jami Gertz is 56. 
  • Actor Chris Bauer (“True Blood”) is 55. 
  • Actor-comedian Andy Richter is 55. 
  • Actor Julia Roberts is 54. 
  • Fiddler Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown) is 53. 
  • Actor Jeremy Davies (“Lost,” “Justified”) is 52. 
  • Singer Ben Harper is 52. 
  • Country singer Brad Paisley is 49. 
  • Actor Joaquin Phoenix is 47. 
  • Actor Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones,” ″Star Wars” films) is 43. 
  • Singer Justin Guarini (“American Idol”) is 43. 
  • Singer Brett Dennen is 42. 
  • Guitarist Dave Tirio of Plain White T’s is 42. 
  • Actor Matt Smith (“The Crown,” ″Dr. Who”) is 39. 
  • Actor Finn Wittrock (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”) is 37. 
  • Actor Troian Bellisario (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 36. 
  • Singer-rapper Frank Ocean is 34. 
  • Actor Lexi Ainsworth (“General Hospital”) is 29. 
  • Actor Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”) is 23.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

TV Ratings: Football Powers NBC To Week's Win, FOX Rolls On

The CBS comedy “Ghosts” has shown early promise, so far landing just outside the top 20 for the young season so far, while ABC’s reboot of “The Wonder Years” sitcom is hovering at around No. 65, according to The Associated Press citing Nielsen figures.

But the two shows have already been granted full-season runs. Admiring reviews for both aside, the reason lies in the numbers — the ones that measure how a show performs in the long run, not just after its first day of airing as reflected above.

The debut episode of “The Wonder Years” was watched by 3.2 million viewers on ABC when it aired Sept. 22. That figure grew to 6.4 million after a week of combined broadcast and digital viewership.

“Ghosts,” based on a hit BBC comedy, drew just shy of 5.6 million viewers to its Oct. 7 broadcast debut, reaching 7.76 million after seven days that also included on-demand viewing.

The winner of last week’s network derby was NBC, home to two football games that landed in the top 10. It averaged 5.79 million viewers in prime-time, followed by CBS with 5.11 million. Fox had 4 million, ABC had 3 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1 million and ION Television had 970,000.

➤Top 20 Prime Time Shows:

  1. NFL Football: Indianapolis at San Francisco, NBC, 16.1 million.
  2. NFL Football: Denver at Cleveland, Fox, 12.99 million.
  3. NFL Football: Buffalo at Tennessee, ESPN, 12.5 million.
  4. NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 11.94 million.
  5. “NFL Postgame” (Sunday), CBS, 11.4 million.
  6. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.5 million.
  7. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.53 million.
  8. “Equalizer,” CBS, 7.8 million.
  9. “NCIS,” CBS, 7.65 million.
  10. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 7.37 million.
  11. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.36 million.
  12. “NFL Pregame” (Thursday), Fox, 7.27 million.
  13. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.77 million.
  14. MLB NL Championship: LA Dodgers at Atlanta, TBS, 6.95 million.
  15. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.73 million.
  16. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 6.36 million.
  17. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 6.358 million.
  18. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 6.1 million.
  19. MLB AL Championship: Boston at Houston, Fox Sports, 5.8 million.
  20. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 5.78 million.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening news ratings contest, averaging 7.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 6.7 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.9 million.

With a lift from the baseball playoffs, TBS topped the cable networks in prime time, averaging 3.1 million viewers. ESPN had 2.9 million, Fox News Channel had 2.3 million, MSNBC had 1.2 million and Hallmark had 1.1 million.

TV Newser reports Tucker Carlson Tonight marked its second consecutive week as the No. 1 cable news show (3.02 million total viewers/464,000 adults 25-54). Fox News’ The Five finished No. 2 in average total viewers, averaging 3.01 million and 418,000 adults 25-54. Hannity remained the No. 3 cable news show, both in average total viewers ( 2.76 million) and adults 25-54 (400,000), followed by Special Report with Bret Baier (2.28 million) and The Ingraham Angle (2.18 million) rounding out the top 5 in average total viewers. 

Fox News had 13 of the 15-most-watched shows on cable news for the third consecutive week. 

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished No. 7 in total viewers, and was once again the top non-Fox News show on cable news, averaging 2.04 million total viewers for the week.

“Squid Game” was the most streamed program in its first full week of release, with viewers spending 1.91 billion minutes watching the nine-episode South Korean survival drama the week of Sept. 20-26.