St. James Encourages Affluent Listeners to Donate Stimulus Checks to Charity
St. James’ comment came after the House and the Senate reached a compromise on a 900 billion dollar package late Sunday that is expected to be signed by Donald Trump on Monday.
Bruce St. James just started his new job at WLS-AM in Chicago after moving over from the Phoenix market on December 14th. He has barely settled into his new radio home before delivering a potentially controversial take on the next round of stimulus checks on Monday’s edition of The Bruce St. James Show. He encouraged people who do not need the money to donate it to charity.
St. James’ comment came after the House and the Senate reached a compromise on a 900 billion dollar package late Sunday that is expected to be signed by Donald Trump on Monday. According to CNN, a one time payment of six hundred dollars would be made to individuals making below a certain amount of money per year, while those drawing unemployment would receive an extra three hundred dollars per week on top of the benefits already received.
The extra three hundred dollars per week seem to be a sticking point for St. James.
“For a lot of people, the extra unemployment benefits are a better gig than working.”
He then offers anecdotal evidence to support his claim.
“I was at LAX this summer and I went to find a LYFT ride on the app and it said there were none available,” St. James said. “So I had to take an ancient form of transportation known as a cab. You just wave your hand and one appears like magic. I asked around and people said there was a shortage of LYFT and Uber drivers because they getting six hundred dollars per week at the time extra unemployment benefits. It was better money than they made with LYFT or Uber.”
According to multiple sources, there is a ride sharing shortage in California. However, that could be attributed to orders to reclassify drivers as employees instead of independent contractors or a variety of other factors.
St. James also takes issue with the differing impacts the stimulus package will have across the country. That’s when he urges listeners who can, to donate their stimulus checks to charity.
“Here in Chicago, six hundred dollars barely covers a month’s rent, but if you get an extra six hundred dollars in Tupelo, Mississippi, they will probably elect you as mayor. I’m not saying the stimulus package isn’t needed. It is. I feel sorry for the single mom trying to make ends meet or the person who was laid off and then started back to work and lost their job again because of this crap. They need help. But some people don’t and for those of you, Merry Christmas, you just got an extra six hundred dollars. I realize that some people need this new stimulus check to pay rent or put food on the table, but some people don’t. If you don’t need it, just donate it to charity.”
Louisiana pastor Tony Spell received criticism from the national media when he asked his congregation to donate their stimulus checks to the church in April. It remains to be seen if St. James’ comments will receive a similar backlash.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Bob Pittman: iHeartMedia Won’t Be Shutting Down Broadcast Stations
“90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
Very few large broadcasting corporations adopted digital platforms as quickly as iHeartMedia did. iHeartRadio is one of the most popular platforms for streaming content from a variety off stations. Bob Pittman says that does not mean the company does not see plenty of value in traditional broadcast radio.
Lydia Moynihan of The New York Post spoke with the iHeartMedia CEO Friday morning. She asked Pittman if he could foresee a day when the company would be done with terrestrial radio and focus solely on digital products.
“To the contrary – the strength and foundation of our company is our broadcast radio stations,” Pittman responded. “90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
He added that any success that the company has seen with podcasting or streaming is clearly linked to the success of the its radio stations. He said that is true for its live events too.
“We use that massive and unique reach of our broadcast radio to build complementary products like the iHeartRadio digital service and our major events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, and it’s why we’re the #1 podcast publisher by a lot. It all starts with using the trusted voices on our broadcast radio stations and creating demand – and with our unparalleled reach we have quite an advantage over the other audio players, regardless of their cash war chests.”
Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee Top Markets for AM Radio
“The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.”
Nielsen has looked at information from the 2022 fall book to determine where AM radio is the most popular. The company released a list Thursday of 141 markets where at least 20% of radio listeners tune to AM radio in a given month. Cities in the Great Lakes region are all at the top of the list.
In Buffalo, 56% of radio listeners use the AM band in a month. The market’s most-listened to stations are both AM stations owned by Audacy – news/talk WBEN and sports talker WGR. Neither has an FM simulcast.
There is a tie for second place. 48% of listeners in Chicago utilize AM. Popular news stations WGN and WLS are both only available on AM as is the market’s heritage sports talk brand, 670 The Score. Milwaukee is the other market with 48% of listeners using AM radio.
AM radio remains very popular in the Midwest. The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.
Last month, Nielsen used numbers from the 2022 Fall book to show that across the country, more than 82 million people rely on AM radio during a month. That is a third of all terrestrial radio listeners.
A hearing on Sen. Ed Markey’s AM For Every Vehicle Act is scheduled for Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Fox News Radio Reportedly Facing Cutbacks
“Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
According to All Access, Fox News Radio is tightening the belt a bit. Job cuts and staff reassignments are on the way.
Most of the effected positions are filled by freelancers. Reporters and fill-in hosts could be effected.
“Fox News Audio has reduced the number of freelance shifts and adjusted its workflow on weekends,” a source told Perry Michael Simon. “Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
One full-time staffer has confirmed that he is out. News anchor Kerin McCue had been with Fox News Radio since 2012. He told All Access that he will exit some time this month. The report does not say if that is the result of these cutbacks or McCue’s own decision.
The network does have a lower-cost plan for the weekend. Some repurposed content from SiriusXM’s Fox News Headlines 24/7 will fill newscast slots.