WABC Radio’s Bernie McGuirk Has Passed Away
“The WABC morning show will hold a moment of silence for Bernie McGuirk on Thursday. The station is preparing a tribute show, which is scheduled to run on October 11.”
The talk radio industry has lost one of its signature voices. WABC announced on Thursday morning that Bernie McGuirk had died after a battle with prostate cancer. He would have turned 65 at the end of the month.
McGuirk had been with the station since 2007. He partnered with Sid Rosenberg in 2016. Their show was initially heard in middays. They made the move to afternoon drive in 2018.
“Bernie was my partner and my friend,” said Rosenberg. “He was always the smartest guy in the room, and I was fortunate to be the guy next to him. I know our listeners join me in grieving the loss to radio and to New York.”
McGuirk began his radio career in 1986. Most listeners outside of New York likely knew him from his time with Don Imus. He served as Imus’s executive producer from 1993 until 2018. His sense of humor, candid opinions, and parody songs were staples of his on-air contributions.
“Bernie was not just half of Bernie and Sid in the Morning; Bernie was part of the fabric of WABC. Listeners from all around the world started their days with Bernie’s charismatic wit and insight, from tragic events to American’s day to day life. His absence will leave a hole not just at WABC but across the airwaves and in America’s hearts. Bernie was our brother, our friend, our mentor, our colleague. We will all miss Bernie more than words can express,” Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC, wrote in an email to his staff.
The WABC morning show will hold a moment of silence for Bernie McGuirk on Thursday. The station is preparing a tribute show, which is scheduled to run on Tuesday, October 11.
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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.
October 6, 2022 at 9:51 am
Bernie,you were one of a kind. We will miss you terribly.
October 6, 2022 at 2:26 pm
Bernie was an amazing man. My husband and I are long time listeners. When we heard the news of his passing, we felt as though we lost a member of our family. When you have listened to someone for so many years, the loss is a feeling of emptiness. We always had our coffee ☕️ in the morning when his show started. We will miss him terribly, but know he is out of pain and in a better place😢
Our sincere sympathy to his wife and family.
October 6, 2022 at 2:44 pm
You were the most intelligent, quiet Irishman I listened to every morning. You could feel the love you had for your family through the radio. May God keep you in his care.
October 6, 2022 at 10:25 pm
Sid remember good friends are hard to come and you were a good friend to Bernie and he to you! We loved the comarady that came over the airwaves each and every morning. How lucky you are to have all those great memories that the two of you created together. We feel your pain. Thanks for keeping us company every morning. Take care be well and safe stay the course and be strong