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NewsNation Sees Viewers Bump From Chris Cuomo

Cuomo’s appearance, his first in public since his CNN firing from Nov. 2021, was a prelude to his new nightly program on NewsNation.

Doug Pucci



When Chris Cuomo was a guest on the July 26th edition of NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live”, it drew an audience to the tune of 187,000 viewers. While a far cry from the ratings he had gotten in his CNN days, it was more than triple the normal amount of viewership for the fledgling news channel. Cuomo’s appearance, his first in public since his CNN firing from Nov. 2021, was a prelude to his new nightly program on NewsNation.

Oct. 3rd was the launch date for “Cuomo”. and, as recently reported here on Barrett News Media, it delivered 147,000 viewers.

In the three nights that followed, “Cuomo” built upon his premiere numbers:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022: 193,000 viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54
  • Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022: 174,000 viewers; 30,000 adults 25-54
  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022: 156,000 viewers; 30,000 adults 25-54

In its nine weeknight editions thus far (Oct. 3-7 and Oct. 10-13), “Cuomo” has averaged 152,000 viewers including 21,000 within the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. While those figures are about one-sixth of his CNN “Cuomo Prime Time” audience from the same week one year ago — an 849,000 total viewers/154,000 adults 25-54 average from Oct. 5-8, 2021 — NewsNation’s “Cuomo” more than tripled its recent former time slot occupant (a general headlines program entitled “NewsNation Prime”) among total viewers and more than doubled it in adults 25-54, comparing it to data from the weeknights of Sep. 12-30, 2022 (“NewsNation Prime” — 47,000 viewers/8,000 adults 25-54) “Cuomo” achieved a series-to-date high in 25-54 on Wednesday, Oct. 12 with 46,000 (along with 181,000 total viewers that night, its second-best-ever thus far).

Going by the “rising tide lifts all boats” analogy, the presence of “Cuomo” has also improved (for the most part) its surrounding programs in prime time. Here is how they performed from Sep. 12-30:

  • On Balance with Leland Vittert (7 p.m.): 50,000 viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
  • Dan Abrams Live (9 p.m.): 56,000 viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • Banfield (10 p.m.): 49,000 viewers; 9,000 adults 25-54

And here is how they performed from Oct. 3-13, since the arrival of “Cuomo” at 8 p.m.:

  • On Balance with Leland Vittert (7 p.m.): 61,000 viewers (+22%); 12,000 adults 25-54 (+9%)
  • Dan Abrams Live (9 p.m.): 86,000 viewers (+54%); 16,000 adults 25-54 (+33%)
  • Banfield (10 p.m.): 57,000 viewers (+16%); 7,000 adults 25-54 (-22%)

Not surprisingly, “Cuomo” lead-out “Dan Abrams Live” has benefitted the most; it has twice achieved above 100,000 viewers during that time (precisely, 106,000 on each Oct. 3 and Oct. 5). Even “Cuomo” lead-in “On Balance” once drew above the 100,000-viewer mark (103,000 on Oct. 13).

While NewsNation still has a long way to go to catch its long-established cable news brethren in the ratings, having “Cuomo” at night has provided the 2-year-old news outlet a positive step forward.

Cable news averages for October 3-9, 2022:

Total Day (Oct. 3-9 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.468 million viewers; 197,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.746 million viewers; 76,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.530 million viewers; 104,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.163 million viewers; 46,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.128 million viewers; 30,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.120 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.117 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.106 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (Oct. 3-8 @ 8-11 p.m.; Oct. 9 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.250 million viewers; 280,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.211 million viewers; 110,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.631 million viewers; 136,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.188 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.173 million viewers; 56,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.172 million viewers; 46,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.108 million viewers; 19,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.089 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.046 million viewers; 8,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.644 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.587 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.474 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 10/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.463 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.456 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 10/6/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.367 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 10/3/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.228 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 10/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.132 million viewers

9. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Thu. 10/6/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.028 million viewers

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.010 million viewers

29. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 10/3/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.253 million viewers

151. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Tue. 10/4/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.936 million viewers

202. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 615” (HBO, Fri. 10/7/2022 10:01 PM, 53 min.) 0.763 million viewers

346. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 10/9/2022 11:22 PM, 35 min.) 0.495 million viewers

349. The Daily Show (CMDY, Wed. 10/5/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.483 million viewers

378. Kudlow (FBN, Thu. 10/6/2022 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.405 million viewers

431. Forensic Files “Deadly Curve” (HLN, late Wed. 10/5/2022 12:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.315 million viewers

452. American Greed “American Greed 206 Chasing Tesla” (CNBC, Tue. 10/4/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.292 million viewers

557. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Mon. 10/3/2022 9:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.228 million viewers

625. Cuomo (NWSN, Tue. 10/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.193 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.530 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.505 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.496 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.480 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 10/3/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.445 million adults 25-54

6. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.442 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/5/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.425 million adults 25-54

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 10/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.418 million adults 25-54

9. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 10/4/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.403 million adults 25-54

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Mon. 10/3/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.389 million adults 25-54

45. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 10/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.244 million adults 25-54

61. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 10/3/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.219 million adults 25-54

78. The Daily Show (CMDY, Wed. 10/5/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.201 million adults 25-54

121. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 615” (HBO, Fri. 10/7/2022 10:01 PM, 53 min.) 0.159 million adults 25-54

123. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 10/9/2022 11:22 PM, 35 min.) 0.157 million adults 25-54

234. Forensic Files “Beaten By A Hair” (HLN, late Wed. 10/5/2022 2:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.111 million adults 25-54

204. American Greed “American Greed 206 Chasing Tesla” (CNBC, Tue. 10/4/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.120 million adults 25-54

416. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Wed. 10/5/2022 9:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.070 million adults 25-54

476. Kudlow (FBN, Thu. 10/6/2022 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.059 million adults 25-54

725. Cuomo (NWSN, Thu. 10/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.030 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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  1. christine gill

    October 17, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    I love Chris coumo plenty of people don’t know he is on TV again yet but when they find out the ratings will defo go up he is the best that’s why he was number one on cnn and he is not a disgrace he helped his family like anyone would do he proberly could have done more but his hands were tied to a limit they wrongly sacked him 💯% and when he wins his case that will prove he was right always thought don lemon was a good friend to him well that shocked me to find out he is not I only wish I could get it over here on my sky TV hopefully one day u might be able to do that well good luck and best wishes to Chris coumo and newsnation .. Chris Gill xx

    • Pamela Alston

      October 19, 2022 at 1:36 pm

      Chris Cuomo was the best addition to CNN and prior to that the only reason I watched it was to see Anderson Cooper and after that I would change the channel but when Chris Cuomo came onboard his ratings soared and with NewsNation a station that’s not easily accessed for most people he still shot their ratings up as well. He is by far my favorite journalist/newscaster in America. If you don’t want to hear the truth don’t watch him! What he should do and what I was hoping all along is that he would start his own news station on a more accessible platform for most people. While we stream many things …NewsNation is not on Hulu or sling as we were told… Once we move into our new home and install cable we will have access to it all but right now that’s our excuse. Love him and his entire family!

  2. Linda Krantz

    October 18, 2022 at 1:25 am

    When I found out Chris Coumo moved to NewsNation I put it on my calendar and have been watching his new show. I actually like the format better than his CNN show. I like that he is following up on stories that are no longer in the news. Nobody else is doing this . I was appalled what is going on in Miami at the condo that collapsed 16 months ago. Once people find out what channel he is on, his viewership will keep increasing. I like that viewers can call in. Keep up good work!

  3. Jo Galvan Nash

    October 18, 2022 at 1:53 am

    I just watched a taped interview by Cuomo with Ye. I applaud Cuomo and found it refreshing to listen in. (Ye was ridiculous but Chris still has the “it” factor as a journalist.) Now I’ve got to find how and where to watch NewsNation. Cuomo is awesome!

  4. Elsa P Hoderlein

    October 18, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Happy to have Cris Cuomo back on the news.
    Have followed him for many years and will keep following him❤️❤️❤️

  5. Shelley Berg

    October 20, 2022 at 1:05 am

    I am so glad to know that Chris Cuomo is back on the news, this time at News Nation! I have been watching him for years on CNN, and my after-work new fix has never been the same, since Chris has left the show. He is incredibly intelligent, articulate, entertaining, tenacious, and is great with bringing all sides to an issue into the spotlight for discussion and debate. A very well-read man. He is a huge asset, now to News Nation, for his ability to ‘hear what is not being said,’ on various issues. His journalistic depth, speed, and legal acumen are bar none.

  6. Tess Jenkins

    October 20, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    My husband and I watched chris coumo everyday when he was in cnn . Now we are watching him in newsnation . We are so glad ! . Yes ! He is awesome .

  7. Sam Hill

    October 30, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Chris is a sad excuse for a tv news person. He should be going to jail for covering up for his disgraced brother who not only is a pervert but single handley sent hundreds of seniors to their untimely deaths during covid.

    He is a disgrace and so is news nation.

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BNM Writers

After Departure of Chuck Todd, What is the Future of ‘Sunday Shows’?

The best political interview show on TV isn’t on Sunday morning. Perhaps embarrassing to us in the actual field of journalism is that the best questioner and keen fact-checker on the fly is Jon Stewart.



The tenure of Chuck Todd as Twitter’s favorite Sunday morning punching bag has ended. NBC’s political director and host of Meet The Press announced his departure yesterday, after a nearly 10-year run, claiming he is leaving “too soon” rather than “too late”.

Todd, who sat in the front row of the White House Press Room while I filled a similar seat at ABC, will now anchor a streaming show and contribute election analysis. He will be replaced by another former White House press corps colleague Kristen Welker in September.

Under Todd’s leadership, MTP has gone from first place to 3rd, and he has become the butt of many jokes and criticisms from those who do not believe he pushes back enough on lies and misinformation uttered to his face by politicians. The funniest line and perhaps sharpest critique came at last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner when comedian Trevor Noah called him out from the stage. “Chuck Todd, how are you?…I’d ask a follow-up, but you don’t know what that is”.

Unfortunately, that is a common malady among my former colleagues, and Mr. Todd is perhaps not the worst at fact-checking in real-time. But as pointed out, he once replied to Peter Navarro, a Donald Trump sycophant and prolific disinformation specialist with “I take your point”, after, without evidence, Navarro accused Democrats of eagerly rooting against the American economy to cripple Trump’s re-election attempt.

Todd can take some solace in the fact that if you read media critics and Twitter he is also disliked by right-wing “fake news” proponents who claim he shows bias against Republicans. Our old adage among journalists was if both sides hate you, you are doing something right. And the longing for Tim Russert is overplayed because we never got to see how Tim would have done up against the avalanche of disinformation that is today’s politics.

So what’s next? The Sunday shows are my favorite part of the week. The panels are civil and well thought out. Meet The Press has some very smart people from the left and right and unlike CNN or Fox, none who refuse to acknowledge the integrity of the 2020 election. ABC was often more entertaining, if not more informative with panels featuring Rahm Emanuel, now Donna Brazille on the left, and Chris Christie on the right. Face the Nation concentrates more on policy and less on pure politics.

But the best political interview show on TV isn’t on Sunday morning. Perhaps embarrassing to us in the actual field of journalism is that the best questioner and keen fact-checker on the fly is Jon Stewart, a comedian who hosts his own show The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV.

Best example: Stewart’s interview with Oklahoma state senator Nathan Dahm, who has proposed less gun control and a ban on drag shows. It started with a simple question: “You want to ban drag show readings to children. Why?” Answer: “The government does have a responsibility to protect children.” Stewart’s clap back: “What’s the leading cause of death among children in this country? Here is a hint, it’s not drag shows.”

It’s not that hard to do. Stewart was not busy thinking about his next question or trying to fit too much into the interview. He prepared, had facts at hand, and listened to the state senator’s reply. Then calmly shut him down.

Here’s hoping my friend Kristen Welker watches a few of Stewart’s interviews. He routinely chops through talking points and knocks politicians off balance because he is quick, smart, and familiar with the concept of a follow-up.

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BNM Writers

News Media Calling Out Anti-Catholic Bigotry

It’s been hard not to notice these attacks on Catholics, and Christians more broadly, as they have spread across the country.

Rick Schultz



As most Americans watch in disgust, some corporations and ringleaders continue creating division and animosity through one woke cause, initiative, or month after another. Meanwhile, many are ignoring a large group of Americans who have been increasingly targeted and disparaged. And their plight receives barely a mention in the mainstream media.

This past weekend, Fox and Friends aired a segment focusing on the escalating vitriol and violence aimed at the Catholic Church. Such persecutions of Christians are not historically new; what is new is the apparent acquiescence of certain political and cultural leaders, as the frequency of such events continues to increase.

Rachel Campos-Duffy began the Fox News segment by laying out the facts as they stand in mid-2023.

“Attacks on Catholic churches on the rise, and yet the charges are being reduced,” Campos-Duffy began. “In California, five were arrested in 2020 for felony vandalism, after tearing down the St. Junipero Serra statue, and now they only face misdemeanors. The DOJ is recommending zero jail time for a transgender person who caused over $30,000 in damage, smashing church windows. Even spray painting an employee’s face in Washington State. And a D.C. man won’t see time behind bars after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for destroying three Saint statues at a Catholic school. So why are these incidents not being treated as hate crimes?”

Added to these points is the increased frequency in which Catholic Church-goers have seen a police presence as they arrive for mass. Tommy Valentine, Director of the CatholicVote Accountability Project, joined the program to offer his insight.

“Explain to me why vandalism, acts of violence directed towards Catholics are being treated differently than, say, other faiths or other religions?” Campos-Duffy asked.

“Thank you for shining a light on this issue, because we certainly aren’t hearing about it from the Biden administration,” Valentine said. “Look, we live in an era where we see condemnation of bigotry in most forms. Just last month there were a couple of mosques that were vandalized. The Biden Administration spoke out immediately against that, and we agreed, a place of worship should never be vandalized in this country.”

Valentine went on to mention a couple of recent catalysts for attacks against the Catholic Church. And although he didn’t mention the media specifically, many feel it was they who continue to fan the flames whenever possible.

“What we’re seeing is over 300 instances of attacks of violence and vandalism against Catholic churches in the United States over the last three years, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. And then another surge of 160 attacks since the leak of the Dobbs decision last May. And so I think what’s really troubling to a lot of Americans in the pews is that they feel like their places of worship are not safe. And when the federal government does get involved, it’s to advocate for reducing or dropping charges against these criminals as you mentioned,” Valentine pointed out.

The director was clear in his estimation of where the blame belongs. In this case, he feels local police and authorities have done all they can to help quell violence and prevent vicious events.

“We’ve only been able to document instances of arrest in about a quarter of these attacks. And it’s not because local law enforcement is not willing to do the work. It’s that they do not have the resources on the local level to combat what is really a nationwide surge,” he told Campos-Duffy. “And so we’ve been calling on the federal government to devote the appropriate resources to these attacks against churches over the last two years. And they just haven’t been willing to do it.” 

“It seems counterintuitive, right? That the Biden administration wouldn’t care. Here we have Joe Biden, a Catholic. He campaigned carrying rosary beads. He likes to talk about his faith. Somebody who wrote an article about his Catholicism got some sort of big, fancy prize. So it’s something he touts, and yet he’s not doing anything about it,” Campos-Duffy noted. “I’m sure CatholicVote has looked at this. What do you attribute this rise in anti-Catholic hate around the country and even in other parts of the world? What is driving it?”

“Well, unfortunately, I just think we have a climate where everything is politicized. And it’s also a spiritual battle,” Valentine said. “I’ve documented all these cases. I’ve examined them individually. I’ve talked to a lot of the pastors of churches that have been attacked. And I know of one parish in Maryland where a gentleman came in the church, set everything on the altar on fire that could be set on fire, and also set fire to a confessional door.”

It’s been hard not to notice these attacks on Catholics, and Christians more broadly, as they have spread across the country. In fact, many popular celebrities and athletes have spoken out against the recent decision by a Major League Baseball team to host a radical, bigoted group at one of their baseball games.

“I think what you’re seeing with this story about the Dodgers honoring an anti-Catholic hate group, which just makes a travesty of our faith and commits the most sacrilegious outrages that they can imagine. I think Catholics can’t help but feel under siege,” he concluded. “And it’s something where if you can’t feel safe going to church in the morning on Sunday, that’s a really troubling place to be in America that we haven’t seen since the 1800s.”

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Nick Kayal Moved From Sports to News, And is Seeing Results at 1210 WPHT

“We hit the ground running from day one, and our audience has grown month-by-month against different demos and platforms.”

Ryan Hedrick



During the pandemic, Nick Kayal, a former sports talk show host, fearlessly pivoted his career to news/talk. This bold move resulted in numerous changes, including his current role as the highly regarded host of 1210 WPHT’s Kayal and Company show in Philadelphia.

With his vibrant and impassioned approach to news/talk, he’s spearheading the evolution of radio to cater to the next generation’s needs.

1210 WPHT stands out for its dedication to connecting with audiences through a variety of platforms. Greg Stocker, the station’s brand manager and a popular personality on Kayal and Company, has led this effort. The station has become a favorite among listeners of all ages, thanks to its focus on live and local programming from 6:00 AM-7:00 PM. As a result, 1210 WPHT has established itself as a significant player in the Philadelphia radio market.

In a recent interview with Barrett News Media, Kayal shared essential perspectives on the advantages of AM radio and the powerful influence of talk radio on Philadelphia’s story. Kayal highlighted 1210 WPHT’s success in captivating audiences with exciting content and attracting diverse listeners.

Ryan Hedrick: Many listeners know you from your background in sports radio. What prompted your transition from sports to news/talk, and how has your experience been? Have there been any challenges or rewarding aspects in making this switch?

Nick Kayal: I was a political science major in college as a freshman back in 2002, so I’ve always had an interest in politics. Then, I got away from that and changed majors to criminal justice and pre-law. I started getting really into politics right around 2015 as [Donald] Trump announced that he was going to run for president, and a lot of my political views always seem to gradually slide from moderate Democrat, to moderate Republican or conservative Republican.

Many things during the pandemic opened my eyes, from the lack of freedom to the control of the government trying to restrict its citizens, and the imposed mask mandates. Equally important is the whole cancel culture movement. The woke aspect of society and people constantly being offended, trying to shut you down because they disagree. Much of that also drove me because I’m a big believer in the First Amendment and free speech, and I don’t believe in silencing opposing viewpoints.

RH: Did you encounter any difficulties or positive experiences when making this change?

NK: It has been gratifying because many great, talented individuals have surrounded me. The feedback has been mostly positive, and all of that has been rewarding. We hit the ground running from day one, and our audience has grown month-by-month against different demos and platforms.

The only challenge, initially, was once I got the job having to stay quiet about it for a few months and then make it public and expecting some pushback from a bunch of liberals that were going to be mad because I was doing so-called conservative talk. Other than a few people I have a good relationship with unfollowing me on Twitter because they didn’t want to see my political views, there haven’t been any challenges. I was put into a situation to succeed.

RH: WPHT has a long history in Philadelphia. What makes the station unique, and how do you strive to connect with the local audience?

NK: What makes WPHT unique right now is that this is the first time in the station’s history that we’ve been live and local 6:00 AM-7:00 PM. We have four different amazing shows. We don’t have four shows that all sound identical and are formatted the same. The hosts are not trying to be Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

In the morning, we do a modern-day news show for news talk. If you’ve ever watched (Fox News’) The Five, that’s what we do. We hit on the big stories; we have personalities; we talk about pop culture; it’s that kind of variety.

Dawn [Stensland] does her show; she’s also my news anchor and a TV legend in Philadelphia. She does more of what’s breaking and developing. Dom [Giordano] is on from noon-3:00 PM and really gets into the crime issues. Rich [Zeoli] does his thing in the afternoon almost like what he did in the morning, minus the supporting cast he once had, and of course, he’s a star in the industry.

As far as connecting with the locals in Philadelphia, it’s no secret. If you are a fraud, the audience will know it. I have a blueprint, and it’s called COPE. It stands for content, opinion, personality, and entertainment. If you check off those four each day, the results should come.

RH: As a morning host, what are the critical elements of a successful morning show? How do you keep the content engaging and relevant for your listeners?

NK: When you are doing mornings, you must be entertaining. How you define entertaining is up to each host. The last thing I want to do is do a 20-minute dissertation on the debt ceiling; my job is to wake my audience up, not to put them back to sleep. I don’t do anything long-winded.

In my opening segment, after we set the show-up and chit-chat, I do a piece at 6:10 called the “Big Take”. It’s five to seven minutes long, and that’s kind of my opening monologue. I used audio and video. After that, we hit on a couple of stories, and I get Dawn [Stensland] and Greg [Stocker] ‘s opinions on it, and whatever organically develops from that is how I keep the show moving.

We have a show sheet, but we are not beholden to it. It comes down to creating a game plan and letting your radio instincts take over.  

RH: What role does talk radio play in shaping public opinion and fostering community dialogue?

NK: I’ve always been torn on shaping the narrative. I go into a show with my opinion each day. I try not to watch other people’s shows too much or listen to others because I don’t want those opinions to corrupt my views. Regarding shaping narratives, I’m not sitting there telling you what to think. You can agree or disagree.

Still, one thing I promised I would never do is to be an apologist for the Republican party or conservatives in general or MAGA Republicans. My job is not to improve your feelings but to get ratings, and I take the approach of getting ratings and eff the feelings.

RH: Can you share any memorable experiences or interviews you’ve had as a morning host? Is there a particular moment that stands out to you in your career?

NK: We have not gone heavy on interviews because we have a three-mic show between Dawn, me, and Greg. I can not give one specific interview.

Indeed, in sports, there were prominent people that I spoke with. When I was in the South, I talked to Nick Saban. Things may be different in 2023-24 if we may have somebody like [Ron] DeSantis on the show or [Donald] Trump, Tim Scott, or whoever that will be.

But so far, we have steered clear of interviews. To this date, the one thing that I am most proud of is the money we raised for the Travis Manion Foundation. Every year we do an annual radiothon, and this year we set a record in the mornings when we raised $92,000 in four hours.

RH: How do you see the future of talk radio and morning shows evolving in an era of rapidly changing media consumption habits? What strategies are you implementing to adapt to these changes?

NK: The way we view it, we are no longer a talk radio station. We are an audio and video content distribution platform or network of platforms. People listen to us when they want or when they have the time. They might be listening 45 minutes behind on a delay on the app or just catching up. They might go to the website and download the podcasts. Or they may go to YouTube and watch all four hours live on our channel.

We’ve had people tweeting us pictures of their smart TV’s where they’ve had YouTube up, and they’re watching us in their living room on their 65-inch flat screen, and it looks like we are doing a TV show. We are a variety platform now.

RH: What are some key advantages of AM radio over other mediums, and how can stations effectively communicate these advantages to listeners and advertisers?

NK: As crucial as ratings are, you will only last long with the advertisers and the revenue. It’s a matter of selling people on the value of AM and, indeed, to the automakers. AM radio is still how people get weather alerts, travel advisories, etc. There’s a human safety element. AM radio reaches over 40 million Americans weekly, well over 10 percent of the country. We still get a massive amount of people.

The biggest challenge is attracting the Gen-Z listener. I wonder if you can. That’s another audience we can tap into. There will always be that demand for talk radio because you know you can never replace live and local personalities. News/talk is expensive to operate when you’re live and local, but the value remains.

RH: Lastly, are there any exciting upcoming projects or initiatives you’re working on that you’d like to share with your listeners and readers?

NK: More than anything, our brand, WPHT, is where free speech lives. We encourage dialogue, discourse, and discussions, and, indeed, debate. We have some people in our audience who are not conservatives. We have people that disagree with us. The great thing about WPHT is that we offer well-rounded conversations and various shows.

We have some other things in the works that our Brand Manager, Greg Stocker, has been pushing for, and hopefully, in the weeks and months, we can get some of this rolled out. A lot of people say the station has never sounded better. Greg Stocker has only been in his position as Brand Manager for over a year, and he’s taken the station to new heights.

Within our doors and walls at Audacy in Philadelphia, there are very happy with how things are going at the station.

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