Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

| January 23, 2019

iHeartMedia’s Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court.  The United States Bankruptcy Court in Houston has confirmed the Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia.  The company says the restructuring process will be completed within the first half of 2019.  Under the terms of the Plan, iHeartMedia will complete a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and will separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. from iHeartMedia, creating two independent public companies. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019). It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way. Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR has lost a collective nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.4, unchanged at #21, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). It is tied at #21 with Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which drops two-tenths to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+), thus ending eight straight monthly reports without a loss that netted one-half share (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). After being up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall increase of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC drops one-tenth to 1.1 and is flat at #24 (6+).

This is the third loss in succession for Entercom sports talk WFAN, which is -1.2 in that stretch (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October. Part of a three-way tie at #21 (with WOR and WKXW), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off a cumulative four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.8 – 1.5- 1.4, #23 to #21, 6+), directly following an overall gain of four-tenths via four straight up or flat monthlies by the flagship of the New York Jets and New York Knicks (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+).

The market’s (6+) all-news share shrinks by nine-tenths as Entercom’s WINS forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is off four-tenths (3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). WINS was frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September; stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November; then off one-tenth in December. The setback by WCBS-AM halts four consecutive upticks that produced a net gain of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); +.6 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2, #9 to #10, 6+). For the fourth time in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (6+), but slips from #28 to #29. Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three straight times.

New York City Music Formats – Tacking on a +3.4 to December’s +2.4 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 18th successive sweep. A combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+), “Lite FM” posted a 13.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Advancing from #19 to #15, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” nets nine-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Significant ups/down continue for Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was a collective +.5 in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+); -.6 in December; and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), is a collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Flat at #8, Emmis rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97”  is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is off a collective three-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the eighth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to ninth. Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is unchanged from December in (6+) share (.8) and (6+) market rank (#31). By dropping two-tenths (.8 – .6, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” drifts from #31 to #38. In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC gained two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, 6+), but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .7 in “Holiday” 2018 (#35 to #33, 6+).

After practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three straight gains (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” surrenders two-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) as the AM flagship of the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams dips from #26 to #27. Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” spiraled by -1.4 in December. It stabilizes at .7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 yet climbs from #35 to #33. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

Up three-tenths in December (2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

The eleven (11) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#14 to #16) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST on top for the third straight time, “Coast 103.5” is up for the fifth ratings period in succession for an overall +8.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 6+-stat (13.0) exceeds the combined total of the #2 (Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH 4.4, 6+); #3 (iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG, 4.0, 6+); and #4 (Entercom smooth AC KTWV, 3.6, 6+) finishers. KOST logged an 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Its all-Christmas music challenger this year – Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO – picks up three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and progresses from #16 to #12. In four of the last five reports, “Go Country 105 FM” notched a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) boosts Entercom alternative KROQ from #20 to #14 and curtails four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). As a result of five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned KRTH (third to second) has lost a collective seven-tenths. “K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, however, “104.3 My-FM” sputters by nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.0, second to third, 6+). KBIG spent five successive months at #1before being dislodged (by KRTH) in October. Within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, co-owned mainstream CHR KIIS falters by one-half share to 3.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); “102.7 Kiss FM” was off four-tenths in December. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 19th time in a row (flat at 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). As the result of four consecutive gains (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC was a collective +.7, but the University of Southern California classical outlet slips by two-tenths (2.1, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth time in a row (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23 to #24, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is an overall -1.2 in that period. Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fifth straight sweep for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) but continues at #20. The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the fourth sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Immediately prior to the December sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox logged three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+). Dipping from #23 to #26, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 (6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) proceeds from a three-way tie at #12 to a three-way scrum at #9. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP was up one half-share, but “ESPN Chicago 1000” surrenders three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.2, #22 to #24, 6+).

In four consecutive months without a loss, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM was a collective +1.1 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), but the flagship of the NFL’s Chicago Bears falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. It shifted from first to second in December.

By losing three-tenths to 2.6 (#12 to #14), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ends four straight up or flat trends that generated a gain of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), with December’s 2.9 its best 6+-showing since April 2018’s 3.0.

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of December’s +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” piles on a +4.9 to 13.3 (6+) and repeats at #1. WLIT was 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017. One of WLIT’s AC rivals – Venture Technologies Group’s WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” – is down or flat for the fifth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN dropped three-tenths in December. Now, “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” falters by twice that margin (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), tumbling out of the top ten (#9 to #13). WUSN had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the past 17 ratings periods. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country,” which was without a gain the past four sweeps for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), picks up one-tenth (1.5, #23 to #22, 6+). Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams,” a collective +.5 in November and December (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+) forfeits that entire increase (3.0, -.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). While it is unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Repeating at #7, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.8 in four straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is off for the third time in succession for a -1.0 (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO advances from #16 to #15. KSFO was up seven-tenths in October, after being a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has a September 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 (#19 to #20, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

In a down-up pattern (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” moves from #14 to #12. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of four-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (2.2 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” dips from #17 to #18. KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM adds one-tenth to December’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+) and repeats at #3. KCBS-AM had been at #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December.

Following 11 straight months at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (7.6 – 7.5, -.1, 6+) segues to #2. December 2018’s 7.6 is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share (+.5) in seventh straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #30 to #29.

San Francisco Music Formats – Having leaped from sixth to second in December, Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM (6.4 – 10.7, +4.3, 6+) marches to #1. In “Holiday” 2017, KOIT-FM recorded a 9.2 (6+). Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined nine-tenths in three drops in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #4, 6+). In addition to picking up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+), which halts at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1” moves into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Erasing December’s -.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” zooms from tenth to fifth. December’s 3.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 2.6. A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.6 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7,” which was up eight-tenths in November, drifts from the top ten (#10 to #14). After posting one-half share increases in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC drops one-tenth to 3.0 (6+) but remains at #9. In five straight reports without an increase (2.1      – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” is an overall -.7. At #25, co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has lost nine-tenths in five consecutive negative or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), while Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” hasn’t had an increase in five straight reports and has surrendered 50% (.9) of its 6+share in that stretch (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #27, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss five months in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Just prior to the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.4 in four straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, flat at #36, 6+).

With its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” progresses from #18 to #14. It overtakes Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 24, 6+) and slumps from #14 to #18. Meanwhile, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0, #31 to #33, 6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall decline of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is unchanged from December in 6+-share (3.1) and 6+-market rank (#13). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE has almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), as “Star 102.1” marches from third to first. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” logged a 6.4 (6+). On top the past 12 reports, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+) shifts to #3. After a combined -1.4 in June and July, “Kiss” was +1.1 in August and down one-half share in November. Having posted a 4.3 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV erupts with a +1.8 to 6.1 (6+) and leaps from fifth to second with its best 6+-showing (6.1) since 7.2 in Holiday 2017. A combined +1.4 in four successive improvements (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” carries on at #4. At the same time. WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” has been +.7 (September); -.8 (October); +.6 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #30, 6+). Showing December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (3.8, #11 to #6, 6+) and City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” (1.6 – 2.2, #21, 6+). “The Eagle” had been off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Through five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB was a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #16, 6+). Within 5.0 – 5.5 territory (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods, iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 (second to fifth, 6+). Although it remains at #6, Cumulus Media’s KSCS “New Country 96.3” is -1.4 in six straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). July 2018’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating its December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH fades from #11 to #16. “News Radio 740” posted a November gain of six-tenths to 4.3, its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

In six straight up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is a collective +.5 as the AM flagship of the Houston Texans repeats at #22. Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 (6+) for the fourth straight month and continues at #25, while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, 6+) and is flat at #28.

Not only is KUHF without an increase for the sixth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), the University of Houston news/talk station exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Houston Music Formats – An adult contemporary station holds the #1 position in each of the top six PPM-markets. In this Texas metro, iHeartMedia’s KODA “Sunny 99.1” tacks on a +2.4 to December’s +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+) and sets the pace for the ninth straight time. In “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” recorded a 12.5, the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. Advancing from seventh to sixth, KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” is an overall +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Similarly, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” is a collective +1.6 as the result of five upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Another positive streak, however, draws to a close as Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+), erodes by -1.5 to 6.5 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. An improvement of one-tenth to .9 (#26 to #23, 6+) by Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” curtails seven ratings periods in succession without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, 6+). This marks the seventh straight sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” which is an overall -1.8 since June 2018 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). In four straight reports without an increase, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #8, 6+). A cumulative -2.0 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – There’s truly major news here as Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 sweeps – erodes by a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is off two-tenths (1.4 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Recording its seventh sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK jumps from #28 to #25.

Co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” drops one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+) yet improves from ninth to eighth. Prior to November 2018, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four consecutive positive moves (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Flat at #19, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), the Atlanta Braves flagship picked up one-tenth in December.

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, WABE was a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), but the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk outlet surrenders half that increase (3.7, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is unchanged from December in both 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#25).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH follow up December’s +1.0 with a +3.2 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” swims from fourth to first. In advance of the December sweep, WFSH posted three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “The Fish” notched an 8.5 (6+). Registering increases of one-half share each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (6.3, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (5.6, steady at #5, 6+). “V-103” was a combined -1.4 in November and December (7.2 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “B-98.5” snaps at three a consecutive string of (slight) decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Radio One urban AC and gospel siblings WAMJ “Majic” (5.1 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+) and WPZE “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (3.7 – 3.0, #13 to #15, 6+). For the last ten (10) sweeps, “Majic” had been within 5.1 – 5.6 range (6+). In an up/down pattern (3.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #14). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” is a collective +1.0 via three straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). November’s gain of six-tenths followed three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight positive spikes (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 drops three-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” catches Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #10 to #12, 6+). “Power” was -1.2 in December, while “Q-100” was -.6. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Power” had been without a loss the previous seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is an overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), immediately following seven straight ratings periods without a decrease that generated a +1.4 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies – Entercom’s WIP – was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 7.1, fourth to second, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1” was #1 in October. Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” zooms from #15 to #12. Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in August, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” spirals by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.3, flat at #7, 6+).

Public news/talk WHYY is a collective -1.1 via three declines in a row (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #14, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive negative trends for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Registering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB (10.4 – 16.6, +6.2, 6+) repeats at #1. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. It dialed up a 17.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It has a new format challenger: In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but rebounds with a gain of one-half share (2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #11, 6+). On the heels of December’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” further erodes by -1.4 (6.4 – 5.0, third to fifth, 6+). November’s increase of six-tenths applied the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. It’s not exactly the same scenario, but Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” follows December’s -.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (6.5 – 5.9 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). Erasing December’s eight-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (7.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM  shifts from second to third. “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was locked on 6.6 (6+) in October and November. Off seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (6.2 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+); Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.3 – 3.6, eighth to ninth, 6+); and iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.8, #10 to #12, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), WMGK dropped seven-tenths in December. “Philadelphia’s Country Station” was -1.1 in December and +.6 in November. After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. The September 2018 through December 2018 topline for “Q-102” was 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.5 via three decreases in succession (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat for the fourth straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC nonetheless inches up from #26 to #25. Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Despite recording its third drop in a row for a collective -1.4 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN advances from fifth to fourth. In November, the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees was in a three-way tie at #1. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. The key station of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.5 through three decreases in a row (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, #19 to #20, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is off three-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, ninth to tenth, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS loses four-tenths (3.2 – 2.8, #9 to #11, 6+). The two cluster-mates were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November. Prior to December, WCBS-AM was up nine-tenths in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), while WINS was up six-tenths in October;

From February 2018 – September 2018, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM trended 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September. It was unlisted in October and November; resurfaced in December (2.0, 6+); and is off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” adds a +4.0 to December’s +2.1 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). “Real Variety” was off one-half share in November. This (10.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (12.6). More than tripling (+6.4) its 6+-stat in seven Long Island sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” carries on at #2. “Lite FM” recorded an 8.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” more than doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the third straight decrease for Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Making identical 3.1 – 2.4, -.7, #11 to #14 (6+) moves are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” and Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was off eight-tenths in December WBLS is an overall -1.5 in five straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of three-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” falls from #11 to #12. Albeit that it is an overall -1.9 in six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Not only is Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” down or flat for the seventh consecutive time for an overall decline of -1.3 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), “Hot 97” drops out of the top twenty (#19 to #24). Prior to December, WQHT had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive Long Island ratings periods. In six straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 – Nash FM” has lost 50% (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH share (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.2, flat at #26, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight down or flat trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+), which departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). KKDD debuted in July with a .2 (6+); gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; and up one-tenth in October.

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; dropped one-tenth in November; was flat at .2 in December; and is off one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018 to .1 (#20 to #24, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 12th month in a row.

A -.4 in December by KVCR wiped away a +.4 via three straight modest increases (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Now in “Holiday” 2018, the San Bernardino Community College news/talk station forfeits another two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is a collective -.4 in three straight losses (.6 – .4 – .3 – .2, #18 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” advances from sixth to fourth. December’s 3.2 marked the first time KSGN reached the three-share level since January 2018’s 3.1. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now,” which was up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the eighth time in a row, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA erases December’s loss of four-tenths with a gain of one-half share (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). While Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the eighth successive sweep, it has the dubious distinction of suffering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (10.5 – 8.5, -2.0, 6+) and is the only #1 station in these 12 markets to show a dip from December 2018. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a collective -1.7 via four straight negative trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, eighth to ninth, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, steady at #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 17th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.2 (6+) in November and December, after November’s loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO is off one-tenth to 2.1 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which was frozen on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, is a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9,  #28 to #27, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the disappearance of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.6 in five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” which was a collective +.9 in November and December, is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+) and up two-tenths in December, is flat at 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+).

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); it adds four-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and continues at #2. In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+) and adds two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #30, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in September, October, and November, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is a combined +6.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), leaping from fourth to first. KOIT-FM was 7.6 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and is also #1 in San Francisco. In three straight San Jose slips, iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted KISQ is an overall -1.9 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+); after three straight months at #1, it falls to third. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is now an overall +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erodes by -1.5 (5.0, third to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” plummets by eight-tenths (4.6 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+ ). “Mix” had been +2.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 5.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. A December gain of four-tenths by Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a collective -2.4 (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), but “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to the aforementioned negative streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. A collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+). Three increases in a row netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) but it is now -3.1 in four straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Even so, “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to seventh. Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Flat at #26, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.1 as a result of five straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – After holding down the top spot the past six sweeps, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) shifts to the runner-up slot. When it lost three-tenths in December, “New Jersey 101.5” had its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). An overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 2.8, 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR drops from #16 to #17. Entering the December sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #26.

While even at #13, Entercom sports talk WFAN, which was up seven-tenths in October, is now -1.0 via three consecutive slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets relinquishes half that increase (-.6) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

The seven-tenths advantage Entercom all-news WCBS-AM held in December over co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS is down to two-tenths as WCBS-AM falters by four-tenths (2.3 – 1.9, #20 to #22, 6+), while WINS picks up one-tenth (1.6 to 1.7, #24 to #23, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in December, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS, which was up two-tenths in December, recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+) but is down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to being +3.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.9 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +4.9 in Middlesex and storms from second to first. Moreover, in five straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union improvements (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5 – 11.4, 6+), WLTW is an overall +6.5. It is #1 in New York City, as well; “Lite” notched an 11.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The (6+) adult contemporary share in Middlesex swells by an additional +1.7 as Beasley Media Group’s WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” boosts from 4.1 to 5.8 (seventh to third, 6+). This (5.8) is the highest 6+-share for “Magic” since February 2018’s 5.9. As a result of four successive down or flat moves (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is off by a collective -1.1. Trending a very consistent 3.7 – 3.9 (6+) from June 2018 through December 2018 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; +.9 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex showing since 3.3 in September 2016.

Tuesday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2019

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019).  It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way.  Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Check it out!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

The Epoch Times: A New Resource for Talk Radio. For those in the talk media business not already aware of The Epoch Times, it is a multi-language newspaper with a mission statement asserting that it aims to serve society by “providing credible, quality news that is honest and unbiased, and never slanting from the influence of outside interests.”  The declaration on the Epoch Media Group website banner reads, “To report truthfully on important topics that other media choose not to touch.”  The organization was founded in 2000 by John Tang and a group of Chinese Americans responding to censorship in China. Today, in addition to covering the breadth of national and international news, The Epoch Times focuses on exposing communist propaganda in China and abroad. In a recent Epoch Times piece by editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert titled, “Never Trumpers Learn Resistance Is Futile,” he writes, “Whether one agrees with the policies of the Trump administration or not, there is no denying that Donald Trump’s presidency is transforming America.  This is something that most Americans genuinely care about.  We see the Trump administration’s efforts to change socialist policies in America, as well as set policies to counter infiltration and subversion by China, as remarkable reversals from past policies, and sincere efforts that, if fully realized, will benefit America and the world as a whole.”  Learn more about this amazing news organization and its value to talk media practitioners here.

Juliano to Lead Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois Cluster. Management and sales pro Mike Juliano is named the market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WROK and three music radio outlets.  He was most recently director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations.  He’s also held sales positions at Entercom Boston, Westwood One, Cox Media Group, and more.  Townsquare COO-Local Media Erik Hellum states, “Few people are as passionate as Mike is about our industry, about building great teams, and helping our clients grow their business, as he has proven over and over again in his career.  With our ‘local first’ focus, Townsquare is very proud to have someone of Mike’s caliber joining our company and leading our Townsquare Rockford team.  And as an added bonus I finally get to work with Mike, which I’ve been trying to do for 30 years!”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder was a featured speaker at the BLEXIT LA conference – a gathering of conservative Blacks and Latinos that took place in Los Angeles last Sunday – and the Salem Radio Network personality argued the two groups have not been served well by the Democratic Party and its policies over the years.  Read coverage of his appearance at BLEXIT LA in Breitbart here…..San Diego sports talk host Dan Sileo (mornings on Entercom’s KWFN “93.7 FM The Fan” ) is filling in on the company’s WEEI, Boston tomorrow night (1/23) from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Sileo guest-hosted last Friday evening’s program, as well…..FOX Sports Radio will be broadcasting live from Atlanta next week for its Super Week coverage leading up to Super Bowl LIII. Its daily shows – Clay TravisDoug Gottlieb, Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, and others – will all broadcast from Turner Sports studios in Atlanta…..A new podcast from Unqualified Media is being launched, co-hosted by actor Topher Grace and Sim Sarna called “Minor Adventures with Topher Grace.”  The show consists of the two interviewing a celebrity with a twist added later in the program, such as the introduction of a lie detector test…..Pictured below are Paul Glickman of the Radio Television News Association and KPCC (left) and Westwood One News correspondent Jim Roope (right) as Westwood One News received its fourth consecutive Golden Mike award in the “Best News Reporting” category from the organization during last Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, DC Protest Controversy, Democrats’ Agenda, 2020 Presidential Race, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21). The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the agenda of congressional Democrats and conservatives’ charges they are tilting farther to the left; the 2020 presidential candidates, including the entrance of Kamala Harris into the race; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT!  2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Nelson exits his position with Riverbend Communications’ Idaho Falls stations where he’d been operations manager and program director for adult contemporary KLCE and CHR KFTZ “Z103.”…..In Chicagoland, media maven Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media unveils its new lineup at hot AC WXLC, Waukegan.  Wes McKane is the new morning host after Jimmy Novak’s departure last week.  He’s joined by Leah Anderson as co-host.  Evening host Jason Cornell slides into the afternoon drive daypart and promotions director Janelle Rominski adds evening host duties…..At iHeartMedia’s Columbus/Albany, Georgia cluster Brian Paiz exits the SVP of programming position he’s held for the last 18 months.

Monday, January 21, 2018

| January 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in his weekly Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine that conservative news/talk stations should be working overtime to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  Cooke references a recent column in The New York Times by Frank Bruni in which he observes the president is covered by the media as “spectacle” and that makes Trump the “star” no matter what.  Cooke reasons that since the best way to increase ratings share with news/talk radio is to increase the TSL of its P1s, stations should “be to radio what Fox News Channel is to TV” – a safe space for like-minded conservatives. Read the Monday Memo here.

Entercom and DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Renew; Plan for Regional Distribution. The WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” morning drive program “The Sports Junkies” and Entercom agree to a long-term extension of their contract.  “The Sports Junkies” are John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim.  Entercom DC SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies’ have driven the sports conversation in Washington, DC and we couldn’t envision ‘The Fan’ without them. As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team.” The station says the program “is consistently rated number one among Washington, DC men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.”  It adds that “plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington, DC to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Harvey Wells Exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois Cluster. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells has resigned from his position as market manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WMAY-AM/FM and three music-formatted stations.  Wells served the Chicago market for years leading the then-CBS RADIO cluster of radio stations.  Wells is quoted saying, “I cannot say enough good things about Mid-West Family Broadcasting and feel fortunate to have spent two-plus years at an employee-owned company.  It truly makes a difference when you walk in the door and your fellow workers also have an ownership interest in the company.  However, the one family that has to come before the Mid-West Family is my own.”

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Issue, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, DC Students-Protestors Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Mexico Pipeline Blast, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020; the gas pipeline explosion in Mexico that killed more than 85 people; today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL Conference Championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk WSCR “The Score” weekend and fill-in host Barry Rozner – who is also a sports columnist with the Daily Herald – is considering leaving the station before the next season of the baseball show “Hit & Run” begins this spring.  Feder says Rozner has been in communication with station operations manager Mitch Rosen saying, “We’re still communicating, and we’ll see what comes of it, but I don’t – at this moment – see a path to returning.  No hard feelings. No one to blame. There’s just no role there for me comparable to the last 10 years when I hosted nearly 1,400 shows. If it’s over, I will miss ‘Hit & Run’ more than I can properly express.  It was a great run and I’m grateful for the opportunity Mitch gave me.”…..The sports media 2019 BSM Summit is taking place at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles February 21-22.   Barrett Sports Media president Jason Barrett says the event “will feature a star-studded lineup of guest speakers,” including CBS Sports personality Jim Rome, who will do a one-on-one with Barrett.  See more about the Summit here.….The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts officially name Matt Taylor the play-by-play voice for radio coverage of the team’s games.  Taylor has been part of the team’s broadcast operations since 2012.  He takes over the role handled by Bob Lamey, who exited the position after a controversial incident in which he used a racial slur off the air…..Binghamton market public broadcaster WSKG announces coming programming changes that will make it easier for listeners to find the programming they desire.  Currently, both WSKG-FM and WSQX-FM are airing programming consisting of news, conversation and music.  On February 3, the company will move all news and talk programming to WSKG-FM – its NPR member station – and WSQX will air classical, jazz and folk music programming…..Pictured below are the hosts of last Friday’s inaugural 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards that took place at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank, California. You can see all the categories and winners here.  Below from left to right are: Holly Frey, Bobby Bones, Charlamagne tha God, and Mario Lopez(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Sponsors Broadcast Booth at Local Science Center. Through his “Hurley in the Morning” charity, WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley donated $3,500 to the Patcong Creek Foundation Science Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey on January 19.  The charity sponsors the “Harry Hurley Broadcast Booth” in which Hurley is pictured above.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, air personality Ralphie Aversa exits his evening show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, as well as the company’s WPRO-FM, Providence and WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the show also aired. WPLJ APD Mike Allen is now handling evenings…..Chicago market hot AC WXLC, Waukegan parts ways with morning show personality Jimmy Novak.  He posted on Facebook, “The old building and loan has decided to cut ties with me as morning show host.  It’s been a fun decade of shows and I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible people.  I’m truly blessed with great memories and I look forward to new challenges and staying up past 7:30.”…..The 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert took place on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring: Twenty One PilotsRise Against, Muse, The Killers, Weezer, plus Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists.  Pictured below are The Revivalists with KYSR, Los Angeles midday personality Tamo Sein(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.)

Friday, January 18, 2019

| January 18, 2019

News/Talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska Honored with NAB Crystal Heritage Award.  The Lincoln, Nebraska news/talk station will be honored at this spring’s 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas at the “We Are Broadcasters Celebration” on Tuesday, April 9.  The NAB Crystal Heritage Award recognizes stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Seven other stations have received this honor in the 32-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.  Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Julie Gade says, “KFOR AM/FM has proudly served the Lincoln, Nebraska region for over 94 years, and our commitment to the community has never wavered.  We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”

FSR’s Clay Travis Hits 300-Affiliate Mark with ‘Outkick the Coverage’ Program. The Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio-syndicated “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” program hits the 300-affiliate mark with the recent additions of stations including: KKSE-AM/FM, Denver; WGFX-FM, Nashville; WEEX-AM/WTKZ-AM, Allentown; and WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte.  Travis is entering his third year with the network. He also recently joined FS1’s first-ever, daily gambling TV show “Lock It In” as a co-host alongside Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and Todd Fuhrman.  In a joint statement, Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the growth of ‘Outkick the Coverage.’  Clay and his team have consistently set new listening records, which promises for continued momentum and a lot more success in the future.  We are excited to share many more achievements with our affiliate partners around the country.”

Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Tonight. The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards show will take place tonight in Los Angeles and the evening’s ceremonies will be streamed live via Twitter.  Hosts for the 90-minute event will include Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Bobby Bones, Charlamagne Tha God, and Mario Lopez, as well as podcaster Holly Frey.  There are 22 categories with 17 having been voted on by listeners while the remaining five will be decided by a panel of judges.

Blass to Leave Pirates Broadcast Booth After 2019 Season. At the end this year’s baseball season, former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and longtime play-by-play crew personality Steve Blass will retire from his role with the team.  Blass has been working with the team’s radio and television crews since 1983.  The 76-year-old Blass has been calling only home games on radio and TV since 2005.

WTOP, Washington Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine Saves Woman from Drowning.  Washington, DC traffic reporter Dave Dildine was out in last Sunday’s snowstorm taking photos in Rock Creek Park when he heard a woman struggling in the creek under one of the park’s bridges. He called out to her and told her to swim to shore.  But as he prepared to call for help on his cell phone, he saw her go under and made the decision to walk out onto the ice to try to pull her in.  The ice broke and he fell into the creek but was able to drag 27-year-old Sarah Kirkpatrick out of the water and stay with her until emergency crews arrived.  Read the whole story at WTOP’s website here.

The Battle Over the Border Wall Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18. The battle between President Trump and House Democrats over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the related federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation tied with the allegations of campaign finance violations against the Trump campaign, followed by the House Democrats’ legislative agenda and the potential 2020 presidential candidates tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SPOTLIGHT CHINA: Award-Winning Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Is the world’s most populous country, with a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, a friend or foe to the United States?  Joshua Philipp is one of America’s most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of China and the existential threats it poses to US interests in the arenas of politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense.  He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare and subversion.  Philipp is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  His on-the-ground investigations in 2008 onward into connections between Chinese consulates, spy networks, and organized crime circles in New York City – and more than a decade of research and investigations on this and related topics – give him unique insight into the global threat presented by today’s repressive Communist Chinese government.  Harrison and Philipp take a deep dive into the subversive ways in which China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operate both domestically and behind the scenes on the world stage giving clear insight into such lightly covered news topics as the nefarious activities of its telecommunications giant Huawei and its recently arrested CFO, Meng Wanzou, in Canada.  Harrison states, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization founded by Chinese-Americans as an objective counterpoint to Communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media host interested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”  To listen to this extremely important podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Lansing, Michigan jock Deb Hart is retiring from the radio business and her morning drive gig with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WMMQ to pursue a career as a full-time yoga teacher.  Hart has worked in the market for decades.  She’s currently co-host of the WMMQ morning show with Joey Pants – who will continue with the station hosting mornings – and previously served with Midwest Communications’ crosstown rock WJXQ.  Her last show will be January 24…..iHeartMedia Atlanta is working with the Super Bowl Host Committee to open its iHeartRadio BoomBox Stage to activities from January 26 through February 2 during the 2019 Super Bowl LIVE week taking place at Centennial Olympic Park. The week-long stage of events will feature sets from iHeartRadio DJ’s and on-air personalities from the Atlanta cluster…..SiriusXM and legendary rock band KISS are presenting an invitation-only show for SiriusXM subscribers and VIPs on Monday, February 11 at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  The exclusive performance will air on KISS’ exclusive SiriusXM channel, KISS Army Radio.  KISS’ performance at Whisky a Go Go will launch SiriusXM’s “The Party Continues,” a new, live series that will feature music’s top artists performing in an intimate venue for SiriusXM subscribers following music’s biggest night at the Grammy Awards…..Pictured below is Columbia Nashville star Maren Morris (center) appearing on the syndicated Ty Bentli morning show in which she discussed her newest song “GIRL” and the coming GIRL: The World Tour.  With her is Ty Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).

Thursday, January 17, 2019

| January 17, 2019

WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues.  Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”  Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst.  The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues.  Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.”  Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”  Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio.  You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media.  Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”

Radio for the 55+ Listener.  Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.”  Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio.  They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives.  At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.”  Read the entire story here.

Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group.  Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales.  Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations.  She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team.  I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert FederVioleta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX.  She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season.  Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo.  He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets.  Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast.  WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown.  Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough.  We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network.  His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening.  Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm.  Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host.  She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.