Friday, March 24, 2017

| March 24, 2017

TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda.  The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – is coming together and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.

The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.

Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”

It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order):  Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.

The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.

Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return

Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike FrancesaTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention.  Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important platers in the game.”

Jeff Smulyan to Keynote

Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry.  Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges.  He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.

Pattiz on Podcasting

Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.

A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr

Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.

Heavyweights and Star Power

In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, Dgital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan MultimediaChris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore.  More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.

The complete agenda will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, TALKERS 2017: A New Era 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.  For hotel information please click here.

Nielsen: Non-Commercial News/Talkers Gaining Younger Listeners Faster. Listenership to all-news and news/talk radio increased during the buildup to the 2016 election and has remained high during the first couple months of the Trump Administration, according to Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey data.  A deeper dive into the data indicates that non-commercial news/talk outlets are benefitting more than their commercial brethren when it comes to younger listeners.  Nielsen reports on that trend today, saying, “Commercial news/talk stations have a significantly larger share of the overall audience and older listeners, while non-commercial stations score slightly better with younger, Millennial listeners.  And when you compare the year-over-year growth of these two groups, those public stations are gaining ground faster than their commercial counterparts.”  Nielsen reports there are 66 non-commercial news/talk stations in the PPM markets versus 205 commercial news/talk outlets.  Comparing PPM ratings from last February to February of 2017, non-com stations saw a 22% increase in listeners 18-39, compared to a 5% increase for commercials stations.  In the 25-54 demo, non-coms gained 18% year-over-year and commercial outlets were up 6%.  See the Nielsen story here.

GOP Health Care Bill Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 20-24.  The Trump Administration and GOP health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump Tower wiretapping allegations, and following at #4 was the investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s possible Russia connections.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  During the 2017 baseball season, 2016 World Series stars Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs will make weekly appearances on WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  The station says Rizzo will reprise his Tuesday segment on the David Kaplan-hosted “Kap & Co.” program starting April 4.  Schwarber will join the afternoon drive “Waddle & Silvy” program…..iHeartMedia New Hampshire news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “News Radio 610” and WQSO, Portsmouth “News Radio 96.7” raised more than $140,000 to benefit the charity Veterans Count during its third annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon on Wednesday (3/22).  The organization provides financial assistance and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.   “New Hampshire Today” personality Jack Heath led the broadcast effort, interviewing a variety of service members, ranging from World War II veterans to active members of the military.

Providence Talk Host John DePetro Skypes with White House. The image above shows WADK, Providence afternoon talk show host John DePetro taking part in Wednesday’s Skype Session with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  DePetro asked how the president feels about Democrats stating the president should be president of all the people at the same time some of them are using the Neil Gorsuch confirmation process to “grandstand.”

 

 

Detroit’s ‘105.1 The Bounce’ Adds Big Boy to AM Drive Show.  Air personality Big Boy joins Shay Shay on Beasley Media Group’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce.”  Program director Al Payne says, “This is a big throwback to ‘good times’ for our city!  I have been a huge fan of Big Boy for a long time, yet being able to add him to this station and our cast of ‘Bounce Ambassadors’ is epic!  Out of everywhere he’s been, he says that there’s no love like Detroit love!  If you partied with Big Boy from ’06 to ’09 – wait ‘til you hear him and Shay Shay now!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles morning personality Ryan Seacrest announces the lineup for the CHR station’s annual “WANGO TANGO” pop music festival, this year taking place at StubHub Center in Carson, California on Saturday, May 13.  The artists performing this year include: Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Niall Horan, Machine Gun Kelly, Camilla Cabello, Hailee Steinfeld, Noah Cyrus, Halsey, Julia Michaels, plus a special guest performance from Alessia Cara.  Seacrest and the entire KIIS-FM air staff will host the show, with special celebrity guest host appearances to be announced…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. welcome Alexandra Communications’ KQFO-FM, Yakima to the list of stations airing the BOB FM format.  Envision reports that with the launch of “BOB 100.1,” roster of affiliates grows to more than 125.  Envision adds, “BOB’s unique mix is best described as one big mix tape for adult listeners who are too young to be considered full-fledged baby boomers and too old to be considered as part of generation X.”

 

 

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Emmis’ KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” cuts the deficit by one-third, posting a +.7 to 4.3 (6+). As a result, “The Rock of Austin” cruises from #11 into the top ten at #7. Regional Mexican sibling KLZT bounces back from January’s one-half share loss with an increase of twice as much (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9, +1.0, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” rising from seventh (now occupied by KLBJ-FM) to fourth. Format rival – Univision Radio’s KLQB – surrenders nine-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Co-owned KLJA drops one-half share to 1.7 (6+, #17 to #19). With a +.9 this time last month (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), “Mas Variedad 107.7” reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3). A gain of seven-tenths by University of Texas-owned KUTX (#20 to #17) lifts the triple A to 2.2, the first time it has crossed the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.2, March 2015). Down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” picks up six-tenths, advancing from third to second (8.0, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). One-half share ahead of it at #1 and down three-tenths (8.8 – 8.5, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which returned to the top spot in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by “Majic.” With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), “Bob” held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. While iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” notches its second consecutive modest increase for a combined +.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, fourth to fifth, 6+), the market’s two other country FMs are off by a collective -1.8. Specifically, co-owned KASE “101 FM – Austin’s #1 For New Country” returns all but three-tenths of January’s +1.6 (3.9 – 5.5 – 4.2, -1.3, flat at #4, 6+), while Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” declines by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #19, 6+). Unlisted for the second straight month is Capitol Broadcast Association’s KMFA “Classical 89.5” (1.4, #21, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

2) Milwaukee – The fourth successive increase (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) by Saga Communications urban AC WJMR is by +1.4 as “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” is up two full-shares since November, zooming from ninth to fourth. Moreover, this is the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it has crossed the six-share level (6+). In late-May 2014, adult hits WLWK “The Lake” became country WKTI.  The Scripps Broadcasting outlet dials up a +1.3 to 4.4 (#14 to #11), the first time “94.5 KTI Country” has reached the four-share threshold (6+) since December 2014’s 4.0. Meanwhile, down three-tenths to 5.4 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” slips from a three-way logjam at #6 to a tie at #7. Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+) “Milwaukee’s Best Country” posted a +1.4 in January to 5.7 (6+). In addition to this country battle, a head-to-head talk battle exists here involving these same two companies with iHeartMedia’s WISN jumping from fifth to second (5.8 – 7.1, +1.3, 6+) and Scripps’ WTMJ tumbling from third to ninth (6.4 – 5.0, -1.4, 6+). WISN rebounded from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.2 in January; WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the past 15 ratings periods. Down or flat in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” jumps from sixth to third on the strength of a +.8 to 6.5 (6+). Even though it drops one-tenth (8.8 – 8.7, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT is #1 for the 23rd consecutive sweep. A minor month-to-month move for “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is actually noteworthy as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. Trending 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.9 (6+) since October, Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” falters by eight-tenths to 4.1 and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Declining by seven-tenths and six-tenths, respectively, are Saga Communications-owned cluster-mates WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to seventh, 6+) and WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (5.9, second to fifth, 6+). Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 – its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5 – WKLH returned all of it in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – One-half of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three February 2017 finishers. Powered by a +.6 (6.7 – 7.3, 6+), WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” leaps from sixth to third. In January, “B-105.7” exited the top spot after back-to-back sweeps there. Its January loss of 11 shares (17.7 – 6.7, 6+) came after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. The Emmis adult contemporary outlet improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Both stations that were tied for the lead in January improve in February but Entercom CHR WZPL does so by three-tenths (7.5 – 7.8, repeating at #1, 6+), whereas Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” does so by two-tenths (7.5 – 7.7, first to second, 6+). WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). WJJK had its string of four consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. Following three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regresses by nine-tenths to 6.2 (6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. Also in that cluster, rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” (4.3 – 3.7, unchanged at #11, 6+) and CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” (4.8, seventh to eighth, 6+) are off by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths are Emmis talk and sports siblings WIBC (4.7 – 4.0, flat at #10, 6+) and WFNI “The Fan” (2.8 – 2.1, #14 to #16, 6+). In January, WIBC and WFNI improved by one share and one-half share, respectively. Country cluster-mate WLHK “97.1 Hank” sputters by one-half share (4.7, 6+) but remains at #9. A December drop of two-tenths concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). Off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016, “Hank” rebounded with a +1.1 in January (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). When “Hank” added one-tenth in October, it ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Unlisted for the second successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

4) Providence – More than doubling January’s 6+ share (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) public WELH “RI NPR” climbs from #13 to #11 and has its best 6+-performance since registering a 1.1 in May 2014. Albeit the net loss since last August was just three-tenths, The Wheeler School’s WELH had nevertheless been without an increase in the past six survey periods (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Down or flat in three straight sweeps for a combined -1.1 (8.8 – 8.3 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” recoups one-half share to 8.2 and remains in third-place. Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” stabilizes with a -.1 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 for the seventeenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Entercom sports outlet WVEI forfeits seven-tenths of the nine-tenths it gained in January (2.8 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+) as it segues from seventh to eighth. While it remains at #13, Bryant University classical WJMF is down by one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus bringing to a close six straight sweeps without a decrease (.1 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5, 6+).

5) Raleigh – Ousted from the penthouse in January and moved to the runner-up slot, WRAL “Mix 101.5” bounces back in February with an 8.8 (6+) to reclaim the top spot. The Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary property’s most recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. It has a three-tenths advantage over the station it succeeds at #1, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (8.7 – 8.5, -.2, first to second, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. It logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead. By picking up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” climbs from tenth to eighth. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, talk sibling WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016; wiped out that loss with a robust +1.9 in January; but sputters by one-half share in February (4.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), dipping from sixth to seventh. Unlisted in January, public WCPE “Great Classical Music” (2.4, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns with a 2.0 (#17).

6) Norfolk – Powered by a +1.2 to 7.6 – its strongest 6+-stat since November’s 8.0 – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI climbs from fourth (back) to second. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Via three consecutive uptrends (4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fifth to fourth) is a combined +2.1. For an extended period, WAFX was a nonsubscriber to Nielsen Audio. In the time WAFX did appear in print, however, this is its best 6+-share since a 6.6 in July 2010. Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” dropped one-tenth in January but picks up one-half share in February to 2.3 (6+), as it proceeds from tenth to ninth. The leader of the pack in Norfolk for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” The two swapped places in January 2017 though as WVKL registered a +.7, while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) eroded by -6.4. The situation in February finds WVKL again at #1, although down one-half share (11.7 – 11.2, 6+). Nonetheless, it is the tenth time in the last eleven sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range and it’s been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. As for “2WD,” it slumps by -1.8 to 5.2 and tumbles to fifth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4.

7) Nashville –Consistency at #1 in the PPM-era was a given in this Tennessee market, as Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” held that honor for 59 straight reports. That ended in January, however, when co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” took over at #1. It proves to be a short-lived stay though as iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” gets its turn at the top, adding eight-tenths to January’s +.7 (5.9 – 6.7 – 7.5, second to first, 6+). Thus, “The Beat” becomes the third different Nashville station at #1 in the last three sweeps. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Flat at 6.9 (6+), “Jack” shifts from first to second. A whopping +1.6 in January stopped at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+); 6.9 marks the best 6+-performance for “Jack” since a 7.1 in January 2016. Owing to a +1.1 (5.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 – Nashville’s Classic Rock” registers its best 6+-showing since last April’s 7.0 (6+) and vaults from ninth to third. Faltering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN rebounded in January with a +.7 and now tacks on one-half share (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and breaks into the top ten (#11 to #9); WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Without a decrease for the seventh consecutive time (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and bumps up from #19 to #18. As the result of four straight decreases – this one a -1.4 – Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#10 to #11) is a combined -3.7 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Off by six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” dips from fourth to sixth. It is the first time that “The River” has been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Returning half of January’s full-share gain, country sibling WSIX “The Big 98” (5.5, sixth to seventh, 6+) curtails at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). While “The Big 98” and the market’s other two country FMs – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” and co-owned WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” – usually draw significant attention, classic country WSM-AM is often overlooked. Although down in each of the past three sweeps (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” erases that combined -.5 with a +.6 to 2.3 (6+) and is steady at #16.

8) Greensboro – A cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” jumps from seventh to fifth, reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. “The Wolf” bypasses iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, steady at #6, 6+), which was up one full-share in January. In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Three straight declines by Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH accounted for a -2.9 (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), but “102 Jamz – The Hip-Hop Station” applies the brakes with a +.4 to 9.9 (6+), elevating it from third to second. Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. A -.7 in December concluded five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. When WMAG plummeted by nine full-shares in January, it ended three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+), with the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility dropping from first to fourth. While still at #4, WMAG posts a six-tenths gain to 6.8 (6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; -9.0 (January 2017); and now +.6 (February). Over and above achieving double-digits (6+) for the third straight sweep, Entercom urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1 and is up or flat for the fourth consecutive ratings period (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), netting a +1.2. In two-share range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” improves by six-tenths to 3.5 (6+) as it inches up from tenth to ninth. Completely wiping out its collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” flounders by -1.9 to drift from fourth to eighth. It is a yoyo effect for Entercom adult hits WSMW, whose last three moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); and now -.6 in February (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7, 6+) with “Simon” moving from second to third; January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5.

9) West Palm Beach – After improving by six-tenths in January, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF more than triples that gain in February (7.7 – 8.3 – 10.2, +1.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, it is the best 6+-performance for WRMF since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Either up or flat for the sixth straight time (including back-to-back gains of six-tenths) for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+), co-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” marches from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. In the last three survey periods, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF (unchanged at #8) has been +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); and now +.5 in February (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Off by seven-tenths in January, iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” erodes by twice that margin in February (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5, -1.4, 6+) and shifts from third to sixth. Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – This time last month, iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (#1) enjoyed a 4.7-share (6+) advantage over Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (#3). WQIK remains at #1 and WJEZ moves from third to second, but the lead is cut to 3.5: “Jacksonville’s Country” (+2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history) is down one-half share (12.3, 6+), while “Lite” (-6.6 in January) improves by seven-tenths (8.1 – 8.8, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – forfeits more than half of January’s +.8 (4.6 – 5.4 – 4.9, -.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to eighth. At the time, January’s +.8 wiped out a recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A one-half share improvement to 4.1 (6+) by iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM – #1 For Commercial-Free Hit Music” (steady at #9) pulls the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). Flat at #6, format foe – Cox Media Group’s WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” – records its fifth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+) that has resulted in a collective -3.3. For the second consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

11) Memphis – No sooner than it posted a monstrous +1.9, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” follows with a +.8 (3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6, to advance from seventh to fifth. “Kix” was down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+); October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). “Holiday” 2016 proved to be just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which slipped to #3 in January when “104.5 The River” surrendered in its entirety the five shares it gained the previous sweep (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). It bounces back in February though with a +.6 (7.1 – 7.7, 6+) and remains at #3. When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Swapping places at the top and separated by two-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.0, +.2, second to first, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” (first to second, 6+). On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” applies the brakes to nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). Up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” is down a collective three-tenths since (9.1 – 9.0 – 8.8, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, it had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” erased that with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. Plummeting by -1.2 and -1.0, respectively, are iHeartMedia cluster-mates gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (6.5 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (5.5 – 4.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). When WDIA gained one-half share in January, it halted four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

12) Hartford – Down one-half share in January, CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” posts an increase twice that margin in February (4.6 – 5.6, +1.0, 6+) to progress from eighth to seventh. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 drew to a close four consecutive negative trends by “Hot” that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+). Not only does hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM extend its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to five for a cumulative +1.4 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3, 6+), “Hartford’s Best Variety” proceeds from third to second, crossing the eight-share threshold for the first time since October 2014’s 8.9. Conversely though, co-owned talker WTIC-AM, which was up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (8.1 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.8, 6+), falters by one-half share to 8.3 and is tied at second with WTIC-FM. Still in that CBS Radio cluster, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” (10.2 – 10.5, +.3, 6+) is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia’s classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River,” which was +.5 in December; -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.0 in January; and now -1.3 in February (8.1 – 6.6 – 7.6 – 6.3, 6+), reverting back to fifth from third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). Without an increase for seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” dials up back-to-back 4.9 showings (6+) and finishes ninth.

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