Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

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