Monday, March 4, 2019

| March 4, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Coming off the historically down Holiday survey, almost 80% of news/talk stations on this panel were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) in the January survey with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+2.4) and WISN, Milwaukee (+2.2) leading the gains.  Comparing January 2018 to January 2019, almost 45% of stations were up (slightly more were down) with Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+2.3) and WLW, Cincinnati (+2.0).   CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta dropped 2.3 shares from last January to this year but still retains its #1 ranking (6+) in the Atlanta market.  Four other news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January survey: iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: ‘Today’s Bonus Question…’ Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about evergreen talk radio topics.  He says, “Smart talk radio hosts have always kept an evergreen file, undated call-in topics for use, y’know, back when we had slow news days.”  Even though there have not been lot of those lately, Cooke says for hosts who want to break away from Washington topics for a bit he has some thoughts on questions they can throw out to their listeners to start a fun topic, such as, “What’s your gripe about where you work?”  See Cooke’s entire Monday Memo here.

Ethan Bearman Leaves KGO.  Heavy Hundred talk media rising star Ethan Bearman has informed TALKERS magazine that he and KGO, San Francisco have parted ways.  Bearman, known for his youthful view of politics and lifestyles from an independent position, began his career at KSCO, Santa Cruz.  He joined Cumulus San Francisco in January of 2014 as a personality at KSFO and moved over to KGO in early 2016 where he was most recently heard live each day between 10:00 am and 12:45 pm with a replay in evenings at 7:00 pm.  Bearman, who lives in Southern California and has been studying law at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, performed his daily show by remote from the Westwood One studios in Culver City.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I love the Bay Area audience and the folks at KGO have been wonderful, but my home and family are in LA and I always knew that this set up would eventually have to end.  I’m excited about receiving my law degree this coming May and moving on with my media career with that extra credential from this location.”  In addition to his radio work, Bearman has become a popular go-to commentator on cable news/talk TV and regularly appears as a guest on the Fox News Channel.

Alfred Williams Joining iHeartMedia Denver.  Sports talk host Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” last week where he was co-host of the market’s highest-rated show with partner Darren McKee to join iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA, according to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver.  Williams will wait out a non-compete (probably six months) and speculation is that he’ll join Dave Logan and Rick Lewis on the afternoon drive program.  In the piece, Williams speaks about how much Bonneville manager Bob Call has meant to his career.  His new boss, iHeartMedia region president Tim Hager says, “I’m unbelievably excited about the possibility of having Big Al on our team as a broadcaster, a talent and a man. Right now, I just respect Bob [Call] and Bonneville and everything they have going on as they transition from that great broadcaster and talent and man.  Much more to come, but really exciting times.”

iHeartMedia Ups Marc Sherman to Regional SVP of Programming for New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  Houston senior vice president of programming Marc Sherman has been promoted to regional senior vice president of programming for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets, that include news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT-AM in New Orleans and news/talk WJBO-AM/K249DV in Baton Rouge.  iHeartMedia region president Eddie Martiny says, “I’m excited to expand Marc’s programming expertise to the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets.  I have had the pleasure of working with Marc for over 15 years and he is not only a brilliant programmer but an excellent leader. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are in good hands.”

Amber Parker Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tuscaloosa. Programming pro Amber Parker moves from iHeartMedia’s Colorado Springs where she served in programming and on-air roles to Tuscaloosa where she’s senior vice president of programming for the four-station Tuscaloosa cluster that includes news/talk WRTR-FM “Talk Radio 105.9” and three music outlets.  Parker will be responsible for spearheading the programming, promotions, and digital strategies for all four stations and will also host the midday show on country WTXT.

Harvey Wells Named Director of Sales Development and Marketing for GeoBroadcast Solutions. Radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells joins GeoBroadcast Solutions as director of sales development and marketing.  In this role, Wells is responsible for the continued roll-out of GeoBroadcast Solutions’ MaxxCasting technology and help introduce its ZoneCasting technology to a broader audience.  The company’s press release says MaxxCasting “leverages Single Frequency Network (SFN) architectures to optimize a radio station’s signal strength within its FCC-allocated contour, allowing greater numbers of potential listeners and Nielsen Personal People Meter encoding…ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will allow a radio station to divide its signal based on a market’s geography, allowing a radio station on its single frequency to air different news, traffic, weather, public service announcements and advertisements based on where a listener is located.”  Wells was most recently general manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois cluster.  During his career he also managed CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group.

TALKERS News Notes. In Burlington, Vermont, Vox AM/FM makes changes to the morning show on news/talk WVMT, ousting Pete Belair and Sarah Mitiguy after two months as hosts of the morning show and launches a new program hosted by Burlington City Council president Kurt Wright and local DJ and podcaster Marcus Certa.  Belair and Mitiguy took over the morning program after working together at Sison Broadcasting’s CHR WXXX, Burlington. They replaced Charlie Papillo and Ernie Farrar, who retired at the time Vox AM/FM was buying the station from Paul Goldman in late 2018.  Seven Days Vt has the story here…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on what he’s calling “reality-show premise of an inspired stunt” as most of the talk hosts from Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” will live in a rented house in Mesa, Arizona while covering the Chicago Cubs’ spring training.  The hosts – midday’s Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight and pm drive’s Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins (along with PD Mitch Rosen) – will live together in the house with show producers and a video producer.  Morning hosts Mike Mulligan and David Haugh are staying in a nearby hotel.  Fans can watch for video highlights on the station’s website…..Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM is presenting the seventh annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes” event being emceed by morning show host Larry Richert on March 26 at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino. Richert will honor five hometown heroes who’ve made contributions to the local community.  This year’s honorees are: Joyce Erdner, founder of The DoorWay, an organization that serves those who need a second chance from dealing with abuse, addiction and neglect; Steven D’Achille who, following the loss of his wife to post-partum depression, founded The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health at West Penn Hospital; Debbie Thackrah, founder and president of Feeding the Spirit, a special non-profit dedicated to nourishing the bodies, minds and spirits of those in need in the Greensburg community; German Township police corporal John Lingo, who stepped into the line of fire and took down a gunman who shot four people in a magistrate’s office; and George O’Donnell, who operates Runs Friends to Friends, an organization bringing kids with and without disabilities together through sports and mentoring.

Trump-Russia Investigation/House Obstruction of Justice Investigation, Trump CPAC Speech, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Summit, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Leaving Neverland Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related investigation by the U.S. House into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump; the president’s two-hour speech at CPAC; last week’s congressional testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the list of Democrats vying to oppose President Trump in the 2020 election; the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and taking the lives of at least 23; the controversy over the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland and the legacy of Michael Jackson; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

RadioInfo Review: Australian Artist Michael Burrows Deserves American Radio Attention.  Melbourne, Australia-based recording artist Michael Burrows knows a thing or two about life – and his take is laid out beautifully within a custom blend of folk, rock, and country music.  Burrows’ music has been described as a fusion of musical genres with hints of artists such as the BeatlesWilcoEagles and Ron Sexsmith. From intimate solo shows to full band performances, his songs are deceptively simple about complex things: love, family, home, and trust. The latest single, “Turn This Love Around,” is attracting a lot of attention from music directors and on social media with listeners. It’s a strong melodic tune with lyrics that Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz would have been proud to have written. It’s a comfortingly familiar track that conjures feelings of a time when things were easier, responsibilities were less, and the vulnerability in Burrows’ voice provides an invitation for the lover and the listener to engage in more – coming back to bed…while tapping their feet and singing along.  To check out his latest single please click here.  To set up an interview with Michael Burrows, please email Sam Schipman at sam@howiewood.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A format flip takes place in the Motor City as iHeartMedia drops alternative on WDTW-FM and goes classic rock as WLLZ-FM “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels.”  The station’s core artists are 80s and 90s rock artists: AC/DC, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica,Ozzy Osbourne, and Pearl Jam.  The jock lineup features well-known Detroit radio personalities, including Bill McAllister in mornings, Trudi Daniels in middays, Doug Podell in afternoons, and Casey Krukowski in evenings.  iHM region president Paul Corvino states, “Detroit’s Wheels is back.  The attitude, music, and personalities featured on ‘106.7 Detroit’s Wheels’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.”

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