Talk Radio/Media Industry News
Boffo Q4 and 2016 for Entercom; Full-Year Net Revenue Up 12%. With so many radio companies struggling to present even flat revenue figures each quarter, Entercom Communications stands out as it reports net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 reached $123.2 million – an increase of 5% percent over the same period a year ago. For the full year of 2016, net revenue was $460.2 million – up 12% over 2015. For shareholders, the news was also good as adjusted net income per share increased 13% to $0.98. Entercom president and CEO David J. Field states in a press release, “Entercom posted another solid quarter of organic growth, completing an excellent year during which same-station revenue increased 4%, adjusted net income grew 13% and free cash flow improved 16%. And since the start of Q4, we have acquired a great new cluster of stations in Charlotte and successfully refinanced our credit facility to drive our interest expense down by roughly $10 million annually. Of course, our biggest news is our recently announced plan to merge with CBS Radio, a transformational event that will create scale-driven opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to accelerate growth. The combined company will be exceedingly well positioned to serve its listeners, advertisers, communities, shareholders, and employees and we are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”
KFI, Los Angeles Launches Online Museum with ‘KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D.’ Los Angeles heritage talk station KFI announces the first installment of its Official KFI Online Museum with “KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D” – an interactive online 3D studio tour and scavenger hunt that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the evening Tim Conway Jr. show. The iHeartMedia station says listeners can explore the KFI AM 640 virtual studio with optional virtual reality glasses and solve riddles for a chance to win prizes. The press statement goes on to say the museum allows “listeners one-of-a-kind VIP access to the KFI AM 640 studios, programming and rich background as both a heritage station and an outlier. With almost 95 years of broadcasting history in Southern California, KFI AM 640 has evolved into the region’s preeminent news and talk station.” The station will announce more details about the museum at a later date. KFI program director Robin Bertolucci states, “KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D is an interactive scavenger hunt that’s a must-see for any true-blooded KFI fan. What makes it so unique is that listeners can tour the studio in VR glasses and really get to experience the Tim Conway Jr. show. You can peer over Tim’s shoulder while he works, do a news update with Mark Thompson, cozy right up to Bellio and sit behind the board with Mondo. It’s like being on the show without having to fight L.A. traffic to get there.”
New Travel Order, Yiannopoulos Quits Breitbart, Obama Bathroom Policy, Stockholm Riots, Jewish Cemetery Vandalism-Trump Response, This Week’s CPAC, California Succession Movement, Heavy California Rains, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21). Public reaction to the Trump Administration’s revised travel order affecting people from seven predominantly Muslim nations, and the related plans for deportation of illegal immigrants; media provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from his editor post at Breitbart News in the wake of recent comments about pedophilia; the Trump Administration signals its intent to reverse the Obama Administration’s public restroom policies; the outbreak of riots in Stockholm after police arrested a suspect in an immigrant neighborhood; the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and controversy over President Trump’s response; the gathering of conservatives in Maryland for the Conservative Political Action Conference; the YES California succession movement; the heavy rains affecting much of California and threats to dams; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS Teams Up with PerfectYourPodcast.com to Present a Master Class Podcasting Webinar. Save the date and make your reservations now! Space is limited! TALKERS magazine has joined forces with PerfectYourPodcast.com to present a webinar titled “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast,” a master class for radio professionals only. It will be a free, live online event scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 pm ET. PerfectYourPodcast.com was founded by well-known broadcaster Mike Carruthers, host and creator of the long-running, successful syndicated radio series, “Something You Should Know” (now also a top iTunes-charted podcast), who will be conducting the webinar. Designed for the professional radio broadcaster who is serious about profiting from podcasting, the event will focus on what radio people must know about this hot, rapidly-growing arena including programming, production, distribution, promotion and monetization. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are delighted to present this exciting event with our colleague Mike Carruthers who has really established himself over the years as a seasoned practitioner knowledgeable of all aspects of the growing podcasting industry. Radio broadcasters – by the nature of their backgrounds and experience – are perfectly suited to take advantage of the major opportunities to expand their brands and increase their revenues by learning the right ways to engage in podcasting.” To learn more and register for the webinar, please click here.
Carruthers: Now is the Time for Radio Broadcasters to Get Serious About Podcasting. Veteran syndicated radio broadcaster Mike Carruthers (host and creator of “Something You Should Know”) says most professional radio broadcasters are not yet taking advantage of the benefits and opportunities that can be developed as a natural extension of their already-proven skills and talent in the growing field of podcasting. In an extremely informative article posted today (2/21) Carruthers – CEO of PerfectYourPodcast.com – concisely explains the state of podcasting and what radio broadcasters need to know to move their careers forward into seriously developing their stake in this dynamic field. Carruthers will be presenting a free master class webinar (see story above) in association with TALKERS magazine titled “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast” on Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 pm ET. To read the Mike Carruthers article, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. Entertainment industry labor union SAG-AFTRA is issuing a statement on the rights of a “free and unencumbered press.” The union states: “As a union whose membership includes broadcast and online journalists, SAG-AFTRA champions the rights of a free press, whose primary role is to provide citizens with the information they need to effectively govern a democracy. These rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which establishes that the press shall be free from government interference in the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions. SAG-AFTRA, journalists and non-journalists alike, supports a free and unencumbered press and stands with any journalist who might find his or her ability to report on our government challenged or compromised. SAG-AFTRA believes first and foremost that citizens in a democracy need the truth. Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA believes that journalists have an obligation to monitor and question those in power, pointing out wrongdoing when they find it, noting when facts asserted are not supported by evidence, and reporting inconsistencies in the positions of public figures. As working professionals, members of the news media have an obligation to verify the accuracy of what they report, with loyalty only to their readers, listeners and viewers and not to any political party, affiliation, or ideology. As a proud labor union representing more than 160,000 broadcasters, actors and entertainers, SAG-AFTRA stands with all of its members in ensuring that the basic rights of a free and independent press continue to be upheld.”…..Spring training baseball is being covering by SiriusXM’s MLB Radio Network beginning tomorrow (2/23). The network will be on the road in Arizona and Florida through the rest of this month and next broadcasting from every Major League spring training complex. Each two-hour show will feature SiriusXM’s expert hosts, providing an in-depth look at each MLB club as well as one-on-one conversations with managers, players and executives.
Get Well Wishes to ‘Kicks 101.5’ Personality Cadillac Jack. The good news is that WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” morning host Cadillac Jack is resting comfortably after surgery during which three stents were installed to clear a blockage to one side of his heart. This comes after an incident that happened yesterday. His wife Donna reports, “Caddy was swimming yesterday and began to feel dizzy. Fortunately, my nanny forced him to call 911. It saved his life. The crazy thing is he just had a physical with an EKG that looked fine. The doctors credit his commitment to fitness and the fact that he’s only 43 for him surviving this serious a heart attack.” WKHX program director Scott Lindy adds, “The prognosis for Cadillac Jack is good and he should be home to recuperate later this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Caddy, Donna and the kids as he gets back on his feet.”
Blaine Jackson Named PD for iHeartMedia’s Augusta, Georgia Country Duo. Country programmer Blaine Jackson moves from the company’s Macon, Georgia country outlet – WIHB “96.5 The Bull” – to the Augusta market to program WLUB “105.7 The Bull” and classic country WLUB-HD2/W292EE “106.3 The Bull Icons.” Jackson joined iHeartMedia in 2010 as a part-time board operator for the Macon, Georgia cluster, then moved to its Newnan, Georgia cluster as program director for the three stations there before returning to Macon. Augusta market president Ivy Elam says, “We are very excited to have Blaine here to represent our two new Augusta brands. We look forward to her delivering quality country format programming that we know our listeners, partners and advertisers will love.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Raleigh-Durham market, Capitol Broadcasting promotes Doug Miller to evening personality and creative imaging director for adult contemporary WRAL-FM “MIX 101.5.” In the past, Miller has served with CHR KHFI, Austin; WNKS, Charlotte “Kiss 95.1”; KMXV, Kansas City “Mix 93.3”; and hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.”…..In Columbus, iHeartMedia drops the sports talk simulcast on WYTS-AM and translator W287CP and begins airing an urban AC format branded “VIBE 105.3.” Mike Eiland – music director and APD at sister adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” – is hosting the morning show on the new station…..SiriusXM announces that Grammy Award-winning artist Ed Sheeran will perform a special, invitation-only show for SiriusXM on Monday, March 6 at a secret location in New York City. The performance, the latest in SiriusXM’s “Secret Show” series, will air on SiriusXM Hits 1 and The Pulse channels and feature songs from Sheeran’s new album, ÷. Sheeran says, “Really looking forward to this one. It’ll be my first NYC show in a while and I can’t wait to play the new songs live!”…..iHeartRadio and Google are teaming up to launch a first-of-its-kind activation in which users can vote for the iHeartRadio Music Awards’ “Most Powerful Female Voice” category. In fact, this year’s winner will be exclusively determined from votes placed with Google Home. Users say, “Ok Google, start iHeartRadio Awards voting.” They’ll then hear Ryan Seacrest walk them through the simple steps to vote using just their voice with the Google Assistant on Google Home. This year’s nominees for Most Powerful Female Voice include: Rihanna, Adele, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Carrie Underwood, and Florence Welch.
Cool Country Radio Gig. Here’s a cool country radio opportunity open at CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix “The New KMLE @ 107.9.” The station is seeking an afternoon personality/music director. The station’s Bryan “B-Dub” Washington currently holds the position and will be leaving for a programming opportunity in a market to be named at a later time. CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “We want to thank B-Dub for his hard work and commitment to KMLE over the past year. We are grateful for his time here and we wish him the best with his new adventure.” Candidates interested in applying for the KMLE gig can do so online at CBSRADIO.com/careers.
Round One of January PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for the first of four rounds of markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 survey period covered January 5 – February 1. You can see all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.
1) New York – Although the cumulative loss since June is just four-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH was without an increase the past seven survey periods until erupting with a full-share increase, vaulting from #19 to a three-way tie at #13. Over and above that, “94.7 Nash FM” has its highest-ever 6+-performance (2.7) under PPM-methodology. In 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, CBS Radio all-news WINS dials up a +.8 to 5.2 (6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. It is the first time WINS crosses the five-share threshold (6+) in approximately two years (5.1, February 2015). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, hot AC sibling WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” improves by one-half share to 3.1 (6+) as it climbs from #12 to #11. Outlets such as iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” that enjoyed huge “Holiday” 2016 spikes owing to wall-to-wall Christmas music during that sweep are falling back to earth in their January 2017 stats. In the case of “Lite FM,” for example, it drops by more than six full-shares (13.3 -7.2, -6.1, 6+), but is nonetheless on top for the seventh straight time. Moreover, “Lite FM” is one-half share ahead of where it was in January 2016 (6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU (3.5 – 4.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) and CHR cluster-mate WHTZ “Z-100” (5.1, #6, 6+) improve by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WKTU was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to January 2017, “Z-100” had been down three straight times for a combined -1.1 (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+) but it now actually backslides from fifth to sixth.
2) Los Angeles – This proves to be a benchmark month for KNX, which rides a full-share gain to 3.7, its most potent 6+-stat since PPM became Los Angeles’ ratings currency. In addition, the CBS Radio all-news operation rockets from #15 into the top ten (#7). Down or flat in each of the past nine sweeps producing a combined -1.3 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), alternative sibling KROQ picks up two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), climbing from #22 to #21. Gaining one-half share and checking in at #21 is KPCC (1.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Pasadena Area City College-owned/American Public Media Group-operated facility reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since October 2015’s 2.2. While it leads the field for the sixteenth successive ratings period, iHeartMedia mainstream AC KOST “Coast 103.5” sees its 6+share skewered by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+). “Coast” had been up the past three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+) and it was 5.9 (6+) one year ago (January 2016). After a “Holiday” 2016 increase of seven-tenths to 2.8, its finest 6+-performance since July 2015’s 2.9, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105 FM” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (2.8 – 2.2, -.6, 6+), spiraling from #13 to #19. Falling from a three-way logjam at #7 to #10, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been extremely consistent the last eight ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). With a gain of three-tenths from .8 in “Holiday” 2016, Salem Media Group talker KRLA crosses the one-share barrier (1.1, 6+, #28).
3) Chicago – Feel free to file this under: “What a Difference a Sweep Makes – Especially If It’s ‘Holiday’ to January.” To be more specific, this time last month, iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” was at #1, holding an extremely comfortable 9.3-share (6+) advantage over Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted, fourth-ranked WTMX “101.9 The Mix.” Fast-forward to January 2017 results where we find “Mix” moving up to #3 (4.4 – 5.3, +.9, 6+), as it possesses +1.8 lead over “My-FM,” which freefalls by more than ten (10) full-shares (13.7 – 3.5, -10.2, 6+) to drop to sixth. Off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” had been up in consecutive monthlies (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, October-November-December, 6+); prior to November 2016, it ranked third in each of the previous seven sweeps. WLIT entered the December sweep down or flat the preceding 11 ratings periods for a collective loss of 11 full-shares (13.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). In succession, it then gained a +3.4 in December and a +7.4 in “Holiday” 2016. The station it displaced at #1 in “Holiday” 2016 – CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.1 – 6.3, +.2, 6+) – returns to the penthouse. WBBM-AM was tied for the lead in September 2016 and had been on top from January 2016 through May 2016. Trending 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 (6+) between August and December, adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” sputtered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, but rebounds nicely with a full-share increase (1.6 – 2.6, 6+) and soars back into the top 20 (#24 to #14). The market’s classic hits-oldies share balloons by +1.3 as Cumulus Media’s WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” gains seven-tenths (3.0, #14 to #10, 6+) while CBS Radio-owned WJMK “104.3 K-Hits” picks up six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, steady at #10, 6+). “Chicago’s Classic Hits” ends four straight downward trends that yielded a combined -1.3 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Meanwhile this is the best 6+-performance for “K-Hits” since May 2016 (3.1). A gain of one-half share takes Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (#18 to a three-way tie at #16) to 2.5, matching what it registered in May 2016, while a +.4 to 2.0 (6+) by Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM (#24 to #23) ends three straight sweeps without an increase that produced a combined -.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). Even though Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE – which is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th straight monthly – gains four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+), it falls from a three-way tie at #10 to #12. Making identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves and thus tied at #20 are the market’s two country rivals, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” and CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5.”
4) San Francisco – After a one-month hiatus from the top spot, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED, -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 to fall to second, recovers all of it and then some (6.4 – 7.3, +.9, 6+) as it returns to #1. The loss of seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Ousted after one month and falling from first to third in January 2017 is Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” (9.2 – 4.9, -4.3, 6+). The -4.3 by KOIT-FM this sweep comes immediately after its +4.4 in “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back declines by “Better Music for a Better Workday” in October and November produced a combined -.5 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), but KOIT-FM answered with a +1.4 in December. The 5.1 (6+) advantage KOIT-FM had over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” in “Holiday” 2016 shrinks to seven-tenths as “The Breeze” is up one-tenth (4.1 – 4.2, unchanged at #4). Faltering by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, KCBS-AM gains it all back (6.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) and the CBS Radio all-news operation shifts from third to second. Its -.8 in “Holiday” 2016 ended a string of successive gains at four (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+); KCBS-AM was +1.3 since August. Owing to a gain of seven tenths (3.1 – 3.8, tenth to fifth, 6+), hot AC sibling KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” overtakes format rival, iHeartMedia-owned KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6, +.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). “Alice” was without an increase since August (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), while “Star” had been down in each of the previous four ratings periods for a combined -1.1 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). A +.6 (2.2 – 2.8, 6+) enables Cumulus Media talker KSFO to jump from #15 to #12. Improving by one-half share each are Entercom urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” (#19 to #14, 6+); KALW “Local Public Radio” (1.4 – 1.9, #19, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS “K-LOVE” (.5 – 1.0, #29, 6+). This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for “The Bay’s R&B” for a combined +.9 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Following a collective +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KBAY regresses by -1.2 and sinks from #11 to #25.
5) Dallas – Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.7, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country formatted KPLX not only bounces back with a +1.2 to 5.9, “The Wolf” progresses from fourth to first. It ends a one-month stay at the top for iHeartMedia’s KDGE “Star 102.1,” which abandoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November 2016 in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). In “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7 (+4.4, 6+) and catapulted from tenth to first. With a -4.9 in January 2017 to 2.8 (6+), KDGE, which was at #21 in November, drifts from #1 all the way to #14. CHR cluster-mate KHKS “Kiss-FM,” which succeeded “The Wolf” at #1 in December, picks up one full-share and now trails KPLX by just one-tenth (4.8 – 5.8, third to second, 6+). Following a seven-tenths erosion in “Holiday” 2016, CBS Radio adult hits KJKK “Jack-FM” recaptures one-half share (4.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and moves back to #6 from #8. Prior to the -.7, “Jack” had been up the previous three ratings periods for a combined +.9 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). On the heels of a +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, classic hits-oldies sibling KLUV forfeits -1.6 (5.4 – 6.8 – 5.2, 6+) and slides from second to third. Four straight down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -1.3 for sports cluster-mate KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), which slips from #18 to #19.
6) Houston – Climbing from fifth to fourth, noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” improves by one full-share to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brings back 60% of that deficit to 7.4 (+.9, 6+) and jumps from third to first. In the process, it unseats iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which sputters by -4.3 to 6.0 (6+), curtailing four straight up-trends that yielded a cumulative +3.8 (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 10.3, 6+); “Sunny” – #1 in 23 consecutive ratings periods before dipping to second in August 2016 – trades places with KLTN at #3. In “Holiday” 2016, KTRH returned the one-half share it gained in December, halting its streak of successive up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – at three (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+). The iHeartMedia talker recoups that +.7 in January 2017 (3.5 – 4.2, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #10). Logging a gain of seven-tenths as well is CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101 FM” (3.9 – 4.6, steady at #7, 6+), which was -.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Improving by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to eighth, 6+) and University of Houston-owned KUHF (3.0 – 3.6, #16 to #13, 6+). This marks the third straight increase for KRBE (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) for a collective +1.0. Off by -1.7 since July (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” regained seven-tenths in November; lost six-tenths in December; forfeited one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; but is +.5 in January 2017 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+) as it inches up from ninth to eighth. Before slipping to #7 in October, “The New Q” had been in fifth-place the previous four sweeps. On the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One transitioned KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI, in its new CHR format, drops one-half share to .9 (#24, 6+).
7) Philadelphia – After sputtering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” roars back with a gain four times that amount – a whopping +2.0 – to advance from fourth to second (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9, 6+). In December, “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” was -.6, thus curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” enjoyed a 13-share (6+) advantage over WMGK in “Holiday” 2016, but that has been whittled down to a solitary share as WBEB erodes by ten (10) full-shares (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Even so, “More FM,” which was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016, is #1 for the sixth consecutive time. Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), “More FM” dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” – which was trending 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+) – flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY. In its first adult contemporary sweep against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registers a 2.6 (6+, #18). Despite a +1.3 (5.5 – 6.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL remains at #3, although it trails WMGK by just one-tenth. After absorbing a loss of six-tenths, Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Rocks” bounces back with an increase twice that size (5.6, +1.2, 6+) to climb from sixth to fifth. WMMR ends three successive downward sweeps (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+) for a collective -1.7. In four straight dips (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” dials up a +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) to move from #13 to #11. Not only does CBS Radio talker WPHT regain the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2016, it piles on one-half share to it (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.9, 6+) as it cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Staying in the spoken-word arena, co-owned all-news KYW picks up nine-tenths (4.7 – 5.6, steady at #5, 6+); public WHYY is up seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, #18 to #14, 6+); and Beasley Media Group sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” adds one-half share (2.5, unchanged at #19, 6+). Both KYW and WHYY were -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, while “The Fanatic” ends three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Before the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, KYW had been up or flat the past four times (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) for a net +.9. In three straight increases, WHYY accumulated a combined eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Spiking upward by six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.3 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “K-LOVE” (2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” is up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+), applying the brakes to six successive sweeps without an increase that produced a -.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).
8) Atlanta – It is indeed quite the rollercoaster ride for Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM, which follows the largest (6+) decline by any PPM-market station whose data was announced this time last month (-2.3) with the loftiest (6+) increase by any PPM-market station whose information was released yesterday (10.2 – 7.9 – 10.7, +2.8). Moreover, WSB-AM is #1 for the thirteenth straight month and its January 2017 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December. On the heels of a +.6 (6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” tacks on another eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), lifting the flagship of Super Bowl runner-up the Atlanta Falcons from #13 into the top ten (#9). Enjoying its seventh straight monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” rises from ninth to eighth. Ordinarily a station gaining three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+) and finishing at #18 wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but in this case, that’s the scenario for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan,” making its first print appearance in exactly five years when it recorded a 1.9 (January 2012, 6+). Down or flat six straight sweeps entering the “Holiday” 2016 report for a collective loss of -1.5 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH dialed up a +2.5; however, “104.7 The Fish” forfeits all of it (4.6 – 7.1 – 4.6, 6+), as it drops from second to sixth. The 7.1 in “Holiday” 2016 was the strongest 6+-performance for “The Fish” in just over two years (7.6, “Holiday” 2014). Up a collective eight-tenths in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” forfeits seven-tenths to 6.0 (6+) yet manages to climb from third to second. Stymied on .4 the past five ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s WGST “640 Talk Radio” drops one-tenth to .3 (#27 to #30, 6+).
9) Long Island – Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016. The CBS Radio all-news outlet, however, gets all but one-tenth back in January 2017 (4.5 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). A +.7 (4.4 – 5.1, 6+) lifts all-sports sibling WFAN “The Fan” from fifth to second. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. “Z-100” gains eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) though and reappears at #1. Dislodged from the top spot is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (9.0 – 4.9, -4.1, 6+), which skids to fourth. WALK-FM gained a combined +3.9 in December and “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of one-half share each are Cox Media Group CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (4.5, seventh to fifth, 6+); CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.0 – 2.5, #19 to #16, 6+); and iHeartMedia talker WOR (3.1 – 3.6, #13 to #10, 6+). WBLI had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a combined -.9 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Picking up one-half share as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.0 – 2.5, #19 to #16, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #20, 6+); and public WNYC-FM (1.6 – 2.1, #22. 6+). Following 17 straight monthlies in two-share territory (6+), “94.7 Nash FM” dropped one-half share to 1.7 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the 26th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#17 to #20) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, but coughs up all of it plus one-tenth (7.8 – 3.2, -4.6, 6+), drifting from #2 out of the top ten (#12). Exiting the top ten as well (#7 to #13) is Connoisseur Media’s similarly-formatted WKJY “K-98.3,” which sputters by one-full share (4.0 – 3.0, 6+).
10) Riverside – Powered by a +.7 (3.7 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG advances from sixth to fourth. It is the best 6+-showing for “New Country K-Frog” since March 2016’s 4.8. Meanwhile co-owned, similarly-programmed KXFG (#22 to #21) has a .1 for the twelfth successive sweep. In addition to KFRG “New Country K-Frog,” Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” also gains seven-tenths. “Jose” is up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+) and ranks first for the fifteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. This represents the fourth consecutive one-half share fluctuation by Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA – and the first one in positive territory (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA is back at #2. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is All Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “Mix 101.3” (.4 – .9, #16 to #13). It is the strongest 6+-performance for “Mix” since “Holiday” 2015 (also .9, 6+). Trending 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 (6+) since October, co-owned KHTI “Hot 103.9 Move to the Music” declines by seven-tenths and ties “Mix” at .9 (6+, #13, down from #11). After seven straight positive or flat trends for a cumulative gain of nearly three full-shares (3.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-LOVE 107.5” (fourth to fifth) has surrendered a collective -1.7 in back-to-back sweeps (6.0 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+ (6+). Dating back to May, KLVE nearly doubled its 6+-share. Remaining flat at #8 but also off by one-half share in January 2017 is LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (2.7 – 2.2, 6+).
11) San Jose – A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since notching a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED returns in a big way by hanging out a +1.5 (5.4 – 6.9, 6+) and finishing at #1. Evicted from the top spot is Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” (8.4 – 5.1, -3.3, 6+), which drops from first to fourth. Gaining nine-tenths each are co-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (2.9 – 3.8, tenth to seventh, 6+) and Cumulus Media talker KGO (2.4 – 3.3, #14 to #10, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” and KGO were -1.0 and -.6, respectively. Up by eight-tenths each are CBS Radio CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7 New Hit Music” (2.5 – 3.3, #10, 6+) and Cumulus Media talker KSFO (1.8 – 2.6, #20 to #17, 6+). “Now” had been down or flat the past five sweeps for a cumulative -1.4 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+). As was the case with Cumulus Media sibling KGO, KSFO was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. One-half share improvements are recorded by iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” (2.7, flat at #16, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (2.5, unchanged at #18, 6+). KMEL was stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, while “Alice” had been without an increase the past three ratings periods (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KBAY regresses by -3.6 to 4.4 (6+), dipping from second to sixth. On Christmas Day (12/25) at 5:00 pm, KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Although flat at 3.0 (6+) and within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the eighteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#9 to #15). Off by one-half share (.8 – .3, 6+), Empire Broadcasting classic country KLIV “1590 San Jose’s Country Gold” finishes at #30.
12) Middlesex – Registering a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), Townsquare Media talker WKXW returns to #1 after one sweep in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent twelve consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Owing to a sweep-to-sweep decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” drifts from first to seventh. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). After three consecutive gains totaling a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but erases that with a +1.0 in January 2017 (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6, 6+), gliding from #15 to #10. Having improved in December by one-half share and then regressing by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” racks up eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+) to enter the top ten (#13 to #8). December’s +.5 by “Nash FM” ended three successive negative trends for a combined -.9 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). Recording a gain of six-tenths each are hot AC sibling WPLJ (2.7, #20 to 16, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source For R&B” (6.0, second, 6+). WPLJ had been down or flat in each of the last three ratings periods and regains the six-tenths it lost in that timeframe (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), while WBLS rebounds from a cumulative -.8 in the past two sweeps (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+). Jumping by one-half share each – all from the iHeartMedia cluster – are CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.4 – 4.9, seventh to fifth, 6+); urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.6 – 3.1, steady at #15, 6+); and rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.7, #18 to #16, 6+), which had been trending 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+). Following a combined +1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “93.1 Amor” returns all but three-tenths (3.4 -1.4, 6+), plummeting from #5 to #11. Regressing by one full-share (4.2 – 3.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” falls from the top ten (#8 to #13). Having registered three successive upward trends netting a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” is off by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+), spiraling from #12 to #21.
Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’ Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington. Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson. She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart. Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program. She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel. WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”
WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show. The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled. The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year. Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left). Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm. He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ. Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day. Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.” News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program. The show debuts on February 28.
ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News. An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates. ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated. Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer. An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations. It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues. The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”
Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations. Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast). Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando. He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK. We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year. He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs. He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”
Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen. The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen. That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta. But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again. And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim. The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN). The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.
KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts. Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas. Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left). The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners. King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock. Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.
KGO, San Francisco Rising Star Ethan Bearman Guests This Week on Harrison Podcast. One of talk radio’s brightest rising stars, Ethan Bearman, who hosts the daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm midday show on Cumulus Media’s heritage KGO, San Francisco, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bearman, an extremely articulate Gen Xer, discusses the differences and similarities between the Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials as well as the societal impact of this era’s rapidly accelerating technological change. Harrison and Bearman cast a wide net, peering as far as 100 years into the future and covering such topics as self-driving cars, nano chip implantation in the human brain and Donald Trump’s obsession with the media. Not to be missed. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group. Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly. She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.” Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story. She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership. You can’t get much better than that. The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry. Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”
Hanging Out at the Club. Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend. They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello. Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.
Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David Horowitz – Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories. Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda. Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20). The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM. The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus. McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event. But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory. In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience. Read the story here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales. She moves up from her general sales manager role. She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot. At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.” Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM. WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”
iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees. When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist. The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music. The first step was naming the nominees in each category. Now, the finalists have been named. They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.
It’s Official: Grayson to Host Midday Show at KTRS, St. Louis. Last week, TALKERS reported that St. Louis talk show host Jon Grayson had exited CBS RADIO’s KMOX and was rumored to be headed across the street to news/talk KTRS “The Big 550.” That has been confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman. He reports that Grayson will indeed assume hosting duties for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at the station. Grayson had been with KMOX for the past 16 years. He’d been handling the overnight show. That program had also been syndicated nationally via Westwood One but the syndicator ended the national program deal in December of last year. KTRS general manager Mark Dorsey tells the Post-Dispatch, “We’re excited to have a talent of Jon’s caliber joining our on-air team at KTRS. His personality and wit are a great fit for what our listeners have come to expect.” Previously heard in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at KTRS were Martin Kilcoyne and Randi Naughton. Kilcoyne recently jumped to market sports talker KFNS.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of sports talk radio stations based on the Nielsen Audio Holiday 2016 PPM survey. Although the ratings period (December 1 through January 4) is one in which much of the industry attention is given to the stations that go all-Christmas music, it’s a time when the NFL season is in its final month as the playoffs approach, college football fans are looking forward to the playoffs and the NBA and NHL seasons are in full swing. In this report, you can see how subscribing stations performed (6+) compared to the December survey, how they fared comparing Holiday 2015 to Holiday 2016, plus see how stations ranked in their respective markets. See it all here.
Trump Press Conference, Travel Ban Redux, U.S.-Russia Relations, Pence Attends Munich Security Conference, ‘Day without Immigrants’ Protest, Maher Hosts Milo Yiannopoulos, Poll Indicates Americans Bullish on the Economy, Threats to Cut Federal Arts Funding, and NBA All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s Thursday press conference; the Trump Administration’s plans to issue a second, revamped travel order affecting seven predominantly Muslim nations; the relations between the U.S. and Russia in the aftermath of allegations the Trump campaign had been in contact with Russian officials and businessmen; Vice President Mike Pence attends the weekend conference in Munich assuring Europe the U.S. supports NATO; Thursday’s “Day without Immigrants” protest and its aftermath; the flap over Bill Maher’s hosting Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO “Real Time” show; the results of a Harvard-Harris poll indicating a majority of Americans are very positive about the American economy; the threats by the Trump Administration to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and others from the federal budget; and the NBA All-Star game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Long Island operations of Connoisseur Media, there are three personnel moves to report. First, Christina Kay is promoted to the afternoon drive show on hot AC WALK. Kay has been with the company the past six years, most recently as production assistant and “go-to” fill-in host for the company’s five Long Island signals. Program director Tommy Conway says, “Christina’s commitment to the WALK brand has been stamped and certified a hundred times over. She brings loads of star power, hard work and an infectious smile. Our audience loves her and so do we.” Second, the company promotes Joe Varecha to marketing director, in which he’ll oversee marketing strategy for Connoisseur Media Long Island. He’s an eight-year company staffer who began as an intern. Finally, Michael Keeney – who also started as an intern in the promotions department eight years ago – is promoted to promotions director…..Adams Radio Group promotes Kevin Musselman to vice president and general manager for its Fort Wayne, Indiana station group, consisting of classic rock WXKE, country WBTU “US 93.3,” CHR WJFX “HOT 107.9,” adult contemporary WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” sports talk WGL-AM, news/talk W277AK “The Patriot,” and oldies WLYV-AM. Adams president and CEO Ron Stone states, “Kevin is a perfect fit for the GM role. He has been with Adams from the day we acquired the market and has built an amazing sales organization. It’s a big job overseeing nine frequencies in one market and I am confident Kevin is the leader we need.”…..Townsquare Media brings Bill Fox aboard country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire to co-host the morning drive show with Kira Lew. The move allows operations manager and brand manager JC Coffey to move back to the afternoon drive daypart. Fox was most recently host of adult contemporary WYJB, Albany’s “The B95.5 Breakfast Club.”…..Station personality Chelsea Alayne is promoted to program director and afternoon drive host at Community Broadcasters’ CHR WECQ, Fort Walton Beach “Q92.” She takes over for Sean Mack, who recently exited to join Entercom’s hot AC KAMX, Austin.
KMOX, St. Louis Extends Calhoun and Ackerman. St. Louis heritage news/talk KMOX announces it has signed staffers Michael Calhoun and Tom Ackerman to new, multi-year contracts that include some new duties for both. Calhoun and Ackerman are part of the CBS RADIO station’s “Total Information AM” morning drive program – Calhoun as co-host and news reporter and Ackerman as a personality and the station’s sports director. KMOX program director Steve Moore states, “Tom and Michael are talented personalities who play integral roles at the station. Tom was born and raised in St. Louis so reporting the news and sports in the city he loves is a natural progression for him. Michael is an award-winning field reporter who brings a unique voice to KMOX that instantly connects with listeners.” Ackerman expands his role to serve as co-host of “Total Information AM” alongside Debbie Monterrey and Calhoun. Calhoun adds field and spot news reporting to his responsibilities. Calhoun will also continue to serve as KMOX’s lead reporter on St. Louis’ “Start Up, Entrepreneurs and Innovation” initiatives and continue to host “Nothing Impossible,” a show that informs listeners about how innovators are transforming and revitalizing the St. Louis region.
Grayson Exits KMOX; Headed for Crosstown KTRS? A report by Joe Holleman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Jon Grayson has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX where he was hosting the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am show. Grayson’s “Overnight America” show had been syndicated nationally in a deal with Westwood One but that was shut down at the end of 2016. Now, after 16 years at KMOX, Grayson may be headed across the street to news/talker KTRS. Holleman reports that’s the industry chatter. KTRS reportedly has an opening for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show. The station also recently hired former KMOX personality Doug McElvein.
Madison Talk Host Mitch Henck Moves Forward on Digital Platform. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about Madison talk radio personality Mitch Henck – one of a number of personalities cut free with the demise of the progressive talk format on iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison last fall. Henck has recently launched the web-based platform MadisonTalks.com, where his program and others continue to provide the market with “outside the box” digital content. Though he was heard on WXXM for years, Henck says his political leanings are not so easily qualified. “I am center-right on economics and more libertarian on social issues. I like splitting hairs and challenging callers to make their argument.” Read the whole story here.
11th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for June 28-29. This year’s 11th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire/Let’s Make America Great Again radio row broadcast will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is again producing the event at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, White House officials and those who live and work along the southern border. FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “This event has always been about holding our elected leaders accountable and educating the public. In particular, this year, lawmakers must be reminded that Americans strongly support President Trump’s immigration policies. Otherwise, the noise made by vocal special interests – which the mainstream media loves to amplify – will dominate. Talk radio remains the bullhorn of the ‘silent’ majority.” Reservations are required and hosts/producers should contact event manager Cassie Williams at 202-328-7004 or email@example.com to reserve their spot. There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR. Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 60 talk hosts.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Touts AM Revitalization at NABA Symposium. The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission addressed the attendees at yesterday’s “Future of Radio and Audio” symposium presented by the North American Broadcasters Association. Among the topics he discussed was AM revitalization. He kicked that off by stating, “It’s no secret that many stations in the AM band are struggling. The band’s overall listenership has declined, and advertising revenues along with it. This stems mainly from the band’s technical problems. Every day, it seems harder to get a quality AM signal.” Pai boiled his solution down to the two-pronged approach of making it easier for AM operators to acquire FM translators and encouraging the activation and use of FM chips in smartphones. Regarding FM translators, Pai said AM station owners have complained that it can be difficult finding a location for translators. “That’s why we’ve proposed a new reform that my fellow Commissioners and I will vote on next week. This measure would give AM stations greater flexibility in siting their translators. It’s a small step that would be a big help to AM broadcasters. This year, we also plan to open two new windows in which AM stations that still don’t have an FM translator can apply directly to the FCC to get one authorized. And we’ll keep working on ways to improve signal quality on the AM band and reduce AM broadcasters’ operating costs.” As for FM chips in smartphones, Pai said he’s against mandating those chips be activated – he’s a free-market guy who doesn’t approve of such a heavy-handed approach, and he thinks it’s outside of the FCC’s purview. He noted that in the U.S., “only about 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips, and the percentage is lower in Canada. By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80%…[but] despite the low numbers, we are seeing progress; in the last two years, the percentage of top-selling smartphones in the United States that have activated FM chips has risen from less than 25% to 44%.”
Andy Pollin Joins WJFK-FM, Washington for Weekends and Fill-Ins. Washington, DC sports talk personality Andy Pollin is no longer a free agent. The market sports media figure was recently set free by Red Zebra’s WTEM “ESPN 908” after almost 25 years at the signal. Now, he’s being heard on CBS RADIO’s crosstown WJFK-FM on weekends and in fill-in situations. The Washington Post reports that Pollin will host a regular Saturday show with (also former WTEM) personality Thom Loverro from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon starting February 25. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard tells the Post, “It just gives us more great talent. You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing. He hasn’t been available for 25 years, because he’s done such a good job. So to have someone like that available, we’d be crazy not to work something out with him.”
WQAM, Miami Re-Ups with the Miami Hurricanes. Miami sports talker WQAM inks a new multi-year deal to continue serving as the flagship station for University of Miami football and men’s basketball. Pictured at the contract signing in Coral Gables on Thursday (2/16) are (from l-r): WQAM program director Ryan Maguire, “The Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki, WQAM host Curtis Stevenson, Miami football coach Mark Richt, Miami athletic director Blake James, and WQAM host Joe Rose.
Nielsen: 2016 Election Year Good for News Radio. Ratings giant Nielsen issues data – illustrated in the graphic above – showing the rise in listenership to news radio during the 2016 election year. Nielsen notes that just as in the previous election year of 2012, the number of people tuning in to all-news stations, news/talk stations and public radio NPR affiliates spiked, making it the most-listened-to radio format by persons 6+ in PPM markets during 2016.
Allegations of Trump Campaign’s Russia Connections and Michael T. Flynn’s Resignation Top News Talk Stories for Week of February 13-17. The allegations that members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian agents prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Trump travel ban issue and the related Mexican wall matter. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s contentious relationship with the news media, followed by Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as nominee for labor secretary 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. View this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio programming pro Patty Martin is joining digital platform AccuRadio to program its world music and Celtic channels. He says she’ll also be involved in programming adult rock and adult alternative formats. Martin – who served in the market programming Hubbard’s classic hits WDRV and CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT – tells Feder, “It’s all the fun of radio programming without the headaches!”…..KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” midday personality “Uncle Joe” Benson signs a new contract to continue with the Entercom classic rock station. Program director Dave Beasing says, “Joe is the best-known and most-loved classic rock DJ in Los Angeles. The reason is simple. He’s literally written the book on classic rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”…..A new Sunday night show dedicated to the women of alternative rock is launching on Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X1015” featuring host Lauren O’Neil…..iHeartMedia Fort Myers announces media personalities Lulu and Lala are joining hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1, 90s to Now” as 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight hosts effective immediately. The station says, “The ‘Y100.1’ night show with Lulu and Lala will feature the dynamic pair’s unique take on pop culture news and fun antics with listeners, along with special celebrity guest interviews and Y100.1’s unique blend of today’s hits and 90’s throwbacks.”
CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation. The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division. Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger. The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend. The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger. The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.” In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.” During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry. The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability. The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”
Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange. This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc. Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET). The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’” That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”
TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision. The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,” “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment. In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.” Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades. The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.” Harrison cited Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be. Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company. Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.” Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.” The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City. For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington. The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia. This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942. WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again. The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons. We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game. Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires. The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne. Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10. This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”
Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station. Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office. Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack. It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo. The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.
Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.” The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions. Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action 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. The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles. The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio. Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON. The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites. The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments. These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced. Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards. There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.” The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET. Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano. The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am. Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM! This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show. There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear. Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva. Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package. She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism. Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories. That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.” Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.
Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus. New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).
PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey. In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more. Click here for more.