Thursday, June 8, 2017

| June 8, 2017

Industry Still Buzzin’ Over Talkers 2017: A New Era – Videos Soon to be Posted.  Positive response to the recently held 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers 2017: A New Era – continues to flow into the Talkers Communications Center.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are extremely gratified and appreciative of the wonderful feedback we continue to receive from industry professionals who attended the event.  We are looking forward to posting videos of the key sessions in the coming days and weeks so even more folks can gain benefit from the tremendous information shared last week in New York.”  Attendees universally approved of the new fast-paced “one-on-one” and “fireside chat” format that marked a major format departure from the “panel” style of most industry conventions.  Also, an exciting aspect of this year’s convention was the significantly increased number of young attendees – college radio students and new names rising in the business.  For example, Michael Harrison points out syndicated health show host Dr. Asa, “whose video presentation and live stage appearance elevated this dynamic young man to emerging star status in talk media.” (To view Dr. Asa’s powerful promotional video that impressed the crowd, please click here.)  Another unexpected moment that mesmerized the attendees was this year’s choice of opening patriotic video kicking off the day’s events – a Talkers Convention tradition.  According to Harrison, “Every year, we either have a special solo singer of musical group perform the national anthem live or play a powerful video of a performance to get our patriotic juices flowing. It pulls all the different political ideologies in the room together in a moment of unity under the banner of our common interest in free speech and broadcasting.  We recently blew the crowd away with the rock band Madison Rising’s stunning rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’  We’ll, this year we went ‘retro’ and opened the convention with a video from black and white TV in the early sixties – the late Judy Garland honoring the recently-slain president JFK with a soul-stirring and timeless rendition of ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’  It is simply one of the most incredible musical performances of all time. It stood out in startling juxtaposition to the extreme modernity of the venue, the forward-focused content of the conference, and the apparent youth of so many attendees!”  (To view the video, click here.)  To see earlier coverage of the conference, please scroll down this page.  The following are newly posted photos from Talkers 2017: A New Era.

The exhibition/meeting area at Talkers 2017: A New Era was always buzzing with activity.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike “Bax” Baxendale of WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA (l) and Larry Young of WOLB, Baltimore (r) discuss how local morning shows and stations benefit by creating “community” in their markets.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WMAL, Washington, PD Bill Hess (l) and syndicated star Thom Hartmann (r) talking about the future of radio.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

“Humanitarian of the Year” Dr. Daliah Wachs and WPHT, Philadelphia talker Dom Giordano engage in a one-on-one dialogue.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Attorney Steve Weisman of www.scamicide.com warning radio and broadcasters how to protect themselves against digital age internet scams and hacking.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Bernadette Duncan reporting on her recent “Yappy Tour” of shows and stations coast-to-coast.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) GM/host Brad Shepard discussing hyper-local online radio.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Consultant Walter Sabo addressing the convention.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Michael Harrison (l), Mary Berner (c) and Mike McVay talking about radio at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

The “Woman of the Year” award plaque presented to Mary Berner at the convention.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Report: SiriusXM in PIPE Talks to Invest in PandoraReuters is reporting that SiriusXM is in talks with Pandora to negotiate a private investment in public equity (PIPE).  The story by Liana B. Baker and Greg Roumeliotis notes that this development happened after talks to acquire Pandora outright did not materialize.  The story explains that “a PIPE deal involves the sale of a company’s shares in a private offering, as opposed to a public secondary offering.”  Time is critical because the opportunity for Pandora to find an alternative to its agreement with private equity firm KKR & Co LP expires today (6/7).  KKR & Co LP has agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora.  Reuters’ sources say this is not a done deal and any number of things could crater it.  Read the Reuters piece here.

Heather Park Joins WXYT-FM’s ‘Jamie and Stoney’ Show. Detroit sports media personality Heather Park is joining the “Jamey and Stoney” show at CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” effective Monday, June 12.  Park is the in-park host at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers.  She’s also the past host of “Detroit Sports News” on WWJ-TV and is currently hosting “Michigan Golf Weekly” for the television station.  WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers says, “Heather’s experience with the Detroit Tigers and WWJ-TV, combined with her personality, makes her the perfect fit for the ‘Jamie and Stoney’ show.  I look forward to the evolution of the show with the addition of Heather.”

ABC Radio and Spotify Announce Podcast Deal. A new deal between ABC Radio and Spotify means the latter will distribute ABC Radio podcasts on its platform.  This comes as the two companies announce they are collaborating on the production of “Brilliant Minds,” a podcast named after the annual event led by Natalia Brzezinski.  She serves as the CEO of Symposium Stockholm, Brilliant Minds – a thought leadership symposium that focuses on the relationship between humanity and technology.  Rebecca Jarvis is ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent and also hosts the “No Limits” podcast.  She’ll co-host a special series of eight “Brilliant Minds” podcasts along with Brzezinski.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones states, “ABC News is America’s number one news source and Spotify is the global leader in digital audio distribution.  We’re excited that ABC News will now help to inform, inspire and empower Spotify users to better understand their world and improve the future.”

FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Three Weeks Away. The 11th annual Washington, DC radio row that addresses America’s immigration policies takes place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on June 28 and 29.  Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” will consist of more than 60 talk radio hosts from around the country holding “a national conversation with voters in all 50 states about what is happening, what isn’t happening, and what needs to be done to get things moving” regarding America’s “immigration laws being effectively enforced.”  FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “The goal of this year’s event is to call upon President Trump to honor the promise he made to voters in 2016 and demand that the 115th Congress implement real reforms to our nation’s immigration policies.  Time is of the essence and the president’s legislative priorities on immigration need to start moving forward.”  One of the guests who has been an annual favorite of the talk show hosts participating in “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” is Michael Harrison.  The TALKERS magazine founder and publisher has been a key component of the event for years and usually appears on as many as 25 radio shows during its two-day run.  Harrison states, “The FAIR event is a veritable ‘First Amendment Festival’ and that alone is enough reason for me not to miss it.  Although I stay out of the partisan aspects of the immigration reform issue, I really welcome the opportunity to speak about freedom of speech as well as the nuts and bolts of 21st century communications on what collectively is a gigantic platform – not to mention enjoy visiting with so many of my talk radio friends in one concentrated two-day period.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sales pro Mary Baxter joins Cumulus Media to serve as general sales manager for news/talk KABC-AM, Los Angeles and sister rock station KLOS.  Baxter was previously with Crossroads WOW serving as regional sales director.  She’s worked in Los Angeles as local sales manager for CBS RADIO’s CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP.”…..Entercom names Jim Clerkin executive producer of news/talk WRKO, Boston’s “Boston Dot Com” morning program with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie…..University of South Carolina Athletics and IMG ink a multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with sports talk WNKT-FM, Columbia, SC “107.5 The Game” as “The Official Flagship Station for the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.”…..ESPN’s “30 for 30” podcast series debuts on June 27 with episode topics including the origin of the “Yankees Suck” t-shirt and Reebok’s 1992 “Dan & Dave” campaign.  ESPN says each episode will explore and report on a new sports story that will be a combination of original interviews and archival sound.  The first season will include a total of five installments, with one debuting every Tuesday from June 27 through July 25…..With the exit of Neil Larrimore from his post as Arizona region director of spoken word programming for iHeartMedia, Aaron Trimmer will move from his position with the company as director of talk programming at the Richmond, Virginia station group to Phoenix to take over programming oversight of news/talk KFYI and KOY in Phoenix, sports talk KGME “FOX Sports 910” as well as KNST and KTZR in Tucson…..Envision Networks names Kerry Manfredi as a reporter at its Envision Virtual Services News Reports.  She was most recently a morning news reporter for WXIS, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Testimony from James Comey, Kamala Harris Questioning Flap, Iran Terror Attack-Trump Condolences Rejected, British General Elections, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Wonder Woman Film, MLB Action, NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Today’s testimony before a senate subcommittee by former FBI Director James Comey; criticism of Senator Kamala Harris’ questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; the recent terror attack in Tehran and the country’s refusal of President Donald Trump’s condolences; today’s British general elections and the fate of Prime Minister Theresa May; the aftermath of last weekend’s terror attacks in London; the runaway success of the new Wonder Woman film; MBL action; and NBA and NHL finals action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The 42nd Annual Gracies Gala. Pictured above are Alliance for Women in Media Foundation board member and Weiss Agency talent agent Heather Cohen (r), Canadian actress Jessica Parker Kennedy (l) and radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (c) at Tuesday evening’s 42nd annual Gracies Gala in Beverly Hills.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Guests on Harrison Podcast.  One of news/talk radio’s rising young stars, Rich Zeoli of WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Zeoli, who hosts afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the CBS O&O 50k flamethrower, came to the station several years ago as an accomplished political advisor and public speaking coach who was a regular guest on the outlet.  He grew up in New Jersey and spent his career advising candidates in all levels of political office including president, governor, and congress. He was the youngest chair of a political party in New Jersey history.  Zeoli is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008) and a visiting associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Harrison and Zeoli discuss the state of radio and media, along with politics, public speaking, and the challenges and opportunities that come with being on the air during the era of Donald Trump.  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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Toledo market, iHeartMedia brings the “Mojo in the Morning” show to town on CHR “92.5 KISS-FM,” effective June 19.  The Mojo show emanates from the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Madison, Wisconsin radio personality Aaron Rogers joins Entercom to serve as morning host on the company’s hot AC WMHX “MIX 105.1.”  He previously served with iHeartMedia, hosting the afternoon drive program on crosstown CHR WZEE “Z104.”…..More exits from CBS RADIO Philadelphia are being reported, including night jock Jennifer Reed being let go from country WXTU…..Sun Broadcast Group adds Keith Goldstein to its staff as national account manager.  He’ll work with the sales department focused on products including Shazam For Radio, “The Hit List with Fitz,” “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” “The Fitz Show,” Sun Latino Networks, and others…..Benztown appoints affiliate sales pro Maria Musaitef to its affiliate relations team.  She joins Benztown from Envisage Radio Group in Los Angeles, where she was vice president, affiliate sales and marketing…..Westwood One celebrates Independence Day with its annual “Celebrate the USA” holiday music special featuring country megastars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  The duo will play their music and share their Fourth of July memories in a four-hour, all-star program including friends Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, and more.  Stations can air the show any time Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

| June 7, 2017

British Podcast Captures Flavor of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention held this past Friday (6/2) in New York City is now another colorful page in American radio history.  Those who were not able to attend Talkers 2017: A New Era will have the opportunity to experience its sessions shortly when the videos are posted on Talkers.com within the next two weeks.  Meantime, noted British talk show host Graham Mack of BOB-FM in the London metropolitan area (and host of “London Calling” on TalkersRadio) attended the convention and has produced a very interesting and informative podcast overview of its flavor and American talk radio in general.  In the 43:18 podcast, Mack interviews attendees Michael Harrison of TALKERS; Phil Boyce of Salem Radio Network; Chris Stigall of WPHT, Philadelphia; Harry Hurley of WPGG, Atlantic City; Thom Hartmann of WYD Media; Tom Leykis of The New Normal; Norm Pattiz of PodcastOne; Mike Francesa of WFAN, New York; and emerging new talk star, Beth Liebling (“Love and Laughter with Beth”) of ESPN, Houston. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.  For more coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era please scroll down to stories published earlier this week.  Immediately below: new photos from the event.

Vince Benedetto of Bold Gold Media Group (l) and Ron Hartenbaum of DGital Media (r) discussing talk radio’s multi-platform reach.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Ethan Bearman of KGO San Francisco (l) and Craig Schwalb of WABC, New York (r) discussing radio branding beyond the AM/FM dial. Photo by Don Hurley.

Former U.S. Congressman turned syndicated talk show host on Salem Radio Network, Joe Walsh addressing convention. Photo by Don Hurley.

JERSEY BOYS:  Paul Rotella, president of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association (l); Harry Hurley, morning host, WPGG, Atlantic City (c); and Chris Coleman, brand manager/production director/host, Townsquare Media, Atlantic City. Photo by Don Hurley.

Steve Jones (l), Julie Talbott (c) and Mike McVay discussing the challenges and opportunities facing today’s talk radio. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Bill Tucker of Newsmax TV addressing closing cocktail reception. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Renee Cassis (l) and Peter Doyle (r) of the Broadcasters Foundation of America schmoozing at the “Breakfast with Hannity” morning social.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SVP/programming, Hubbard Radio, Greg Strassell addressing the convention.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Doug Stephan (r) broadcasting the Talk Radio Countdown Show live from the Comrex display.  Also pictured, Comrex VP Chris Crump (l). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Everyone loved the new venue – especially the convention speakers whose headshots wound up gracing the 24 portholes in the street level doors to the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

RTDNA: Local News by the Numbers.  The latest data from the RTDNA’s Newsroom Research Project by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper is published. It looks at the amount of local news being aired on television and radio stations and compares it to past levels of news content as well as plans by stations to increase or decrease news content in the future.  Regarding radio, Papper reports that the overall percentage of stations airing news is up just over a percentage point compared to last year.  Papper writes, “The difficulty in tracking the amount of local news is the variance that some all news stations can bring to the data. Looks like we have one or two fewer major market all news or news/talk stations this year. Still, overall, the numbers are fairly similar to the last few years. The weekday average rose by 8 minutes; the median went up by 7. Numbers plunged on the weekend, which is where we really see the loss of those all news and news/talk stations.”  When it comes to adding news content over the past year, the report indicates “commercial stations were almost twice as likely as non-commercial stations to have added a newscast in the past year.  Generally, the smaller the market but the bigger the local group, the more likely to have added a newscast. All market sizes were about the same except major markets, which were noticeably less likely to have added a newscast. Geography made no difference. The percentage of stations cutting a newscast fell 1.2 from a year ago. Commercial stations were almost twice as likely as non-commercial ones to cut a newscast. Generally, the smaller the market, the more likely that a station cut a newscast. Stations in the West were much more likely to have cut a newscast. Note that more than two-thirds of stations neither added nor cut a newscast. The number rose to around 80% for major markets and non-commercial stations. Local groups of three or more stations were more likely to have added and/or cut than standalone stations or combos.”  See the entire report here.

Radio Ad Study Quantifies Recall and Effectiveness. In a Westwood One blog, Local Ad Recall CEO Tom Meyer reports the conclusions from his company’s recent work studying the impact of radio advertising.  A number of the conclusions that Meyer comes to are not surprising to radio pros; they’ve been promoted as the foundation of radio advertising effectiveness for years.  They include (in no particular order) that: radio advertising helps build brand awareness – more than five times as effectively as those not using radio; radio ads work better when building brand awareness rather than focusing on price or item-specific messaging; using “real people” to tell the story is most effective; and radio personality endorsements help build trust.  See the blog post here.

PwC Releases Latest Forecast of Advertising and Consumer Spending.  The 18th annual edition of this study is called, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021, and it contains “in-depth analysis and historical and forecast data for advertising and consumer/end-user spending in 17 major industry segments across 54 countries.”  The company’s look at the U.S. radio market forecasts that over-the-air advertising on commercial radio will increase by $349 million from 2016 through 2021 – hitting the $16.63 billion mark in 2021.  Terrestrial radio’s online advertising – sitting at $1.35 billion in 2016 – is expected to rise to $2.04 billion by 2021.  See more here.

WXYT-FM, Detroit Partners ‘Bogey’ with ‘Wojo.’  Detroit sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” names staff air talent Kyle Bogenschutz to the evening show with current host Bob Wojnowski for the “Wojo and Bogey Show.”  The station says that Bogenschutz will also host the “Pistons Weekly” program beginning Thursday (6/8) 8:00 pm.  WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers states, “Kyle has emerged as a hard-working, talented sports personality in Detroit and we are excited to have him join Wojo each weeknight.  If Kyle didn’t go into broadcasting, he wanted to be a basketball coach, so his passion for the game makes him the perfect fit for the ‘Pistons Weekly’ show.”  Bogenschutz began his career in 2010 as a sports talk host at WTKA-AM. Ann Arbor.  He joined ‘The Ticket’ in 2014 as a sports update reporter.  In 2016 he was promoted to nights and weekends as a show host.

Thursday’s Testimony from James Comey, Middle East Diplomatic Crisis-Russian Hacking Allegations, Paris Climate Accord Exit, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Trump-Sessions Relationship, Haley’s U.N. Security Council Demands, Mischa Barton Revenge Porn Victory, MLB Action, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/6). Tomorrow’s testimony before a senate subcommittee by former FBI Director James Comey; the diplomatic crisis in the Middle East and allegations that fake news planted by Russian hackers suggests Qatar is in league with ISIS; the U.S.’s exit from the Paris Climate Accord; the political fallout from the London terror attacks and questions about anti-terrorism effectiveness; speculation about President Donald Trump’s relationship with Attorney General Jeff Sessions; UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s criticism of the UN Security Council’s anti-Israel stance; actress Mischa Barton wins revenge porn court case against former boyfriend; MLB action; and the NBA and NHL finals 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. In Knoxville, the morning duo of Andy Ritchie and Alison Mencer are going to step away from radio after a 20-year run as the morning show team on Cumulus Media’s country WIVK.  The company says that Andy & Alison will stay on the air until a replacement morning show is named.  The duo has garnered a combined 10 CMA and ACM morning show awards…..Broadway Media’s country KEGA, Salt Lake City “101.5 The Eagle” announces its new lineup.  The station is airing Sun Broadcast Group’s “The Fitz Show” for mornings, Monroe moves to the midday show and Shotgun Jackson moves from middays to afternoon drive…..Rumors of staff cuts at the Philadelphia cluster of CBS RADIO appear to be true as classic hits afternoon personality Cadillac Jack exits the station.  Other staffers have also been let go, including two promotions directors, but those have yet to be confirmed.

Hall Talk 2017

| June 6, 2017

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President

 

BRADENTON, Fla. — In addition to all the other valuable and important matters that were explored at the just-completed “TALKERS 2017” conference in New York City, I enjoyed one extra benefit by attending.  It was the opportunity to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas with some of the folks whose responsibility it is to sell the advertising that supports the talk media and hopefully to make it profitable.  And the challenge before us clearly appears to be growing.  It is a topic we’ve been discussing for years now, but these days it has blossomed into a gigantic bloom.  Why?  Because of the new technology that allows any individual — even in his or her own bedroom — to create and present a talk show on any topic and make it available to the entire world.

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AM Radio: Stop the Doomsday Machine!

| June 6, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — It is hard to overstate how much I love radio and believe in its future.  This article suggests a necessary, urgent corrective action that must be taken to give AM talk radio a viable future.

First, my credentials for making this case:  Starting in 1990, I launched a large number of major market FM talk stations such as “New Jersey 101.5,” KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and “Real Radio 104” in Orlando. Simultaneously I consulted WOR, WIOD, WRKO, WISN and many others. For eight years, from pre-launch, I was the on-site consultant that built out all Sirius Satellite radio channels, music and talk.  Prior to that I was the VP/GM of the ABC Radio Networks. EVP in charge of the NBC FM stations where adult contemporary was created and perfected.  History shows that most successful media companies are product-driven.  The wrong product results in failure.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

| June 6, 2017

Sabo: AM Radio – Stop the Doomsday Machine! Consultant Walter Sabo writes today that he strongly believes in the future of radio.  But, he says, if all you put on your talk radio station is political talk, then you “wallow in a 1 share or are rushing toward a 1 share. Or worse…Admission is the key.  First, admit that it’s not working.  It’s not working.  I am puzzled by companies that would clean house if a music station hit a 1 share, but fail to take action with talk stations that have a 1 share – or worse.”  Read more from Walter Sabo here.

John Williams Says Goodbye to WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Back in January, WGN, Chicago announced that it was bringing talk show host John Williams back to the station on a full-time basis – hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show – and at the same time, Williams announced he’d be leaving CBS RADIO’s WCCO and relocate from the Twin Cities back to Chicago.  On Friday (6/2), Williams hosted his last program on WCCO.  Since then, he’d been hosting both shows from Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that WCCO is not ready to announce its new PM drive host.  Station operations manager Lindsey Peterson tells the paper that Jordana Green and Mike Max will host on an interim basis but that the station is close to signing a permanent replacement.

New Format Receives Praise at 20th Annual TALKERS Convention in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable, one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  (See details in yesterday’s story lower on this page.)  This year’s convention launched a new approach that scrapped the old, long-form panel format in favor of short solo presentations, fireside chat interviews and the new “one-on-one” dialogue approach.  Discussing the new style, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We created a new, fast-paced approach to the conference and it worked very well – feedback has been extremely positive!”  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, below are some more photos from the event.

Norm Pattiz (l) and Dan Mason (r) point to their headshots peeking through the portholes in the theater doors on W. 26th Street at Talkers 2017: A New Era.

Talkers 2017 was attended by a large number of young broadcasters and college radio students.  Hofstra University’s WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen (l) and Hillsdale College’s WRFH general manager Scot Bertram (r) participate in a one-on-one discussion, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?”  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM Satellite Radio host and advisor Karen Hunter served as a “one-on-one” session facilitator at Talkers 2017.  Photo by Don Hurley.

iHeartMedia programming executive Grace Blazer (l) and WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano (r) discuss the nuts and bolts of today’s industry. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab addresses convention. Photo by Don Hurley.

Talent agent Heather Cohen (l) and Fox News star Brian Kilmeade (r) tackle the future direction of talk media.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison

WMAL host Larry O’ Connor delivering welcoming remarks.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

David Bernstein (l) and Dr. Asa (r) discussing ratings and revenue.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Jim Bohannon paying tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Talk radio mavericks Tom Leykis (l) and Michael Berry (r) talk about the new digital era.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

More Talkers 2017 coverage and photos coming tomorrow.

George Noory and Premiere Networks Extend Relationship. The host of Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” signs an exclusive, long-term agreement to continue hosting the overnight radio show.  George Noory assumed hosting duties on the program back in 2003.  He says, “I’m excited to carry the torch for years to come.  I want to thank the incredible team at Premiere and my amazing show staff, who have been with me since this remarkable journey started.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “I’m continually amazed by the dedication and passion George has for ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and his audience.  George is the driving force behind the show’s continued success and we’re proud to extend our partnership.”

KXTG, Portland Unveils New Late Morning Show with Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey. A day after announcing the addition of Dino Costa to the lineup as afternoon drive host, Alpha Media Portland unveils its new late morning show co-hosted by former afternoon co-host Justin Myers and former Pacific University basketball star DeVon Pouncey.  Myers – who worked at KIRO-AM, Seattle prior to joining KXTG, Portland – was partnered with Noah “Chop” Homsley for “The Irregular Guys” afternoon show back in February.  With the demise of that show, Homsley stays on as Dino Costa’s executive producer and as APD for the station.  Alpha Media Portland operations manager Bruce Collins says, “Alpha Media has shown once again that it believes in being live and local and is committed to winning across the country.”

Sacramento River Cats Using Skyview’s AdView Software to Manage Game Broadcast Inventory. The San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate Sacramento River Cats are using Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software for its play-by-play broadcasts.  Under the terms of a multi-year deal, the club will take advantage of the inventory management system’s web-based application.  Skyview says, “The value in AdView lies in the absolute control it provides for scheduling advertisers, which is tailored to manage and monetize the unpredictable game interruptions of play-by-play sports.  With the capability to manage their broadcast, the River Cats benefit from scheduling flexibility and faster affidavit turnaround to sponsors.”  Skyview says its AdView system was developed specifically for sports franchises to make inventory accessible and easier to manage in-house.  Clients have access to advertiser contracts, logs and reports from any internet-enabled device.  Built to manage all forms of inventory, it tracks broadcast, print, signage and digital.  This provides the traffic manager and front office a panoramic view into the inventory sellout and revenue in one consolidated system.  For more information on Skyview Networks and its full package of broadcast solutions, visit skyviewnetworks.com.

Hall Talk 2017.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about his chats in the halls with fellow sales pros at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York City.  Not surprisingly, one of the hot topics was the growth of on-demand talk programs and how to best monetize them.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Thursday, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 SRN News service is providing live coverage of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee testimony from former FBI Director James Comey.  SRN News says it will provide longform, live, gavel-to-gavel coverage starting at 10:00 am ET, anchored by SRN News Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon.  Additionally, SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide live updates and perspective from the White House during the hearings…..CRN Digital Talk Radio welcomes former “Magnum, P.I.” star and his wife back to the network to host “The Lounge with Larry and Nancy Manetti.”  The one-hour show premieres today (6/6) on the network’s CRN 1 channel…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was honored over the weekend with 19 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, including for Outstanding News Operation and the award for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We were truly humbled this year.  From multimedia, to editorial and sports, to so much more, these awards are a tribute to the hard work of our staff.  We take great pleasure in serving our listeners, our readers, and our community.”…..Sports USA announces the first couple of weeks of NFL Sunday doubleheaders it will be offering to affiliate stations.  It will begin the 2017 season presenting the Bears vs Falcons game on September 10.  SportsUSA says it will announce the season’s games several weeks ahead of each Sunday’s offerings…..When the Los Angeles Chargers kick off their season, Matt “Money” Smith will partner with Nick Hardwick for radio play-by-play duties on the team’s new flagship station, iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Smith replaces Josh Lewin…..SiriusXM is launching the Tracy Anderson show on its Stars channel.  The fitness pioneer and wellness expert will host her limited-run show beginning on June 19.

Trump Travel Ban, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Looming Comey Testimony/Russian Hacking Investigation, NSA Contractor Arrested, Paris Climate Accord Exit, Bill Cosby Trial, ‘Pink Slime’ Trial, Orlando Workplace Slayings, MLB Action, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). President Donald Trump’s tweets about the courts’ and the DOJ’s treatment of his travel ban; Britain’s releases about those responsible for the London terror attacks and speculation about the attack’s effects on Thursday’s general elections; Thursday’s senate testimony from former FBI Director James Comey and the Russian election hacking issue; National Security Administration contractor Reality Leigh Winner is arrested for leaking classified information to the press; President Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord; the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby begins; Beef Products Inc.’s defamation suit against ABC News over its ‘pink slime’ report; the killing of five awning company employees by an ex-staffer in Orlando; MLB action; and NBA and NHL finals 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. Air personality Jimmy Phillips joins LM Communications’ Lexington, Kentucky hot AC WCDA “Your 106.3” to co-host the “Mandy in the Morning” show with Mandy Williamson.  Phillips will also serve as assistant program director.  Previously, Phillips and Williamson worked together at Magic Broadcasting II’s WILN, Panama City, Florida…..At the iHeartRadio station group in Sioux City, Iowa, general manager and market president Kelli Erickson exits…..SiriusXM is bringing celebrity DJs in to host Friday programs on its new Beatles channel.  Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will host the first guest DJ session on Friday, June 9 at 5:00 pm ET.  Don Henley will guest on June 23, Ron Howard on July 14, and Billy Joel July 28.

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio

| June 5, 2017

By Harry Hurley
WPG, Atlantic City
Talk Show Host

 

ATLANTIC CITY — We talk a lot about the highly interpersonal relationship that is forged between a talk radio host and his listeners.

It becomes “family-like.” Something happened today that emphatically illustrates this point so very well.

I was attending the fabulous 20th Annual Talkers 2017 Conference in New York last Friday, June 2, 2017.  This is the same day that a package arrived in the mail to me at the Townsquare Media/WPG studios.

Read More

Monday, June 5, 2017

| June 5, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r).  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.

Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.

Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”

Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.

Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show.  The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa.  Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET.  She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show.  In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com.  At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today.  She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting.  Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”

Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer.  Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well.  Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers.  iHeartMedia  chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman.  He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company.  Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry.  I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”

KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5).   KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’  Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home.  Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.”  Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network.  Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland.  I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened.  A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point.  Read Hurley’s story here.

Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play.  KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract.  Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’”  Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014.  He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner.  The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley.  He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the  Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems.  Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).

Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station.  CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists.  He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director.  Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM.  Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile.  Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards.  “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.”  Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.

WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success.   The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3).  More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station.  Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner.  Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio.  It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era.  The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world!  Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality.  Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS  that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June.  Pictured (l-r): J.J. JeffreyAl Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.

Friday, June 2, 2017

| June 2, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Takes Place Today – Major Awards Being Presented.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention takes place today in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it promises to continue in its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent will comprise a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These include the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards will be presented at the event.  They include the following:  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech; Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner will receiving the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman;  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan receiving the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award; Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host; and Hofstra University Radio student Maria Santana receiving the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  See today’s agenda here.

WECK, Buffalo Announces Local Programming Plans with New Ownership.  The class C AM signal was recently purchased by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo LLC and is announcing its intent to air a full-service format with a focus on local news.  WECK, Buffalo (also heard on translator W275BB at 102.9 FM) brings John Zach aboard as news director, effective July 10.  Zach is a longtime market news pro who served for more than 18 years with crosstown WBEN.  He also served with WKBW and WGR.  The station is adding CBS Radio News programming, as well.   Shula states, “John Zach is the dean of radio news in Buffalo.  We are very honored and excited to have John as part of our growing team of broadcasters at Buffalo’s Very Own WECK.  His credible and trusted voice has been missed in our community.”  Shula says WECK plans to increase local news coverage under Zach’s leadership and will be announcing the addition of some well-known Western New York voices in the days ahead.

Beasley Brings Raiders Football to Las Vegas Fans. Three years ahead of the Raiders’ official move from Oakland to a brand-new stadium in Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group is committing to airing Raiders games in the Las Vegas market, beginning this fall.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the official Las Vegas flagship radio partner of the Raiders.  Our five radio properties are the perfect fit as the team makes NFL history with its exciting new move to Las Vegas.  Beasley Media Group team is committed to providing the team and our listeners with the very best sports programming and entertainment experience possible.”  This agreement was negotiated by Compass Media Networks which exclusively manages, produces, and distributes all audio broadcasts of Raiders football.  Beasley’s country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” and news/talk KDWN will air pre-season and regular season games starting in August.

2017 Radio Mercury Awards Announced.  Last night at Stage 48 in New York City, the Radio Advertising Bureau presented the winners of the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards.  The Best in Show was a Motel 6 spot created by The Richards Group, taking home the $5,000 prize.  Radio station-produced winners included Mattress Firm, written and produced by Hubbard Radio morning talent Jubal Flagg; Cyprus Air Fireplaces by iHeartMedia Creative Services; and “Baconfest” by Townsquare Media of El Paso.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Unfortunate staffers at Easy Media’s sports talk WBSR, Pensacola received no warning that the company was “ceasing operations” after six years as a sports talk station and ESPN affiliate.  The Pensacola News Journal reports owner Dan Weaver told employees on Wednesday morning (5/31) that he was shutting the station down…..SiriusXM is launching two new weekend shows to its Progress talk channel to strengthen its position as “The Voice of the Resistance” to the Trump administration. “Signal Boost” hosted by former Clinton campaign staffers Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh will premiere on Saturday at 10:00 am ET, with “#WokeAF” launching Sunday at 10:00 am ET.

Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 29 – June 2. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and/or Jared Kushner and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the status of the U.S. in the Paris Climate Pact.  Coming in at #3 was President Donald Trump’s relationships with European leaders, followed by the flap over comic Kathy Griffin’s photo image depicting her holding Trump’s severed head 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. KFRG, Riverside “K-Frog” morning drive personality and music director Scott Ward is promoted to program director for all five of CBS RADIO’s Riverside and Palm Springs, California stations.  Ward will oversee programming for AC KEZN, Palm Desert; sports talk KRAK, Hesperia; KXFG, Menifee; and KVFG, Victorville.  CBS RADIO Riverside and Palm Springs SVP and market manager Michael Valenzuela states, “This is a very well deserved promotion, and I’m thrilled for our stations to have the expertise of one of radio’s finest program directors.  During his 20 years with us, Scott has developed a deep understanding of what audiences in the Riverside-San Bernardino area want from their local station, from music to events to community involvement.”…..Beasley Media Group flips from country to adult contemporary on translator K268CS as “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Cluster operations manager John Candelaria says, “‘Lite 101.5’ is the perfect choice for the adult modern listener who feels variety is important in their music taste.  The station has a playlist that includes the best songs from the 80s, 90s, sprinkled in with some 70s and today’s hits from Maroon 5, Adele and Bruno Mars.  The new format is a great addition to our Las Vegas Cluster of stations.”…..CMT and iHeartMedia announce iHeartCountry will again serve as the official radio partner of the 2017 CMT Music Awards and will simulcast the live show from Nashville’s Music City Center on Wednesday, June 7, at 8:00 pm ET.  The live radio broadcast of the telecast will air across 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations.  Ahead of the awards show on June 5 and 6, “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” the Bobby Bones show, and “The Crook & Chase Countdown” will be on location conducting interviews with award nominees, performers and celebrity guests.

New Contract for Preston and Steve at WMMR.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WMMR, Philadelphia PD Bill Weston, Preston Elliott, Steve Morrison, and Beasley Philadelphia market manager Joe Bell after the two morning hosts signed a new contract.  Preston and Steve joined WMMR for mornings in May of 2005.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

| June 1, 2017

Missouri Ex-Pol Gets Sunday Night Show on KFTK-FM, St. Louis. KFTK-FM, St. Louis brings former Missouri Speaker Tim Jones aboard to host a weekly program about local, state and national politics.  The Tim Jones show will air Sundays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on “FM NewsTalk 97.1.”  A press release says Jones will “draw from his political knowledge and experience gained from serving as a state representative and Speaker of the Missouri House.”  He comments, “I could not be more excited to combine the skills I have obtained from my many talented colleagues at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ with the unique knowledge I have of national and local politics and public policy, gained by serving at the one of the highest levels of government, to create a brand-new, cutting-edge weekly radio product.”  Jones has served as a guest host for the station’s “Allman in the Morning,” Marc Cox, and Randy Tobler shows.

Compass Media Networks Acquires Yamanair Creative. Though the terms of the sale are not available, Compass Media Networks announces it has acquired the assets of Yamanair Creative – which operates the Cash-by-Creative and SPECByte services.  Company founder and CEO Yaman Coskun will continue to head the business along with its management team.  Yamanair Creative was founded in 2000 and a press release indicates provides services to radio groups including: Alpha Media, Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Cherry Creek Radio, Cromwell Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, Entercom Communications, Hubbard Radio, Saga Communications, Townsquare Media, Urban One and more.  The company provides quick turnaround of spec spots for account executives and full-blown creative.  Coskun comments, “Peter Kosann is a smart and passionate visionary.  We both love, respect and believe in radio. After 10 years of flying solo, it was time for Yamanair to soar to new heights with the right partner.  Compass Media Networks and Yamanair are a perfect match.  Inevitably, both Compass Media Networks and Yamanair clients will benefit greatly from this merger of vision and resources.”

DGital Media to Launch ‘Book Tour’ Podcast with John Grisham. The partnership between DGital Media and Book Tour LLC is resulting in the development of the “Book Tour with John Grisham” podcast.  A press statement suggests the weekly podcasts “will be a first of its kind foray into the lives of some of the greatest writers and media personalities of our time, all in conversation with one of the world’s most compelling and popular authors.”  DGital Media CEO Spencer Brown says, “It is an honor for us to work with John and his team on this innovative series, which we think can be a model for elite media members and personalities going forward.  This type of rare access in such a unique setting is what consumers crave and is a continued growing aspect of what we are able to provide as the leader in the on-demand audio space.”  “Book Tour With John Grisham” will begin in conjunction with Grisham’s national tour for his new novel, Camino Island.

Sports Talk Personality Marc James Joins NESN. Sports talk personality Marc James joins cable’s Boston-based New England Sports Network as an anchor and reporter.   James has worked in the radio end of the sports media biz, most recently as a weekend and fill-in host at CBS Sports Radio Network.  Prior to that, he was with WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” and WFNZ, Charlotte “610 The Fan.”

John Clayton Exits ESPN; Remains on KIRO-AM, Seattle. Longtime ESPN personality John Clayton is one of the casualties of the recent cuts at the Bristol, Connecticut-based sports media giant.  Clayton was a lead analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NFL for many years.  He confirmed via Twitter that his time with ESPN is over.  Clayton continues to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon sports talk show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle.

TALKERS News Notes. This may never materialize but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he’s “looking into” an offer from Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity to guest host his national radio show.  This comes from an interview Assange did with CNN.  Assange does admit that his asylum status in the Ecuadorian embassy in London could make the offer difficult to arrange…..BizTalkRadio adds three new shows to its network lineup.  Joining the network are the Scott Lumley show, “The Price of Business Radio,” and “Wall Street Raw with Mark Leibovit.”…..Radio pro Steve Harmon joins Sheet Happens Prep service in an affiliate relations and content creation role.  Harmon has produced WBGG, Miami’s “Paul and Young Ron Morning Show” and co-hosted the “Harmon & Evans Morning Show” at KPLX, Dallas…..Longtime Charlotte radio personality Keith Larson tells TALKERS magazine that the first hour of his daily online radio show is being aired at 12:00 noon on sports talk WZVG, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte” as the “Lunch Break.”…..On Monday (6/5), public voting begins for favorite radio personalities in two categories to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, 2017.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Bobby Bones, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Guy Phillips, and Ryan Seacrest.  For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are: Mike & Mike, Bill Handel, Joe Madison and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!  Fans can vote for one personality in each category online at www.radiovote.com. Winners of the two categories will be announced June 26.  In addition to the two listener-voting categories, there are four categories being voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  For a list of nominees, check out www.radiohof.org…..The podcast of talk host Dr. Ronald Hoffman’s syndicated “Intelligent Medicine” show has surpassed the 4 million download mark…..NBC News and Euronews have closed on a deal  in which NBC News is making a significant financial investment in Euronews.  NBC News is acquiring 25% of the company, with the funding going to support expanded news coverage and programming across Europe.  Media Globe Networks will continue to be the majority shareholder in Euronews.  The company’s TV and digital platforms will ultimately be co-branded EuronewsNBC…..WMAL, Washington executive producer Heather Hunter and husband and WBAL, Baltimore midday host Derek Hunter welcome their daughter Quinn Carol Elizabeth Hunter, born on May 22.

Trump’s European Relationships, Paris Climate Deal Status, Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation/Comey Testimony, Kathy Griffin Trump ‘Beheading,’ Deadly Kabul Bombing, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31).  President Donald Trump’s seemingly fractured relationships with European leaders; President Trump’s intent to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty; the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Russian agents, tied with looming congressional testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey; the backlash against comic Kathy Griffin for the image of her posing with a prop resembling Trump’s severed head; the bombing that killed 90 people in Kabul, Afghanistan’s diplomatic district; and MLB, 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. Some new air personalities join Urban One’s CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now.”  Assuming the afternoon drive role is Laura Dickerson, a.k.a. On Air Laura; and joining for the evening show is Amir Diamond.  Dickerson’s arrival moves music director Rich Pangilinan, a.k.a. DJ Riddler, moves from PM drive to middays…..Westwood One is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The BeatlesSgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band album with a special program.  The program features producer Giles Martin (Sir George Martin’s son), who mixed the 50th anniversary album, and veteran WLS-FM, Chicago personality Jeff Davis.  The two-hour program also features exclusive archive audio from the Fab Four themselves – John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  The album was released in the U.S. on June 2, 1967.

Court Victory for Former KYGO, Denver Personality David Mueller in Taylor Swift SuitThe Hollywood Reporter says that Colorado federal judge William Martinez has ruled that David Mueller (who worked at country KYGO as “Jackson” on the morning show) can go ahead with his suit against Taylor Swift for tortious interference, but that the slander claim is being denied.  Further, Judge Martinez ruled that Swift must be in attendance at the entire trial.  As you know, Swift claims Mueller groped her at a backstage photo op.  Mueller was fired by KYGO after the incident.  The basis of Mueller’s suit is that Swift and her people interfered with his employment contract by getting him fired for something he maintains he did not do.  The trial will begin August 7.  See THR story here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

| May 31, 2017

Crabtree: Hannity’s Battle Is Our Battle. Atlanta conservative media figure and talk show host Bryan Crabtree writes today, in a piece for TALKERS magazine, that talk show hosts of all stripes should be concerned about the targeting of Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity’s advertisers by activist organization Media Matters.  “For the sake of our first amendment rights, we cannot sit idly while fellow hosts are destroyed because of their success and influence.  Moreover, the talk radio industry needs to do a better job of conveying what advertising actually is. It is not an endorsement of a program, station, channel or host. Advertising is simply reaching a specific number of people of certain demographics likely to buy an advertisers’ product or service.”  Read Crabtree’s entire piece here.

WVON, Chicago News Anchor Steps Away.  Morning drive news anchor Dometi Pongo is exiting his daily role with Midway Broadcasting Corporation-operated progressive talk station WVON, Chicago “to devote more time to freelance projects and digital media via dometipongo.com.”  Pongo’s last day will be Friday (6/2).  Annette Flournoy will fill the AM drive news role until a permanent replacement is found.  The station notes that Pongo joined the WVON news team in November 2013, following his internship at the station and that he became a popular fixture as a member of WVON’s morning team, offering a Millennial voice to the news and various topics of the day.

Another Reminder for AMC-8 Users. The folks at Westwood One remind you that after June 30, you will no longer receive service from satellite AMC-8 and you must re-aim your satellite from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18. This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies.

Sound Advice and Encouragement from a Talk Media-Friendly Shrink.  These are exciting but extremely challenging times for news/talk media hosts dealing with the figurative mine field of political correctness and the ominous specter of advertiser boycotts hanging over their heads.  Noted forensic psychiatrist and prolific talk show guest, Dr. Renee Kohanski, writes an insightful article posted today (5/31) in TALKERS to encourage talk talent to weather the storm and not give up.  To read the piece, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York sports talk star Mike Francesa is being credited by a Yonkers man for saving his life.  In a story in the New York Post, “Mike from Yonkers” called in to Francesa’s afternoon drive show to relate how a previous call to the program when he was suicidal saved him. The caller explained he was in the throes of opioid addiction when his call to Francesa helped take his mind off a suicidal urge.  Francesa downplayed his role, telling the man he didn’t owe him any thanks…..Today (5/31), Edison Research unveils its “Share of Ear: Canada,” that provides the “same comprehensive look at the total audio space as has been available since Edison first conducted ‘Share of Ear’ research in the U.S. study in 2014.” “Share of Ear: Canada” was commissioned by Radio Connects, which promotes and markets radio to Canadian advertisers and agencies. The presentation will be unveiled today in Toronto as part of an event for the advertising community sponsored by Numeris, Canada’s broadcast ratings cooperative. Highlights will be available after noon from Radio Connects and at EdisonResearch.com.

Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation, Trump-Merkel Relationship, WH Communications Director Resigns, North Korean Missile Program, Kathy Griffin Trump Photo, Tiger Woods DUI, and MLB Action and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/30). The investigations into possible Russian connections between Trump campaign operatives and Jared Kushner; President Donald Trump’s relationship with Germany’s Angela Merkel; White House Communications Director Mike Dubke resigns post; North Korea’s expanding missile program and the U.S.’s missile defense tests; comic Kathy Griffin takes heat for photo with Trump ‘severed head’; golf great Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest; and MLB action and the NBA and NHL finals 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 new, permanent morning drive show at Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS1075” is made up of afternoon personality Tony V, plus DJ Chonz and Mercedes “Cedes” Howard.  They take over after the March departure of longtime morning duo Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J…..Alpha Media announces that JD Garfield is the new program director and afternoon host at CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”  The 20-year radio pro was most recently with Impact Radio Group’s hip hop KWYD in Boise, Idaho.  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “I’ve been a fan of JD’s brands for some time.  I’ve enjoyed watching him in some very competitive radio battles and I look forward to fighting alongside him.”…..At Pamal Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat,” Kevin Richards moves from middays to mornings to partner with Dana Race.  Sliding into the midday slot is Pete Kelly…..The national launch of “The Men’s Room,” featuring show hosts Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith (along with producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk) takes place on June 5.  Westwood One is syndicating the program in cooperation with Entercom and flagship station KISW, Seattle and reports it will debut on WAAF, Boston; KUFX, San Jose; KRXQ, Sacramento; KGON, Portland; KQRC, Kansas City, and more…..Alternative KKDO, Sacramento “RADIO 94.7” breaks the news that the lineup at its “City of Trees 2017” concert on September 24 will include: New Politics, The Greeting Committee, Bishop Briggs, Dreamcar, and Blink 182.

Brophey to Retire as WKLB, Boston PD; David Corey Named as Replacement.  Two WKLB, Boston programmers are leaving the Beasley Media Group station.  The company announces Mike Brophey has decided to retire as program director of WKLB “Country 102.5,” and his wife, longtime assistant program director/music director Ginny Rogers has also decided to step down and enjoy the summer with her family.   Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “They both have been instrumental to the evolution of the station over the years.  We are very grateful to Mike and Ginny for everything they have done and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their lives.”  With Brophy’s retirement, the company brings David Corey aboard to serve as program director.  Corey most recently served as vice president of radio programming at Toronto-based Bell Media.  He comments, “I am excited to have the opportunity to return home to Boston to work at WKLB-FM.  It’s an amazing station with an incredible history in country radio.  I look forward to working with Justin Chase, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack and the entire team at the station!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps this month’s analyses of station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey with a look at the urban AC format.  In analyzing 6+ data from subscribing stations, Kinosian reports that, month-to-month, “One of every two stations (50%) on this urban AC sample improves between March 2017 and April 2017 (6+); 31% are down; and the remaining 19% are steady.”  Leaders were Cumulus Media’s WQQL, Nashville (up 1.2 shares) and Howard University’s WHUR (up 1 share).  Year-over-year, Urban One’s WFUN, St. Louis jumped 2.1 shares and jumped from its 2016 #11 rank to #4 in 2017.  See all the data here.

Hubbard’s ‘New Country 92.3’ Helps with Flood Relief Fundraiser. Missouri country artist Trent Tomlinson and Illinois country artist Drew Baldridge helped out Hubbard Radio’s WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” and the St. Louis Cardinals by performing before a recent Cards-Dodgers game.  The effort raised more than $18,000 for Salvation Army Flood Relief to benefit Missourians still recovering from this year’s floods.  Pictured above are (from l-r): station personalities and staffers Bud Ford, Danny Montana, Fredbird, Baldridge, Rachel Cook, DJ JT, Scott Roddy, and Jerry Broadway.

April 2017 PPM Analysis: Urban AC

| May 31, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES The fourth and final installment of our four-part series of April 2017 ratings overviews deals with urban AC.

Previous special feature analyses of the most recent PPM sweep have dealt with public news/talk (last Wednesday, 5/24); Major League Baseball flagships (Thursday, 5/25); and alternative or modern rock (Friday, 5/26)

This summary is comprised of PPM-market urban ACs that rank in the top 20 (6+) in the April 2017 ratings period.

Bottom-line: The typical PPM-market urban AC station meeting the above-stated ratings criteria in April 2017 registers a 6+-share of 5.29, the best among the four genres we examined so far.

Moreover, it is customary for a qualifying urban AC to rank seventh (#7.41), which is not only the strongest of these four categories but the only one under #10 (6+).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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Three Little Words

| May 31, 2017

By Renee Kohanski, MD
TALKERS
Contributor

 

NORWICH, CT — Each year the TALKERS conference promises to be the most relevant ever.  Each year the conference fulfills this promise. The convention is constructed to identify risks both known and to be known.  It can’t help but be the most relevant each year.  What is most meaningful and unique work of all talk media hosts is realized in the Freedom of Speech award. How prescient then is it, for Sean Hannity, a name synonymous with talk media to find himself the direct target of forces seeking to silence free speech?  I comment on this from a professional perspective as a practicing psychiatrist who dabbles with talk radio as a guest and occasional fill-in host.

What thoughts must be going through everyone’s minds these days?  And more importantly, what to do?

“I can’t believe they’re going after Sean!”

“First O’Reilly, now Sean!”

“If they can take down Sean, they can take down anyone.”

“What chance do I have?”

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Hannity’s Battle Is Our Battle

| May 31, 2017

By Bryan Crabtree
WGKA, Atlanta
Talk Show Host

 

ATLANTA — I am deeply troubled by what I see happening to Sean Hannity. His demise is of no benefit to anyone in the talk radio industry. In fact, it’s detrimental (even if he’s on your competitor).

This is a wake-up call to managers, sales departments and hosts at talk radio stations. We are allowing ourselves to become victims of political ‘scalpings.’ This is not a new phenomenon but it’s intensity is growing.

Talk radio hosts now face one of the biggest threats in our history: the unfettered attacks on our advertisers because we are doing our jobs.

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Weekends: Hit! Or Miss?

| May 30, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — At many talk stations, Saturday and Sunday are the most profitable days of the week.  At smart stations, shows are “appointment listening” that reflect listeners’ weekend routines and bring revenue the station wouldn’t otherwise get.  At other stations, management shrugs, and doesn’t (dare) listen.

I recently met the GM of a cluster owned by one of radio’s big two.  When I asked “Do all your reps sell all your stations?” she smiled, assuring me that “we don’t ‘silo-sell.’”  Meaning that the talk station’s inventory gets tossed-in with cluster mates, in this case AC, AOR, and oldies FMs.  I could scream.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

| May 30, 2017

NYPost: iHM Creditors Seek New Restructuring Adviser. According to a report published in the New York Post over the weekend, iHeartMedia creditors are requesting the company replace current restructuring adviser Moelis & Co.  iHM did not comment specifically on the reported request other than to say, “Moelis continues to be the firm advising us in connection with our restructuring.”  The story also states that a lead iHM institutional lender believes that iHeartMedia has “only a 50-50 chance of reaching a restructuring deal with creditors and avoiding a bankruptcy by early 2018.”  The current restructuring offer from iHM that would pay 75 cents on the dollar, has been extended five times and has less than 1% of shareholders on board.  But the Post story indicates the company plans to offer a new proposal to creditors within the coming weeks.  See the Post story here.

Cooke: Are Your Weekends Hit… or Miss?  Media consultant Holland Cooke says smart news/talk stations take advantage of programming that appeals to their listeners’ weekend mindsets.  “At many talk stations, Saturday and Sunday are the most profitable days of the week.  At smart stations, shows are ‘appointment listening’ that reflect listeners’ weekend routines and bring revenue the station wouldn’t otherwise get.  At other stations, management shrugs, and doesn’t (dare) listen.”  Yes, a lot of stations put home improvement and consumer-oriented shows on, but often they don’t end up selling them properly and the shows get forgotten by the sales department.  Read what Cooke has to say about the potential for revenue with weekend programming here.

News/Talk Personalities Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney Target Rachel Maddow Show with Online Campaign.  Saying that their hand is being forced because of the Media Matters campaign against Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel advertisers, news/talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney are spearheading a similar advertiser campaign targeting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  The two operate the Media Equality Project and are using the hashtag #StopTheScalpings associated with Maddow’s show, urging people to complain if they disagree with her show content.

TALKERS News Notes. Exiting the news department at iHeartMedia Richmond’s news/talk WRVA is anchor/reporter Jeff Stapleton.  He writes on his Facebook page, “After 26 plus years in the radio business, and almost 17 years here in Richmond, I was told today that my services were no longer needed.  It was sudden and completely out of the blue and it was the day I got back from vacation—which made it very odd.”…..According to the New York Post, Mike Crispino will not return in the fall to call New York Knicks games after the MSG Networks elected not to renew his deal after 25 years with the company.   Analyst Brendan Brown is expected to return to the broadcasts…..There’s been no official word from MSNBC, but The Hollywood Reporter is saying that president Phil Griffin – president since 2008 – has signed a new contract to remain in charge of the network.  The Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC has done well in the early days of the Trump Administration, “To be sure, all three of the top cable news networks were up in the first quarter of the year.  But MSNBC has bested even perennial leader Fox News Channel in the all-important 25-54 demographic during primetime in recent days.  And ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ has been the No. 1 cable news program since March.”

Frank Deford Dead at 78. Legendary sports writer and longtime NPR contributor Frank Deford died Sunday in Key West, Florida at the age of 78.  Deford contributed sports commentaries for NPR for 37 years before retiring from that position earlier this month.  He spent much of his earlier career writing for Sports Illustrated.

Jared Kushner-Russia Connection Investigation, Trump International Trip Aftermath, Texas Sanctuary Cities Bill Protest, New North Korean Missile Launch, Baghdad Bombing, Memorial Day Holiday, Gregg Allman Dies, Tiger Woods DUI, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that the FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secure communications line with Russians; the aftermath of President Trump’s nine-day trip abroad; the rowdy protests at the Texas State House over a bill prohibiting sanctuary city status in the state; North Korea launches a missile into the sea in Japanese territory; ISIS takes credit for deadly car bombing of a Baghdad ice cream shop; the Memorial Day holiday weekend; Allman Brothers founding member Gregg Allman dies at 69; golfing great Tiger Woods is arrested for DUI; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KKOB, Albuquerque PD Pat Frisch Member of Nevada Broadcasters Class of 2017 HOF.  When the 22nd Nevada Broadcasters Association gala kicks off on August 19 at the Four Seasons Las Vegas, Cumulus Albuquerque programmer and OM Pat Frisch will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Frisch is OM/PD for heritage news/talker KKOB-AM, talk KTBL, and sports talk KNML in Albuquerque.  From 1990 through 1999, he worked in the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas markets in Nevada.

JT The Brick Emcees ‘Coaches vs Cancer’ Golf Event. Pictured above is FOX Sports Radio’s JT The Brick (at the podium) surrounded by college coaches as he emcees the official celebration of the 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in Las Vegas on May 21.  This was JT The Brick’s fourth year emceeing the event.  Fellow FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb did his May 22 program live from the tournament that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego radio pro Robin Roth is named assistant program director at Midwest Television’s rock KFMB-FM.  She’s also hosting the evening show.  Program director Mike Vasquez comments, “Robin Roth is synonymous with rock and roll in San Diego and having her on our programming team on a full-time basis is going to make us stronger.  She brings talent, knowledge and the will to do whatever it takes to win and I’m so thrilled to have her.”  Roth has worked in the market at XHRM, XTRA-FM, and KIOZ…..Raleigh morning radio personality Bob Dumas signs a contract extension to continue hosting the “Bob and The Showgram” morning show for iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105.”  The show cast also includes Erica and Brody.  iHM Virginia/Carolina region president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to sign Bob Dumas for another three years – Bob and the G105 brand are synonymous with Raleigh.”…..iHeartMedia flips classic rock WDTW-FM, Detroit to variety hits branded as “106.7 The D.”…..Over in St. Louis iHM leaves classic hits behind and brings the “Majic” brand back to the market as W279AQ becomes “Majic 103.7 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Core artists will include Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Maxwell and Janet Jackson.  iHM St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. states, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979. With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

Friday, May 26, 2017

| May 26, 2017

New Jersey 101.5’s Bill Doyle Battling Complications from Bladder Cancer.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” afternoon personality Jeff Deminski writes on the NJ101.5 website explaining partner Bill Doyle’s absence from the Deminski & Doyle show for the past three weeks.  Regular listeners were aware that Doyle missed five weeks of work in late January and February after surgery to treat bladder cancer.  On Thursday (5/25), Deminski wrote the Doyle had been experiencing complications since the beginning of May that left him unable to work. (Producer Joe Votruba has been sitting in with Deminski on the program.) But, Deminski does say the good news is that “things are looking up.”  Read his full post here.

Maxon to Digital PD Post for iHeartMedia Hartford. Another digital program director is named at iHeartMedia, this time at its Hartford operations.  Kelsey Maxon is charged with overseeing the digital strategy for the iHM’s eight markets in the Hartford region.  Maxon has been digital program director for the company’s Providence cluster for the past three years.  He also previously served with Entercom as the promotions manager and digital coordinator for sports talk WEEI, Boston.  iHeartMedia Hartford regional SVP/programming John Cooper comments, “Kelsey will play a key role in bringing together all the resources we have in the region, resulting in great engagement on our web sites and social media.  We’re really looking forward to his insight, creativity and excitement.”

Pete Sheppard Partners with Craig Shemon at ‘ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM.’ Sports radio pro Pete Sheppard joins Beasley Media Group in the Fort Myers/Naples market to co-host the afternoon drive program on WWCN “ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM” with Craig Shemon.  Operations manager Adam Star says, “Pete Sheppard lacing up with Craig Shemon has just turned a great afternoon show into a major market, heavy weight afternoon show overnight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this new show was syndicated a year from now.  Sherman and Sheppard are the real deal!”  Sheppard most recently served with Entercom at sports talk WEEI, Boston where he’d been a part-time and fill-in personality.  Previously he’d been with the station full time for years as part of “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway.  He also hosted a weekend show following New England Patriots games with former NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie.

Kroeger Extends Contract with WFNZ, Charlotte. Afternoon drive personality Chris Kroeger inks a new deal to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan.” The Charlotte native hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Prime Time” show.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Chris Kroeger leads the conversation in all things sports for Charlotte on WFNZ.  His depth of knowledge and relationships with everyone in town related to sports make him an invaluable resource and sports leader.  We’re thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

Gallagher and Hewitt Do TV Hit. Prior to the sold-out, Wednesday evening “President Trump’s First 100 Days” event at the Commerce Club in Greenville, South Carolina, Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (center) and Hugh Hewitt (right) appeared on local CBS TV affiliate WSPA-TV “CBS7” to discuss the issues.  The live event was sponsored by local affiliate station WGTK-FM “945 The Answer.”

The Amazing Kreskin on Engaging an Audience. Legendary mentalist Kreskin is a big fan of talk radio. (In fact, he’ll be at the Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York next Friday.)  He has experience on radio as a frequent guest and substitute host for the late Alan Colmes and Long John Nebel.  Today, he offers his thoughts on how to engage listeners quickly.  He says some of his pointers are obvious but consistency is the key.  Read what he has to say here.

President Trump’s International Trip Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 22-26.  President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Brussels was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the deadly Manchester bombing tied with the intelligence leaks aspect of the same story.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russia connections, and following at #4 was the Trump federal budget proposal.  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.

Dr. Daliah Wachs Joins Michael Harrison for this Week’s Podcast.  She has just been named TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” in recognition of her amazing achievements in supporting health-oriented charities, including her work getting “Blood Donation Days” instituted in many states and “National Blood Donation Week” becoming official across America.  Board-certified physician, Daliah Wachs, M.D. practiced family medicine in Las Vegas for 16 years.  She became a daily local radio talk show host in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, Genesis Communications Network.  In March of 2016, she closed her practice due to rising costs and red tape she says is smothering independent medical practitioners.  She is currently a faculty member at Touro University.  As this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Wachs talks about the challenges of hosting a successful, health-flavored generalist program on politically defined news/talk affiliates, in addition to explaining her non-partisan criticism of both the Affordable Care Act and the new GOP bill before Congress.  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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary Los Angeles jock Rodney Bingenheimer is leaving CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles after a career there spanning 40 years.  He told his listeners via Facebook that his last “Rodney on the Roq” show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am on June 5.  He wrote, “It has been an amazing run and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week.  I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.”  The 69-year-old radio personality also says that although he’s done with KROQ, he’s not hanging up the headphones.  Bingenheimer is credited with being one of the first jocks to play music by such iconic bands as the Sex Pistols, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others….In Philadelphia, CBS RADIO adds classic hits WOGL programming duties to the responsibilities of AC WTDY PD Bobby Smith.  He takes over for Ann Gress, who exited this week after 14 years with the station.  At the same time, WXTU programmer Shelly Easton is promoted to vice president of music programming for the country station as well as WTDY and WOGL…..iHeartMedia promotes country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina PD Kix Layton to senior vice president of programming for the Greenville cluster.  He’ll now be in charge of hot AC WMYI “My 102.5,” rock WROO “Real Rock 104.9 – Man Up,” country WSSL, and sports talk WGVL “FOX Sports 1440.”…..WOCQ, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland program director Albie Dee is upped to operations manager for Adams Radio Group’s cluster in the market.  He’ll continue to host afternoon drive on CHR WOCQ…..WRME-LP, Chicago’s “MeTV FM” format is going into syndication via a deal with Envision Networks. The Weigel Broadcasting station features a “winning mix of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.”  The company says “MeTV FM is curated for long listening and features a deep playlist from an active library of more than 3,000 songs across nearly four decades, including singer-songwriters, country crossovers, Motown, iconic groups and many other artists.”  Weigel vice chairman Neal Sabin states, “MeTV FM’s music format has broken many of the radio rules in terms of presentation, depth of playlist and mixing of genres.  Using a challenging dial position in one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, we have proven the validity and viability of the format. We look forward to working with Envision to bring MeTV FM to many more places.”…..iHeartMedia flips from classic hits to urban AC on translator W279AQ as “Majic 103.7, Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Senior vice president of programming A.J. says, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979.  With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

PPM Analysis: Alternative.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks into the performances of alternative rock stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Kinosian reports, “Nearly half of our alternative sample (48%) improves between March 2017 – April 2017 (6+); equally divided are the number of down (26%) and flat stations (26%).  Just over half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (53%) while roughly one in three (34%) improve; the remaining 13% are unchanged.”  Just one alt rocker lands in the top five (6+) in its market – iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver.  Read Kinosian’s entire report here.

April 2017 PPM Analysis: Alternative

| May 26, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES After having posted special feature April 2017 ratings overviews of public news/talk operations this past Wednesday (5/24) and Major League Baseball (MLB) flagships yesterday (Thursday, 5/25), we turn our attention to two music formats.

In today’s spotlight alternative or modern rock.

This summary is comprised of PPM-market alternative facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in the April 2017 ratings period.

Bottom-line matchup: The typical PPM-market alternative station in April 2017 notches a 6+-share of 2.98, the lowest of the three genres we have examined so far, and finishes at #13.45, which is better than the representative MLB flagship but not as good as the emblematic ranking for a public news/talker in that same sweep.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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Five Pointers on How to Engage Listeners in 10 Seconds

| May 26, 2017

By Kreskin
Mentalist

 

NEW YORK — When appearing on radio, TV or the stage, I have to engage the audience in seconds. It’s similar to the challenge of attracting a listener when they turn on the key to the car.  Here are five techniques that have been proven to work for me for decades:

1.  Surprise. Yes, many people know my act but I work surprises in to every show. If you saw me last month they will not see the same show this month.  Surprises generate word of mouth and repeaters.

2. Passion and energy.  If I am not interested in what I’m doing, no one else is.  Many “acts” that have long tenure fall into the trap of going through the motions. Audiences only remember that the performer seemed bored – a bad memory.

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Today Hannity, Tomorrow Maybe You

| May 25, 2017

By Phil Valentine
Westwood One
Talk Show Host

 

NASHVILLE — We hear a lot about free speech, but what does free speech actually look like? In talk radio, there is no clear definition. At the end of the day, we work at the pleasure of the companies that hire us. We’re in a unique situation, we talk show hosts, in that we serve two clients. There’s the audience and then there’s the advertiser. Without either or both we don’t have a job.

Recently Sean Hannity has come under fire for covering the Seth Rich murder and Rich’s possible link to Wikileaks. Some have called it a wild conspiracy theory. Personally, I believe there are enough issues surrounding his mysterious death that should warrant further examination. Julian Assange has offered a $20,000 reward for anyone who can lead authorities to a conviction of the murderer. That alone makes this a legitimate story. There’s certainly much more circumstantial evidence that Rich may have been the Wikileaks leaker than there is evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, yet The New York Times and the Washington Post and their sycophants in cable news beat that drum daily.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

| May 25, 2017

Today It’s Hannity, Tomorrow It May Be You.  Nashville-based Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine writes today about the campaign being waged against Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks talk show host Sean Hannity for his reporting on and opining on the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.  Media Matters is targeting Hannity’s advertisers in what is likely an attempt to get Fox to take action against Hannity.  Valentine says that those on the left cheering and those on the right standing idly by are potentially risking their own hides somewhere down the road if this effort is successful.  “The radical left loves to call conservatives fascists, yet there is nothing more fascist than shutting down people who dare utter something counter to your world view.  That goes for both sides of the aisle.  It’s one thing to simply stop patronizing a business because of the causes or people they support.  It’s another thing altogether to launch a vicious e-mail campaign of threats and intimidation.”  Coincidentally, Sean Hannity will be presented with TALKERS magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2. Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Chris Berry Appointed SVP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia. Radio programming, sales and management pro Chris Berry takes on the SVP of news, talk and sports post for iHeartMedia.  The company says that Berry “will oversee our news, talk and sports brands, where he’ll provide strategic guidance for our spoken-word formats and connect key advertisers with iHeartMedia’s news, talk and sports audiences.”  Berry has been serving as SVP/general manager for NBC News Radio and 24/7 News Network, a position he’ll maintain.  During his career, Berry has been VP/GM for ABC News Radio and VP/GM of WMAL, Washington, to name a few.  He joined 24/7 News Network as senior vice president and general manager in March 2011 and has spearheaded NBC News Radio’s editorial content since 24/7 News began syndicating the network in July 2016.  Meet Chris Berry at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City on June 2.  See details here.

WBAL, Baltimore Names Jeff Wade News Director.  Baltimore news/talk WBAL “Newsradio 1090” names Jeff Wade news director, effective June 5.  Wade comes to the Hearst Television-owned station from his most recent position with Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations as director of news and talk programming.  During his career, he’s also served with Saga Communications at news/talk WGAN, Portland as news director.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Jeff has a deep appreciation for WBAL’s zealous commitment to 24/7 news coverage.  His leadership, along with the skills and experience of our news team, will allow WBAL to fortify its position as Maryland’s leading radio news source.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wade remarks, “I’m excited to be joining WBAL and the Hearst team.  This is one of America’s iconic radio stations with a proud legacy as a news leader staffed by an all-star team of experienced and knowledgeable talent.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Programmer Brian Hall. Programming pro Brian Hall is upped to senior vice president of programming at the company’s Asheville operations.  Hall has most recently been serving as program director for the company’s news/talk WWNC “News Radio 570,” progressive talk WPEK “880 The Revolution” in Asheville and WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440.”  Music stations in the cluster include: adult hits W249AR “97,7 The Brew,” country WKSF “99.9 Kiss Country,” CHR WQNQ “Star 104.3,” and classic rock WQNS “Rock 105.1.” iHeartMedia area president for Asheville, Greenville and Greensboro Bill McMartin states, “Brian’s vast experience in Asheville will really help us continue to dominate the market in every format.  We have an experienced team in Asheville who all have great respect for Brian and his ability to lead our programming efforts.”

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Begin Crowdfunding Effort for Free Speech Film.  Yes, that’s right, conservative media figure and divinity scholar Dennis Prager, and podcaster/comic and atheist Adam Carolla are teaming up to produce a film titled, No Safe Spaces, that addresses the effects of political correctness on America’s college campuses.  The idea for the film came about after the unlikely duo’s recent scheduled appearance at UC Northridge was cancelled by the administration.  The event did go on after their lawyers pressured the college and their speeches were taped for the film.  Now, they are beginning an Indiegogo campaign to raise $1 million over the next few weeks to complete production of the feature-length film that will examine the effects of political correctness on college campuses and how the phenomenon will affect America’s future as restrictions on free speech move beyond the campus to American society.  Prager comments, “This is a story that must be told because the future of our country literally depends on what happens on these campuses.  If these students don’t understand the very concept of free speech, our whole nation is in trouble.”  The film takes Prager and Carolla to college campuses across the country, interviewing students and professors, comedians and commentators on the left and right, and those who have been impacted by the silencing of different voices on campus, analyzing the value of so-called safe-spaces.

PPM Analysis: Baseball Flagships.  How did the first month of the 2017 Major League Baseball season go for radio play-by-play flagships?  TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian addresses that very question, reporting on the 6+ performances of baseball flagship stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Ten stations saw their 6+ numbers go up at least one full share, with CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis shooting up 2.2 shares to an 8.4 share (and good for a #1 market rank).  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati was close behind, rising by 2.1 to a 9.3 share.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, Salem Media Group adjusts its programming on news/talk WIND by moving the Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder show from overnights (1:00 am to 3:00 am) to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, followed by its “Jay Sekulow Live” program at 9:00 pm.  The shows bump the Dave Ramsey program from the station’s program schedule, effective June 1…..Next season, Detroit Pistons games will be heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM, moving from Beasley’s crosstown WMGC.  The NBA club’s games were originally heard on WMGC when it was a sports talk station – “Detroit Sports 105.1” – and remained there after the station flipped to classic hip hop and R&B.  In the event of conflicts on WXYT-FM, Pistons games will move to the company’s all-news WWJ-AM.

Manchester Bombing Aftermath, Trump’s International Trip, Trump-Russia Investigation, Obama MS-13 Controversy, China Criticizes U.S. Ship Movement, Trump Budget Proposal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/24). The arrests of family members of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and the task of preventing more attacks; President Donald Trump’s trip abroad; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; a whistleblower alleges Obama’s Unaccompanied Children policy allowed MS-13 gang members to be settled in the U.S.; China lashes out at the U.S. after a Navy destroyer sails within 12 miles of its military, man-made island; the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Trump Administration budget proposal; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Programming Opportunity.  The Springfield, Illinois operations of Mid-West Family Broadcasting is seeking an operations manager for the four-station cluster consisting of news/talk WMAY-AM, adult contemporary WNNS, rock WQLZ, and country WUSW.  The company is seeking candidates who possess the following qualifications: Love to coach and develop talent, especially in the talk format; can do an airshift in multiple formats; understand that a digital plan is not a banner ad and a station stream; realize that a remote appearance is the exact opposite of being remote to listeners; know how to make Selector sing; have the instincts to do it your way and not wait for a corporate mandate.  If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not.  It’s Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Land of Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois.  Mid-West is an employee-owned company.  If you want to talk in strict confidence, send an e-mail, resume and salary requirements to Harvey Wells at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.  What’s sent to Springfield stays in Springfield.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With the move of rock radio pro Jay Philpott from Cumulus Media’s WNNX, Atlanta to its Twin Cities rocker KQRS, the company is seeking Philpott’s replacement for the afternoon drive show on WNNX…..Hubbard Broadcasting VP/regional manager of Minnesota Dan Seeman announces that Jeff Hilborn is named general manager for the Hubbard Broadcasting radio stations in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Hilborn will oversee adult contemporary WJJY, classic rock KLIZ-FM “The Power Loon,” country KBLB “B93.3,” oldies KUAL “KOOL 103.5,” sports talk KLIZ-AM and business news KVBR-AM.  The stations were part of the group of 16 Omni Broadcasting outlets acquired by Hubbard the 2015 transaction.  Hilborn will replace retiring general manager Mike Boen.

April 2017 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| May 25, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Much like umpires review a ballpark’s ground rules with a visiting manager on a team’s first visit of the year to that particular venue, we need to cover some logistics of our first ratings overview of 2017 for Major League Baseball’s radio flagships.

The following scoreboards are for each MLB team’s English-language – Nielsen Audio subscribing – key station.

While some MLB teams have a secondary outlet and/or an emergency alternative, we are not showing multiple stations for a team; rather, there is one designated hitter per team.

Key outlets of the two New York franchises (Mets and Yankees) appear in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex); the Angels’ flagship is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside; and key stations of the San Francisco and Oakland franchises (Giants and A’s) appear in San Francisco and San Jose.

In these instances, ratings information is limited to New York City for the flagships of the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN).

The only ratings stats used for the Angels’ key station (KLAA) is from the Los Angeles report.

Flagships for the two Bay Area teams – Giants (KNBR) and A’s (KGMZ) – have San Francisco ratings info only.

No ratings information is shown for the flagship for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays (CJCL).

Full-week, Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (6+) is the ratings data cited here – it is not limited to a specific day-part.

With the fine print concluded, it is time to throw out the first pitch for this exclusive, TALKERS overview of MLB flagships encompassing the April 2017 ratings period, which covered March 30 – April 26; the 2017 MLB season began on (Sunday) April 2.

Play ball.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

| May 24, 2017

Senators Request Hearing on the State of the News Media. As reported at Multichannel.com, two U.S. senators – Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – have written to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) requesting a hearing on the state of the news media.  The two also reached out to the FCC requesting information on the May 18 incident in which a reporter was roughly handled by a security guard for trying to ask an FCC commissioner a question after a public meeting.  The letter to Chairman Thune says, in part, “The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch.  There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.”  The last time the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the media was 2009.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Of all the subgenres of spoken-word talk radio, public radio news/talk appears to have benefitted the most from the election of Donald Trump, according to data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of public news/talk stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey.  Kinosian notes, “Well over half the stations showing year-to-year (6+) growth do so by at least one full share, including Boston University’s WBUR (2.4 – 4.3, +1.9, 6+), which jumps by nine rankers (#17 to #8).”  Additionally, nine public news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the April survey.  See the whole report here.

Rob Whiteside Named Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region. This is an internal move as iHeartMedia names Rob Whiteside digital program director for its Virginia/Carolina Region.  He’s been serving as digital operations director for the company’s Central Region.  In this new position, Whiteside’s responsibilities will include growing digital resources and reach for the region’s 54 radio station brands, as well as day-to-day digital programming for the Raleigh market.  Whiteside and his team “will work closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”

Kuby Confirms Departure from WABC, New York a Budget Move.  As TALKERS magazine speculated yesterday, the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC, New York’s “Curtis & Kuby” show was financially motivated.  Kuby issued a statement that reads, in part, “Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people.  I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I no reason to doubt that explanation.  I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December.  The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.  Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years.”

Westwood One Brings Aboard Sales Pros Lang and Johnston. Two radio biz sales pros are joining Westwood One as director, national partnerships.  Delanne Lang was most recently with AdLarge as a national accounts manager.  She’ll be based in New York and will report to EVP of Northeast sales Ron RussoDiane Johnston comes to WW1 from Premiere Networks.  She’ll be based in Detroit and report to EVP of Midwest sales Doug Johnston.

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talkers “The Musers” – George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith – heard on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket” – interviewed President George W. Bush on Monday’s program broadcast live from the Warrior Open at the Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas.   The Warrior Open is a competitive golf tournament for America’s wounded warriors established by the Bush Institute in 2011 that honors U.S. service members and heralds the organizations that support men and women of the U.S. military and their families…..Tomorrow (5/25), WGN, Chicago will induct 10 honorees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be broadcast live with hosts Wendy Snyder and Steve Bertrand.  The inductees – three sports legends, four renowned traffic reporters, one story chaser and two present-day voices, consist of: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Lincoln Hampton, Vince Lloyd, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner.

TALKERS Institutes New Annual Award to Recognize College Radio Broadcasters.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has instituted a new annual award designed to shed light on the burgeoning world of college radio and emphasize the important role it plays in providing 21st century broadcasting with fresh talent and management prospects.  The award is titled “The Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster” – named after the late radio and TV talk personality Alan Colmes who passed away earlier this year.  Colmes was a student at Hofstra University in the late 1960s and is a charter inductee in the school’s WRHU Hall of Fame.  WRHU-FM/WRHU.org recently received the NAB Marconi Award as Best College Radio Station in the nation and is widely recognized by leading authorities as one of the leading outlets in American college radio year after year.  The first recipient of this award (also dubbed TALKERS “College Radio Broadcaster of the Year”) is Hofstra University student Maria Santana.  Santana is a sophomore who, as student station manager of WRHU, manages a staff of 277 at the radio station.  She hosts and produces a morning drive, magazine-style talk show and a weekly half-hour women’s topics talk show.  She also co-hosted a half-hour special talk show on education during Debate 2016 and produces news packages for the station’s live, local half-hour newscast, “Newsline.”  Her on-air work was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Press Club’s Long Island Chapter.  She earned the Jeffrey C. Kraus Endowed Radio Award for her leadership skills.  Her stellar work ethic helped her emerge from over 110 other staffers to be named WRHU rookie of the year in 2016.  Hofstra Entertainment Access TV named Santana its assistant general manager.  She currently holds the two highest student media leadership positions at Hofstra in both its radio and TV divisions.  WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen describes Maria Santana as “a true example of a young, converged media executive with a bright future.”  Maria Santana will be presented the award at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

Joe Pyne the Subject of Smithsonian Magazine Piece. A story published in Smithsonian Magazine titled, “Joe Pyne Was America’s First Shock Jock,” tells the story of the man who set the stage for what would become the contemporary television and radio talk show that featured heated arguments led by an aggressive, name-calling host.  Joe Pyne’s vituperative style comes off as campy in this day and age, but most media historians agree that Pyne was the first in-your-face, issues-oriented conservative talk show host.  But more interesting to talk radio fans and industry insiders is the work being done by a man named Charles Churchman.  He’s currently attempting to digitally archive more than 100 episodes of the old Joe Pyne television show.  The shows were recorded on 2-inch videotape that is quickly decaying from age.  For a summary of Pyne’s career, a look at who was influenced by him, and the story of the preservation of the TV show tapes, read the Smithsonian piece here.

Manchester Terror Bombing, Trump Visits The Vatican, the Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Budget Proposal, Philippines Martial Law, Seth Rich Controversy, Roger Moore Dead at 89, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The aftermath of the Manchester terror bombing; President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on his international tour; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; the Trump administration’s federal budget proposal; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law order and his praise from President Trump; controversy over theories that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked information to Wikileaks; actor Roger Moore dies at the age of 89; and MLB, 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 magazine Publishes 2017 Heavy Hundred. The 2017 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known as the “Heavy Hundred” – has been published.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred consists of a ranking of radio talk show hosts by the editors of TALKERS magazine based on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness.  Regular TALKERS readers and talk radio aficionados will recognize a number of personalities who are perennial members of the list.  But there are some newcomers as well as some hosts who’d made the list in years past and are making a return.  Yes, this list – like many that are created by editors of industry publications – is subjective to some degree or another.  It will raise questions as to who is on the list, who is not, and where those on the list are ranked.  But, that’s part of the fun of it!  Regardless, TALKERS editors take this project very seriously and wish to congratulate all the members of the 2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  See it here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT officially names John Farneda music director.  He’s been serving in the post in the interim since early last month, succeeding Kelly Ransford after she moved to iHeartMedia Denver.  This is a return to WXRT for Farneda who worked at the station from 1983 through 2014 – the last 13 years as music director.  WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk says, “Christmas has come early to WXRT.  John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner.  John is WXRT.”…..At Mountain Dog Media’s WFON, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull,” afternoon personality Big Al moves to morning drive to co-host with incumbent morning jock Stef Z for the newly renamed “The Morning Radio Rodeo” show…..Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ is presenting the Pepsi Summer Kick Off at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this Friday (5/26).  The event will feature live performances from Andy Grammer, The Band Perry, LP and Wrabel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| May 23, 2017

Ron Kuby Exits WABC, New York.  So far, there’s no explanation from Cumulus Media about the sudden departure of Ron Kuby from the Curtis & Kuby midday show on news/talk WABC, New York.  The WABC website indicates Curtis Sliwa is staying on to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show solo and it appears likely that Kuby’s departure is the result of budget cuts.  Sliwa and Kuby returned to WABC after a six-year absence back in 2014.  The liberal Kuby and conservative Sliwa had worked together successfully at WABC from 2000 until 2008 when their show was canceled.  Sliwa hosted a solo show at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for a number of years between 2008 and 2014.

Clark Howard Suffers Near-Fatal Medical Episode.  Nationally syndicated consumer issues talk host Clark Howard tells WSB-TV, Atlanta that his doctors have a working theory that the antibiotic ciprofloxacin combined with his cholesterol medication may have been responsible for the life-threatening illness he recently suffered. Howard was prescribed the antibiotic as a precautionary measure to ward off infection after a routine biopsy to monitor his prostate cancer.  However, days later he was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – and affliction that he says results in your muscles basically eating themselves.  Doctors flushed his system with IVs and he’s recuperated.

Three Fox News Staffers File Discrimination Suits.  Responding to the suits filed in District Court in New York, Fox News says, “We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.”  The suits were filed by the New York employment law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of claimants Kathleen Lee, currently a shift editor at Fox News Radio, former accounts payable coordinator Naima Farrow, and former accounts receivables specialist Vidya Mann.  Lee claims that she suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment. Farrow alleges she was fired after notifying her supervisor that she was pregnant.  And Mann – who was not a full-time staffer – says she was let go after having her baby.  You can see the Bloomberg account here.

Joe Madison Re-Ups with SiriusXM. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is staying on with SiriusXM after signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET program on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Joe is the foundation of our Urban View channel, a tireless campaigner for social change and one of the best interviewers working in radio today.  We are thrilled to have him exclusively on SiriusXM and look forward to many more years of great radio with Joe.”

Alpha Media Closes on Purchase of WFTL and WMEN in West Palm Beach.  The company had been operating news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN in the West Palm Beach market under an LMA from ACM JCE IV B LLC for almost two years.  Earlier this year, Alpha Media agreed to purchase the stations for $2 million.  The stations were acquired by ACM JCE IV B LLC from the bankruptcy restructuring of James Crystal Enterprises in 2013.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida.  Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.”  Alpha also operates hot AC WRMF, AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” country WIRK, urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3,” and hip hop W242CI “Beatz 96.3.”

TALKERS News Notes. It’s a milestone for Compass Media Networks’ “Mike Lupica Podcast” as it passes the one million download mark.  The longtime New York sports writer and media figure was recently nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for Best Sports Podcast.  Lupica comments, “Doing this podcast has been even more fun than I thought it would be.  We’re a year in and already we’ve had really insightful conversations with some of the biggest names in sports, media and politics.”…..Edison Research announces it appoints Dr. Nino Japaridze to the new role of vice president for public affairs research.  Japaridze will be based in Washington to lead Edison’s public affairs and international research practice.  She more than 20 years of experience in the fields of public affairs and international research, most recently as vice president of public affairs at Ipsos North America where she led global media research and political risk practice areas and was responsible for partnering with technology-based companies to extend research capabilities across digital platforms…..WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan news director Ann Williams is named president of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors.  Williams was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing last month.  At the same event, the Alpha Media station was honored with three first place awards by the organization for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography.  WSGW program director Dave Maurer comments, “We are so proud of Ann.  She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is hosting its 3rd Annual Sports Radio Open golf tournament on June 20 to benefit the Helene Foundation, which provides immediate support for mothers fighting cancer to positively impact their families.

New York Festivals Announces Finalists for International Radio Program Awards. The finalists have been announced for The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for 2017.  The Grand Jury selected 336 finalists from entries submitted from 32 countries across the globe.  Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  All entries achieving finalist status proceed to the medal round.  Entries from the U.S. moving on to the medal round come from companies including: ABC Radio Network, CBS RADIO Boston, ESPN, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and more.  The World’s Best Radio Programs will be announced at the 2017 awards ceremony on Monday June 19 Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  See all the finalists here.

Trump in the Middle East, Trump Budget Proposal, British Concert Bombing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ford CEO Fired, NC Redistricting Ruling, Confederate Monuments Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). President Donald Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territory; President Trump’s budget proposal and GOP leaders’ reactions; the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; the investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; Ford fires CEO Mark Fields and installs Jim Hackett; SCOTUS throws out North Carolina redistricting ruling it was based on racial gerrymandering; the tensions in the South over the removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Beasley Media Group Announces New Format Captains. Four Beasley Media Group programmers are adding format captain to their business cards.  The company is promoting WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, Philadelphia program director Bill Weston to format captain for rock; Boston OM and WMJX-FM and WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack to format captain for CHR and AC; Las Vegas OM and KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria to format captain for urban; and WSOC-FM and WBCN-FM, Charlotte OM and PD DJ Stout to format captain for country.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase, “Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve.  We feel this team, with its unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WLNK, Charlotte afternoon duo Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway sign a new, multi-year contract to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s hot AC station.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Matt and Ramona’s commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte.  That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM.  Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville is bringing market legend Gerry House back to the station to serve as its official voice talent for classic country W252CM “The BIG Legend at 98.3,” effective May 26.  House says, “The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3.”  House was heard on WSIX-FM, Nashville from 1983 to 2010…..Radio pro Jay Philpott is making a move within Cumulus Media to move from rock WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5” to his hometown of Minneapolis to join rock KQRS “Q92” to host the evening show.  Philpott says he’ll exit WNNX on June 2 and start at KQRS on June 12.  He will continue to host his national show on the Westwood One network.….Myra Ellison announces she’s leaving her director of promotions, marketing & web gig at Entercom’s Madison cluster due to health issues…..Westwood One is kicking off the summer season with two exclusive Memorial Day Weekend music specials.  One is called “Get Out and Play” and is hosted by Ed Sheeran.  It celebrates the beginning of summer with four hours of music, information on this summer’s hottest tours, plus talk about the beach, summer vacation spots and new box office releases.  “Memorial Day Mania” is hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and “ignites the summer season with tour and summer music festival talk, new music coming out this summer, road trips, and more.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

| May 22, 2017

Brian Wilson Exits WMAL, Washington’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’  Announcing via Twitter on Friday, DC talk radio personality Brian Wilson says he’s exited Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Wilson wrote, “Today is the last day of a wonderful 6 year ride @WMALDC.  Thanks everyone!  I stand ready for the next great adventure.  I’ll miss the awesome folks @WMALDC: B Hess, Larry, Chris, Mary, Heather H & M McKay.  But won’t miss the 2:30 AM alarm!!!!  More soon!”  In the meantime, WMAL program director – and Cumulus news/talk VP – Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese is sitting in as interim co-host while the station seeks a permanent partner for Mary Walter on the program.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City adds Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” starring Brian Kilmeade in the late morning daypart, replacing Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck…..In Chicago, Matt Abbatacola leaves CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR where he’s been serving for the past 16 years as a producer, personality and sports update anchor.  He was a longtime producer of the Boers & Bernstein show with the now-retired Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein (who’s now partnered with Jason Goff).  Robert Feder reports that “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “I wish him nothing but the best.”  Read Feder’s column here…..More changes are taking place at Fox News Channel.  According to report by CNN, Fox News Channel has let “The Five” personality Bob Beckel go “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”  This move is apparently connected to what is being termed a “growing racial discrimination” lawsuit filed by a number of current and former Fox News Channel staffers.  The story says Beckel allegedly told a black IT department employee that he would leave the room while the staffer worked on his computer because the employee is black.  It further says that when the person filed a complaint, Beckel tried to intimidate the worker to withdraw it.  The suit is being handled by attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen…..If you missed it, former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly wrote an op-ed piece published by USA Today on the passing of his former boss Roger Ailes.  In the piece, O’Reilly says, “We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective.  The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters.  Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him.  That is the truth.”  Read the piece here…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, via his Red Zebra Broadcasting, is agreeing to sell sports talk WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland to the new corporation AM 570 LLC – co-owned by Salem Media Group founders Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson.  The $2.1 million deal includes 58 acres of land.  The towers also carry the diplexed signal of WMAL-AM on a lease.

Trump Visits Saudi Arabia, Russia Investigation/Comey Firing, China Kills U.S. Spies, Weiner Guilty Plea/Abedin Files for Divorce, More North Korean Missile Tests, Iranian Elections, O’Reilly’s USA Today Column, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump makes his first stop in Saudi Arabia on an international tour, receiving a gold medal from the nation and signing a $110 billion arms deal; ongoing talk of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign figures and Russia and the related firing of FBI Director James Comey; the report that an intelligence breakdown led to China killing and imprisoning numerous U.S. spies; Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in the case of his sexting with a minor and the news former Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin will divorce him; North Korea conducts more missile tests; Iran holds elections, re-electing President Hassan Rouhani; former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly pens a USA Today op-ed stating Roger Ailes died from the “hatred” cast at him by critics; and MLB, 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.  Taking over the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” is Kannon.  He was most recently working in the Dallas market at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL as part of the morning show.  KDMX program director Jay Shannon says, “Kannon is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth for several years and he understands how to connect with listeners, as well as what it takes to be successful in this market.”  He also previously served in the market as morning show host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the reports that Federated Media active rock WBYR, Fort Wayne “98.9 The Bear” parts ways with evening personality Barry Thickk.  The station replaces him with the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated “Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL” at night…..SiriusXM announces that David Letterman and his former TV band leader Paul Shaffer will be guests on Elizabeth Cook’s “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country on Wednesday (5/24).  Letterman, a big fan of American roots music, will bring along a playlist of his own hand-picked performances that aired on his network television show over the years.

Adam Bomb and DNCE at the Billboard Music Awards. Yesterday (5/21) in Las Vegas, Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs took place at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena.  The backstage radio row included more than 20 stations interviewing artists and celebrities.  Republic Records recording artists DNCE performed at the event.  Pictured here is Westwood One syndicated host Adam Bomb (left) with members of DNCE.

A Look Back at the ‘Power Pig’

| May 19, 2017

This column originally appeared in RadioInfo.com on October 1, 2009

By Sean Ross
Ross on Radio

 

TAMPA — For a radio person of a certain age (mid 30s to mid 40s say), Jacor’s launch of “Power Pig” WFLZ Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 25, 1989 and its subsequent battle with WRBQ (Q105) is probably one of the formative events of their broadcast career. Not only was WFLZ a spectacularly successful attack on a heritage incumbent’s fortress, but WRBQ (Q105) became an example of how not to respond: it did nothing at first, then stunned the industry by deciding to engage for young-end listeners. A war of attrition ensued and although Q105 would actually pass WFLZ for a while, Q105’s true resurgence was when it went Country in 1993. Now the station is Oldies/Greatest Hits and invoking some of the legacy that was so damaging in 1988.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

| May 19, 2017

FCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Eliminate Main Studio Rule.  Many radio operators have been hoping the new Republican-led FCC would propose doing away with the main studio rule and that’s just what the Commission has done with yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  The main studio rule requires each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to have a main studio located in or near its local community.  The Notice also proposes to eliminate the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours, and the requirement that it be able to originate programming. The FCC states, “The main studio rule, which the FCC first adopted more than 70 years ago, was originally implemented on the premise that local access to the main studio facilitated input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities.  Today, modern communications enable stations and community members to interact more directly, without the presence of a local broadcast studio.  In addition, community members already, or soon will, have online access to a station’s public file, removing the need for community members to visit the main studio to access the file.”

Dave Ramsey Wraps Spring Smart Money Tour in Orlando. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured above with some of the staff from iHeartMedia’s Orlando cluster as Ramsey visited the market for the final Smart Money event of the spring season.  Ramsey presented the Smart Money event before a sold-out audience at First Baptist in Orlando.   He combined forces with local affiliate “NewsRadio 102.5 WFLA” [WFLF-AM].  iHeartMedia Orlando VP of sales Mark Kanak says, “Having Dave Ramsey in town for an event simply brings the legend to life.  He is compelling, entertaining, and enormously effective.  If you have the opportunity to have Dave in your market, don’t miss it.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Chris Hogan, Ramsey, Kanak, iHeartMedia’s Mark Chamberlin, Bruce Stone, Joie Davis, and Bill Reese.

Hewitt and Prager to Host ‘Trump: First 100 Days’ Event. This Sunday, nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager of the Salem Radio Network are headlining the sold-out “Trump: The First 100 Days” live event at the Metropolitan Ballroom in St. Louis Park in Minneapolis, sponsored by Salem-owned WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot.”  Hewitt and Prager will participate in a panel discussion, moderated by HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey.  WWTC general manager Nic Anderson comments, “President Trump has re-written rules on presidential politics.  So far, his time in office has offered plenty of excitement. We look forward to hearing the insight and analysis from this group of pundits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG begins airing its programming on the FM band on translator W281BH at 104.1 in addition to its 1450 AM signal.  The Townsquare Media station is home to theHarry Hurley in the Morning.”  It’s also available on the Townsquare app Radio Pup…..The weekend radio and TV talk show “Radio Night LIVE,” featuring host Kevin McCullough is joining the BizTalkRadio network for enhanced distribution. The program’s video feed is already airing on BizTV (the sister network of BizTalkRadio) and hitting markets including New York, Los Angeles, and 44 others.  McCullough says, “This will bring us some additional beautiful, big powerhouse AM and FM talk signals in Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Fresno, Sacramento, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco.  And that’s just on day one!  The relationship with BizTV has been outstanding – truly a wonderful partner.  And we anticipate a replicative experience with BizTalkRadio!”…..Entercom news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD” partnered with local firm Reeves Construction today to offer free pancakes to law enforcement officials in the Upstate.  “The Tara Show” was live and on location earlier today at Eggs Up Grill where first responders were encouraged to stop by for a free pancake breakfast as for the station’s salute those who sacrifice so much for the community…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is added to the weekend program schedule at WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire…..Futuri Media announces the promotion of Peabody Award-winning broadcast news executive Jill Manuel to product manager for the company’s TopicPulse service.  Also, Futuri brings Jason Page aboard the TopicPulse team to serve as content manager.  Page is a longtime radio pro who will head a team of writers who monitor TopicPulse’s real-time social insights and write data-driven topic starter ideas for its clients…..SiriusXM makes some changes to its Faction Talk channel.  Actress Anne Heche is joining Jason Ellis to host a Saturday program called “Love and Heche,” airing at 2:00 pm ET.   Also joining the Faction Talk channel is comic Nick DiPaolo, who hosts a nightly show from 6:00 to 8:00 ET…..Cumulus Media names Suzanne Smith VP/chief accounting officer.

Mueller Special Counsel Appointment Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 15-19.  The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating the possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents and potential influence by the Russians in the 2016 election was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was speculation about a President Donald Trump resignation or impeachment.  Coming in at #3 was the North Korea nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S., followed by the U.S.’ Syrian airstrikes 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 Talker.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Talkers Convention Nearing Sellout, Registrations Close This Tuesday.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention will officially be sold out this coming Tuesday, May 23 at 5:00 pm ET.  It is also possible that it will reach maximum capacity before that date and time, so if you are planning to attend, register as quickly as possible.  Because attendance is limited to members of the media and communications students, registrations can only be taken over the phone with credit card.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The two things that make this convention such an ongoing industry favorite is that it features an amazing roster of luminaries, power-packed into a non-stop day of stimulating takeaways and networking opportunities… and it does it in an intimate, comfortable setting.  That’s why it sells out in advance year after year.”  For complete agenda, registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Oxnard-Ventura market, Cumulus Media appoints Matthew “Doughboy” Florence program director and afternoon personality for rhythmic CHR KVYB “103.3 The Vibe.”  Florence was most recently APD and afternoon drive host at American General Media’s CHR KDLW, Albuquerque “Z106.3.”  Florence says, “I’m really excited to get to Ventura and work with the team to make ‘103.3 The Vibe’ a major force in the market. I’d like to thank Chris Cox, Sommer Frisk, and the rest of the team at Cumulus Media for this great opportunity.”…..JVC Media is launching a new rock station in the Orlando market on translator W231CT at 94.1 FM, fed by the sister WOTF’s HD signal.  The station is being branded “Bud 94.1 The King of Rock.”…..Sully Fox is the new evening jock at Matrix Broadcasting’s hot AC WZSR, Crystal Lake in suburban Chicago.  Fox had previously been with Entercom in Milwaukee handling weekend shifts at CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.”

Sean Ross Archives: A Look Back at the ‘Power Pig.’  Veteran radio trade publication writer (Ross On Radio) and Edison Research researcher Sean Ross was a staff member of the early incarnation of Radio-Info.com.  Many of his columns from that era have historical significance.  Beginning today (5/18), TALKERS will post select columns by Sean Ross from the RadioInfo archives starting with a provocative piece originally published on October 1, 2009 titled, “WFLA, Tampa: A Power Pig Looks at 20.”  To read it in its entirety with several additional new notes, please click here.  Meet Sean Ross at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

 

 

Round Four of April PPM Ratings Released. The fourth and final round of April 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2017 PPM survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – A gain of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9, 6+) enables Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” to move from #18 to #15 with its best 6+showing in exactly one year (3.1, 6+, April 2016). In a somewhat similar vein, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (#14 to #12) improves by seven-tenths to 3.7, which is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s 4.1. Notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” marches from third to second. Elsewhere in that format, co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” is flat at 4.6 (6+) and stays at #7, while with a one-tenth increase (1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). While on top for the fourth successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” follows a March +.6 with an April decline twice that margin (8.5 – 9.1 – 7.9, -1.2, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5.” With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report, when it logged a 7.7, 6+), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. News/talk sibling KLBJ-AM gains a cumulative full-share via four straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 6+), but backslides from ninth to tenth. Still in that Emmis cluster, triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (#15 to #18) drops one-half share and remains within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th time in a row. Frozen on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT freefalls by nearly two full-shares to 5.8 (-1.8, 6+) as it tumbles from second to fourth. This represents the University of Texas-owned property’s lowest 6+-total since “Holiday” 2015 (5.6).

2) Raleigh – On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (4.9 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU climbs from ninth to seventh, with “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” matching the 5.7 (6+) it posted exactly one year ago (April 2016). Remaining in fifth place, co-owned WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by seven-tenths (6.4 – 7.1, 6+), notching its best 6+-showing since last December’s 7.0. Even though it is flat at 8.5 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is on top for the third successive sweep. Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest -.3 in March and no change in April aren’t typical for this station, considering its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before spiraling by nine-tenths. It caught “Mix” at #1 in March (both stations with 8.5, 6+), but WUNC flounders by six-tenths in April (7.9, 6+) and segues to the runner-up slot. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC improved by seven-tenths in March to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April; however, “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” surrenders eight-tenths to 3.3 (6+), dropping from #12 to #14. As the result of three straight decreases, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (seventh to ninth) is off by a combined full-share (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Two country stations in this Indiana market are currently going in different directions. More to the point, Emmis-owned WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” improves in back-to-back monthlies for a combined +1.3 (4.7 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+) to vault from ninth to fifth, whereas Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (fifth to seventh) is down a collective full-share via its third straight downward move (6.9 – 6.7 6.4 – 5.9, 6+). “Hank” reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since last May (6.3). Inching up from sixth to fifth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its fourth successive increase that accounts for a +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). It is the strongest 6+-showing for “Q-95” since last July (6.0, as well). Sibling WNDE, however, drops four-tenths to 1.1 (6+), thus concluding at seven its string of consecutive sweeps without a decrease that produced an overall gain of six-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+); “Indy’s Sports Station” slips from #17 to #18. Also in that iHM cluster, urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted for the fourth successive month. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WRWM “93.9 The Beat” chalks up a +.6 to 3.2 (6+) but stays at #14. Following three straight upward moves for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL is off by two-tenths to 7.7 (6+), but is nonetheless #1 for the fourth consecutive month. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). The dubious distinction of recording the highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 decrease goes to Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” which erodes by -2.1 (5.4 – 3.3, 6+) and drifts from #8 to #13. After dropping one-half share in February, “Radio Now” answered in March with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+). In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Albeit off by an overall -1.2 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” stays in third-place. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Down or flat for seven consecutive sweeps – including recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) – University of Indianapolis-owned WICR gains two-tenths to .9 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #19).

4) Milwaukee – After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620 – Wisconsin’s Radio Station” recoups all of it in March and April (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), as the Milwaukee Brewers’ flagship advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. This time last month, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” witnessed its string of four successive increases (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) that yielded two full-shares since November conclude with an exclamation point. The Saga Communications urban AC eroded by a whopping -2.3, but “Jammin 98.3” responds with a gain of one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). Climbing from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” picks up one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), thus halting three successive sweeps of being locked on 5.7 (6+). At the same time, CHR sibling WXSS has its streak of consecutive increases that netted four-tenths end at three (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) – yet – “Kiss 103.7” advances from tenth to ninth. After flaunting a March 2017 +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its “Holiday” 2016 6+-share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” actually adds another three-tenths (11.5, 6+) and is #1 for the 25th consecutive sweep. Some other recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and +2.5 (March). Speaking of major month-to-month fluctuations, Saga Communications-owned WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” falters by one full-share (6.1 – 5.1, 6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Hometown Rock” in just over two years (5.1, 6+, March 2015). After posting a +.7 in March, Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (5.0 – 4.4, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to March +.7, “B-93.3” was off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Between March 2016 and April 2017 (15 total sweeps), the line for public triple A WYMS (#18 to #17) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.1 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

5) Nashville –  The top five April 2017 finishers in “Music City USA” are separated by seven-tenths of a share. Off a combined six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (6.4 – 6.2 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” hangs out an increase twice that magnitude (7.0, +1.2, 6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. In the last three ratings periods, Midwest Communications’ adult contemporary WJXA has registered a 6+-share in the mid-six-share range (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” not only erupts with a full-share improvement to 7.7 (6+), it jumps from third to first. The last time “Mix” occupied the penthouse was in “Holiday” 2016, when it notched a 13.1 (6+). Displaced from the top spot after two months there and shifting to #2 is iHeartMedia’s WUBT “101.1 The Beat,” which – ironically – is without a loss for the fifth straight time for a collective +2.6 (4.9 – 5.9 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). As the result of a one-share dip to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent the urban contemporary outlet below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). The huge country battle here finds all three FMs in the format retaining their March 2017 rankers. That includes “Beat” cluster-mate WSIX “The Big 98” ringing up a +.7 (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) but staying at #7. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (flat at #10) falters for the third straight time for a combined -1.4 (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) and sibling WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” follows up a +.6 in March with another one-tenth (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) to stay at #11, two-tenths behind “Nash Icon.” WSIX returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+); “Nash FM” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the past 11 sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” adds another six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2, 6+) and moves from fourth to third. The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Owing to six successive decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (flat at #12) has eroded by more than four full-shares (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).

6) Providence – Without a negative trend for the fourth straight time for a collective +1.1 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+) The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH is steady at #11. Even though its net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nonetheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Stuck on 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” and January, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” picks up one-tenth to 8.3 (6+). It moves from third to a second-place tie with Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6 – 8.3, -.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WPRO-FM’s adult contemporary sibling WWLI “Lite Rock 105” was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+). It rings up a gain of seven-tenths in April though and is #1 for the 19th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Up or flat the past three ratings periods netting a +1.2 (6.6 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” coughs up six-tenths to 7.2 (6+), but carries on in fourth-place. Following three straight up or flat trends that generated an overall gain of six-tenths (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM is off by four-tenths to 3.6 but remains at #7. At the same time, public news/talk WGBH-FM (steady at #10) is up for the third month in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, #10, 6+) for a collective +.6. Rewinding for a moment to March 2017, two particular noteworthy oddities occurred: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, that month’s rankers were a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 was up or down by more than four-tenths.

7) Norfolk – After rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths in March, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” piles on an additional nine-tenths (11.6 – 12.5, 6+) and is on top for the fourth straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, its adult contemporary cluster-mate – WWDE “2WD” – bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been #1 the previous 55 ratings periods. WVKL records its best 6+-share since last September’s 12.7. In fact, it is in 11.0 – 12.7-share for the 12th time in the last 13 sweeps and has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014 – this is its 41st consecutive time. Inching up from ninth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its strongest 6+-share since October 2015’s 2.8. Following a massive +1.2 in February, co-owned urban contemporary WOWI (unchanged at #2) gained one-half share in March (7.6 – 8.1, 6+), but “Jamz 103” skids by eight-tenths in April (7.3, 6+). Before finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, WOWI was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Faltering by seven-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (6.0 – 5.3, flat at #4, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” (3.6, unchanged at #6). In January and February, “2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but it regained eight-tenths in March. WWDE netted one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Prior to April’s -.7, “Z-104” had put together three consecutive increases yielding a +1.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). A -.6 in March by Saga Communications WNOR “99 Rocks” ended four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). Now, “99 Rocks” drops another one-half share (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+) but stays in third-place.

8) Greensboro – Once again, it’s a #1 – #2 – #3 finish for Entercom-owned properties, although the top two outlets swap places. Specifically, rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” posts its third straight improvement for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+) to take over at #1 (from the runner-up slot) for urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), which slips to #2. After being up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. On top in January, February, and March, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fifth straight sweep; “102 Jamz” accomplishes the same (6+ double-digits) feat for the eighth time in the last ten survey periods. Completing Entercom’s top-three trilogy and repeating at #3 is adult hits WSMW “Simon” (9.4, +.3, 6+), whose previous last four fluctuations were -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+). January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. The market’s two country rivals had a close race in March and it’s even tighter in April as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is up two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1, 6+ 6+) while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” improves by twice as much (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, 6+). They advance from fifth and six, respectively, in March to fourth and fifth, respectively, in April. A cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), “The Wolf” eroded by seven-tenths this time last month. Back in February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Up or flat for the fourth straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), “Q-104.1” is a collective +1.4. In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. It was in September when “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Owing to four three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (tenth to ninth) nets a full-share. A loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+) though drops adult contemporary cluster-mate WMAG “99.5 The Triad’s Best Mix” from fourth to sixth and its lowest 6+-share since February 2015 (5.9, as well). After posting four straight gains that resulted in an overall +1.7 since November (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” slips by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Regressing by one-half share as well is Wake Forest University’s WFDD “88.5 – Public Radio for the Piedmont” (1.9 – 1.4, #11 to #12, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – The rollercoaster ride continues for WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (eighth to sixth) which – in the last five survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March) and now +1.4 in April (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+). By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+) in March, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” applied the brakes to ten down or flat reports that accounted for a -1.5 dating back to last May (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+). Now in April, “Mia 92.1” adds another half-share to 1.8 (6+), progressing from #14 to #11. Following three straight down or flat trends in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” adds one-tenth to 4.6 (6+), but actually backslides from sixth to eighth. Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Down nine-tenths since February (10.2 – 9.5 – 9.3, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is nevertheless #1 for the fourth consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Entering the April ratings period, co-owned WIRK hadn’t had a decrease in seven straight ratings periods for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), and in March, had its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. The positive streak comes to an end in April though as “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” drops eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+), but remains at #3. In back-to-back declines (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February), adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” lost twice as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -3.0, 6+). “Sunny” bounced back though with a one-half share increase in March – only to surrender it in its entirety in April (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), but continues at #2. In addition to “Sunny,” iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO sputters by one-half share as well (2.2 – 1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Going back to last November, the 6+-line for “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” was (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – In the first three sweeps this calendar year, WOKV has been consistent: 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.4 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk operation erupts in April though with a +.9 to 9.3, its strongest 6+-showing since November 2012’s 9.9 and climbs from third to second. After registering six successive declines resulting in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), co-owned CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” enjoys a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and remains at #6. In back-to-back monthlies, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” picks up one-tenth (12.3 – 12.4 – 12.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fourth time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Steady at #10, adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” is a combined +1.2 in four straight positive trends (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Up or flat for the fourth straight time yielding a +.7 (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5” carries on at #13. Via three consecutive decreases, WJCT “Your Community – Your World” (#12 to #14) is a collective -1.2 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+). A loss of six-tenths to 4.3 puts an end to the 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence of iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies outlet WSOL “V-101.5” (seventh to eighth).

11) Memphis – Powered by a +1.3 (1.7 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 103” advances from #14 to #11. This is the best 6+-showing for “Rock 103” in roughly one year (3.4, 6+, June 2016). After trending 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.5 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97.1” hauls out a +.9 to 7.4 (6+), jumping from fifth to third. Without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3, 6+), urban AC sibling KJMS “V-101” is #1 – as it was in January and February. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). It is tied at #1 with Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classic and Today’s R&B,” moving up from #2 and a combined +.5 in back-to-back sweeps (8.8 – 9.1 – 9.3, 6+). Moreover, this is the most potent 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. The market’s (6+) country share takes a -1.6 hit, with Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” off nine-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and drifting from #10 to #14. “The Wolf” had been without a loss the past three ratings periods for a net gain of seven-tenths (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). In the meantime, the wild ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February; -1.0 in March; and now -.7 in April (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). A net +.6 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” segues from sixth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Following its 12.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “The River – Continuous Soft Rock” has had a January-February-March line of 7.1 – 7.7 – 7.4 (6+), but “The River” spirals in April by eight-tenths to 6.6, receding from third to fifth. By dropping two-tenths to 6.7 (6+), co-owned hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #4) concludes three straight up or flat sweeps that produced a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+). Down or flat for the fifth straight time for a -.8 (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits” manages to climb from #16 to #15.

12) Hartford – On the strength of a +.8, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WNTY “Good Times, Great Oldies, Kool Radio” quintuples its March 6+-share (.2 – 1.0) and advances from #14 to #13. In three straight improvements, CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WZMX gains more than two full-shares (4.6 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) as “Hot 93.7” progresses from sixth to fifth. A combined +.9 in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” returns all of it plus two-tenths more, dropping to an even 10.0 (-1.1, 6+). Nonetheless, “Lite” is #1 for the eighth consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. The WRCH stream appears at #15 with a .5 (6+). Steady in the runner-up slot, co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” extends to six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends for a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). In addition to WRCH, Connecticut Public Broadcasting’s WNPR (flat at #9) plummets by -1.1 in April as well and is a combined -1.4 in its third successive downward move (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+). In a somewhat comparable situation, CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM (third to fourth) erodes by eight-tenths and has its third consecutive decline for a collective -1.5 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). Similarly-formatted, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-AM (#13 to #14) is down or flat for the fifth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 -.6, 6+).

Thursday, May 18, 2017

| May 18, 2017

Fox News Channel Architect Roger Ailes Dead at 77.  The family of former Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes announces that he died early today at the age of 77.  The cause is unknown at this time.  His widow Elizabeth says in a statement, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.  Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.  He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back.”  Ailes began building Fox News Channel in 1996 and its rise changed the landscape of cable news/talk.  Ailes recently exited Fox in the wake of a growing number of complaints by current and former FNC female staffers – most notably, former anchor Gretchen Carlson – of sexual harassment.  Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity tweets, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”

Report: SiriusXM in Talks to Acquire Pandora. The report is published in the New York Post and indicates that Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM has restarted talks with digital pure play Pandora’s creditors to acquire the company.  The story notes that Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei has previously indicated that he thinks Pandora is worth about $10 per share.  Yesterday (5/17), Pandora closed at $8.93 per share.  Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren has publicly maintained that he wants to keep Pandora operating as a stand-alone company, but the Post story says activist investors Matrix Capital Management and Corvex Management are pushing for a sale.  Although Pandora has roughly 76 million active users, the company has yet to turn a profit.  Read the Post story here.

Alex Jones Apologizes to Chobani.  Talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones and Twin Falls, Idaho-based yogurt maker Chobani have come to a settlement in the company’s suit against Jones.  If you recall, Chobani filed a defamation suit against Jones after he posted a story on Infowars headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”  The story noted Chobani’s policy of hiring refugees but then reported on a Twin Falls case involving refugee boys who admitted to assaulting a five-year-old girl, attempting to draw a connection.  Local authorities say there was none.  The lawsuit said, “The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products.”  As part of the settlement, Jones agreed to retract the story, which he did with the following statement: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars, Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong.  The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted.  On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

WYAY, Atlanta Loses Three from News Department.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media has cut two staffers from news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7.”  Reportedly let go are news director Jackie Howard and morning producer and reporter Michael Jones.  Morning drive co-host Cheryl White reportedly resigned her position with the station.  Ho notes that still on staff in the news department at WYAY are Chuck Roberts, Drew Nelson, Cheryl Castro and Rob Stadler.  Read the AJC story here.

Robert Mueller Appointed Special Counsel, Trump Resignation/Impeachment Speculation, the Dow’s Sharp Decline, Turkish Embassy Brawl, North Korea Missile Threats, New Cyberattack Threats, Giselle Reveals Brady Concussions, Rocker Chris Cornell Dead, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17). Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election and improper connections between Donald Trump campaign officials and Russia; speculation about a Trump resignation or impeachment; the biggest loss on Wall Street since September of 2016; the violent assault on protesters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S.; concerns about a new cyberattack that experts fear could be worse than the WannaCry malware; Giselle Bundchen’s surprise statement that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has suffered numerous concussions; rock artist Chris Cornell dies unexpectedly while on tour in Detroit; and MLB, 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. Sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is now hosting the afternoon drive show at iHeartMedia’s WARF, Akron “Fox Sports 1350” after his recent exit from Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland…..In Boise, Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO announces the addition of an FM translator signal at 107.5 to its broadcast.  KIDO’s main signal is 580 AM.  The station tells listeners, “KIDO Talk Radio is honored to have three platforms for the Treasure Valley…The addition of 107.5 FM allows the voices of the Treasure Valley to be exposed to an additional audience that may not be aware of alternatives to music radio.  KIDO will continue to proudly broadcast on its traditional home of 580 AM.  KIDOTalkRadio.com will be the home of your favorite photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos from throughout the Treasure Valley.

WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Featured on ‘Nightline.’  The topic of last night’s “Nightline” from ABC News was “Trump Under Fire,” exploring the challenges the president has faced over the past few weeks.  WOR, New York late morning host Mark Simone was one of the media pros featured on the show.  Simone, a Donald Trump supporter, said, “In the end he always succeeds…this [investigation] will go nowhere.”

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Urban programmer Maurice DeVoe joins the iHeartMedia St. Louis cluster to serve as program director for hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat.”  DeVoe joins KMJM from Cumulus Media, where he was corporate program director for urban and rhythmic formats and program director for urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. says, “I’ve always admired Maurice’s strong leadership skills, format track record and ability to thrive at community involvement.  I am honored to welcome him into our super-passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia St. Louis.”…..In the Atlantic City, New Jersey market, Coastal Broadcasting flips alternative WJSE to classic hits, branded as “106.3 The Shore.”  The talent lineup includes Mark Hunter in mornings, “Rudy on the Radio” for middays, and “Ashley & Brad” in afternoon drive…..The syndicated country morning radio show “Tony & Kris” will wrap at the end of this month.  Kris Rochester posted the announcement on the show’s website regarding the future of his and partner Tony Randall’s 25-year-old radio program.  The show has been syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks…..Entercom alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for the annual “Summer Camp” concert.  The two-day alt-rock festival takes place at Marymoor Park on August 12 and 13 and will feature headliners Vance Joy and Metric, with additional acts including Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Bishop Briggs, New Politics, K.Flay, and more.  KNDD program director Leslie Scott states, “Summer Camp has become a benchmark for new music discovery.  We’re excited for another year of great music and good vibes at Marymoor Park.”

 

 

Round Three of April PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

 

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The country format gets a mixed bag this sweep. On the positive side, Alpha Media’s KUPL pulls the plug on three straight months of notching a 4.2 (6+) by exploding with a +1.3 to 5.5 (its strongest 6+-showing since last July’s 5.5) as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges from ninth to fourth. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, after registering four straight gains for an overall +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is now a combined -1.6 in March and April (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) to slip from fifth to eighth. With a loss of eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” drops from fourth to fifth. Trending 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 (6+) since the “Holiday 2016” report, iHeartMedia’s KFBW breaks out a full-share increase to 4.5 (6+), enabling “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” to crack the top ten (#13 to #9). Off by one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” (#15 to #16) snaps at three its string of up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). At the same time, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KWEE “WE – 96.3” regains the four-tenths it lost in March (2.3 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #19. This is the third straight time iHeartMedia classic rock KGON (flat at #6) is without a loss (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+) for a collective +1.9. When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to March (and April), KGON last crossed the five-share threshold (6+) in March 2015 (5.5). Things are getting even tighter at the top as KGON adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW “K-103” drops three-tenths (8.6 – 8.3, 6+), while Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB is +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, steady at #2, 6+) thus it trails “K-103” (#1 for the 35th time in the last 37 ratings periods) by a slim one-tenth. Both stations chalked up impressive increases of nine-tenths in March. “K-103” was off by nine-tenths in February; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. The last time KOPB crossed the eight-share level (6+) was in March 2016 (8.0, 6+). In one sweep, Mount Hood Community College jazz outlet KMHD has its 6+-share erode by just over 50% (1.8 – .8, -1.0, #23, 6+). Similarly, Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game – Portland’s Sports Radio” (#27) is off six-tenths, slicing its 6+-share exactly in half (1.2 – .6, 6+). While it remains in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” drops one-half share (6.2 – 5.7, 6+).

2) Charlotte – As is the case in Portland (see above), a consistently spirited country skirmish exists in North Carolina’s “Queen City.” On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (5.2 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” prevails on this occasion, storming from fifth to second. Before April’s +.8, “Country’s Hottest Hits” was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Recent fluctuations for its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – have been -1.2 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.7 (January); +.2 (February); -.2 (March) and now a +.2 in April (5.2 – 4.0 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+). “The Kat” surrenders its runner-up slot to WSOC and slides to third. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) whereas the advantage now is just one-tenth. The same two groups owners are engaged in a competitive CHR battle here as well. Up or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #8. One-tenth behind at #9 (down from #8 in March) is iHeartMedia’s WHQC “Channel 96.1” (4.7, -.2, 6+), which has its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). After posting three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” gives up one-tenth to 7.6 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its +8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had a decrease in the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” shifts from third to fourth. Ending its 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 (6+) sequence, Entercom news/talk WBT loses one-tenth to 3.0 (6+), but stays at #15.

3) San Antonio – Following a February loss of one full-share, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT more than makes up for it in March and April with a collective +1.5 (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from sixth to second. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” was #1. Occupying that top spot in February, March, and now in April is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; and April’s +.8 (6.8 – 7.6, 6+). KONO-FM departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. The market’s two mainstream CHRs were tied at #14 in March, but by gaining four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) in April, iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends at six its string of consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and climbs to #12. Meanwhile, Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” regains the two-tenths it dropped in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) and remains at #14. Prior to its -.2 this time last month, “Energy” strung together four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). In six straight ratings periods covering October 2016 to March 2017, Cox Media Group classic country KKYX was a true model of consistency: 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (6+). When “Country Legends” gained six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) in March, it entered the top twenty (#20); however, KKYX surrenders that +.6 in its entirety and is back to 1.3 (#24, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well (to 5.6, 6+) and moving from second to third is co-owned KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). It is, however, now down for the third straight time (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+) more than wiping out that increase and dropping from third to fifth. As Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” gains three-tenths (5.2 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops two-tenths (4.6 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – It’s good news/bad news for CBS Radio outlets with the KDKA call letters. Applying the brakes to a mini-slump that accounted for a -1.4 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan – Pittsburgh Sports Radio” trots out a robust +1.8 to 6.1, its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, to progress from ninth to sixth. On the other hand, KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” which was +1.4 via three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), forfeits nearly half that gain (5.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. At #11 for the past ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” cracks the top ten (#9) with a gain of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned WDVE regresses by eight-tenths (to 9.6, 6+), thus curtailing at three its string of consecutive increases which generated a collective two full-shares (8.4 – 10.0 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+). The rock station – which had been #1 the past three months – drops to #2; in March, it matched December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to the top spot in January. Taking its place at #1 (from the runner-up slot) and rebounding from a -.8 in March is classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9 – 10.3, +.4, 6+). Just before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Following three straight downward moves in which it lost six full-shares and nearly half its 6+-stat (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” gains one-tenth to 6.5 (6+) and remains in fifth-place. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.8, 6+) to curtail three straight declines accounting for a -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), sibling WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” backslides from #10 to #11. In addition to KDKA-AM, other market outlets regressing by six-tenths in April are cluster-mate WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” (3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+); Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (third to fourth, 6+); and Renda Broadcasting’s WHJB “Classic Hits 107.1” (flat at #14, 6+). Without a decrease in each of the three previous sweeps, “Y-108” was +.8 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). “Bob” is off by one full-share in three straight dips (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+), while “Classic Hits 107.1” halts three consecutive up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). While unchanged at #12, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is off by three-tenths (2.8, 6+), concluding at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Just several days into the April ratings period (4/3), iHeartMedia transitioned adult hits KQJK “Jack FM” to classic rock KYRV and in its first report card, “The River” betters KQJK’s March numbers by +1.5. This actually marks the fourth consecutive improvement on that frequency for a whopping +2.9 (2.1 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 5.0, 6+). The switch was made when “Jack” ranked ninth and “The River” sails to fifth. Not only does Entravision’s KNTY extend its streak of successive increases to five and +1.5 in the period (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+), country-formatted “101.9 – The Wolf” rockets from #15 into the top ten (#9). The last time Sacramento’s “Wolf” reached the three-share level (6+) was November 2014 (3.0, 6+). There is good news in April as well for CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which adds six-tenths to March’s +.1 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+) to carry on at #4. With a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” inches up from #15 to #14. This marks the seventh straight time that “The Bull” is within 2.1 – 2.9 range (6+). Thus, all three of the market’s FM country facilities improve March 2017 – April 2017, combining for a +1.4; they accomplished the same feat February 2017 – March 2017 but with a collective +.8 (6+). Even though CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX is a combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+), “Mix 96” is #1 for the third successive time. It shook off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. After being a combined +2.4 in November and December, KYMX was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Drifting from seventh to ninth, Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is without an increase for the sixth successive ratings period for a collective -2.4 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Returning two-thirds of the nine-tenths it has garnered the last two sweeps (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.5 – 3.9, -.6, 6+) drops from fifth to seventh. Off by four-tenths to 2.1 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB (flat at #17) ends at five its successive streak of up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “K-Love” more than doubled its 6+-share since November.

6) Salt Lake City – On the heels of a one-half share increase in March, Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” doubles it with a full-share gain in April (3.5 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), jumping from tenth to fifth. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since last July’s 5.3. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.3 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 – Salt Lake City’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+), dropping from fourth to sixth. Two adult contemporary facilities in the market fluctuate by six tenths: Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (6.3 – 6.9, +.6, steady at #2, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7” (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, #13 to #15, 6+). “FM 100.3” is bouncing back from a massive -1.7 in March. Following three straight sweeps at #1, it shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. The six-tenths loss by “B-98.7” ends three consecutive uptrends for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+). In addition to KSFI, news/talk sibling KSL improves by six-tenths (6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and repeats at #1. Recent KSL shifts include +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January); -2.1 (February) and now +.6 in April. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KNRS erodes by -1.5 to 4.1 (6+), pulling the plug on three consecutive gains that netted a +1.8 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+); KNRS shifts from fifth to ninth. Powered by four straight upward moves, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by +2.6 (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and jumps from sixth in March to third. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Decreasing by one-half share each are Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #17, 6+) and KLO’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.6 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+). “U-92” is within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 11th straight time.

7) Las Vegas – At this time last month, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KKLZ (then in fifth-place) trailed the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” – by 3.4 shares (6+). The lead is now just over one full-share, as KKLZ hangs out a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+) and leaps to #2. Sputtering by approximately the same margin following a gigantic +1.8 in March (8.6 – 7.5, -1.1, 6+), “Sunny” is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. This is the best 6+showing for KKLZ since December’s 6.6. Making leaps of eight-tenths each are Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+) and cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (eighth to seventh, 6+). “The Point” logged a 4.3 (6+) in three of the past five sweeps (4.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), while KOMP is without a decrease for the fourth time in a row for a +1.6 (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+). Having been up in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio-owned KLUC forfeits more than half that gain (4.5, -1.0, 6+) and spirals from second to eighth. Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). The wild ride continues for Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF: Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), it rolled out a +1.2 in January, but followed with a -1.6 in February; -.6 in March; and now a -.5 in April (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), plummeting from #14 to #19.

8) Cincinnati – Boasting the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has thus far been released, iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” dusts itself off from a combined -1.2 in February and March (8.4 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.3 (6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, the Cincinnati Reds flagship registers its finest 6+-showing since last June’s 10.8. Once practically a formality to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+) – it hasn’t been on top since August. March’s 7.2 was the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. It is now two-tenths behind Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR, which has its own bounce back, posting a full-share gain after a -.7 in March (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). It has been #1 every month this calendar year and prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR marched from second to first. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), WUBE “B-105” answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrendered six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). In yet another rebound situation, the Hubbard country outlet jumps by eight-tenths to 7.8 – its best 6+-stat since last November’s 7.9 – and remains in third-place. Off by a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.0, advancing from #13 to #11.

9) Orlando – Going back to December, the 6+-line for iHeartMedia’s WJRR has been 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. With a one-half share increase in April though, “Orlando’s Rock Station” matches November’s 4.2 and enters the top ten (3.7 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+). For the past 17 ratings periods, co-owned WFLF has been exclusively within one-share territory, but owing to April’s +.7, the news/talk outlet reaches 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+). Still in that iHM cluster, not only is Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” on top for the fourth consecutive month, it adds two-tenths to the +.9 in March (11.7 – 12.6 – 12.8, 6+) as it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.8 eclipses by two-tenths the previous record (12.6, 6+), which – of course – was set this time last month. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. A very patient, steady climb continues for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (flat at #15) as it progresses for the fifth straight time – with each gain (ironically) being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Trailing “Rumba” by nearly three full-shares is its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the fourth consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). In that stretch, “XL-106.7” is a collective +2.7, easily erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 31st straight time (2.2 – 2.5, +.3, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE remains at #14. Inching up from #19 to #18, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to five its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). After being without a decrease in each of the past four sweeps for an overall +1.1 (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” drops one-half share to 5.5, but carries on in sixth-place.

10) Cleveland – Trending 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “Cleveland’s Rock Station” hauls out a +1.1 to 6.2 (its best 6+-share since November’s 6.5) to march from tenth to seventh. Much is made, of course, about the Chicago Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but many forget the Indians actually took them to seven games and nearly captured the Series. After being locked on 6.1 (6+) in February and March, the team’s flagship – iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM – improves by nine-tenths to 7.0, climbing from seventh to sixth. Tacking on eight-tenths to the one-half share it picked up in March (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” not only advances from fourth to third, it is just three-tenths from the top spot. A gain of two-tenths (8.2 – 8.4, 6+) enables iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). It has been #1 each month this calendar year. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. For 30 straight ratings periods, Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF had a 6+-share below a one-share, but in February, it ballooned from .9 to 2.3 (6+) before dropping to 1.9 (6+) in March. Off in April by seven-tenths to 1.2 (6+), “Moody Radio” moves from #14 to #15. After notching a +.4 in March, CBS Radio-owned WKRK surrenders six-tenths (4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains anchored at #12 for the 16th successive sweep. Behind it at #13 for the 13th time in a row is Ideastream’s WCPN (3.1 – 3.4, +.3, 6+). Prior to a -.2 in February, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Another MLB flagship enjoying a strong April is Entercom-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio.” The Royals’ key station ends a mini-slide (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) by hanging out a hefty +1.5 to 2.7 (6+) and returns to the top 20 (#16). Most notably victimized by its increase is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which follows March’s +.7 with a -1.1 (2.9 – 3.6 – 2.5, 6+) to drop from #15 to #18. WHB gained seven-tenths in January, before forfeiting one-half share in February. At this time last month, Cumulus Media siblings (classic rock) KCFX “The Fox” and classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” were locked in a first-place tie – each with a 7.5 (6+). That ends in April though as “The Fox” bounces back from a -.8 in March by busting out a full-share gain to 8.5 and is #1 for the fourth straight time. Meanwhile, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is flat at 7.5 (6+) and segues to #2. Before its +1.0 in April, “The Fox” registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). On top from May through September and then in December, KCFX had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). Ending its 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (6+) sequence with a gain of six-tenths to 4.7, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” progresses from tenth to seventh (6+). Via three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” was a collective +2.1, but is off by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), shifting from third to fifth. “Country 94.1” entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Entercom-owned, similarly-formatted WDAF-FM “106.5 The Wolf” improves by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and enters the top 10 (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+). Posting its fourth straight improvement for a nearly two-share cumulative gain (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from fifth to fourth. When KMBZ-FM dropped three-tenths in March, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In April, the Entercom news/talk outlet sputters by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) to slip from sixth to ninth. Down by six-tenths as well is University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR (#13 to #15), which is without an increase for the third successive time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) for a -.8. As the result of six straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” has eroded by more than three full-shares and slides from eighth to tenth.

12) Columbus – Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (8.9 – 9.4, steady at #2, 6+) and Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (6.1 – 6.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Ironically, both faltered by nine-tenths in March. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. The +.5 in April by “Sunny” pulls the plug on three successive negative moves which accounted for a -2.6 (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). After regaining the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” in March, WCOL not only repeats but adds four-tenths (10.1 – 10.5, 6+). The country property was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Ohio State University’s WOSU, down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, unchanged at #11, 6+) and Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B,” also off for the third successive sweep (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7, flat at #12, 6+). Unlisted for the fourth straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

| May 17, 2017

TALKERS Magazine’s 2017 Heavy Hundred to Be Published on May 22.  This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – will be published by TALKERS magazine on Monday, May 22.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred is compiled by the editors of TALKERS and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As we put the finishing touches on this year’s Heavy Hundred, we’re reminded how difficult it is – not only to select the 100 most important talk show hosts – but also of the challenge in ranking these fine radio talk show hosts.  A small number of these hosts have been on the list since is debuted, but there are a number of fresh faces that reflect the changing face of the talk radio industry.”

O’Reilly to Make Regular Appearances on Beck’s Program.  Former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly told his “No Spin News” podcast listeners that he’ll be doing regular Friday appearances on Glenn Beck’s nationally syndicated radio show.  Beck and O’Reilly are friends from the days when both worked at Fox News Channel.  The Hill notes that after Beck was ousted from FNC, O’Reilly had Beck on his “The O’Reilly Factor” program as a regular guest.

KFBK, Sacramento Host Drops Out of Police Investigation After Racial Comments.  Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness hosts a daily hour-long show at 3:00 pm on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Recently, he’d been asked by the Davis Police Department to participate as a non-biased third party in an internal investigation into the actions of some of its police officers in an altercation with three black men who were arrested.  But now, McGinness has voluntarily left the investigation after stating on his radio show that African Americans were becoming more prosperous prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a comment that was interpreted to be insensitive to Black Americans.   He cited statistics indicating teen pregnancies, poverty and dependency were declining prior to the Act’s passage.  Read the FOX 40 story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston pubcaster WGBH announces that former crosstown WBZ-AM anchor Joe Mathieu is joining the station to serve as the local anchor for NPR’s “Morning Edition” program.  Mathieu exited the CBS RADIO all-news station last month.  At WGBH, he takes over for Bob Seay, who transitions to a writer/reporter role…..This Saturday, SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.  SiriusXM has a content deal with Horse Racing Radio Network to air the Triple Crown races in addition to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano on ‘The Fox News Specialists.’ WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (left) is pictured here with the hosts of Fox News Channel’s 5:00 pm ET program “The Fox News Specialists” during his recent guest appearance on the program.  From left to right are: Giordano, Eboni K. Williams, Eric Bolling, Katherine Timpf, and guest Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Trump’s Comey Firing Aftermath, Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, DNC Plans ‘Resistance Summer,’ North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Seth Rich Murder Case Controversy, ‘WannaCry’ Malware Attack, Chelsea Manning to Leave Prison, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16).  The aftermath of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and new reports of Comey’s revealing memos about his meetings with the president; the allegations that President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian officials; the news of the Democratic National Committee’s plans for a “Resistance Summer” tour; North Korea’s latest missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the controversial speculation that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks; the search for the source of the recent “WannaCry” malware attack; convicted WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning to leave prison; and MLB, 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. A major change in the urban radio scene in Chicago as Crawford Broadcasting decides to replace market staple Tom Joyner on its urban AC WSRB with current afternoon personality Mike Love, effective June 5.  The Reach Media nationally syndicated Joyner was first heard in the market in the 1970s on WVON.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has more on the story here…..“Big Dog” Dave Sherbert is putting the wraps on a 40-plus year radio career in Northern Michigan radio when he retires from Blarney Stone Broadcasting’s rock WQON, Grayling, Michigan “Q100”on Friday (5/19).  About his retirement, Sherbert says, “It’s time.  This [local radio] has become a young person’s thing – especially at a rock station.  And besides, I want to enjoy the next 20 years or so.”…..Entercom announces that San Diego alternative rock KBZT “FM949” is joining the company’s KNRK, Portland “94.7 FM” and Seattle rock stations KISW and KNDD “107.7 The End” in the ongoing partnership with Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.  Since the beginning of the partnership in 2015, Entercom Portland and Entercom Seattle have raised more than $200,000 for the foundation by contributing a portion of the ticket sales from their annual marquee concerts to the cause.  The Vitalogy Foundation is a public, non-profit organization founded in 2006 that supports the efforts of non-profit organizations focused on community health, the environment, arts & education and social change…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Jason “Hawk” Borage, afternoon personality and production director at iHeartMedia’s Macon, Georgia classic rock WQBZ “Q106.3.”  Borage died last Saturday (5/13) at age 35 after a battle with cancer.  He leaves behind wife Jennifer and daughter Bethany.

 

 

Round Two of April PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of data from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Apparently tired of posting a 5.7 (6+) as it did in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), WHUR busts out a full-share increase to 7.0, its most potent 6+-share since November 2014 (7.0, as well); the Howard University urban AC remains in third-place. Format rival WMMJ “Majic 102.3” posts a March 2017 – April 2017 increase exactly half that size, and in doing so, regains the half-share it squandered in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), as the Radio One urban AC advances from sixth to fourth. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak concluded in March. In addition to “Majic”, improving by one-half share as well (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) is Columbia Union College contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Always Encouraging Christian Music Radio,” which enters the top ten (#14 to #9). This is its best 6+-stat in just over one year (3.9, 6+, March 2016). Bouncing back from February’s one-half share loss with a March gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+), CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” tacks on another six-tenths to 2.8 (6+), with the Washington Nationals’ flagship climbing from #17 to #15. Its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+), does not appear in print for the fourth straight month. Albeit a combined -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is the market leader for the fourth consecutive time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+). February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. As was the case in January, February, and March – WTOP holds down the runner-up slot, but the Hubbard all-news operation regresses by eight-tenths (9-.9 – 9.1, 6+). Not only is this the third straight downward trend for WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) – off a combined full-share in that stretch – the CBS Radio hot AC drops out of the top ten (#8 to #14). Four-tenths behind “Fresh” is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WRQX “Mix 107.3,” which records a 2.8 for the third successive sweep (#16 to #15).

2) Boston – Off by six-tenths in each of the last two ratings periods (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom owned WEEI-FM continues on the six-tenths theme – but – this time it is a plus six-tenths, returning it to 4.8. The Boston Red Sox flagship surges from eighth to fifth. It overtakes WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” which is without an increase for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), and flat at #6. Up or flat for the fourth successive sweep netting four-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), its CHR sibling WODS “Amp 103.3” continues at #13, while format rival – iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” progresses from fourth to second by adding four-tenths to March’s +.1 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1, 6+). No sooner did WROR post a gain of eight-tenths to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, “Boston’s Classic Hits” surrenders all of it (back to 7.8, 6+), but the Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies property is #1 for the fourth successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; and now -.8 in April. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). Trending 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+) since December, WGBH Educational Foundation’s WCRB “Classical Radio Boston” sputters by six-tenths to 2.0, its lowest 6+-share since its 1.9 last August to slump from #14 to #18. While unchanged at #12, CBS Radio hot AC WBMX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” drops two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) to snap at three its consecutive string of increases which yielded one-half share (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+). Slipping from #15 to #16, Entercom news/talk WRKO has lost a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, co-owned urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” is up or flat for the third consecutive time (.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and carries on at #20.

3) Miami – Extremely consistent since the “Holiday” 2016 report (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC erupts with a full-share improvement to 4.7 (6+), leaping from #12 all the way to #5. This is the strongest 6+-performance for “Hits 97.3” since its 4.9 last September. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up or flat for the fourth straight sweep for an overall gain of one-half share (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) to cruise from #11 to #8; “Y-100” has its best 6+-stat since December 2015 (4.1, as well). Although down three-tenths (7.3 – 7.0, 6+) after March’s +.5, Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” repeats at #1. Prior to the April sweep, “Amor” recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven ratings periods. A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “El Zol 106.7” out of the top ten (#9 to #13). A collective +1.1 since January, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” forfeits one-half share to 6.7 (6+), but remains in the runner-up slot. In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Adult contemporary sibling WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (third to fourth) has its sixth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+) for a combined -1.4, directly following a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. One-tenth ahead of “Easy” – and bumping up from fourth to third – is Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM,” which gains three-tenths (5.6 – 5.9, 6+), after spiraling by a full-share in March. The 5.6 in March took “Lite” below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled WLYF to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); “Lite” was #1 from July 2016 through October.

4) Detroit – Locked on 4.4 (6+) in February and March (after January’s 4.3, 6+), CBS Radio sports-formatted WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” hangs out a hefty +1.9 to 6.3 (6+) as the Detroit Tigers’ flagship roars from ninth to second with its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.5. It is now just two-tenths behind cluster-mate WWJ, which surrenders in its entirety the nine-tenths it gained in March (6.5 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+). Nonetheless, the all-news property is #1 for the fourth successive sweep. The 7.4 WWJ garnered in March marked the first time it crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Another Motor City spoken-word station eroding by nine-tenths March 2017 – April 2017 is WJR, which had been trending 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.6 (6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk facility now regresses to 4.7 (6+) to plummet from second to eighth. In the market’s country contest, CBS Radio-owned WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” improves by nearly two full-shares in four successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+) and progresses from fifth to third as part of a CBS Radio #1 – #2 – #3 – #4 finish. The last time “Detroit’s Country” reached the six-share level (6+) was in July 2014 (6.0, as well). On the other hand, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 since January, 6+) stumbles by one-half share to 2.9 (#15 to #16, 6+). Backing up to the CBS Radio cluster, the station at #4 in the aforementioned top four finish is classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 – Detroit’s Greatest Hits,” off by a collective full-share in three straight dips (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), and down from #2 in March. Following a January – February – March trending of 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” falters by one-half share to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+), its weakest 6+-showing since December 2014’s 4.7. Co-owned WRIF “Rocks Detroit” is -1.1 via three consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+) – yet actually moves up from seventh to sixth. Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Bell Media alternative CIMX “89-X” disappears from print in April.

5) Seattle –In the four most recent ratings periods, University of Washington-owned KUOW (unchanged at #2) is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); -1.1 (March); and now +.7 in April (5.6 – 6.3, 6+) for a net gain of one full-share. The other spoken-word outlet improving by seven-tenths is Bonneville sports outlet and Seattle Mariners’ flagship KIRO-AM (2.5 – 3.2, 6+), which zooms from #18 to #13 and having its best 6+-share since October’s 3.5. A one-tenth uptick in March by “710 ESPN Seattle” brought to a close five straight downward trends (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+) that resulted in a -1.1. Its news/talk sibling KIRO-FM, however, stumbles by one-half share for its third consecutive loss and an overall -1.4 in that period (5.7 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by KPLZ “Star 101.5” yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), but the Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC adds two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and progresses from #15 to #11. It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM,” which is down or flat for the third successive sweep (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Following three straight gains that netted one full-share (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), Hubbard’s mainstream CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” returns all by one-tenth (6.9, -.9, 6+) but finishes at #1 for the fourth consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. Remaining at #18, co-owned KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of a -.7 (4.0 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” exits the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+).

6) Phoenix – Having posted five straight declines for a loss of more than 50% of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” answers with a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+), advancing from #26 to #22. One-half share also represents the margin of improvement – and decline – for the market’s two FM country outlets. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” is +.5 (3.4 – 3.9, unchanged at #10, 6+), while CBS Radio-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is -.5 (4.6 – 4.1, fifth to eighth, 6+). Up a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), The Yucaipa Companies’ adult contemporary KOAI “The Oasis” cracks the top twenty (#20). Flat at #12, Hubbard’s KDKB “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” is up a combined eight-tenths via five straight (slightly) up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). It turns out to be one-and-done at #1 though for co-owned KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which drops four-tenths (6.5 – 6.1, 6+) and segues from the top spot to #2. When KSLX gained seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) in March and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ faltered by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), the impressive streak of KESZ being #1 for 30 successive ratings periods came to an end. Up four-tenths in April (6.2 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ returns to #1, after a one-month hiatus in the runner-up position. Following three straight gains netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (4.8, 6+) but remains in third-place. In a somewhat similar situation, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-Love” surrenders six-tenths after garnering one-half share in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+) and spirals out of the top twenty (#18 to #23).

7) Minneapolis – Not only does Northern Lights Broadcasting alternative KQGO register its fourth straight up or flat trend to nearly triple its 6+-stat (.6 – .7 -.7 – .7 – 1.7, 6+), it cracks the top twenty at #18. On the heels of displaying a one-half share increase in March (6.4 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” drops one-tenth, but manages to move from second to first. It is there that it dislodges Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety,” which had been #1 the past three months, but is now down for the third successive sweep (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+) and segues to #2. In January, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Flat at #12, format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – was +1.3 in January, only to follow with three consecutive negative trends that have produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). At this time last month, KNOW improved by seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+), but the American Public Media Group news/talk outlet hands it all back (5.8, -.7, 6+), dropping from #3 to a four-way logjam at #4. Included as well as part of that four-way tie for fourth-place is iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station,” which drops one-tenth (to 5.8, 6+), ending at three its string of upward moves (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) yet it actually moves up from #6 in March. Its format competitor – CBS Radio’s KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” – gains three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #13. In March, when University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM dropped two-tenths to 5.4 (6+), it halted three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+). Now, “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” erodes by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), sliding from eighth to tenth. February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for KTIS-FM since September’s 5.8.

8) San Diego – One-share separates rankers two through nine. Powered by an increase of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO leaps from eighth to second. Down by one-tenth in each of the last two sweeps (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Local Media San Diego-programmed alternative XTRA “91-X” responds with a +.7 as well (2.0 – 2.7, 6+) to advance from #20 to #15, notching its highest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.7, May 2015). Seven-tenths also proves to be lucky for Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” which improves by that margin (5.3 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does “Sunny” have its most potent 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, it marches from second to first. It had been within 5.1 – 5.9 range (6+) the past 11 sweeps and is #1 for the first time since December. Ousted from the penthouse after just one month is iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+), which slides to #3. It broke out of February’s three-way tie at #2 to grab the lead in March. Earlier this year, after it spent one month at #1, “Channel 93-3” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Having registered an improvement of six-tenths in March to regain what was lost in a mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), Local Media San Diego-programmed CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” surrenders one full-share (4.5 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. Off by six-tenths (3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” dips from #11 to #12. This is the 18th straight time iHeartMedia’s KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” is within three-share range (3.6 – 3.4, -.2, #12 to #11, 6+). In three straight declines, Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” has lost one full-share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.7, 6+) and falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21). After tripling its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishing steady at #22 in March, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” disappears from print.

9) Denver – Without an increase the past four sweeps for a -.8 (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA trots out a +1.2 to 4.7 as the Colorado Rockies’ flagship rockets from #14 to #6. Triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” registers its fifth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+) and inches up from sixth to fifth. This is its best 6+-showing since a 6.1 in September 2015. Up two-tenths to 6.4 (6+), Bonneville country outlet KYGO is #1 for the third straight time. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. The rollercoaster ride though continues for co-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” whose five most recent fluctuations are -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); and now -.5 in April (3.9 – 3.4, #11 to #16, 6+). A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). This past October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Falling by one-half share as well are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (#10 to #12+) and Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “Radio Superestrella” (2.9 – 2.4, #17 to #18, 6+). This is the third straight decline for “K-Love” for a -.7 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the third straight time accounting for a -1.6 (7.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” actually moves from fourth to third. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. Co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 17th successive sweep (3.5 – 3.7, +.2, #14 to #12, 6+).

10) Tampa – Over the course of four straight positive trends (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” is up by a collective two full-shares and marches from #10 to a three-way tie at #6. In another streak, Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone -Real, Raw, Radio” is +1.2 via four successive sweeps without a loss (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and continues at #16. Once again finishing in the runner-up slot is co-owned WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which has its fourth straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5 – 7.6, 6+) for a cumulative +1.2. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last reached the seven-share level (6+) roughly four and a half years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. Posting a +.2 (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” bounces back from March’s -1.0 and is on top for the 55th successive ratings period. The 8.7 it recorded in March was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” gains one-tenth to 4.0 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). Seven-tenths ahead of it is Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” (4.5 – 4.7 +.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). Following four straight gains that produced a +1.1 (.8 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), the HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WMTX erodes by nine-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #22). Trending 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.3 (6+), Radio Training Network noncommercial contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is off by one-half share to 3.8 as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the fourth straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6 – 1.5, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio,” which is steady at #19. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” loses two-tenths to 5.4 (6+), sliding from third to fourth. Its 5.6 in March was the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well).

11) Baltimore – Recording a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last five ratings periods (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio’s WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (seventh to fifth) trots out a +1.1 to 5.5, the best 6+-stat for the sports outlet since last October’s 6.5. Continuing its winning ways, iHeartMedia-owned WPOC logs its fourth consecutive positive trend (which included back-to-back increases of +1.2) that has netted a +3.3 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.4 –  8.0, 6+). The 8.0 (6+) in April matches what “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” (third to second) posted in September 2015. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. It trails market pacesetter – Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (8.6 – 8.3, -.3, 6+) – by three-tenths. “Magic” is on top for the fourth straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. After holding down the runner-up slot the past four ratings periods, urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ “Q-92 Jams” (7.7 – 7.5, -.2, 6+) shifts to third. Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, WERQ was down or flat since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+); February’s 7.3 was its lowest 6+-share since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. In the spoken-word arena, Your Public Radio Corp.-owned WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” (#14 in March to #10) improves by one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, 6+) and catches Hearst Stations news/talk WBAL, which regresses by twice that margin (3.2, -1.0,  6+); WBAL had been trending 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 (6+) and drops from eighth to tenth. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” flounders by a combined -1.6 in March and April (3.9 – 3.2 – 2.3, 6+) to slip from #12 to #14. On top in the Washington, D.C. report, (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” remains at #15 in Baltimore. It has a two-tenths decrease (1.4- 1.2, 6+) to curtail five consecutive sweeps without a decrease (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+). In a similar vein, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS – which more than doubled its 6+-share in Baltimore with five successive up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+) – is off by one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) and is unchanged at #16.

12) St. Louis – Baseball is back and that’s terrific news for CBS Radio’s KMOX. Over and above being the only outlet in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far to log a March 2017 – April 2017 increase of at least two full-shares (+2.2, 6+), the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship races from fifth to first. Moreover, the heritage news/talker has more than doubled its 6+-share in four straight increases (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2 – 8.4, 6+). In another streak of four successive trends without a loss, iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is a collective +1.4 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Keeping with the theme – although with a different ending – KSHE had been without a decrease the past four ratings periods netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). The Emmis rocker, however, surrenders the eight-tenths in its entirety (back to 6.5, 6+) and slips from second to third. The station KMOX dethroned at #1 is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU, which is actually up two-tenths (7.6 – 7.8, 6+) but assumes the runner-up slot after three successive sweeps on top. A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK (#10 to #11) has had four straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative loss of seven full-shares (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the fourth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation 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.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, 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.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it 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+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Monday, May 15, 2017

| May 15, 2017

WFAN Sells Studio Naming Rights for ‘Boomer & Carton’ to Investors Bank.  New York City sports talk WFAN enters into a multi-year partnership with Investors Bank under which the bank will become the exclusive studio naming rights partner of the station’s “Boomer & Carton” show.  Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings says, “As we look to expand our profile throughout the NY and NJ region, partnering with organizations that share our values is important to us.  Investors Bank is looking forward to a very strong relationship with WFAN and we’re excited about having the ‘Boomer & Carton’ show broadcast from the Investors Bank Studio at WFAN.”

Alpha Media Launches Peoria Sports Talker.  In Peoria, Alpha Media launches a sports talk outlet – the company’s seventh station in the market – branded “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  So far, the station features Fox Sports Radio programming including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Dan Patrick and Doug Gottlieb and promises more programming news soon.  It airs on WNGY-HD2 and translator W251BQ.

Brown Named Sales Manager for WPHT, Philadelphia. Coming over to CBS RADIO from his most recent position with Greater Media as group sales manager for the company’s Philadelphia stations prior to their acquisition by Beasley Broadcast Group is Jim Brown. He’ll serve as sales manager for news/talk WPHT.  Brown is a Philly native well acquainted with the market, having started his career as an account manager at KYW-TV in 1983.  VP/director of sales for CBS RADIO Philadelphia Dave Scopinich comments, “We’re so fortunate to add someone of Jim’s talent and experience to our sales management team.  Jim is a natural coach and leader.  He understands how to create multi-platform campaigns that deliver results for clients.  He’s a perfect fit at 1210 WPHT.”

Sean Hannity, Jim Rome and Robin Quivers Among Nominees for National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The voting for the National Radio Hall of Fame class of 2017 begins today (5/15).  There are 24 nominees in six categories.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  The other two categories will be voted on by the public, beginning June 5 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “As an industry, we should all be proud of our incredibly diverse community of talent who have made and continue to make radio great.  This year’s class of nominees is a fine representation of why millions of people connect to our medium on a daily basis.”  News/talk and sports talk radio nominees include: Sean Hannity; Jim Rome; Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic; the Fabulous Sports Babe Nanci Donnellan; Robin Quivers; Diane Rehm; KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel; SiriusXM’s Joe Madison; WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris & Tedd Webb; and public radio shows “Marketplace” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”  Inductees will be announced June 26.  The induction ceremony will be held November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.  See the full list of nominees here.

TALKERS News Notes. In New Hampshire, Great Eastern Radio agrees to sell three FMs to longtime Granite State broadcaster/engineer Dirk Nadon.  After FCC approval of the deal, he’ll take over the operation of sports talk WZEI, Meredith “Sportsradio 101.5,” sports talk WTPL, Hillsboro “The Pulse 107.7” and rock WLKZ, Wolfeboro “The Hawk 104.9.”  Nadon says, “I am very excited to return to ownership in New Hampshire radio which began when my father and I originally put on the air the 101.5 frequency that I am re-purchasing in this transaction.  I feel like it is a coming home for this station and for me.”  WZEI airs programming from the WEEI Sports Radio Network and Boston Red Sox baseball.  WTPL also carries Red Sox baseball along with local sports talk…..Salem Radio Network News is offering a five-part series on media bias to interested stations for free.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says the news series was produced by SRN News anchor Keith Peters and features comments from former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Tim Graham of the Washington, DC-based Media Research Center, and others.  He says stations wishing to incorporate this material into local talk shows or newscasts will receive scripts and audio clips that is also free of any reference to SRN News.  If interested, email Tradup at ttradup@srnradio.com…..Compass Media Networks announces it will offer 72 college and pro football broadcasts this fall.  The slate of NCAA and NFL games includes exclusive coverage of Oakland Raiders games and full national coverage of Dallas Cowboys games.  Compass is also announcing its commitment to play-by-play announcer Chris Carrino’s fight against Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by encouraging people to visit fightforchris.com and donate to the cause.

Reminder! AMC-8 Service Is Going Away.  From your friends at Westwood One comes this reminder that in 45 days, “radio stations around the country will lose all radio network programming from all major companies if they do not re-aim their satellites from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  On June 30, AMC-8 will no longer serve as the radio network “neighborhood,” and there will not be a suitable replacement satellite at the 139 degree position.  It has exceeded its design life and is not being replaced by an equivalent C-band satellite at the same location.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18.  This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies. For more information, click here.

TAB Radio Institute at University of Tennessee Begins Today. At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville today, more than 40 broadcast professionals will begin leading sessions for the 25 students accepted into the inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute.  The Radio Talent Institute is spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  TAB president Whit Adamson says of the 10-day program, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station. They have been exposed to all facets of a station and capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and prepared to add something.”  Sessions throughout the Institute will be led by broadcasters from Midwest Communications, Scripps Radio Group, 5 Star Radio, Cumulus, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Saga, iHeartMedia, Cromwell, Entercom, and others.  Vallie says, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award-winning college radio station, WUTK. And we couldn’t be happier to partner with Whit Adamson and the TAB, who have been supportive of the National Radio Talent System almost from the very beginning.”

Herskovitz: Emerging Trend in Radio Ads?  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz says we may be seeing the emergence of a new trend in radio advertising – the use of old, classic song snippets to hawk modern goods and services.  As Herskovitz notes, “The wide world of commercials is no different than any other segment of society.  It goes through its periods of fads and fashions.”  Although the radio ad jingle is not as popular as it used to be, and popular music songs have long been used in commercials, this trend involves a slightly different twist.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Fox News Radio’s Starnes Delivers Commencement Address.  Pictured above are Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes (right) and Toccoa Falls College president Dr. Robert Myers (left).  Starnes delivered the commencement address at the Toccoa Falls, Georgia school and was presented with the President’s Medallion in recognition of meritorious service.

Worldwide Cyber-Attack, Trump Threatens End of Press Briefings, Comey Firing Aftermath, North Korea Missile Test, ‘SNL’ Spicer-Trump Bit, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ransomware attack that’s affected more than 100 countries; President Donald Trump’s threat to end press briefings for the sake of “accuracy”; the political effects of the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and speculation about who will take his place; North Korea’s test of a long-range missile; the latest Sean Spicer-Donald Trump skit on “Saturday Night Live”; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action 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. The weekly “Country Club with Dee Jay Silver” show returns to Compass Media Networks.  The program airs Friday and Saturday nights and is currently heard on more than 60 country stations across the nation.  Dee Jay Silver says, “I am thrilled to rejoin Compass Media Networks.  This is where it all began for me a few years ago and I look forward to a long-term partnership.”  Compass is providing syndication and affiliate and ad sales…..Reach Media is launching a new weekend show called, appropriately, “The Weekend Blast” with co-hosts and hip hop legends Ed Lover and Monie Love.   Reach says that the two-hour show will “give listeners their hip hop culture fix with celebrity interviews, entertainment news and the best music for every generation.  It debuts on Saturday (5/20) in more than 15 markets including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas.

Commercial Fads and Fashions

| May 15, 2017

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President

 

BRADENTON, Fla. — The wide world of commercials is no different than any other segment of society.  It goes through its periods of fads and fashions.  “Way back when” it was the singing commercial or the jingle that led the way.  There even were actual companies that produced these jingles for you in general categories with a space open within them to insert the name of the local advertiser.  And, of course, some  of the  national sponsors had tunes created especially for them that took on a bit of a hit-song quality.  There are those among  you who may even remember “Pepsi Cola Hits the Spot!”

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Friday, May 12, 2017

| May 12, 2017

WKNR, Cleveland Cuts Sabrina Parr After She Accuses Browns Draft Pick of Substance Abuse. According to a story at Cleveland.com, part-time personality Sabrina Parr was let go by sports talk WKNR, Cleveland after her comments on “The Really Big Show” that implied Cleveland Browns draft pick Jabrill Peppers would fail with the team because of drug abuse issues.  Before the draft, Peppers tested positive for a “dilute sample” – too much water, not enough urine – which the NFL considers a failure because drinking lots of water can help beat a drug test, but it does not mean drugs were found in the sample.  “The Really Big Show” co-hosts Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer challenged Parr but she insisted Peppers is “on the Lean and the Molly” and “high out of his mind,” and wouldn’t back down.  Read the Cleveland.com story here.

Cumulus Announces Promotion, Contract Extension in Chicago.  Programming pro Troy Hanson rises to vice president, operations for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster in the Windy City that includes news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM, alternative WKQX, and rock WLUP-FM.  Hanson has been serving as PD for WKQX and is VP of programming, rock formats – positions he will maintain.  At the same time, the company announces that WLS-FM programmer Brian Thomas is given a multi-year contract extension.  Thomas also serves Cumulus as corporate program director for the country format and is VP, programming, classic hits.

Analysis: Moms & Media 2017. Radio consultant Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s webinar from Edison Research and Triton Digital, presented by Edison vice president Melissa DeCesare, titled, Moms & Media 2017.  The study was the result of interviews with 248 moms – defined as a woman with at least one child living at home – and explores their media habits.  As Cooke points out, moms are the Secretary of the (family) Treasury and that makes them desirable targets for marketers.  To see how the media habits of moms are evolving, check out the story here.

Trump’s Firing of Comey/Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 8-12.  The firing of FBI Director James Comey and the related investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S., followed by the controversial removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans 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.

The Fourth Annual Unite IE Conservative Conference in Riverside.  Pictured above are some of the participants in the recent KTIE, San Bernardino-produced Unite IE Conservative Conference – this year recognizing the first 100 days of the Trump Administration – at the Riverside Convention Center. From l-r are: Jen & Don show co-host Don Dix, Jen & Don show and KRLA/KTIE’s The Morning Answer co-host Jennifer Horn, Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollack, Salem Los Angeles GM Terry Fahy, Salem Radio Network hosts Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, and Hugh Hewitt.

TALKERS News Notes. On-demand audio creator DGital Media announces its partnership with “entrepreneur, online education guru and world class lacrosse champion” Paul Rabil to launch his “Suiting Up” podcast.  The program will consist of conversations with “many of the biggest names in sports, business and entertainment talking about how they create, balance and tackle the issues and opportunities of success on the field, in the board room and in the business world.”  New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and tennis great Venus Williams are among the first guests when it launches on May 15…..Spotify listeners can now hear CBS Radio News programs including “World News Roundup,” “Face the Nation,” “Tech Talk,” “The Takeout,” “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” and “CBS This Morning” on the service.  CBS Radio News general manager Constance Lloyd says, “CBS Radio News is committed to bringing our content to as many people as possible.  This agreement allows us to expand our reach to a whole new group of listeners who may not have considered listening to our podcasts previously.”…..At SiriusXM, two shows are added to the SiriusXM Progress channel.  “The Young Turks” – featuring Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian – will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET, following the new, three-hour Dean Obeidallah show.  Obeidallah previously hosted a one-hour program on the SiriusXM Insight channel…..Also at SiriusXM, CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, and bestselling author Laura Coates will begin hosting a live, two-hour talk show on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  This comes at the same time as SiriusXM announces that Karen Hunter, who is an award-winning journalist and hosts a SiriusXM program, is taking on an expanded role as a programming consultant to the Urban View channel.  Hunter will oversee the direction of the channel, “further positioning it as the radio home of diverse African American programming and elevating the national conversation to be reflective of the complexity of the African American community.”  Hunter states, “Laura Coates joins SiriusXM’s Urban View as we expand the channel’s range and add fresh voices to its already compelling talk programming.  Laura’s gift for translating complex issues and ideas, and demystifying legal issues, is remarkable and we can’t wait for her to engage with our growing family of listeners.”

Covering the Symetra Tour in Greenwood, South Carolina. WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and talk personality Anne Eller (right) is pictured here with 22-year-old Danish golfer Nanna Madsen (left) at the Symetra Tour at the Links of Stoney Point Golf Course.  Eller says the young golfer has already won one tournament on the tour and hopes this will be a launch into the LPGA.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On tonight’s edition of the Westwood One-syndicated Zach Sang show, recording star Miley Cyrus will sit in as guest host.  WW1 says in addition to talking with Sang’s crew and her fans, she’ll play her new single, “Malibu,” and talk about the record…..Also from Westwood One, the syndicator is celebrating the 30th anniversary of U2’s timeless fifth album, The Joshua Tree, by presenting a two-hour program airing this weekend on more than 100 radio stations.  KFOG, San Francisco personality Matt Pinfield (who also hosts the syndicated “2Hours with Matt Pinfield” program) interviewed U2’s Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. for the special…..Longtime New York and SiriusXM rock radio personality Dan Neer is launching his new website DanNeer.com.  He says, “After 40 years on radio, I am unshackled from restrictions and am creating a weekly podcast featuring the best new music I can find mixed in with other songs from various times and genres.  Podcast #27 is ready for your listening pleasure!  Also find my latest National Interview Shows like the new Paul McCartney interview, and coming soon, Roger Waters, as well as all past shows.”…..Spanish Broadcasting System announces that Donny Hudson is named general manager and vice president of SBS Miami, supervising all operations at WXDJ-FM “EL NUEVO ZOL 106.7FM,” WRMA-FM “RITMO 95.7FM,” WCMQ-FM “ZETA 92.3FM,” and the LaMusica app…..The Tom Kent Radio Network brings radio pro Harve Alan aboard to oversee its digital initiative.  Kent says, “Here’s a little secret just between us girls.  Other than our website and our request lines, we have never used social media.  We’ve purposely waited and studied our audience for the best ways to engage them.  Harve’s wealth of experience in this arena makes him uniquely qualified to deliver the results that will drive our digital presence into the stratosphere and beyond!  Also, did I mention…he’ really smart which doesn’t hurt.”

Moms & Media 2017

| May 12, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BOSTON — Again this year, just in time for Mother’s Day, Edison Research and Triton Digital update their “Moms & Media” study.  Edison VP Melissa DeCesare led Thursday’s webinar through survey data from 248 moms – women with at least one child living at home – interviewed for her company’s ongoing “Infinite Dial” study.

Because Mom is The Secretary of The (family) Treasury, this sample is of real interest to radio:

  • 66% interviewed were 35+
  • 53% work full-time, 14% are employed part time, 19% are homemakers.

What we have come to expect from Mom?

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

| May 11, 2017

Emmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Radio Revenue Down 6.6%.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation announced financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 28, 2017.  Radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $36.4 million from the same period in 2016 – a decrease of 6.6%.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, and excluding results from Los Angeles, Emmis’ fourth quarter radio revenue was down 4.8% in markets that were down 0.2%.  Austin and St. Louis outperformed their markets, with St. Louis up 10% in a market that was up 1%.  For the full year, radio revenue was $165.1 million, compared to $169.2 million in the prior year, a decrease of 2.4%.  During the fourth quarter, Emmis closed on the sale of its Terre Haute radio cluster and the sale of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Orange Coast magazines.  The company also issued pro forma results for WEPN, New York – leased to Disney’s ESPN – the Terre Haute stations, and KPWR, Los Angeles which is being sold to Meruelo Media.  The pro forma net revenue for those radio operations was $26.2 million in the fourth fiscal quarter (down 5.65% from Q4 last year) and was down just 1% for the full year on net revenue of $128.1 million.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “The decision to sell KPWR was an extremely difficult one to make, but it allows us to dramatically reduce our indebtedness, leading to much needed financial flexibility during challenging times for the U.S. radio business.  Our industry needs a catalyst and we remain convinced we have it in NextRadio.  The NextRadio-developed Dial Report, which provides robust data measurement and big data analytics for radio campaigns, has been a huge hit with advertisers and agencies since its introduction in January of this year.”

Saga Communications Leaves TV Biz; Buys Seven Radio Stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  This deal will deliver all of Saga’s television holdings – KAVU-TV, Victoria, Texas; KMOL-LD, KQZY-LP, KUNU-LP, KVTX-LP, KXTS-LD in Victoria; KVCT-TV, Victoria; KOAM-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas; and KFJX-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas – to Madison, Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million.  The same day Saga files the TV sale with the FCC and SEC, it announces it has entered into an agreement with Apex Broadcasting to buy eight stations and four translators in the Charleston and Hilton Head markets for $23 million.  The stations are country WCKN, hot AC WMXZ, urban contemporary WXST, adult hits WAVF, and Gospel WSPO-AM, and translators W261DG and W257BQ in the Charleston market, plus adult hits WVSC, classic hits WLHH, hot AC WALI, and translators W256CB and W293BZ in the Hilton Head/Savannah market.  Saga expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2017.

iHeartMedia Elevates Hudson to Area President, Names McNair to NOLA Market President Post.  Rising to area president for iHeartMedia’s Baton Rouge/New Orleans markets is Michael Hudson.  Concurrent with that is the addition of Steve McNair to the New Orleans cluster as market president.  The nine-station cluster includes news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT “FOX Sports 1280.”  McNair was previously regional sales manager at Titan Broadcasting’s KUBE-TV, Houston.  Prior to that, he served as the vice president of sales for CBS RADIO’s Houston operations.

WSKO, Syracuse Brings ‘Bud and the Manchild’ Back.  The Cumulus Media sports talk station is announcing that the “Bud and the Manchild Radio Show” will once again be heard on its airwaves starting May 30.  The independently produced show – co-hosted by retired Syracuse Post Standard sports columnist Bud Poliquin and Central New York radio and TV pro Jim “The Manchild” Lerch – will air on WSKO “The Score 1260” weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The program launched in 2002.  It exited WSKO in 2015 and, until recently, was heard on Galaxy Communications’ crosstown WTLA.  Jim Lerch states, “A change was needed to get the show back on track in terms of our core values.  Cumulus Media and ‘The Score 1260’ were great partners in the past and we are very excited to join forces with them again.  It was very tough leaving ‘The Score 1260’ in 2015, and we consider that decision a mistake.  We are thrilled to be working with Cumulus Media once again.”

Cantore Exits ‘Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  It was a short stint at Broadcast Company of the Americas sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for longtime San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore.  He joined the station early last month to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show on the station. He’d most recently been with Entercom’s alternative KBZT in mornings with co-host Steven Woods. He’d also worked at KPRI and alternative XETRA “91X.”  NBCSandiego.com reports the company is offering “no comment at this time.”

Trump Comey Firing Aftermath, Trump-Lavrov Meeting, W. Va. Capitol Police Arrest Reporter, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, New Orleans Confederate Statue Removals, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10). The aftermath of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey; President Trump meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov; the West Virginia Capitol Police arrest a reporter for asking questions of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; the Republican plan to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s allegations the U.S. tried to assassinate him; controversy over the removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Trump 100 Days Event Draws Full House in Sarasota. In the photo above, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher appears on the large video screen joining fellow SRN personality Larry Elder and local hosts at last night’s sold-out “Trump’s First 100 Days Event” in Sarasota, Florida.  The event was sponsored by Salem-owned stations WGUL-AM and WLSS-AM.  Gallagher told the crowd, “Sarasota is Trump Country and — unlike CNN and other cable networks — the audience loudly cheered the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.”

1010 WINS Anchor/Reporter Gene Michaels Loses Battle with Cancer.  Friends, family and co-workers are mourning the death of WINS, New York reporter and anchor Gene Michaels (Free) who died on Wednesday (5/10) at 60 after a long battle with cancer.  WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “I can’t think of a single person who crossed paths with Gene over his long and incredibly successful career who didn’t find him to be among the kindest, smartest, and gentlest of human beings.  Everything he touched, everyone he met, everything he did was better because of him.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter and to his entire family.”  Michaels started his career in 1978 at WEJL, Scranton.  He spent a decade at WALK, Long Island.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary San Francisco air personality Steven Seaweed is retiring from Cumulus Media’s KSAN “The Bone 107.7” on June 30, wrapping a 44-year, on-air career.  Seaweed – a Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer – started on the air at KLRB-FM, Carmel, California on New Year’s Eve, 1972.  He joined KSAN in 1978, but left when it flipped to country in 1980.  He served with KFAT-FM “The Wide Spot On the Dial,” KWSS-FM, KRQR-FM “The Rocker,” and KLLC-FM “Alice@97.3,” before rejoining KSAN in 1997.  Seaweed says, “Forty-four years ago, nobody wanted to work at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Except me!  I volunteered, got the job, and went on to have the most rewarding career in radio.  I have been so lucky all these years to have worked with the most incredible people at many legendary radio stations, and with the best radio listeners on the planet.  Thank you, everybody!”…..Beginning Monday, May 15, Cox Media Group’s CHR WSB-FM, Atlanta “B98.5” adds Drex Renner to the station’s morning show.  He joins Tad Lemire for “Tad & Drew Mornings.”  Renner previously led the “Drex, Cassidy and Tingle” show on Entercom’s crosstown hot AC WSTR “Star 94.”  Lemire has been with “B98.5” co-hosting mornings since February of 2016.  Kara Leigh will continue to serve as the producer and co-host for the new show, taking on a larger role and presenting a strong female voice…..At CHR KLUC, Las Vegas CBS RADIO announces midday personality Jon Que is inked to a contract extension and takes on the added duties of music director for KLUC and assistant program director and music director for 98.5 HD-2 “Da Shaka, Vegas’ Island and Reggae Station.”…..The syndicated “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” show announces the addition of three new affiliate stations: iHeartMedia’s Soft AC KTSM, El Paso “Sunny 99.9,” Little Engine Broadcasting’s classic hits WRBZ-AM/W238CE, Montgomery, Alabama, and Withers Radio’s KREZ, Cape Girardeau, Missouri “Soft Rock 104.7.”

Norway’s Switch to DAB

| May 10, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

NEW YORK — Imagine one afternoon you’re watching the daily press briefing from the White House and Press Secretary Sean Spicer responds to a question from a reporter by saying, “Our government has now mandated that all radio broadcasts will only be in digital, so all Americans who own cars will have to bring their car into the shop and get a new digital radio installed at their own expense if they still want to listen to radio.

Before you panic, this didn’t happen here.  However, Norwegian radio listeners are living through this scenario this year.

Read More

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

| May 10, 2017

iHeartMedia Names JoJo Turnbeaugh and Kelly Ransford to Posts at Colorado Operations.  Moving from the regional SVP of programming post at iHeartMedia’s Nevada/Central California region to the same position at the company’s Denver market is JoJo Turnbeaugh.  He’ll work with personalities and programmers at the company’s 26 stations in Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins markets.  iHeartMedia Denver region president Tim Hager says, “As a Denver native, JoJo has a great understanding of the legendary brands that encompass the Denver region and our greatest asset: the people who operate them.  A job of this scope comes with great responsibility and I know JoJo is the leader we need for this vital role.”  At the same time, the company officially welcomes Kelly Ransford to the Denver cluster as director of event marketing.  She’ll be responsible for spearheading the cluster’s multiple events throughout the year and will work closely with SVP of sales Ryan Clune on sponsorships and revenue opportunities.  She will also work with the stations’ programming departments to promote the market’s events on air and online.  She was most recently with CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT, Chicago as music director.  Her previous experience in marketing and planning includes time at KMTT-FM and KNDD-FM in Seattle and KFOG-FM, San Francisco, California.  She began her career in Denver at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA-AM/FM and rock KBCO-FM.

TALKERS Magazine’s 2017 Heavy Hundred to Be Published on May 23.  This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – will be published by TALKERS magazine on Monday, May 23.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred is compiled by the editors of TALKERS and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As we put the finishing touches on this year’s Heavy Hundred, we’re reminded how difficult it is – not only to select the 100 most important talk show hosts – but also of the challenge in ranking these fine radio talk show hosts.  A small number of these hosts have been on the list since its debut, but there are also a number of fresh faces that reflect the changing flavor of the talk radio industry.”

Joe Pags Show Hits 95 Affiliate Mark with KRLD-AM, Dallas Addition.  WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard in Dallas as CBS RADIO adds “The Joe Pags Show” for the evening daypart on KRLD-AM.  The addition to Joe Pags’ affiliate roster puts his program on in virtually every market in his home state of Texas and extends his list of affiliates to 95.  Pags states, “It is an absolute privilege to be a part of a station with so much heritage and a track record for being an industry leader in news and talk.  I’m thrilled to be on KRLD!”  Pagliarulo’s program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

McKay: Norway’s DAB TroublesTALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay visited Oslo, Norway this spring and witnessed first-hand how radio listening is being affected by that country’s mandated switch from AM/FM to DAB radio.  The problem, McKay reports, is the cost.  The Norse were told the country would adopt the DAB platform for radio in 2015 and it would be each citizen’s responsibility to acquire DAB radios for their homes and cars.  The trouble is that people tend to procrastinate and don’t like to spend several hundred dollars to replace the radios in their cars that work just fine.  Except that soon, they won’t work just fine.  Read McKay’s report here.

TALKERS News Notes. It its latest State of the Market Report for the first quarter of 2017, the New York Market RadioNYMRAD – notes that “radio listenership in New York is up 1.45% from December 2016 to January 2017 (this according to Triton Digital).”  The report also points out recent growth in the professional services and pharmaceuticals industries, suggesting they are prime candidates to benefit from radio campaigns, in part because “radio listeners trust the news that they hear on the radio.  Sixty-eight percent consider radio trustworthy, whereas only 25% of those who get their news on social media deem it to be trustworthy.  The majority, 88% of Republicans and 89%% of Democrats, believe it not likely that they will encounter fake news on local radio.  The trust in local radio benefits advertisers, as listeners will transfer that trust in their local radio station’s news reporting to their advertising.”  Read it here…..iHeartRadio and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global are launching the first episode of the “Thrive Global Podcast With iHeartRadio” all about health and well-being.  On the podcast, Arianna hosts one-on-one interviews with notable celebrities, athletes and influencers to discuss how they thrive and how listeners can enhance their own lives.  The premiere episode features a conversation with Jennifer Aniston.  Upcoming guests include Golden State Warriors star Andre Iguodala, business mogul Mark Cuban, and best-selling author Glennon Doyle Melton.

Trump Fires James Comey, Trump-Russia Connection Investigation, GOP Health Care Plan, More Troops to Afghanistan, North Korea Nuclear Program/Threats Against U.S., L.A. Declares Schools Sanctuaries, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9).  President Donald Trump fires FBI director James Comey; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents; the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own health care plan; the Trump Administration’s intent to increase U.S. troops in Afghanistan by as much as 5,000; ongoing speculation about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S. by Kim Jong Un; the Los Angeles public schools declare the schools sanctuaries; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Talk Host Dr. Asa to Co-Host New TV Show for Discovery Life.  Improving the lifestyles of people with diabetes is the goal of the new show co-hosted by nationally syndicated radio and TV personality Dr. Asa Andrew and celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The two have partnered to launch WellTent Media Group LLC, a joint venture designed to create health-based content that inspires true lifestyle transformations.  The two have both appeared frequently on various shows on FOX, NBC, ABC, and CNN with their insights toward improving lifestyle choices for people struggling with diabetes and chronic disease.  Their first project is titled, “Reversed,” that will air in July on the Discovery Life Channel.  The show is designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  It will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of five individuals living with diabetes as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with diabetes.  Dr. Asa says, “Better health begins with better choices.  ‘Reversed’ is about transforming the behavior of those fighting diabetes.  I am thrilled to partner with Charles Mattocks in WellTent Media, we share a common mission and this is just the beginning. In my years of coaching and clinical experience, our shows may just be the most powerful version of an inspirational office visit to those watching for empowering your health.”

Michael Harrison Interviews Legendary Stray Cats Drummer, Slim Jim Phantom on “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast. Back in the 1980s, a rock ‘n’ roll group comprised of three kids from Massapequa, Long Island called the Stray Cats set the international music world on fire with a sound that came to be known as “neo-rockabilly.” Their music and appearance was based on the authentic style of such 1950s artists as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran with a distinctly modern flare. The Stray Cats were comprised of lead guitarist Brian Setzer, bassist Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom (aka James McDonnell). They released multi-platinum albums and were embraced and befriended by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, as well as original punk heroes such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash… and even rock ‘n’ roll originators Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Now at 55, well-spoken Slim Jim Phantom, lives in Los Angeles, still plays drums, dabbles in radio, plays senior league softball, is a dad and has compiled his fascinating rock ‘n’ roll stories into a book titled A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2016). He joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (an old rocker himself) as the guest on this week’s informative and fun installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.” 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Detroit country outlet WYCD, CBS RADIO promotes afternoon drive co-host Holly Hutton, adding music director to her day-to-day responsibilities.  Hutton moved to WYCD from sister station classic hits WOMC in August of last year, taking over for the late Linda Lee on the afternoon show.  CBS RADIO VP of country Tim Roberts states, “Holly’s in-depth experience dealing with the music industry, as well as her understanding of programming has been evident from the beginning.  She lives, eats and breathes the country lifestyle.  Holly will be a great asset to the music and programming efforts of WYCD.”…..Cumulus Media agrees to a multi-year extension for KRBE, Houston evening host Tyler Frye.   He joined the station in April of 2015.  KRBE program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler made an immediate impact when we launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye on KRBE’ two years ago.  He understands there’s more to being a great personality than just doing an amazing show.  He has a unique ability to personally connect with our listeners through fantastic digital content and focuses on what’s happening today in Houston.  I look forward to another incredible two years of working with Tyler!”…..Air personality and programmer Shawn Williams exits the Cumulus New Orleans station group where she was morning host on alternative WZRH “106.1 The Underground” and afternoon jock on country WRKN “NASH FM 92.3,” as well as serving as assistant program director…..At the corporate level at Cox Media Group, Ashley Peterson is named the new senior director of human resources.

Tuesday, May 9, 2016

| May 9, 2017

Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.4%.  But this decrease was consistent with the guidance previously issued for the first quarter of 2017.  Townsquare Media reports its business in two segments – Local Marketing Solutions and Entertainment – with its radio stations included in the former category.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “2017 has started off well, with first quarter net revenue of $88.4 million, net loss of $3 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $10.1 million, in line with our expectations.  Our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which increased 1.2% over the prior year period, and 2.5% excluding the impact of political revenue, continues to show consistent, organic growth demonstrating the strength of our local products and services.  Our local digital offerings have been especially strong, and we believe we will see continued strength as we begin to utilize our first party data capabilities in combination with our digital platform.”  Townsquare also reports that it paid down $6.7 million against its long-term debt.

Radio One Officially Changes Company Name to Urban One.  On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the company’s initial public offering on May 5, Radio One, Inc. changes its name to Urban One, Inc.  In a press release, the company says, “Reflecting its longstanding, rich history as the most trusted source to inform, entertain and inspire the African-American community, Urban One will continue to provide culturally relevant integrated content through its iconic brands and platforms – TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.”  Chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III adds, “More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing Black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically.  Urban One’s mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country.”

TALKERS News Notes. WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Rich Stevens is off the air at the Alpha Media talk station as he battles a blood clot in his brain.  Stevens hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway has another triple shift today.  In addition to his regular WHO show and the morning drive program he hosts at iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk station WMT, Cedar Rapids, Conway is sitting in for San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on his nationally syndicated program…..The news/talk programming on United Broadcasting’s KTKK-AM and KBJA-AM – both licensed to Sandy, Utah (Salt Lake City market) – continues to be heard on KBJA and the company takes KTKK silent…..In the Chicago market, local media reporter Robert Feder writes that Memphis-based Pollack Broadcasting is buying Kovas Communications-owned WCGO, Evanston for $3 million.  Pollack purchased WRMN, Elgin and WBIG, Aurora last year.  Read Feder’s column here.

Vanity Fair and DGital Media Partner for Podcast Series.  A new podcast series is launching featuring Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton.  The program is a collaboration between Vanity Fair’s Hive and DGital Media.  Hive editor Jon Kelly says, “As we prepare to enter our second year at the Hive, the goal is all about expanding to new platforms and modes of storytelling.  So creating a podcast for Nick was an easy and obvious decision.  Audiences will appreciate his curiosity and cogent analysis of the bizarre, temple-scratching world in which we live.  And DGital Media was a no-brainer for a partner.  From Peter Kafka’s ‘Recode Media’ podcast to Crooked Media’s ‘Pod Save America,’ these guys are making some of the absolute best content anywhere.”

Yates’ Russia Testimony, GOP Health Care Plan, Kushner Family-China Investors Issue, North Korea Nuke Threats, French Presidential Election Aftermath, Trump Travel Ban Arguments, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  Former Attorney General Sally Yates’ Monday testimony about Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; the GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare and implement their own plan; controversy over the Kushner family’s business efforts to woo Chinese investors using the EB-5 visa program; North Korea’s nuclear program and the country’s threats against the U.S.; the aftermath of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election; the arguments in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over President Trump’s travel ban; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Brian Joyce Emcees ‘Scenic City Sing-Off.’  Pictured above with the contestants of the first annual “Scenic City Sing-Off” in Chattanooga is WGOW-FM midday talk host Brian Joyce (wearing vest), who emceed the event.  The competition benefits the Chattanooga Girls Choir which will be heading to New York City this summer to perform at Carnegie Hall.  The winning singer, Ivy Hall, won the grand prize of $1,000.  Joyce also hosts the afternoon drive program on Cumulus Media‘s WYAY-FM, Atlanta.

 

 

Emmis to Sell ‘Power 106’ in LA to Meruelo Group for $82.75 Million.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, as the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon, agreed to divest of $80 million of its radio assets.  That looks like it will be accomplished with the just-announced deal to sell stand-alone hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” to the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.  Meruelo will begin operating the station under an LMA following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.  Emmis chairman Jeff Smulyan states, “‘Power 106’ has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands.  The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.” Meruelo Media acquired KWHY-TV, Los Angeles in 2011 and radio station classic hip hop KDAY-FM, Los Angeles in 2014.  Meruelo Group chairman and CEO Alex Meruelo comments, “The acquisition of ‘Power 106’ is a game-changer for our group and our media division.  As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of ‘Power 106’ to this community.  We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.”  Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Phil Kukawinski is named program director at Times-Shamrock Communications’ alternative, taking over the recently departed Tom Ferguson.  Kukawinski was most recently midday personality, music director and APD at Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit…..At Max Broadcast Group’s rhythmic AC KJHM, Denver “Jammin’ 101.5,” Tracy Taylor is promoted to host of the midday show from her part-time/fill-in role…..Sales and management pro Josh Riley joins One Putt Broadcasting as general manager for the company’s six-station cluster that includes CHR KWDO “99.3 NOW FM,” triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5,” alternative KFRR “New Rock 104.1,” oldies KYNO, and sports talk KFIG. Riley previously served as director of sales for American General Media in Albuquerque…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting its Music Seminar – a music industry event that will “bring singers, songwirters, producers and record label executives to downtown Milwaukee to discuss how to succeed in the industry.”  The program will include two panel discussions: The New Way to Get in the Music Business, featuring Empire Distribution; and Music Marketing & Management.  A personal Listen & Critique session will be held for attendees to have music industry professionals listen to their music.  Industry professionals will provide feedback on ways to continuously improve their craft and insight on how to get the attention of labels as a professional artist.

Monday, May 8, 2017

| May 8, 2017

Entercom Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.4%.  Net revenue was $97.5 million – an increase of 1.4% over the same period in 2016 – for Entercom Communications for the first quarter of 2017.  The company reports that station expenses increased 5% to $75.4 million, and station operating income decreased 10% to $22.0 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says in a press release, “I am very pleased with our progress on all fronts as we continue to plan and prepare for our transformational merger with CBS Radio.  This will truly be a game-changing event for Entercom as we will achieve a number of scale-related benefits, including the ability to compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of advertising spending.  First quarter revenues increased 1.4%, down about 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. We experienced a highly unusual degree of large one-time only expenses during the quarter (including the return of a station license in Sacramento, CBS transaction costs and our CFO transition), that drove expenses significantly higher. Looking ahead to the completion of the merger with CBS, we expect synergies that will drive margin expansion.”

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Flat; Broadcast Revenue Dips 1.9%.  Both the broadcast revenue ($47.8 million, down 1.9%) and digital revenue ($10.7 million, down 2.9%) were in negative territory for Salem Media Group during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2016.  It was the