Category: Front Page News

Friday, February 15, 2019

| February 15, 2019

Cox Sells Majority Stake of News/Talk WHIO, Dayton, Two Music FMs, and TV and Newspaper Properties. The “buyer” here is Apollo Global Management which – according to a piece in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution – is acquiring a controlling interest in Cox Enterprises’ 14 television stations, its newspapers, and its three Dayton, Ohio radio stations.  Cox made no secret of the fact it was shopping its television assets, but bunching Dayton radio outlets news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO-FM, and rock WZLR-FM was not expected.  Cox will retain a minority stake in the new company.  Interestingly, Cox Media Group will continue ownership of the AJC, as well as its other radio stations and media outlets in other markets.  Why is Apollo interested in the Dayton radio stations?  The AJC writes, “The newspapers, radio stations, and WHIO-TV in Dayton share a unique business model that involve full integration of their operations.  Apollo plans to maintain the Cox Media management and operating structure within the new company, which has yet to be named.”

Newt Gingrich Podcast Launches on Westwood One. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Westwood One partner to create the “Newt’s World” weekly, original podcast.   The press release states that the program “will offer stories, conversations, and context on a different topic each week, from history to health, national security to science, and much more…’Newt’s World’ isn’t a podcast about politics; it’s a show that explores the past, present, and future to help listeners contextualize current events and important discoveries across all aspects of our society.  The inaugural episode of ‘Newt’s World’ features the father of our country, the man who led the first Americans to freedom, George Washington.”  Gingrich says, “I spend most of my time doing two things: learning and teaching.  I’m looking forward to bringing others on the journey with me to fully explore fascinating topics together.  Some weeks we’ll be talking about history, some weeks we’ll learn about the future, and others we’ll look at what is happening right now in culture, science, and events.  We live in an amazing world, and there’s an enormous amount to learn and share.”

Former Sports Talk Host Marty Tirrell Faces Fraud Charges. Former KXNO, Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell is being held in a Polk County, Iowa jail until space opens up at a residential release facility.  The 59-year-old is charged with six counts of fraud as federal prosecutors charge he swindled at least eight people out of $1.5 million. The allegations against Tirrell include that he sought investors for a business in which he would buy tickets to sporting events and sell them at a profit.  Prosecutors say initially Tirrell paid back his investors, but later began lying to them and used their money for personal expenses and to pay back other investors.  When they sought the promised return on their investment, Tirrell allegedly wrote checks he knew would bounce or provided them with false wire transfer information. See the Des Moines Register story here.

Gomez ‘American Grit’ Podcast Addresses Immigration Reform. Radio pro Joe Gomez is producing a podcast called ‘American Grit’ that he tells TALKERS magazine is dedicated to covering immigration reform and current events.  Gomez, who served as a radio reporter for iHeartRadio (KOA, Denver and KRTH, Houston), CBS, and NBC, hosts the program.  The podcast is available via iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.  Check it out here.

Border Wall Issue Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11-15. The battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related ruling by a judge that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators.  Coming in at #3 was the Green New Deal, tied with the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, followed by the Andrew McCabe CBS interview 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Names New Board and Directors. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces its 2019 National Board of Directors. New to the AWM board are Abby Greensfelder, co-founder & co-owner, Half Yard Productions; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC.  AWM/F board chair and president Christine Travaglini says, “We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”  Keisha Sutton James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, will serve as incoming chair, Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, will serve as treasurer. Josie Thomas, executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS Corporation, will serve as treasurer-elect, while Sarah Foss, senior vice president, strategic initiatives, Freewheel Advertisers at FreeWheel will serve as immediate past chair.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.; Jinny Laderer, president, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president of television, Litton Entertainment; Kelly DeLace Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Diane Schwartz, SVP and group publisher, Access Intelligence.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWMF: Anne Cowan, senior vice president, communications and marketing, CTAM; Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group; Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics.  At the same time the AWM/F announces that the 2019 call for entries for the annual Gracie Awards was the most successful in the program’s history. AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks adds, “The number and caliber of extraordinary programs and performances entered for the 2019 Gracie Awards is an unprecedented milestone for the AWM/F.  Gracies judges – women and more men than ever before – include executives and talent from across every form of media.  They have their work cut out for them in deciding the 2019 winners from this exceptional pool of nominees.”  The 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala will take place May 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will be held June 26, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” names husband-and-wife radio duo Chadd & Kristi (pictured) hosts of the station’s morning drive program, effective Monday (2/18).  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “As a husband and wife team, Chadd and Kristi will bring a unique perspective to our airwaves and we are excited to welcome them to ‘The Breeze.’  They are both full of energy and our listeners can look forward to hearing all of their entertaining relationship and family life stories every workday.” Chadd & Kristi come to Detroit from their most recent position at Beasley Media Group’s WPBB, Tampa (recently flipped from AC to classic rock)…..iHeartMedia’s WRVE-HD2/W260CH “Wild Country 99.9” enters in to an agreement with NASCAR to broadcast each Monster Energy Cup Series race, including the Daytona 500, FireKeepers Casino 400, and Food City 500.  “Wild Country 99.9” program director Terry O’Donnell says, “It’s an honor to be the new home for NASCAR in the Capital Region.  NASCAR is the #1 spectator sport in America and since so many of us are on the move, we can’t always catch the race on TV.  Now, listeners can hear the races live on their phone, smart speaker or in their car via iHeartRadio.”…..There’s a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast starring Mario Lopez titled “Listen To Mario” that launches today (2/15).  In its inaugural episode, Lopez sits down for a candid conversation with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (a.k.a. Zack Morris from “Saved By the Bell!”) in which they discuss their childhood hairstyles, reminisce about “Saved By The Bell,” and much more.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

| February 13, 2019

Westwood One: Podcast Ads ‘As Effective” as Television Ads. The results of a study by Westwood One and Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX) indicate that the podcast ads tested were comparable to the television and online ads for the same brands.  Some of the results of the study are presented in the WWO blog post here.  The study compared the podcast, TV, and online ads of five brands and discovered that podcast ads are “as effective at driving conversation and purchase as television ads.”  It also found that “live reads are incredibly impactful, but they have to be done correctly and ‘make the brand the hero of the story.’”

NuVoodoo: Smart Speaker Penetration Hits 43% Among 14-54 Demo. That figure comes from NuVoodoo Media Services’ latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of 3,084 respondents, ages 14-54, across all PPM markets.  The study found that “smart speaker penetration is even deeper among those likely to end up in a Nielsen sample.  Additionally, a prime placement for smart speakers is turning out to be the bedroom.  The bedroom used to be home turf for radio once upon a time because of the ubiquity of the clock radio, but clock radios are now about as common as rotary phones.  While listening to a favorite local FM station is a pretty common thing for smart speaker owners to try, the NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study shows that listening to digital pure-plays on smart speakers is gaining traction.”  For more of the results of the NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study, the company will hold a webinar on Tuesday, February 19 at 12:00 noon ET.  You can register at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.

KABZ, Little Rock Host Roger Scott Has Role in New Film. Sports talk radio morning personality Roger Scott – part of the “Show with No Name” on Signal Media’s KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” – has a role in a feature-length film shot in Arkansas titled, Antiquities.  A story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette explains that Scott is a longtime friend of Benton, Arkansas native Daniel Campbell, who is director of the film.  Scott had a role in the short version of Antiquities that won an award in 2009 at the Little Rock Film Festival and Campbell fought for him to have the role in the feature-length version.  The movie stars Academy Award-winning actress Mary Steenburgen, “Twilight” actress Ashley Greene, former “The Walking Dead” cast member Andrew J. West, “Friday Night Lights” actor Troy Hogan, Michael Gladis of “Mad Men,” and former “Saturday Night Live” regular Michaela Watkins.

At the Premiere of Run the Race. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) and University of Florida football great Tim Tebow (left) at the premiere of the faith-based film, Run the Race, in Hollywood on Tuesday night (2/12).  Tebow served as executive producer for the football-themed film that opens nationwide on February 22.

TALKERS News Notes.  WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo adds new affiliate stations as KFNN, Phoenix and WWBA, Tampa add the program to their air schedules…..Entercom’s adult hits WLND, Chattanooga “98.1 The Lake” signs a multi-platform deal with the minor league baseball club the Chattanooga Lookouts to serve as the flagship station for the team’s play-by-play broadcasts. As part of the deal, the games will also be available on the RADIO.COM app…..On Friday, April 12, the 11th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at Resorts Casino – Hotel Atlantic City.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning talk host Harry Hurley (right) says he’s pleased to announce that FOX News Radio and FOX News personality Todd Starnes (left) will serve as guest of honor and keynote speaker. Hurley says, “Todd is so generous with his time and his star power will make our event highly successful and directly benefit many worthy charities.  We will also be holding a private book signing for our guests with Todd.  Each guest will receive one of Todd’s books for him to autograph during our event meet-and-greet.”  Last year, FOX’s Brian Kilmeade assisted Hurley’s charity in raising $30,000 for the “Harry Hurley in the Morning Charity.”…..Pictured below is ABC NewsBrad Mielke (right) interviewing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for this week’s episode of ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast.

Maine Station Owner Dick Gleason Passes. The owner of Gleason Media Services – Dick Gleason – died on February 9 at the age of 71.  Gleason owned a pair of country stations – WOXO-AM/W245CQ, Norway and WOXO-FM, Mexico “The Ox”; hot AC WEZR-AM/FM/W288CW, Lewiston “Maine’s Big Z” and sports talk WTME-AM, Rumford.  Gleason got into the business in 1975 when he bought WOXO-AM.  See his obit in the Portland Press Herald here.

Border Wall Deal/Trump El Paso Rally, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, ‘El Chapo’ Convicted, ‘Green New Deal’ Criticism, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12). The border wall deal and President Trump’s related El Paso rally; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is found guilty; criticism of the controversial “Green New Deal” from Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Holiday 2018’s Top-Rated Stations. 2018’s December 6 to January 2 PPM ratings period for Nielsen Audio subscribers upset the monthly ratings sweeps once again, giving a lot of adult contemporary stations (and other music formatted stations that play Christmas music) their usual Holiday ratings spike.  In today’s report, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian lays out charts illustrating which stations were the big winners, as well as which formats and stations were adversely affected by the annual programming changes.  See it all here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime “Quiet Storm” host Freddie Cruz retires from his gig with WHQT, Miami “HOT 105” and the Cox Media Group station names Lenny Green the new host of the evening program…..Radio One Buffalo, LLC announces that Buffalo radio personality Dan Neaverth is moving from his Friday afternoon show at oldies WECK, Buffalo to Mondays where he’ll appear on the “Gail and Tom in the Morning” program from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, starting February 25.  The Friday show will be hosted by afternoon drive jock and programming VP Glenn Topolski.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Friday, February 8, 2019

| February 8, 2019

KFI’s Dr. Wendy Walsh Launches ‘Mating Matters’ Podcast. Psychologist and “relationship guru” Dr. Wendy Walsh – heard on KFI, Los Angeles on her Sunday afternoon radio program – is launching a new iHeartRadio original podcast called “Mating Matters,” beginning February 10.  Dr. Walsh – described as “obsessed with the science of love” – explores human behavior through a lens of reproduction, showing that even when people are not thinking about sex, ancient programming makes us respond to mating cues that impact just about every decision they make.  She states, “Let’s face it, we are wired to reproduce.  So powerful is this instinct that it has secretly embedded itself in almost every human behavior.  But we are so used to being human and hanging out with humans that most people can’t see it.  Listen to ‘Mating Matters’ podcast and you’ll understand yourself a little better.”

Westwood One Grabs Dennis Miller Podcast. Sales and syndication firm Westwood One adds “The Dennis Miller Option” podcast to its podcast network platform, effective February 12. Miller is already affiliated with Westwood One as it distributes his daily radio feature, “The Miller Minute,” to some 150 affiliate stations.  The company says that bringing his podcast into the fold allows it to offer marketers advertising in both programs.  WWO president Suzanne Grimes says, “Dennis is a legend, and we couldn’t be happier about representing more of his original, idiosyncratic commentary.  We’re ready to offer marketers broadcast and podcast access to this legendary personality.”

Higgins to Lead SummitMedia Omaha. At the Omaha cluster that includes sports talk KXSP “ESPN Omaha” and four music radio outlets, SummitMedia names Kathy Higgins president of SummitMedia Omaha. Higgins has spent 22 years in television and radio and was most recently leading sales and marketing for an Omaha IT software and consulting firm.  She says, “I am thrilled to be back home.  These stations and the team who make them possible hold a very dear part of my heart.  We look forward to continuing to improve our ability to entertain our audiences and deliver results for our clients.”

Craig Melvin Hosting BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Gala. This year’s Golden Mike Award Dinner and Ceremony to benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America will honor Nexstar Media Group founder, chairman, president and CEO Perry A. Sook on March 6 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  NBC News’ “TODAY” and MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin will serve as host for the evening that will feature a performance by country duo Sugarland.  Perry Sook has more than 38 years of professional experience in the broadcasting industry, covering all facets of the business.  He founded Nexstar in 1996 with one local television station in Scranton, Pennsylvania and began building the foundation of what is today one of the world’s leading local diversified media companies, with 174 stations reaching 100 markets and annual revenue in excess of $2.4 billion.  Previous recipients of the BFoA’s Golden Mike Award include: Emily Barr, David BarrettMichael Bloomberg, Bob Pittman, Gordon Smith, Jeff Smulyan, and more. For information, or to reserve a seat or table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org.

Trump’s State of the Union Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 4-8.  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Trump organization’s ties to Russia, Saudi Arabia and beyond, followed by the political battle over Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Post Super Bowl Media Thoughts.  Noted media consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Inspired by Super Bowl LIII, Harrison and Cooke engage in thoughtful conversation about the pace of modern life (offense versus defense), the state of commercials, the rise of streaming TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, boring music, deep fakes and more.  Check it out!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

The Epoch Times Providing News/Talk Radio with In-Depth Information and Interviews About Huawei.  The subject of the global impact of the giant Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei (pronounced wah-way) and the serious security threat it poses to the United States is back in the headlines.  The recent arrest of its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada is just a part of a story of significant importance to the larger subject of U.S.-Chinese relations and the escalation of tensions between the two nations.  As indicated in a recent TALKERS story, The Epoch Times, a highly regarded international newspaper launched in the early 2000s by Chinese Americans based in New York City, has taken a leadership role in providing information and insight into Chinese foreign and domestic policy uncensored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  Many U.S. talk show hosts have begun taking advantage of the resources provided by this unique news organization’s outreach to the American media.  Now, The Epoch Times has published a series of extremely informative articles updating the state of Huawei’s activities and the Meng Wanzhou case.  To access this valuable information please click here.  To book highly-informed guests from The Epoch Times on your show or to arrange for a media subscription to the newspaper, call Lisa W. at 917-521-6028 or email: lisaw@epochtimes.com.  To read the recent comprehensive TALKERS story about The Epoch Times, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom has parted ways with WBBM-FM morning personality Kevin “DreX” Buchar after 10 months leading the CHR morning program.  Co-hosts Gabe Ramirez and Nina Hajian will remain as co-hosts of the station’s AM show.  In an internal email, program director Todd Cavanah says, “During the past 10 months, Gabe and Nina have developed not only a friendship off the air but a great deal of chemistry with each other and the audience on air, at our bashes, their appearances and their social media platforms.  We see an enormous potential with both of these rising stars to achieve our goals on ‘B96’ for mornings.  Gabe and Nina will take over mornings immediately and we are confident that their engagement with each other and the listeners will be a huge success.”…..Sales and management pro Jessica Farias is promoted from her region VP of sales post with iHeartMedia Denver to market president for the company’s Colorado Springs station group.  iHeartMedia Denver president Tim Hager comments, “Over the years, I’ve marveled at Jessica’s ability to lead and motivate a winning team, to cultivate impactful relationships and elevate her department to unmatched heights.  I’m so proud of what Jess has accomplished.  I now have the privilege of watching her grow within our region and lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Colorado Springs.”…..Looks like the Grammys’ loss is Westwood One’s gain as singer Ariana Grande – who famously withdrew from performing at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards over conflicts with the producers – will appear on tonight’s Zach Sang show to preview her new album Thank You, Next.  Grande will appear with Sang for two hours of this evening’s program to play tracks from her new album and tell the stories behind the songs…..Alpha Media names Ricky Thomas program director for CHR WVBX, Fredericksburg, Virginia “Live 99.3.”  Alpha Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers says, “Ricky comes to us with a solid level of expertise in the CHR format and is a welcomed addition to ‘Live 99.3!’  His talent on and off the air are sure to bring new and exciting things to Alpha Media Fredericksburg.”…..On-air pro Steph Peters becomes part of the morning show on Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WWQM, Madison “Q106,” hosted by Jackson Jones.  Peters fills the role vacated by Andi Brooks who recently exited for a promotions position with Big Machine Label Group…..Pictured below is singer, songwriter and actor Jesse McCartney being unmasked in the Phoenix studios of the Johnjay and Rich show.  McCartney, in town as part of his Resolution Tour, agreed to don the costume for the show’s version of “The Masked Singer” in which he performed Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me.”  Show cast members Kyle and Suzette were tasked with trying to guess who was in the costume.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

| February 7, 2019

Midwest Communications Paying $21.6 Million for Peoria Stations. When broker KALIL & Co. announced the deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications on Tuesday, it did not include the price. Now that the contract is showing up in the FCC database, we know that Midwest will pay Alpha $21.6 million for the six-station cluster in the Peoria market that includes: news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM.

Media Exec Peter I. Morris Named CEO of PodcastOne. Media and business executive Peter I. Morris joins PodcastOne as chief executive officer in a new role in which he’ll manage all day-to-day operations while exploring growth opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new content initiatives.  He joins the management team led by executive chairman Norm Pattiz and president Kit Gray.  Morris comes to PodcastOne with 10-plus years of experience in senior management, business development, and business affairs across film, television, and digital media. He was most recently EVP of Barstool Sports.  He’s also served as EVP of entertainment at IMAX, and head of business affairs & strategy and general counsel at Funny or Die.  Morris says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of podcasts and a strong believer in the power of the fan communities this medium champions.  The opportunity to work with a legend like Norm Pattiz at PodcastOne, a market leader, is one I couldn’t pass up.  I look forward to leading PodcastOne’s evolution and next chapter of growth.”

Entercom’s Radio.com Strikes Deals with CNN and Bloomberg. This content sharing deal between Entercom and CNN and Blomberg Media provides for Entercom’s RADIO.com platform to air 10 live simulcasts of CNN and Bloomberg programs, in addition to making podcasts from Turner Podcast Network available on the platform.  Simulcast content will include: CNN International, CNN en Español, and HLN from CNN and Bloomberg Radio National as well as New York, D.C., Boston, Bay Area, and London editions.  Entercom chief digital officer JD Crowley says, “We are thrilled to welcome CNN and Bloomberg to RADIO.COM as we increase our premium content offerings.  Through our deep roster of industry-leading radio stations and premium live and on-demand content, RADIO.COM is quickly becoming an important part of the daily audio habit for the tens of millions of listeners we reach per month.  These agreements further cement RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content on a national scale.”

ABC News to Launch ‘The Investigation’ Podcast. Beginning next Tuesday (2/12), ABC News is tackling the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in podcast form.  The new podcast, “The Investigation,” is hosted by ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by senior executive producer Chris Vlasto.  ABC says it will provide a weekly, behind-the-scenes look at Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and will focus on the lead-up to the highly anticipated report and explore its aftermath, analyzing the potential fallout and political consequences.   ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “We’ve provided extensive coverage of the Mueller probe on our daily podcast ‘Start Here,’ but there’s so much more that Kyra Phillips and our investigative team can provide, that launching a dedicated podcast made spectacular sense.  ‘The Investigation’ will break news, offer context, and make our growing ABC Radio podcast network even more attractive for advertisers hoping to reach an informed and engaged audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Last Saturday evening, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM officially moved from its Idaho Ave studios in Northwest DC to its new studios on Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Check out the video of the station making the flip from the old studio to the new one here…..WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia announces a special Saturday program to address the political scandals affecting Democratic politicians that have the state in the national discussion.  WJFN is operated by conservative talk radio personality John Fredericks and he has been determined to broaden the conversation about Virginia politics by adding Democratic talk hosts to the program schedule.  This weekend, Democrat Susan Platt, who hosts the “Find Your Roar” hourly interview program Saturdays at 9:00 am and Democrat Gene Rossi, host of the “Gene Rossi Show” on Saturdays at 12:00 noon, will team up for a special, two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to address the scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring.  Fredericks says, “At WJFN, our mission is to provide listeners with timely updates, behind-the-scenes details, and clear analysis about the world of Virginia politics.  In the past week, Virginia has been rocked by three distinctive scandals related to race relations and sexual conduct.  These are serious and sensitive subjects involving prominent public officials.  Many Virginians are reeling from these revelations.  In such highly charged moments, we recognize our responsibility to accurately inform our listeners as they put these events into context.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT is losing the host of its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily program as Los Angeles-based Norman Goldman’s program will end in the near future. Goldman has told his listeners that the show will end because it is losing money and has “no more money to lose.”…..A new podcast called “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna” is launching on the LadyGang on PodcastOne Network.  The program features “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and musician Jenna Parris as Sigler, a working and traveling mother, and Parris, a stay-at-home mom and avid researcher, bring together their different perspectives and delve into parenthood with celebrity guests…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WERC, Birmingham is partnering with the Alliance of American Football club the Birmingham Iron to air all 10 of the team’s games.  The inaugural season of the new football league begins on Sunday (2/10).  Veteran broadcaster Thom Abraham serves as the play-by-play voice with former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson as the color commentator.

Trump-Russia Investigation, House Intel Committee Investigation, State of the Union Address, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren Native American Issue, AOC’s Green New Deal, Virginia’s Political Chaos, Border Wall Battle, Chicago Cubs Racism Troubles, Venezuela Unrest, James Brown Murder Allegation, and NBA Trade Deadline Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s expansion of his committee’s investigation into President Trump; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address; the Democrats intending to run for president in 2020 and the related story of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American; freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislative agenda; the issues of racism and an allegation of sexual assault dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, attorney general Mark Herring, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the racist emails associated with Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs; the political unrest in Venezuela; the allegation that both James Brown and the legendary performer’s wife were murdered; and the deals taking place at the NBA’s trade deadline 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 Atlanta, Cumulus Media names Corey Dylan co-host of the “Caddy & Corey” morning show on country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” alongside Cadillac Jack.  Dylan has worked in radio at hot AC WMTX, Tampa and news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  She most recently has been on television’s TMZ and HSN as a guest host.  WKHX program director Brian Thomas comments, “I feel so fortunate for Corey to join Cadillac Jack in mornings.  Her multi-media experience will create one of the best country shows in radio.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

| February 6, 2019

Forever Broadcasting Buys Delmarva’s Radio Assets for $18.5 Million. The acquisition of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10 radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic by Forever Broadcasting will, when consummated, mean the end of Delmarva’s radio business. Delmarva is a subsidiary of Steinman Communications and that company continues in the media business as publisher of LPN/Lancaster Online.  Forever Media will be getting news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, hot AC WSTW-FM and Gospel WFAI-AM in the Wilmington, Delaware market; country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland; classic hits WAVD-FM, Ocean Pines, Maryland; classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL-FM, and sports talk WYUS-AM in Milford, Delaware; and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Forever Media owns radio stations in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Talk Host Doc Thompson Killed in Jogging Accident. Talk radio host Doc Thompson, a.k.a., Michael Thompson, was killed on Tuesday (2/5) while jogging near railroad tracks in Haltom City, Texas.  The 50-year-old radio personality was hit by an Amtrak train.  Thompson was hosting his own digital “Daily MoJo 5.0” program. Previously, he’d worked for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as iHeartMedia’s WRVA, Richmond.  Thompson leaves behind his wife, Yuna, and three young children.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his family here.

Spotify to Acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor. As reported this morning by Variety and numerous other sources, music streaming giant Spotify is acquiring New York-based podcasting platform Gimlet Media for $230 million as it positions itself to become a major player in the podcasting industry.  The report indicates that Spotify also is acquiring Anchor FM Inc., a platform that assists in podcast creating, publishing, and monetization.  Spotify chief Daniel Ek says his company is in a merger and acquisition mode, seeking to spend up to $500 million on deals this year.  He’s quoted saying, “These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand.”  At the same time as it announced these deals, Spotify released fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data.  Although Spotify produced its first-ever quarterly operating profit of $107 million in Q4 of 2018, it expects to return to losses due to its M&A mode.  However, Spotify is reporting 96 million premium subscribers globally – an increase of 36% compared to 2017 figures.  It also saw its total monthly active users rise to 207 million during Q4, an increase of 29% over the same period in 2017.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch is delving into possible mysteries surrounding the arrest of former Trump campaign official Roger Stone.  Loesch interviewed Stone on her Radio America-syndicated talk show, discussing his indictment and the special counsel’s investigation, and he suggests the special counsel’s office may have tipped off CNN to his arrest.  Hear it here…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, sports media personality Barry Rozner is leaving the fill-in and weekend host position he’s held with sports talk WSCR “The Score” for the past 10 years.  Rozner was co-host of the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” with Joe Ostrowski.  In addition to fill-in work, Rozner continues to serve as a sports columnist for the suburban Daily Herald…..Public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco names Vinnee Tong managing editor, news.  In her new role, Tong will “help deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news on broadcast and digital platforms and work to increase representation of underrepresented voices and perspectives in KQED’s coverage.”  Tong has worked at KQED since 2011 in editor and producer roles.  Before working in public radio, she was a reporter at the Associated Press…..SAG-AFTRA is launching a new podcast hosted by president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White featuring in-depth interviews, industry insights, and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry.  New shows are released every other Tuesday…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend radio show with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate WLBR-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to its roster of stations…..SiriusXM is presenting a new audio documentary celebrating the Comedy Grammy Award category.  The show is timed to air in conjunction with this Sunday’s Grammy award show.  Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award,” that premieres Thursday (2/7) at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats…..The staff of iHeartMedia news/talk WOR, New York celebrated this week’s debut of the new evening program “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” with a lunch at the legendary Patsy’s Restaurant in Times Square.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, talk host Mark Simone, Concha, Wiehl, morning hosts Michael Riedel and Len Berman, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, and news director Joe Bartlett.

Report: Radio Digital Revenue Climbing Towards $1 Billion Mark. A report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates indicates that local radio stations brought in $804 million in digital ad revenue during 2018 and projections for 2019 are for an increase as high as $949 million.  The report – to be released to RAB members today – analyzes online ad revenue from 3,121 radio stations in addition to survey responses from 1,715 local radio buyers and a survey of 132 radio managers.  The data indicates that the average radio station earned more than $250,000 in digital revenue in 2018, an increase of 15% over 2017.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off. As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers, we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge-building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

Celebrating Super Bowl LIII.  In Boston, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” serves as the official flagship radio station of New England Patriots football.  So, at yesterday’s parade in downtown Boston, Beasley staff was on hand giving out “Never Gets Old” signs all along the parade route. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and WBZ-FM and national spoken word/esports format brand manager Mike Thomas.

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Warren ‘American Indian’ Controversy, Ralph Northam Controversy, North Korea Weapons Report, and Super Bowl LIII Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The State of the Union Address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the potential candidates for president in 2020; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Texas Bar registration card in which she identifies as American Indian; the racist photos in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook; the report indicating North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and selling weapons to other nations; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII 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. Programming pro Charley Connolly exits iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group where he programmed country WGAR and adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.”  Connolly had been with the cluster since 2010…..Condolences to the family and friends of Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport production director Chuck Edwards, who died on January 30 at age 49. Alpha notes Edwards started his career at “Surf 107-1” – currently WXYK, Gulfport.  He later moved on to rock WCPR where he was part of the morning show that became “The Cruise, Chuck and Rebecca Show” with Kevin Cruise and Rebecca Allen.  Edwards also served as the PA announcer of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Alpha Biloxi-Gulfport operations manager Kenny Vest says, “Chuck was one of the most talented production guys in the industry who could literally do it all.  He had such a wide variety of deliveries and was great at writing copy.  He also had the ability to turn on that booming voice that could get any crowd excited as he did at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans games for so many years.  Chuck was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Monday, February 4, 2019

| February 4, 2019

Jamie Allman Returns to St. Louis Air on Salem’s ‘The Answer.’ Former KFTK-FM morning talk host Jamie Allman will be back on the air in St. Louis after a 10-month absence when he assumes the morning talk show host position on Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380AM & 105.3FM The Answer.”  “Allman in the Morning” will launch on February 28.  He says, “I’m proud and super stoked to be joining a legendary broadcasting company. Salem always puts the listener first and we are a perfect match.  There is no bigger castle of common-sense conservatism in broadcasting.  I’m honored to inhabit a part of it with energy, insight, and entertainment.”  Allman and former employers Emmis Communications and Entercom were involved in a lengthy legal fight over Allman’s dismissal from KFTK-FM in the aftermath of this social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of 2018.  Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Salem St. Louis vice president and general manager Greg Lhamon says, “Jamie is a broadcasting legend in this market.  He’s bright, passionate, and asks tough questions when he interviews political leaders.  He’ll keep them on their toes, that’s for sure.  But his show is just plain fun, too.  We are thrilled to see him return to St. Louis radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Although 70% of the news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2018 survey to the Holiday survey, a relative handful saw modest increases, including iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach (+1.0).  Comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, four stations improved by a full share or better, led by Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+3.1).  No news/talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

Monday Memo: Say What?  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo about a number of bad habits and consistent errors that air personalities often make and that drive consultants (and programmers!) nuts.  Get Cooke’s thoughts on blue language, clichés, the benefit of forward momentum and more right here.

Chris Lavoie Named General Manager of SM Radio Productions. Former Stephanie Miller show executive producer Chris Lavoie is returning to the show as general manager of SM Radio Productions, parent company of “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Lavoie served as the radio talk show’s executive producer from 2004 to 2015.  He was public relations manager for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, California area for the past three years. Lavoie comments, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my longtime radio home and back into the arms of Mama.  I began working with Stephanie as her production coordinator back in 1997 at KABC-AM in Los Angeles and we have a long, 18-year history together.  I’m excited to return to the Stephanie Miller universe to help take the show and SM Radio Productions to the next level.”  SM Radio Productions co-founder Ron Hartenbaum adds, “Chris has been a valued member of The Stephanie Miller Show family for years and we are ecstatic that he is re- joining the team in this newly created general manager role.  He will be crucial in overseeing our exciting, soon-to-be-announced multimedia platform.”

WVON, Chicago’s Cliff Kelley to Leave PM Drive Role. Windy City radio personality Cliff Kelley will be leaving his afternoon drive host position at Midway Broadcasting’s urban talker WVON after his program on March 29.  The company says that Kelley – who has been with WVON for the past 25 years – will remain with the station as community ambassador and as the host of the independently produced “American Heroes” broadcast that airs Saturdays on WVON. He’ll also serve as a regular fill-in host.  Kelley has been the longest serving talk show host at the station since it switched to its all talk format in 1986.  He says, “I don’t want people to look at this as I am retiring.  I’m just rewiring.  There is plenty more work for me to do.”  WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski comments, “Cliff Kelley is one of Chicago’s most influential hosts and has been a trusted source of information for Chicago’s African-American Community for over three decades, forming a host/listener bond that is rarely seen in any market.”  Kelley’s replacement has not been announced.

Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers.  Longtime broadcaster and now college associate professor Donna L. Halper writes a special piece for TALKERS magazine that looks at some of the early African American talk show hosts who made inroads into the spoken-word end of the radio business during radio’s golden age.  Halper writes that at that time in the American radio business, “young black men and women who saw no chance to become announcers or newscasters went into print journalism instead, usually working for black newspapers.” But a few did buck that trend, including New Jersey and New York host Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell.  Read the entire piece here.

Jennifer Williams Promoted to VP of Digital Marketing for Beasley. Marketing pro Jennifer Williams is promoted to vice president of digital marketing for Beasley Media Group.  She has been serving with the company as director of interactive marketing.  In her new role, she’ll be responsible for marketing the company’s digital content platforms and leveraging data to drive traffic, audience engagement, and advertiser growth.  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Williams spent nearly 20 years with Greater Media, Inc where she worked as the director of digital marketing and was responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of the company’s 20 radio properties.  She joined the organization as the marketing director of WCSX-FM in 1997.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Jennifer’s programming background, combined with her digital knowledge, marketing expertise and can-do attitude, made her the perfect choice to lead Beasley Media Group’s digital marketing efforts as we continue to diversify and extend our brands into the multi-platform arena.”

Lorenzo Neal and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Renew. Former NFL star and current morning drive sports talk personality Lorenzo Neal signs a new, long-term contract with Entercom to continue co-hosting the morning drive “Joe, Lo, Dibs” program on KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” with fellow hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Lorenzo Neal continues to drive the San Francisco sports conversation every morning.  His experience as a professional athlete and gregarious personality translates to great radio for listeners of ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ and we look forward to this continued partnership.”  Neal spent 16 seasons in the NFL and he’s been a personality on KGMZ since 2014.

Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander Debut Midday Program on Townsquare’s ‘ESPN South Jersey.’  Former WPEN, Philadelphia “95.7 The Fanatic” personalities Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander are teaming up for a midday sports talk radio show on Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “97.3 ESPN South Jersey,” starting on April 1.  The program is being produced by JAKIB Media Partners and in a press release, Mayes says, “We are thrilled to be back on sports radio in Philadelphia and South Jersey on a powerful radio station that is a download away.  Our plan begins here with plans already to expand regionally before we launch an assault on the national sports radio market.”  The two partnered on a podcast called “Derailed” via WENJ that launched last fall.

Beasley Launches ‘FOX Sports Charlotte.’The new sports talker from Beasley Media Group is heard on three signals in the Charlotte market: WBCN-AM at 1660, W234BY at 94.7 FM, and the HD3 channel of WSOC-FM.  It launches today and carries the full FOX Sports Radio national lineup, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “We are thrilled to bring FOX Sports Radio to the Charlotte Market.  We’re giving sports fans another great option for compelling content in our community.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio personality Jon Weiner, a.k.a. “Stugotz” from ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” now has his own platform in the form of a new podcast called, “Stupodity.”  This is the second original offering from the newly formed Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network created by ESPN Podcasts.  “Stupodity” will be a weekly opportunity for Stugotz’s views on sports and life with visits from the people important to him both professionally and personally…..The University of Illinois and Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM partner to present play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball games – as well as the seasonal coaches’ shows – through the 2023-24 season.  The news, five-year agreement officially kicks off with the 2019 football season…..Westwood One was the official national radio partner of the NFL for the broadcast of last night’s Super Bowl LIII.  Pictured below is Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes (right) with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left).

Denver Sports Talk Personality Irv Brown Dies at 83.   Longtime Denver sports talk radio personality Irv Brown died on Sunday at age 83.  Brown retired from the business in April of 2016 after spending more than 40 years on the air.  He began as a sports reporter on KHOW, Denver in 1974.  For a portion of his career, he partnered with Joe Williams for “The Irv and Joe Show.”  Read Fox 31’s report here.

Ralph Northam Controversy, Border Wall Battle, State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist college yearbook photos; the ongoing battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa, Melanie Mineau joins the morning drive program as the new co-host of “The Morning Krewe with Marc and Melanie.”  Mineau has most recently been hosting her own, successful podcast.  Previously, she served as a co-host on the “Sarah, Ty & Mel Morning Show” on WRQX, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to be back in the building and to be working alongside so many talented people, some of whom are longtime friends.  I look forward to working with Marc and creating great content for the listeners of Tampa Bay.  I’m grateful to the Beasleys and Travis Daily for presenting me with this opportunity.  There is nothing better than hosting a morning show at a heritage station in your hometown!”…..Also from Beasley Media Group, WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert signs a multi-year contract extension to remain in his position with the station.  Robert joined the station in 1981 and has been hosting the midday show for more than 35 years.  Beasley rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR.  His warm, compassionate voice remains an important part of Philadelphia’s broadcast day.  A gifted interviewer and brand ambassador, he truly cares about the community he serves. We are so fortunate to have his talents grace the airwaves.”…..Jason Kidd exits Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington after a three-year stint hosting afternoon drive and serving as APD and music director…..In Wisconsin, Van McNeil joins Magnum Media’s country WVTY, Racine to host the early afternoon daypart.  McNeil comes to WVTY from his most recent position with WISN-TV, Milwaukee.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

| January 31, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The annual Holiday PPM survey is generally not kind to spoken-word formats and sports talk took a hit to the chin as just 26% of stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase and 62% went down.  However, comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, 57% of stations improved, led by Entercom’s WJFK-FM, Washington (+1.4) and WKRK, Cleveland (+1.2), and RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus (+1.1).  Two sports talk stations ranked in the top three in their respective markets during the Holiday 2018 survey – Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia at #2 with a 7.1 share and Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” at #3 with 5.6 share.  See the whole report here.

Cumulus Names Steve Finateri to Lead Detroit Cluster. Director of sales Steve Finateri is promoted to vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Detroit station group that includes heritage news/talker WJR, country WDRQ, CHR WDVD, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Finateri joined Cumulus in 2006 as national sales manager for WJR and transitioned to local sales manager for the station in 2008. Finateri says, “It’s a privilege and an honor to represent such an elite team of media professionals.  Our Cumulus Detroit radio stations reach over 1.6 million listeners weekly, delivering over 42% of Metro Detroit’s total population, even more when you include WJR’s booming regional signal that adds significant listenership throughout Michigan. Cumulus Detroit has Michigan’s most well-known and beloved radio personalities and is the home of the Detroit Lions Radio Network and flagship for Michigan State University football and basketball.  Those assets, coupled with Cumulus Media’s robust suite of sophisticated digital offerings, give us all the horsepower we need to be the one-stop shop for effective marketing campaigns for our customers who range from local businesses on up to Michigan’s largest companies.”

Kim Martinez Elevated to SVP/Market Manager for Entercom Portland.  Media sales pro Kim Martinez is named senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon station group that includes sports talk outlets KFXX “1080 The Fan” and KMTT “910 ESPN” plus seven music brands.  Martinez was most recently vice president of digital sales for the company.  She says, “It is such a great time to be in radio, the number one reach medium in the U.S. I’m looking forward to joining this team and to be associated with these incredible brands that make a positive impact on the Portland community every day.”

John Boehner No Fan of Talk Radio. Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the Caxambas Republican Club of Marco Island, Florida that the recent federal government shutdown was caused by Republicans in Congress who listen to talk radio.  According to a report in The Hill, Boehner was speaking to the group on Monday (1/28) when he called accused “talk radio  people” of influencing legislators – “goofballs on the right” – who agreed to President Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.  He went on to say, “When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio.  The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote ‘yes’ on anything.  They did the president a total disservice.”

SiriusXM 2018 Q4 Revenue Up 7%. Fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data for SiriusXM has been released and the satellite radio company announces it hit record revenue of $1.5 billion in Q4 and $5.8 billion for the year – increases of 7% and 6% respectively.  Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $251 million, compared to the loss of $37 million the company reported in Q4 of 2017.  Net income for 2018 was $1.2 billion, up from $648 million for all of 2017. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a strong finish to 2018, a year that saw our ninth consecutive year of one-million-plus net subscriber adds and our lowest full-year churn rate in the past decade.  We have set even more ambitious goals for the company to continue growing in 2019.  In addition, we were pleased that yesterday Pandora’s stockholders voted in favor of our proposed merger and expect to close the transaction shortly.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new iHeartRadio Original Podcast is launched titled, “Sore Losers,” featuring The Bobby Bones Show’s Lunchbox, Eddie, and RayPremiere Networks says the new show is part of Bobby Bones’ Nashville Podcast Network.  It’s a daily podcast featuring the trio of 30-something friends as they discuss all things sports.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Lunchbox, Eddie, and Ray give listeners a front-row seat to real, and often hilarious, conversations among friends who have at least one thing in common – their love of sports.  We’re excited to have this fun and relatable podcast as part of our entertaining and diverse roster of audio content.”…..Beasley Media Group adds the “TwistedPhilly” podcast to its bPod Studios platform.  The program was created and is hosted by Deana Marie in which she “uncovers bone-chilling tales of mischief, mayhem, and nefarious goings on in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.” The podcast has a growing listenership that has it rapidly approaching one million downloads to date…..TM Studios announces that Dave Bethell joins the company as creative director/new business development and Chris Stevens comes aboard as vice president, affiliate management.  The company says these moves “play into a new affiliation strategy for jingles at TM, where creative staff will be directly involved with clients from the beginning of the affiliation process.”  TM Studios general manager and vice president of creative Greg Clancy says, “Both of these guys truly understand the art of sung jingles and they know that jingles are the most effective branding tools on the radio.  These moves ensure that programmers are given VIP treatment in their search for the perfect sounds for their stations. Our creatives will be involved in every step of the process.”…..SiriusXM welcomes PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon to its PGA Tour Radio channel where he’ll debut his new show, “Just the Fax,” on February 4…..TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of Chuck Edwards, who died recently at age 49.  Edwards was the creative services director at Alpha Media’s Biloxi-Gulfport cluster and also served as the stadium voice of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trump Attacks Intel Chiefs, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midwest Record Cold, Virginia Abortion Bill Controversy, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Christie Book, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30). The criticism of U.S. military intelligence chiefs on North Korean and Iran by President Trump; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the record cold affecting much of the U.S. Midwest; the controversial Virginia late-term abortion bill; the candidates for president in 2020; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s new book, Let Me Finish; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former WARH, St. Louis “The Arch” morning personality Spencer Graves is joining Atlanta’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” to co-host mornings with current morning personality Kristen Gates.  Graves takes over for Jason Pullman, who recently exited “The Bull.”…..Programmer and music industry pro Willobee Carlan joins Colorado Public Radio’s triple A OpenAir format as program director. The format is currently heard on stations and translators in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and more than a dozen other signals across the state.  Carlan was most recently with Nevada Public Radio’s KVNV, Sun Valley, Nevada “NV89.”  CPR president and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Willobee as OpenAir’s next leader and begin a new chapter in the station’s ongoing development.  Music discovery is an essential part of the Colorado experience and likewise CPR’s service.  We’re confident Willobee’s experience and leadership will help elevate OpenAir and the distinct mix of new, independent and local music important to Colorado.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting launches a new classic rock station in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan market on WQLQ-HD2 and translator W239CJ branded as “95.7 The Lake.”  Director of programming and content Bill Gamble is quoted in a story by sister news/talk station WSJM-FM saying, “One of the things when we decided to put this radio station together is we didn’t want to make it like every other radio station across the country.  There’s 50 years-plus of great rock music and a lot of it doesn’t get played on the radio.”…..Starlite Broadcasting agrees to buy hot AC KLTG-FM, Corpus Christi and country KHLB-FM, Mason, Texas from Tejas Broadcasting for $600,000.  Media Services Group represented the seller.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

| January 30, 2019

Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee.  Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6.  He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis.  Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’  I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations.  I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.”  Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family.  His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”

FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12.  The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates.  Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11.  The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer.  iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’  When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.”  Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal.  I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience.  I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature.  The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program.  Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.”  Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago.  The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market.  His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend.  Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.”  Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo.  January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month.  Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.  For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000).  It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%.  Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year.  For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.

iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets.  At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets.  iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt.  Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton.  Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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 third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus.  Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February.  She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis.  Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show.  Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others.  Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City.  Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists.  It was crazy.  Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

| January 29, 2019

Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group.  In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources.  In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.”  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”

Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets.   iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company.  Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees.  I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.”  Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market.  The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled.  I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”

News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’”  WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.”  Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.

A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director.  Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities.   WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position.  He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years.  “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018.  In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup.  We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays.  With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”

Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72.  Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke.  The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL.  The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV.  After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM.  WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met.  He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia.  This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big TownLauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris JansonBobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes.  Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage.  He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year.  It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO.  Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships.  iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment.  I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah.  Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career.  He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years.  What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster.  What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion.  We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederMelissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show.  As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.

Monday, January 28, 2019

| January 28, 2019

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots. Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine about getting better results from endorsement spots done on talk radio.  He has some tips for avoiding copy mistakes that won’t help the advertiser, for eliminating the error of too much copy, and for zeroing in on the listeners’ needs. Read it here.

Entercom Names 2019 Format Captains.  The new format captains for Entercom Communications have been named for the year 2019.  These duties are assigned for one-year terms and are in addition to their existing roles. In the spoken-word realm, Mark Chernoff and Matt Nahagian are format captains for sports talk, Alan Furst holds that title for talk, and Ben Mevorak and Ken Charles are format captains for news.  The following are format captains for music formats: Chris Ebbot – classic hits; Jimmy Gonzalez – Spanish language; Michael Kaplan – alternative; Brian Kelly – CHR; Dave Richards – rock /classic rock; Tim Roberts – country; Reggie Rouse – urban; Jim Ryan and Nikki Nite – adult contemporary; Steve Salhany – hot AC.  Michael Martin continues his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives, overseeing all national artist bookings and routing efforts for the company, along with other music industry initiatives coming this year.

WRNL, Richmond Re-Brands; Adds ‘Sports Junkies’ for Morning Drive. Richmond, Virginia sports talk outlet WRNL-AM continues as an affiliate of FOX Sports Radio, but drops the name from its brand, changing to “Richmond Sports Radio 910 The Fan.”  As part of the change, the Entercom station adds the WJFK-FM, Washington-based “Sports Junkies” morning show to the program schedule.  Entercom Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “We’re delighted to welcome the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Richmond.  Their signature provocative and interesting take on sports, built over 20 years, will be a welcome addition to our stellar lineup that includes talented hosts like Wes McElroy.”   McElroy is the afternoon drive personality and he says, “I’m ecstatic and honored that Entercom has asked me to be part of their exciting new lineup.  After a dozen years on air in Virginia, this is home and there’s no other place I’d rather be.  I’m equally excited to welcome one of the best sports radio teams ‘The Junkies’ to the Richmond, Virginia area.”  The station also serves as the flagship station for the minor league baseball club the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Virginia Tech football and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lieberman to Lead Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities Operations. Sales and management pro Ryan Lieberman is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities, Washington station group that includes: news/talk KFLD-AM; country KORD-FM, hot AC KEYW-FM “98.3 The Key,” rock KXRX-FM, and CHR KOLW “Hot 97.5.” Lieberman previously served with both CBS RADIO and Emmis Communications. Townsquare regional vice president Kevin Godwin says, “Ryan brings nearly 20 years of media leadership and performance to Townsquare and, fortunately for us, the Tri-Cities opportunity is a perfect fit.  Ryan grew up in Washington and has family in and around Tri-Cities.  Ryan brings highly competitive experiences, a true sales focus and strong local community awareness and relationships to our Tri-Cities operation.  His dynamic background and skillset add strong leadership to a key market for Townsquare.”

Grady Exits Sports Talk WFNI, Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star reports on the exit from Emmis Communications sports talk WFNI “The Fan” of Michael Grady from the “Grady & Big Joe” late morning program.  Grady said good-bye to his listeners on Friday and noted that although he and the station negotiated to continue his employment with the station, it didn’t pan out.  The station is replacing him with Jeff Rickard for the new “Jeff & Big Joe” show.  The Indianapolis native told listeners, “You all have allowed me to live out a dream.  It’s been an honor and a privilege to talk, debate, and joke with you all these past eight years.”  In 2017, Grady moved to New York to serve as a courtside reporter for the Brooklyn Nets with the YES Network.  He continued to work the WFNI show from New York.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago sports radio figure Mike North is writing his autobiography with the assistance of his current business partner Aldo Gandia.  North, who rose from the hot dog vending business to becoming one of the founding personalities of WSCR “The Score,” tells Feder, “I’m doing this by writing 26 chapters.  Each begins with a letter of the alphabet.  So under ‘A,’ for instance, I will share a part of my life and connect it with the letter ‘A.’  Believe me, this book will be fun, it will be raw and it will be real.”…..Retired radio trade writer Tom Taylor is being honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the presentation of its Spirit of Broadcasting Award to him at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday, April 8.  Taylor retired in December after three decades in the trade biz including his own Tom Taylor NOW newsletter and stints with Radio-Info.com, M Street Journal/M Street Daily, and Inside Radio.

Trump Ends Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Venezuelan Crisis, ‘El Chapo’ Trial, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown ends as President Trump agrees to re-open it; the ongoing battle for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone; the Democratic candidates lining up to challenge Donald Trump in 2020; the political crisis in Venezuela as the U.S. recognizes Juan Guaido as leader over President Nicolas Maduro; the trial of Mexican drug lord Juaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019). It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way. Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Elizabeth Fazio Rises at Premiere Networks. In the span of six years, Elizabeth Fazio has risen from operations manager for Premiere Networks’ “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” to her new post as vice president of national talent engagement and events.  She reports to Premiere EVP of entertainment programming, Jennifer Leimgruber.  The company says that in this newly created position, Fazio will continue to work closely with Premiere’s national entertainment radio programs – including “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Brooke & Jubal,” to develop and coach producers and on-air talent, guide audience research projects, identify and help create digital/social content, and increase engagement.  She’ll also manage affiliate talent endorsements and evaluate show performance and listener engagement while serving as broadcast talent manager and talent producer for the live radio broadcasts of iHeartMedia’s events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego media personality Meryl Klemow is joining Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM as a cast member of “The Cantore Show” with host Chris Cantore.  The station notes that she is currently the co-host of the podcasts “Campfire Sht Show” and “What’s Good” on the ListenSD platform.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Meryl lights up the room when she walks into it.  I know that her loveable and hilarious personality will similarly light up the airwaves every morning too!  Chris and Meryl are long-time friends, so they already have natural chemistry.  I’m excited to have her join our 100.7 San Diego family.”…..Station owner Bob Kieve is taking classic country KLIV-AM, San Jose dark after attempts to sell the signal brought in only one lowball offer.  Kieve is selling his company’s sister station, country KRTY-FM.  KLIV-AM has been located at the same site since it first went on the air in 1946…..Benztown and The National Radio Talent System, the system of Radio Talent Institutes across America, announce the launch of the Benztown Mentorship Program that offers one-to-one mentoring to select students accepted into The Radio Talent Institutes.  The program’s first quarter mentee is Susquehanna University student Carly Rogers, who will be personally mentored by WRQX, Washington “Mix 107.3” morning personality Jack Diamond this month through March…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Westwood One mainstream country format personality Scott Simon, a.k.a. Scott Smith, who died suddenly on January 25.  Simon had worked at the company’s 24/7 formats division since October 2017.  Country programming VP George King says, “All of us at Westwood One are very saddened about the news and our hearts are with his family. Scott was an incredible jock and just a great person.  He will be missed.”…..Pictured below is country artist Scotty McCreery (center) in the studios at the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli morning show with Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).  Bentli talked about how a kid from Carolina became a Patriots fan, about his music, the video for “This Is It,” and more.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM is a combined -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” drifts out of the top ten (#9 to #14). The last time KLBJ-AM, which gained nine-tenths in November, fell below a three-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (2.8).

Off one-half share to 1.9 (#15 to #15, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” breaks a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+). While it continues at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” drops one-tenth to .6 (6+), thus ending seven straight sweeps without a loss in which it more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+).

A combined +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is now off an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, second to third, 6+). Before dropping to second in December, KUT was #1 for three consecutive months.

Austin Music Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.4 – 9.5, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” marches from third to first. Its current 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Despite being a cumulative +2.0 in five straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 9.3, 6+), Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” segues from first to the runner-up slot it held three straight months before advancing to #1 in December. Prior to December, the last time “Bob” held the top spot was in August. There is plenty of movement in the market’s three-way country battle. Specifically, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” has nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat in three straight bumps (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” improves by one-half share to 5.0 (seventh to fifth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 (6+), erodes by -1.9 to 3.7 (fourth to seventh, 6+). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” recaptures in its entirety the one-half share it lost in December (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). When Emmis’ KLBJ-FM gained three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). In addition to being a cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK’s third straight negative trend for a -1.7 (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” drops from sixth to eighth. WTKK was a combined +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. With a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF slips from #18 to #20. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Having been a combined +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is now an overall -.8 in three straight decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Its September gain of four-tenths stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fifth loss in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, third to fourth, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Owing to a cumulative +4.3 via three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” advances from fourth to second. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. From Greensboro, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” is an overall +2.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (.4 .4 – .4 – 1.4 – 2.5, 6+), jumping from #20 to #15. The three most recent moves for Radio One urban AC WFXC are +.9 (November); -1.5 (December); and now +1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.8 – 9.9, 6+) as “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the fifth straight time. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. As a result of three straight increases, Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” is up +1.0 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Immediately after posting a +1.0 in December, Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX erases it with a -1.0 (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) as “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In December, WKIX reached the five-share level (5.1) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in three straight losses (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” which was trending 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 (6+), falters by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+) and remains at #6. Off one-half share (each) are Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” (5.6 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+) and Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light,” which actually advances from #11 to #10. December’s +.7 by WBBB ended a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). “The Light” is a collective -1.0 in four successive sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). Even though it is a cumulative -2.3 as the result of three negative moves in succession (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” remains at #5. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR suspended three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating December’s -.9 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC skids from fourth to sixth. “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Following five straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8,  6+), WIBC’s sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” is off three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+). December 2018’s 2.8 is its best 6+-stat since 3.1 in December 2017. A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE drops from #17 to #18. Entering the December sweep, “Indy’s Sports Station” netted eight-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Wiping away all but one-tenth of November and December’s combined +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falls from eighth to tenth.

Indianapolis Music Formats – Boasting a combined +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” progresses from second to first. This (16.4) is the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since “B-105.7” notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to its combined -.7 in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), WYXB was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). After spending the last six ratings periods at #1, Cumulus Media’s WJJK drops to third, as “Classic Hits 104.5” craters by a combined -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off eight-tenths in a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR shifts from #12 to #13; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December. Faltering by seven-tenths (each) are its CHR sibling WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (5.3 – 4.6, unchanged at #7, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WOLT “Alt 103.3” (3.9, #10 to #11, 6+), which had been up one-half share through three successive gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). There are similar scenarios for the market’s two country players, including Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which is a cumulative -2.2 in three downturns in succession (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+) yet advances from fifth to fourth. WFMS finished at #2 in October and November and was #1 in April 2018, May, and June. It has been -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, notwithstanding that it is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK proceeds from tenth to ninth. “Country 97.1 Hank FM” was -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); and -.7 (November). Flat at #16, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” is down or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is down for the third straight time for an overall -3.8 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet advances from fifth to fourth. This (6.2) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March 2018 (6.0). Its rollercoaster ride has included -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130,” a combined +1.3 in October and November, follows with a -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Off a cumulative eight-tenths in three straight downturns (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” nonetheless moves from #16 to #15. Its November loss of four-tenths ended four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective gain of seven-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Good Karma Brands’ recent country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is an overall -3.7 in eight straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7, #18 to #17, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia flipped CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to sports talk “97.3 The Game” in late-November.” Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), “The Game” craters by -2.5 to .3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to .3 (6+) sends co-owned WOKY from #24 to #21, where it is tied with “The Game.” Before dropping three-tenths in December, “The Big 920” quintupled (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+).

Three straight upticks by WUWM accounted for a collective +1.5 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk station forfeits six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .6 (#18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Dislodged from the top spot back in October, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” returns there by roaring back from December’s -1.0 with a rousing +3.8 (7.7 – 11.5, 6+). WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to the #2 slot in October, November, and December. This (11.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. It is a brief (December-only) stay at #1 for Saga Communications’ WKLH (7.8 – 7.7, -.1, first to third, 6+). A December increase of six-tenths propelled “Hometown Rock 96.5” from fourth to first. Over and above matching December’s +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+) and remaining in second-place, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” reaches double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history, doubling its November 2018 6+ AQH-share. Trending between 4.5 – 4.9 (6+) from July through December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7” busts out a +1.2 to 5.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth straight report for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” bumps up from #15 to #14. Dropping from eighth to tenth, co-owned WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is a cumulative -2.0 in five successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Three gains in succession by co-owned WMIL yielded a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+), but “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, flat at #4, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #14, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has lost eight-tenths via three straight dips (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). In 13 of the last 14 sweeps, “Super Talk 99.7” has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+); the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0 (6+).

Having nearly doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat through three gains in a row (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) but remains at #19.

In the last six sweeps, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); and now -.8 in “Holiday 2018” (5.6 – 4.8, sixth to eighth, 6+). The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” erases December’s -.1 with a +.2 (1.6 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). December’s loss of one-tenth pulled the plug on three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Following a December increase of four-tenths, which halted three down moves in a row for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns two-tenths (3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is up seven-tenths since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9 – .9, #20 to #22, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Holding down the top spot for the 12th successive ratings period is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA (10.9 – 14.1, 6+). This (14.1) is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since the 14.4 “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” notched in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); and +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018). With a +1.2 to 7.3 (fourth to second, 6+), co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” applies the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Resurfacing in print in August (2018), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH “The Fish” logs four straight positive spikes accounting for a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, September through “Holiday” 2018, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -2.4, as iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -1.8 (second to seventh, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops six-tenths (2.6 – 2.0, flat at #16, 6+). “The River” had been a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+); December’s 6.8 is its best 6+-stat in over a year (7.2, October 2017). In addition to being -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX drops out of the top ten (#9 to #12). “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” was a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth (each) are the market’s other two country FMs – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, 6+) and “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” (4.1 – 4.2, steady at #10, 6+). WSM-FM is rebounding from December’s -1.5; it was +.8 in November and -1.0 in September. After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), WKDF surrendered two-tenths in December. After recording a 1.1 (#17, 6+) in March 2018, country WSIX-HD2 is unlisted for the tenth time in a row. By dropping one-half share to 2.5 (unchanged at #15, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” ends its October-November-December (6+) sequence of 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0. Stable at #3, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is nonetheless without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), since January (7.8, as well).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it returns roughly half of the +1.1 it accrued in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (4.2, -.6, 6+) remains at #6. Its August increase of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Up six-tenths in seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is steady at #14. Following four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), its news/talk sibling, WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather,” is now down a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, #14 to #18, 6+). Having its 6+-share sliced in half (.6 – .5 – .3, October-November-December, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth to .4 (flat at #21, 6+).

Stable at #8, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), directly after four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+).

A loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+) sends WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH out of Providence’s top ten (#9 to #12); WGBH was up one-half share in October. Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH nonetheless remains at #10; WELH was down six-tenths in November. Immediately prior to the May sweep, public radio news/talk outlets WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Without a loss for the third straight time netting +6.8 in that stretch (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. This (16.2) is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to continuing in the runner-up slot for the fifth time in a row and matching its best 6+-stat since June, iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (9.8, +1.2, 6+) ends three consecutive slides that accounted for a -.6 (9.1 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.5, 6+). A collective -3.1 in three straight setbacks (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6 (6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips from third to fifth. Continuing a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” falls from sixth to seventh. In the same vein, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); and now -.2 (6.9 – 6.7, flat at #3, 6+).

 Norfolk – More than quadrupling December’s +1.5 (7.2 – 13.6, +6.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE advances to second to first. Prior to December, “101.3 2WD” was off a collective six-tenths via four consecutive decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Over and above that, this (13.6) is the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. There’s yet greater significance as “2WD” displaces urban AC cluster-mate WVKL, which had been on top the past 25 survey periods. While it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 34th time in the last 35 sweeps, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a -3.5 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9 – 12.0, 6+) and segues from first to second. Its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” erases 60% of December’s -1.0 with a gain of six-tenths (6.5 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+) and climbs from sixth to fourth; December’s 5.5 is its weakest 6+-stat since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 JAMZ” posts a one-half share improvement (6.5 – 7.0, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV, whose 6+ stat swelled more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) through five straight increases (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), surrenders a -1.5 to 4.9 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). As a result of five consecutive down or flat reports, including -.5 in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but remains at #7. Off by one-half share (each) as well in “Holiday” 2018 are Z-104’s hot AC sibling WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #8) and iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3” (1.3 – .8, #10 to #12, 6+ ). This represent WPTE’s fourth straight decline for a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Off four-tenths (10.4 – 10.0, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV repeats at #2. In the previous six survey periods, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” was -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and -.8 (December). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Up or flat four straight sweeps for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) reports (.8 – .7 – .6, flat at #20, 6+).

As it did in December, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and continues at #13. Its December gain of one-tenth halted three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Precisely doubling December’s +2.8 with a +5.6 (10.7 – 16.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” repeats at #1. This (16.3) is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Prior to December’s increase, WEJZ was a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Its format challenger – Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” – is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+). This follows four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, mainstream CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” wipes away November and December’s combined -.5 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of seven-tenths (3.9, unchanged at #10, 6+), while gospel WKSL-HD3 is up six-tenths (1.9 – 2.5, #15 to #11, 6+). After racking up a +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.2, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+) but stays at #3. A combined -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” drops from #11 to #14. Up four-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” forfeits one-half share to 4.0 (6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. November’s increase curtailed six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the past four sweeps for a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR roars back with a +1.0 to 2.5 (6+) and rockets into the top ten (#15 to a three-way tie at #9). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” improved by one-half share in August. In addition to dropping seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.2, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” departs the top ten (#9 to #12). An October loss of four-tenths suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Right behind WFTL, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a cumulative -.6 in three straight declines (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), WJNO gained one-half share in October. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is off four-tenths (1.0 – .6, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#18 to #21, 6+).

The four most recent shifts for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) and now -.8 in December (3.8 – 3.0, sixth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, WLRN posted three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Not only does Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT net a +6.1 in three straight upticks (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9 – 10.7, 6+), “Sunny 107.9” progresses from second to first with the best 6+-stat (10.7) in its PPM-history. WEAT was off six-tenths in October. Despite picking up a combined +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” drops to #2, following 12 straight sweeps at #1. Before eroding -1.8 in November, WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). A collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” erases two-thirds of the deficit with an eight-tenths’ increase to 4.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of December’s one-half share loss (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” falters by another seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Steady at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth of December’s +.2 (.3 – .5 – .4, 6+).

Off three-tenths (2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 for the eighth consecutive time. After four successive up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Without an increase for the third straight time for roughly a one-half loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC continues at #15.

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is an overall +9.7 since August via five straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9 – 16.5, 6+). This (16.5) is its highest 6+-showing for any Greensboro station since WMAG posted a 16.7 in “Holiday” 2013. After six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” gains one-tenth and continues in fourth-place. In three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, unchanged at #9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective +1.3. Sputtering by one-half share (each) are Entercom urban AC and country cluster-mates WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (10.8 – 10.3, flat at #2, 6+) and WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (seventh to eighth). In double-digits (6+) for the 26th straight time (10.3), WQMG – which was +1.0 in November – spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Up one-half share in October, “The Wolf” is a cumulative -1.2 in three setbacks in succession (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Down by a combined eight-tenths in October and September, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gained three-tenths in November; spiraled by -1.6 in December; and in “Holiday” 2018, gains two-tenths to 5.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+), again overtaking “The Wolf.” Recent shifts for iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” include: +.5 (August); another +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). It slips from #11 to #12; prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – While down two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC repeats at #13. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had been in a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Following five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share balloons by +3.6. Specifically, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” answers December -1.6 with a +2.0 (9.3 – 11.3, 6+) to remain in the runner-up slot. “The River,” which was +2.4 in October, has its strongest 6+-performance (11.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is an overall +3.7 in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5 – 5.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #6). In double-digits (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is a combined +2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10. 5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. Furthermore, this (12.8) is its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Down or flat the past three reports for a loss of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” responds with an increase twice the magnitude of that deficit (3.8, +.8, #12 to #11, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia gospel and urban AC siblings WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (5.4, anchored at #5, 6+) and WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018, “Halleluiah” was an overall +1.6 in four straight upticks (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. The aforementioned streak directly followed six successive down monthlies for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). Regressing by seven-tenths (each) are Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (eighth to tenth) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). “Kix 106” was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; +.7 (December); and now -.7 (“Holiday” 2018).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive setbacks (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a cumulative -1.8 and drops from sixth to seventh. “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Also down for the third straight time – and off three-tenths in that timeframe – is Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), which remains at #15.

Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in December, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+) continues at #13.

A collective +1.4 in four straight positive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” surrenders half that bounty (4.2, -.7, 6+) and continues at #9. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). After gaining two-tenths in December, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” returns one-tenth (1.3 – 1.2, unchanged at #14, 6+). In advance of December’s +.2, WFCR was a collective -.5 through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Finishing on top for the 30th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 27th time in the last 29 sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is a combined +7.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+). In addition, this (18.0) is the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since “Lite 100.5” recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Eroding by -1.1 (each) are WRCH’s hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” (7.2 – 6.1, third to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” (7.8 – 6.7, second to third, 6+). This is the first time WTIC-FM is below a seven-share (6.1, 6+) since March 2018’s 6.7. Via four straight sweeps without a loss, “Country 92.5” was a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), with 7.8 (November and December) its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Despite returning the seven-tenths it gained in December (6.8 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” advances from third to second. Its November increase of four-tenths ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In a somewhat similar story, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” surrenders all but one-tenth of December’s +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, flat at #8, 6+). Prior to December’s gain, “The Whale” was an overall -1.3 in three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+).

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Americans, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, video, mobile, social media, and more.”…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the air at Beasley Media Group’s WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Talk” in the mid-afternoon daypart…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show starring Georgetown University head basketball coach Patrick Ewing.  He’ll co-host “Center Court with Patrick Ewing” with broadcaster and former NFL player Rick “Doc” Walker on ESPNU Radio.

The Government Shutdown and Postponed SOTU Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 21-25.  The ongoing federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation, including Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Subcommittee subpoena and Roger Stone’s indictment, followed by the Covington Catholic Washington, DC incident 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Cool News Gig in Los Angeles; KNX Seeks Full-Time Anchor. All-news KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles is looking for a full-time news anchor who can tell relevant, compelling stories with a credible and empathetic style. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, all-news environment and cover every type of story, including breaking news. Must be a strong writer of engaging content and have an authentic, conversational sound. This person will also be proficient in editing and packaging news, audio, and interviews. The next KNX anchor will understand how to integrate social media and digital assets into their daily routine. Must have a minimum of 5-plus years’ experience anchoring or reporting news. For details and to apply, click here.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Calling All Missouri Broadcasters. The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is trying to get the word out that it is seeking aircheck recordings of any Missouri station as part of its radio history preservation project.  Radio pros who worked in Missouri wishing to donate personal airchecks can contact Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.  Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK brings market radio pro Gordy Dysinger aboard to serve as production director, effective March 4.  Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula says, “I grew up listening to Gordy as a kid in Buffalo and his knowledge and professionalism will be a great help to our company, listeners, and advertisers.  Gordy believes in truly creative radio, not cookie-cutter material.  I am honored to be working beside him.”  Dysinger’s radio career in Buffalo began in 1977.  He worked for a long period as creative services director at iHeartMedia’s crosstown classic rock WGRF, rock WEDG, and classic hits WHTT…..Programming pro Jay Michaels announces he’s been named program director for Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana “Q93.7.” He takes over for Gary Nolan, who exited the post last year to move closer to family…..At Rubber City Radio Group’s country WQMX, Akron, morning personality Sarah Kay adds assistant program director duties to her responsibilities at the station…..The United Stations Radio Network-distributed “Billy Madison Show” is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s rock WYYX, Panama City, Florida “97X.”…..Pictured below is Seton Hall University alum Christina Stoffo (fifth from the left) at the school’s student-run station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey with members of the station’s staff.  Stoffo is a Total Traffic & Weather Networks air personality who is heard regularly on WHTZ “Z100,” WKTU, WAXQ “Q104.3,” WWPR “Power 105,” WKXW “NJ 101.5,” and more.  Her visit to her alma mater was arranged by WSOU news director Bob Towey and is the first in a series of talks and workshops by industry professionals taking place throughout the spring semester.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – As a result of three down moves in succession (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is a collective -1.5 and falls from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.2 in October and November – its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well) – iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” is off by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #19. A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” forfeits a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

A combined +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is now an overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). It remains tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”), is down for the fourth consecutive time, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.7 – .6 – .7, #27 to #26, 6+).

While it repeats in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB sputters by -1.2 to 8.1 (6+), thus completely erasing the collective +1.2 it earned in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). December 2018’s 9.3 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018 (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); and now -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018).

Portland Music Formats – Topping December’s +3.2 with a +4.8 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” continues at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). Prior to a November 2018 loss of six-tenths, “K-103” was +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). Powered by a (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase half that of KKCW, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” (3.2 – 5.6, +2.4, 6+) catapults from #14 to #3. A December -1.1 by “Charlie” obliterated its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). It is tied at #3 with co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which replicates December’s half-share improvement (5.1 – 5.6, fourth to third, 6+). Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). By displaying an increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (#34 to #22, 6+), Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD wipes away its full-share loss via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+). All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is up seven-tenths to 3.4 (#16 to #11), its best 6+-showing since August (3.4, as well). An erosion of -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+) by KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” takes the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.5. Faltering by -1.2 (each) are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.9, fourth to eighth, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” (3.6 – 2.4, 6+), which fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). “Live 95.5” had been a collective +1.1 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), “The Fish” dropped four-tenths in December. Within three-share range in each of the last ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). Immediately following its December gain of seven-tenths, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, KINK was a collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s 6+ country share shrinks by -1.2: Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” is a cumulative -1.9 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7,#11 to #15, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is off one-half share to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). With the loss, “The Bull” suspends three straight upticks that netted +1.4 (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Before the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a combined +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders half that gain (-.7) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, flat at #12, 6+). November’s 4.3 is the highest 6+-share for the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since February 2018 (4.3, as well).

Nearly tripling (+1.0) its 6+ share through six straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is anchored at #19. This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Off nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” nonetheless continues at #17. Via three straight decreases, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is down four-tenths (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC an overall +7.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+),“K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” repeats at #1. This (12.9) is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. In a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” (ninth to fifth) is 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7 for a collective gain of six-tenths. In addition to WOSF, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “His Radio” is up one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (.3 – .8, #20, 6+). At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted  WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Entering the December sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 6.1 (steady at #4, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” pulls the plug on five straight negative moves that accounted for a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; -1.2 in June; and +1.2 in July. Following eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty (6.6, -1.2, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Trending  4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (seventh to tenth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Entering the November sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It has been a dramatically different story though in December and “Holiday” 2018 as “The Kat” is a combined -2.3 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, while it remains at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s WRFX is a collective -1.7 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from December’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 (6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight report for a -.4 (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops from #28 to #29.

After four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – A “Holiday” 2018 boost of +5.4 by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT surpasses its December +5.2 as “Q-101.9” repeats at #1 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+). Especially noteworthy is that KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. Prior to December, “Q-101.9” was down a collective two-tenths through three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” dials up a +1.0 (2.2 – 3.2, 6+) and zooms from #18 to #13. Substituting December’s one-half share loss with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of the same magnitude (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” advances from #18 to #16. December’s 2.2 is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2018 (2.2, as well). Regional Mexican sibling KROM “Que Buena 92.9” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive down or flat survey periods (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+). In back-to-back reports, Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” slumps by a combined -1.8 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, seventh to tenth, 6+). Slipping from fifth to sixth, Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” has a setback of one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+). The wild country ride continues in this Texas market as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” was +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); and now -1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.2 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Its format foe – iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – was +.5 (September; -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.0 – 6.0 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). After all that, the two combatants, which were separated by two-tenths in December, are now one-tenth apart. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 via four straight setbacks (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” lost one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK progresses from fourth to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). An overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” erases that margin completely in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #23 are Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #22 to #23, 6+) and Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without an increase for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, #25 to #23, 6+). After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), KIFM-AM surrendered six-tenths in December.

Five successive sweeps without a loss netted KXJZ a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk station forfeits one full-share to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI returns the one-tenth it gained in December (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Off four-tenths in November, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” nearly doubles December’s +2.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 +5.0 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. This (13.8) is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. As of early-November (2018), “Mix” has a new direct competitor. That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). In the “Holiday” 2018 report, “The Breeze” dials up a seven-tenths’ increase to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #13. While KBEB is no longer in the country arena, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” carry on there. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), KNCI followed with three straight gains for an overall +1.5 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+). That instantly vanishes though in “Holiday” 2018 as “New Country” is 5.7 – 4.2 (-1.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, KNTY returns the three-tenths it gained in December (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #15. December’s 2.3 is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. On top for ten (10) consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is off one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording its best 6+-stat (4.7, December 2018) since February 2018’s 5.3, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” forfeits seven-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” a combined -.9 in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.8 and carries on at #5. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in 19 consecutive ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG was up one-tenth in December to .3 (6+), but “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” returns it in “Holiday” 2018 (.2, -.1, #23 to #19, 6+).

Even though it wipes away December’s four-tenths’ increase with a one-half share loss (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” remains at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Without a loss for the third time in a row for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. This (13.6) is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An overall +4.6 as the result of five straight upticks (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” progresses from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (9.9) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. A one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) takes WQED Classical Multimedia’s WQED “Classical 89.3” from #16 to #14. A December loss of one-half share by WDVE suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the iHeartMedia-owned rocker plummets by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+) and segues from third to fourth. WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Three significant shifts in a row find Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” going from a -.5 (November); +1.7 (December); and now a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.7 – 7.7, second to third, 6+). In December 2018, “Bob” had its best 6+-performance (8.7) since December 2017’s 9.0. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.1 as Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” is off one-half share (ninth to tenth), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” sputters by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+). “Y-108” is now a collective -1.6 via four straight dips (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). With their (6+) December 2018 info in parentheses, four Forever Media properties once again disappear from print: country WOGG (1.4, #16); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.2, #18); country WOGI (1.2, #18); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (1.1, #20).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Faltering by -.6 and -1.4, respectively, are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.2 – 4.6, stable at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 3.3, 6+), which departs the top ten (#6 to #12). KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

A combined -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picked up one-tenth (November); forfeited two-tenths (December); and dips three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 2.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Emphatically underscoring its approval of the all-Christmas music strategy, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” registers its third straight increase and repeats at #1. Its overall improvement since October is a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) and KSFI is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets whose information we’ve seen so far to reach the 20-share level (6+). As astonishing as these numbers are, “FM 100.3” is actually down from a year ago (23.2, “Holiday” 2017). Among the many SLC outlets impacted by its “Holiday” 2018 stats is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) yet actually improves from tenth to ninth. Its December decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). In four successive sweeps without a loss, cluster-mate KHTB gains nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), as “101.9 Alternative Utah” enters the top twenty at #16. In addition to adding two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) thus applying the brakes to five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). There is another wild fluctuation for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); and now -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 4.4, second to sixth, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Its September gain of three-tenths halted three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). It has been an interesting period as well for co-owned hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” which was a combined -.8 in October and November (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); +.7 (December); and now -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). Flat at #5, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Sliding by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is Broadway Media-owned adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” (2.8 – 2.2, #13 to #16, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” regresses by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Z-104” has been -.7 (June); -.5 (July); +1.1 (September); and +.5 (November).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 1.9 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is off three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). In three (slight) dips in a row (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is off by a collective four-tenths and carries on at #25.

Having doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” falters by a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .8 – .7, #26 to #28).

In six consecutive increases, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR netted a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), but is now off an overall three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – On top for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is a combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through “Holiday” 2018, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. This (12.8) is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Without a loss in seven straight survey periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” progresses from fourth to third; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A boost of six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Spanish adult hits sibling KWID “La Buena 101.9” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths to 2.7 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” are -.5 (November); +.6 (December); and now -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.0 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” has now surrendered a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, flat at #10, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is -1.6 in five straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Its +1.0 in August curtailed three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now a cumulative -.9 in three successive slips (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #15, 6+).

After faltering by eight-tenths in December, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is unchanged in 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#23). It is again tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in four straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6, steady at #23, 6+).

Down eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” slips from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Outdistancing December’s +4.0 with a +4.5 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat (14.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” erases that deficit with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). When Entercom hot AC WOMX lost three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Mix 105.1,” however, bounces back in “Holiday” 2018 with an increase of seven-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ loss (7.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” spirals by -1.1 to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+). In November 2018, WMMO was up seven-tenths to 7.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. Skidding from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). By regressing eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” ends its repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 sequence of 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” is off six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” repeats in the runner-up slot, after spending the previous 11 ratings periods at #1. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off by one-half share as well in “Holiday” 2018 is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.3 – .8, #17 to #20, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recent shifts for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); and now a whopping -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.6 – 7.4, second to fourth, 6+). The flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) yet improves from #11 to #10. July’s eight-tenths’ increase stopped four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from December in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#17).

Continuing at #13, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has lost nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the strength of an astonishing +.6.3 (8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” – which was +3.1 in December – jumps from third to first. Furthermore, December 2018’s 14.6 by “Warm” is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. Displaced from the top spot – after a December-only stay – and segueing to third is co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR (9.9 – 8.1, -1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to its current -1.8, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. By dialing up a +.7 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” puts an end to its October-November-December 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (6+) trending. Despite being a collective -2.6 owing to five successive down or flat trends (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues at #5. The last three fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) and now (another) -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). This is the third successive sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappears from print. In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Regaining the four-tenths it lost in December (5.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK  jumps from tenth to seventh. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After gaining two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN plummets by -1.1 to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #14.

Cleveland Music Formats – A robust +2.8 (7.9 – 10.7, 6+) boosts iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI from third to first as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 10.3. Even though WZAK is up three-tenths (8.4 – 8.7, 6+), the Radio One urban AC shifts from first to third. A collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK dropped four-tenths in December. Nearly matching December’s +2.6, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is +2.1 (8.2 – 10.3, 6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. “Cleveland’s Star 102” is one-tenth shy of its 10.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” is trending 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#11 to #7, 6+). In July, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 popped on with a .1 (6+), but then failed to appear in the next five reports. It is back though in “Holiday” 2018 with a .7 (#17, 6+). Co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Immediately after posting a December increase of seven-tenths, adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by -1.2 (6.9 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” has its third setback in succession for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.3, #13 to #12, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (5.2 – 4.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Entercom cluster, news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+), while co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share over the course of the last two sweeps (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Climbing from #23 to #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+).

Flat at #12, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, is a combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Following an October gain of four-tenths, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” loses nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The collective eight-tenths that University of Missouri news/talk KCUR picked up in November and December is all but wiped away with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – A December gain of nine-tenths by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC is followed by a +1.9 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.0) is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. By picking up one-tenth in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM applied the brakes to eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” – which was #1 in March 2018, April, and May – is +1.6 to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). There is plenty of activity in the country contest with Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (#14 all the way to #5, 6+); cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” a +.5 to 4.6 (steady at #9, 6+); and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” a -1.1 to 4.2 (#4 to #11, 6+). “Q-104” had been an overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), while “Country 94.1” was a collective -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). “The Wolf,” meanwhile, was a cumulative +1.3 in November and December, after being an overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). December’s 5.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). In addition to being #1 for the eighth ratings period in succession, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” counters December’s -.7 with a one-half share increase (9.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its December decrease suspended six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +2.0 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). These last three sweeps have seen Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” crater by a collective -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, second to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+).

Columbus

 Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” has lost a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and now -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, third to seventh, 6+). Continuing at #18, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Even though it is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ improvement, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC tacks on a +2.9 (5.8 – 8.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” drives from seventh to third. Its December increase curtailed three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” yield a +4.0 (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.9, steady at #2, 6+). This (9.9) is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. Bouncing back from December’s -1.3 with a gain of nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.5 – 3.4, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Notwithstanding that it is a collective -5.7 through six straight downturns (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 13th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); and -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018). Four straight increases by Radio One’s WCKX netted a +1.2 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), but “Power 107.5” surrenders one full-share to 2.9 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

| January 23, 2019

iHeartMedia’s Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court.  The United States Bankruptcy Court in Houston has confirmed the Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia.  The company says the restructuring process will be completed within the first half of 2019.  Under the terms of the Plan, iHeartMedia will complete a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and will separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. from iHeartMedia, creating two independent public companies. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”

Bruce Gilbert Re-Ups with Cumulus-Westwood One Sports. Sports radio programmer Bruce Gilbert signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media and Westwood One to continue serving as SVP of sports.  Gilbert’s position entails leading “the curation, development, and execution of all sports content initiatives” and his overseeing the strategic direction of the company’s O&O sports talk outlets.  Gilbert says, “I am so fortunate to be a part of the incredible Westwood One sports portfolio and to get to interact with the many outstanding Cumulus sports brands.  Our partners, talent, producers, podcasters, anchors, and analysts are all dedicated to capturing, celebrating, debating, and discussing sports across our great radio stations and our Westwood One affiliate stations.  I want to thank Mike McVay, Suzanne Grimes, and Charles Steinhauer for supporting our efforts to serve sports fans and giving us the platform to elevate the brands of our many valuable advertising partners.”

WPOP, Hartford Adds FM Signal. New translator W265EB at 100.9 FM is carrying the programming of iHeartMedia Hartford news/talk WPOP-AM.  The translator is licensed to Hartford, is directional to the south-southwest and has an ERP of 220 watts.   WPOP airs the local “Vinnie Penn Project” morning show, the Boston-based “Financial Exchange” program, content from Bloomberg Radio and the regionally syndicated Howie Carr show during daylight hours.

Cory Smith Joins Westwood One in New Digital Role. Former ESPN director of sports marketing Cory Smith joins Westwood One in the newly created role of vice president, digital sales marketing & operations.  In this post, Smith “is responsible for digital sales planning, ad sales marketing, audience development, and ad operations, focusing on the rapidly growing podcast space.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One is dominating the podcast landscape with top shows, massive promotional power, and national and local sales teams, making it the fastest growing podcast network today.  Cory joins the team at a perfect time as our podcast business is exploding. He brings extensive digital audio experience, marketing expertise, and proven ability to build best-in-class operations.”

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root: ‘I’m an Ad Exec and Pitch Man First and Foremost.’  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s been beseeched by fellow talkers to share the revenue secrets for his USA Radio program and its Newsmax TV simulcast.  Calling his philosophy/strategy “the future of conservative talk radio,” Root says he’s an “advertising executive and a pitch man first and foremost who also happens to have a three-hour, daily show.”  Root says previous experiences from the other side of the fence – as a big-spending radio advertiser – left him disappointed because the hosts on whose shows he advertised treated him poorly and did “nothing nice or special for me.”  He vowed to treat his advertisers differently when he became a host.  He says he calls the CEO of every company that advertises with him once a month to ask how he’s doing and if he can do more.  He gives “personal testimony for every product sold on my show, to make their products ‘the greatest’ and to make the CEO of each advertiser into a celebrity.”  Most important, Root says he does this without the ratings that agencies demand because his platforms don’t pay for ratings services.  “It’s not about ratings, it’s about personal service.” Root says the “age of Trump” makes finding new advertisers very difficult so it’s important to take care of loyal clients.  He concludes, “Talk radio will not survive this ‘sea change’ unless the hosts learn to sell, sell, sell.”

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Covington Catholic Incident, Trump-Russia Investigation, Military Transgender Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Ocasio-Cortez’s Climate Change Prediction, and NFL Ref Woes/Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22). The battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the ongoing federal government shutdown; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s military transgender ban; the Democrats considering a run for president in 2020; the flap over Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that climate change will destroy the world in 12 years; and the NFL’s referee problems and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Catches Up with Russian Sensation, ‘Leonid & Friends.’  A group of 11 superb, multi-generational musicians from Russia, Ukraine, and several other former Soviet bloc countries has become an international sensation over the past three years as a “tribute” band to the legendary American ensemble, Chicago.  They are reportedly so good that even members of the original Chicago have joined their growing legion of fans.  Fueled largely by their outstanding video performances on YouTube, Leonid & Friends have gathered enough of a fan base in the US to be able to put together a tremendously successful three-week, sold-out tour of mid-sized venues across the nation, culminating with a performance last evening (1/22) at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, Florida.  TALKERS publisher and devoted rocker from the golden era of album radio, Michael Harrison, attended the concert and landed an exclusive interview with the leader and founder of the band, multi-instrumentalist Leonid Vorobyev for a forthcoming podcast.  Harrison (left) is pictured with Vorobyev (right) backstage at the Capitol during the band’s sound check.  Harrison raves, “I have been a longtime fan of Chicago – most notably their early, rockin’ days when Terry Kath was still alive.  This amazing new band captures the spirit and energy of the original Chicago and then takes it to a level that I’ve never seen or heard before.  Last night’s concert was the absolute best live rock performance I’ve seen since being privileged to attend the two historic private shows of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band back at the Roxy in LA during the 1970s.  Harrison continues, “The fact that a cover band can muster up so much excitement among seasoned music fans is a sign of the times and the new era in which we are living… rock ‘n’ roll is now a mature, historic genre like classical music or the Great American Songbook in which it is about the songs and arrangements themselves – not just the original performers – and they can be brought to life by new, energized, major league musicians.  It’s sort of like watching a revival of ‘My Fair Lady’ at Lincoln Center or listening to the New York Philharmonic perform a symphony by Mozart.”  Harrison concludes, “It’s tragic how music radio is so far behind the curve on this type of thing as well as other developments in the culture and dissemination of popular music.”  To learn more about Leonid & Friends click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Kelly Ford is back in the New York groove at Cumulus Media’s country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” hosting the new “Kelly Ford in the Morning” show, effective February 4.  Ford was the original midday host on WNSH when it launched as a country outlet.  She moved to Nashville to be part of the Westwood One-syndicated “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” show (now “The Ty Bentli Show”).  Ford says, “When [Cumulus New York VP and market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] John Foxx first proposed the idea of ‘Kelly Ford in the Morning,’ of course my reaction was ‘What the Ford?!’ And my second was, ‘Truck yeah!’ I can’t thank Chad and John enough for bringing me back and [EVP content and programming] Mike McVay for making it happen.  It’s like a full circle moment for me as I was the first live voice heard on ‘NASH FM 94.7.’  To be able to work again with the New York NASH team, especially Katie Neal and Jesse Addy, it’s like having the (country) band back together again.”

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR has lost a collective nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.4, unchanged at #21, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). It is tied at #21 with Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which drops two-tenths to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+), thus ending eight straight monthly reports without a loss that netted one-half share (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). After being up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall increase of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC drops one-tenth to 1.1 and is flat at #24 (6+).

This is the third loss in succession for Entercom sports talk WFAN, which is -1.2 in that stretch (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October. Part of a three-way tie at #21 (with WOR and WKXW), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off a cumulative four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.8 – 1.5- 1.4, #23 to #21, 6+), directly following an overall gain of four-tenths via four straight up or flat monthlies by the flagship of the New York Jets and New York Knicks (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+).

The market’s (6+) all-news share shrinks by nine-tenths as Entercom’s WINS forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is off four-tenths (3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). WINS was frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September; stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November; then off one-tenth in December. The setback by WCBS-AM halts four consecutive upticks that produced a net gain of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); +.6 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2, #9 to #10, 6+). For the fourth time in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (6+), but slips from #28 to #29. Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three straight times.

New York City Music Formats – Tacking on a +3.4 to December’s +2.4 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 18th successive sweep. A combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+), “Lite FM” posted a 13.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Advancing from #19 to #15, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” nets nine-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Significant ups/down continue for Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was a collective +.5 in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+); -.6 in December; and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), is a collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Flat at #8, Emmis rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97”  is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is off a collective three-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the eighth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to ninth. Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is unchanged from December in (6+) share (.8) and (6+) market rank (#31). By dropping two-tenths (.8 – .6, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” drifts from #31 to #38. In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC gained two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, 6+), but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .7 in “Holiday” 2018 (#35 to #33, 6+).

After practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three straight gains (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” surrenders two-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) as the AM flagship of the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams dips from #26 to #27. Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” spiraled by -1.4 in December. It stabilizes at .7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 yet climbs from #35 to #33. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

Up three-tenths in December (2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

The eleven (11) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#14 to #16) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST on top for the third straight time, “Coast 103.5” is up for the fifth ratings period in succession for an overall +8.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 6+-stat (13.0) exceeds the combined total of the #2 (Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH 4.4, 6+); #3 (iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG, 4.0, 6+); and #4 (Entercom smooth AC KTWV, 3.6, 6+) finishers. KOST logged an 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Its all-Christmas music challenger this year – Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO – picks up three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and progresses from #16 to #12. In four of the last five reports, “Go Country 105 FM” notched a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) boosts Entercom alternative KROQ from #20 to #14 and curtails four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). As a result of five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned KRTH (third to second) has lost a collective seven-tenths. “K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, however, “104.3 My-FM” sputters by nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.0, second to third, 6+). KBIG spent five successive months at #1before being dislodged (by KRTH) in October. Within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, co-owned mainstream CHR KIIS falters by one-half share to 3.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); “102.7 Kiss FM” was off four-tenths in December. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 19th time in a row (flat at 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). As the result of four consecutive gains (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC was a collective +.7, but the University of Southern California classical outlet slips by two-tenths (2.1, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth time in a row (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23 to #24, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is an overall -1.2 in that period. Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fifth straight sweep for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) but continues at #20. The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the fourth sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Immediately prior to the December sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox logged three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+). Dipping from #23 to #26, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 (6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) proceeds from a three-way tie at #12 to a three-way scrum at #9. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP was up one half-share, but “ESPN Chicago 1000” surrenders three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.2, #22 to #24, 6+).

In four consecutive months without a loss, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM was a collective +1.1 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), but the flagship of the NFL’s Chicago Bears falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. It shifted from first to second in December.

By losing three-tenths to 2.6 (#12 to #14), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ends four straight up or flat trends that generated a gain of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), with December’s 2.9 its best 6+-showing since April 2018’s 3.0.

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of December’s +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” piles on a +4.9 to 13.3 (6+) and repeats at #1. WLIT was 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017. One of WLIT’s AC rivals – Venture Technologies Group’s WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” – is down or flat for the fifth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN dropped three-tenths in December. Now, “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” falters by twice that margin (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), tumbling out of the top ten (#9 to #13). WUSN had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the past 17 ratings periods. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country,” which was without a gain the past four sweeps for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), picks up one-tenth (1.5, #23 to #22, 6+). Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams,” a collective +.5 in November and December (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+) forfeits that entire increase (3.0, -.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). While it is unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Repeating at #7, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.8 in four straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is off for the third time in succession for a -1.0 (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO advances from #16 to #15. KSFO was up seven-tenths in October, after being a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has a September 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 (#19 to #20, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

In a down-up pattern (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” moves from #14 to #12. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of four-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (2.2 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” dips from #17 to #18. KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM adds one-tenth to December’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+) and repeats at #3. KCBS-AM had been at #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December.

Following 11 straight months at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (7.6 – 7.5, -.1, 6+) segues to #2. December 2018’s 7.6 is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share (+.5) in seventh straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #30 to #29.

San Francisco Music Formats – Having leaped from sixth to second in December, Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM (6.4 – 10.7, +4.3, 6+) marches to #1. In “Holiday” 2017, KOIT-FM recorded a 9.2 (6+). Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined nine-tenths in three drops in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #4, 6+). In addition to picking up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+), which halts at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1” moves into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Erasing December’s -.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” zooms from tenth to fifth. December’s 3.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 2.6. A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.6 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7,” which was up eight-tenths in November, drifts from the top ten (#10 to #14). After posting one-half share increases in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC drops one-tenth to 3.0 (6+) but remains at #9. In five straight reports without an increase (2.1      – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” is an overall -.7. At #25, co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has lost nine-tenths in five consecutive negative or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), while Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” hasn’t had an increase in five straight reports and has surrendered 50% (.9) of its 6+share in that stretch (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #27, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss five months in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Just prior to the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.4 in four straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, flat at #36, 6+).

With its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” progresses from #18 to #14. It overtakes Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 24, 6+) and slumps from #14 to #18. Meanwhile, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0, #31 to #33, 6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall decline of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is unchanged from December in 6+-share (3.1) and 6+-market rank (#13). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE has almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), as “Star 102.1” marches from third to first. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” logged a 6.4 (6+). On top the past 12 reports, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+) shifts to #3. After a combined -1.4 in June and July, “Kiss” was +1.1 in August and down one-half share in November. Having posted a 4.3 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV erupts with a +1.8 to 6.1 (6+) and leaps from fifth to second with its best 6+-showing (6.1) since 7.2 in Holiday 2017. A combined +1.4 in four successive improvements (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” carries on at #4. At the same time. WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” has been +.7 (September); -.8 (October); +.6 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #30, 6+). Showing December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (3.8, #11 to #6, 6+) and City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” (1.6 – 2.2, #21, 6+). “The Eagle” had been off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Through five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB was a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #16, 6+). Within 5.0 – 5.5 territory (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods, iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 (second to fifth, 6+). Although it remains at #6, Cumulus Media’s KSCS “New Country 96.3” is -1.4 in six straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). July 2018’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating its December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH fades from #11 to #16. “News Radio 740” posted a November gain of six-tenths to 4.3, its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

In six straight up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is a collective +.5 as the AM flagship of the Houston Texans repeats at #22. Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 (6+) for the fourth straight month and continues at #25, while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, 6+) and is flat at #28.

Not only is KUHF without an increase for the sixth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), the University of Houston news/talk station exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Houston Music Formats – An adult contemporary station holds the #1 position in each of the top six PPM-markets. In this Texas metro, iHeartMedia’s KODA “Sunny 99.1” tacks on a +2.4 to December’s +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+) and sets the pace for the ninth straight time. In “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” recorded a 12.5, the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. Advancing from seventh to sixth, KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” is an overall +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Similarly, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” is a collective +1.6 as the result of five upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Another positive streak, however, draws to a close as Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+), erodes by -1.5 to 6.5 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. An improvement of one-tenth to .9 (#26 to #23, 6+) by Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” curtails seven ratings periods in succession without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, 6+). This marks the seventh straight sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” which is an overall -1.8 since June 2018 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). In four straight reports without an increase, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #8, 6+). A cumulative -2.0 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – There’s truly major news here as Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 sweeps – erodes by a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is off two-tenths (1.4 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Recording its seventh sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK jumps from #28 to #25.

Co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” drops one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+) yet improves from ninth to eighth. Prior to November 2018, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four consecutive positive moves (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Flat at #19, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), the Atlanta Braves flagship picked up one-tenth in December.

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, WABE was a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), but the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk outlet surrenders half that increase (3.7, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is unchanged from December in both 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#25).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH follow up December’s +1.0 with a +3.2 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” swims from fourth to first. In advance of the December sweep, WFSH posted three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “The Fish” notched an 8.5 (6+). Registering increases of one-half share each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (6.3, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (5.6, steady at #5, 6+). “V-103” was a combined -1.4 in November and December (7.2 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “B-98.5” snaps at three a consecutive string of (slight) decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Radio One urban AC and gospel siblings WAMJ “Majic” (5.1 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+) and WPZE “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (3.7 – 3.0, #13 to #15, 6+). For the last ten (10) sweeps, “Majic” had been within 5.1 – 5.6 range (6+). In an up/down pattern (3.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #14). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” is a collective +1.0 via three straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). November’s gain of six-tenths followed three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight positive spikes (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 drops three-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” catches Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #10 to #12, 6+). “Power” was -1.2 in December, while “Q-100” was -.6. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Power” had been without a loss the previous seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is an overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), immediately following seven straight ratings periods without a decrease that generated a +1.4 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies – Entercom’s WIP – was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 7.1, fourth to second, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1” was #1 in October. Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” zooms from #15 to #12. Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in August, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” spirals by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.3, flat at #7, 6+).

Public news/talk WHYY is a collective -1.1 via three declines in a row (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #14, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive negative trends for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Registering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB (10.4 – 16.6, +6.2, 6+) repeats at #1. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. It dialed up a 17.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It has a new format challenger: In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but rebounds with a gain of one-half share (2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #11, 6+). On the heels of December’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” further erodes by -1.4 (6.4 – 5.0, third to fifth, 6+). November’s increase of six-tenths applied the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. It’s not exactly the same scenario, but Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” follows December’s -.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (6.5 – 5.9 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). Erasing December’s eight-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (7.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM  shifts from second to third. “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was locked on 6.6 (6+) in October and November. Off seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (6.2 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+); Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.3 – 3.6, eighth to ninth, 6+); and iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.8, #10 to #12, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), WMGK dropped seven-tenths in December. “Philadelphia’s Country Station” was -1.1 in December and +.6 in November. After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. The September 2018 through December 2018 topline for “Q-102” was 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.5 via three decreases in succession (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat for the fourth straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC nonetheless inches up from #26 to #25. Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Despite recording its third drop in a row for a collective -1.4 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN advances from fifth to fourth. In November, the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees was in a three-way tie at #1. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. The key station of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.5 through three decreases in a row (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, #19 to #20, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is off three-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, ninth to tenth, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS loses four-tenths (3.2 – 2.8, #9 to #11, 6+). The two cluster-mates were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November. Prior to December, WCBS-AM was up nine-tenths in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), while WINS was up six-tenths in October;

From February 2018 – September 2018, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM trended 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September. It was unlisted in October and November; resurfaced in December (2.0, 6+); and is off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” adds a +4.0 to December’s +2.1 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). “Real Variety” was off one-half share in November. This (10.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (12.6). More than tripling (+6.4) its 6+-stat in seven Long Island sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” carries on at #2. “Lite FM” recorded an 8.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” more than doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the third straight decrease for Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Making identical 3.1 – 2.4, -.7, #11 to #14 (6+) moves are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” and Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was off eight-tenths in December WBLS is an overall -1.5 in five straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of three-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” falls from #11 to #12. Albeit that it is an overall -1.9 in six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Not only is Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” down or flat for the seventh consecutive time for an overall decline of -1.3 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), “Hot 97” drops out of the top twenty (#19 to #24). Prior to December, WQHT had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive Long Island ratings periods. In six straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 – Nash FM” has lost 50% (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH share (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.2, flat at #26, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight down or flat trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+), which departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). KKDD debuted in July with a .2 (6+); gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; and up one-tenth in October.

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; dropped one-tenth in November; was flat at .2 in December; and is off one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018 to .1 (#20 to #24, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 12th month in a row.

A -.4 in December by KVCR wiped away a +.4 via three straight modest increases (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Now in “Holiday” 2018, the San Bernardino Community College news/talk station forfeits another two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is a collective -.4 in three straight losses (.6 – .4 – .3 – .2, #18 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” advances from sixth to fourth. December’s 3.2 marked the first time KSGN reached the three-share level since January 2018’s 3.1. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now,” which was up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the eighth time in a row, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA erases December’s loss of four-tenths with a gain of one-half share (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). While Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the eighth successive sweep, it has the dubious distinction of suffering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (10.5 – 8.5, -2.0, 6+) and is the only #1 station in these 12 markets to show a dip from December 2018. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a collective -1.7 via four straight negative trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, eighth to ninth, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, steady at #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 17th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.2 (6+) in November and December, after November’s loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO is off one-tenth to 2.1 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which was frozen on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, is a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9,  #28 to #27, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the disappearance of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.6 in five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” which was a collective +.9 in November and December, is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+) and up two-tenths in December, is flat at 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+).

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); it adds four-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and continues at #2. In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+) and adds two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #30, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in September, October, and November, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is a combined +6.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), leaping from fourth to first. KOIT-FM was 7.6 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and is also #1 in San Francisco. In three straight San Jose slips, iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted KISQ is an overall -1.9 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+); after three straight months at #1, it falls to third. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is now an overall +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erodes by -1.5 (5.0, third to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” plummets by eight-tenths (4.6 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+ ). “Mix” had been +2.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 5.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. A December gain of four-tenths by Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a collective -2.4 (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), but “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to the aforementioned negative streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. A collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+). Three increases in a row netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) but it is now -3.1 in four straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Even so, “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to seventh. Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Flat at #26, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.1 as a result of five straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – After holding down the top spot the past six sweeps, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) shifts to the runner-up slot. When it lost three-tenths in December, “New Jersey 101.5” had its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). An overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 2.8, 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR drops from #16 to #17. Entering the December sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #26.

While even at #13, Entercom sports talk WFAN, which was up seven-tenths in October, is now -1.0 via three consecutive slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets relinquishes half that increase (-.6) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

The seven-tenths advantage Entercom all-news WCBS-AM held in December over co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS is down to two-tenths as WCBS-AM falters by four-tenths (2.3 – 1.9, #20 to #22, 6+), while WINS picks up one-tenth (1.6 to 1.7, #24 to #23, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in December, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS, which was up two-tenths in December, recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+) but is down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to being +3.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.9 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +4.9 in Middlesex and storms from second to first. Moreover, in five straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union improvements (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5 – 11.4, 6+), WLTW is an overall +6.5. It is #1 in New York City, as well; “Lite” notched an 11.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The (6+) adult contemporary share in Middlesex swells by an additional +1.7 as Beasley Media Group’s WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” boosts from 4.1 to 5.8 (seventh to third, 6+). This (5.8) is the highest 6+-share for “Magic” since February 2018’s 5.9. As a result of four successive down or flat moves (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is off by a collective -1.1. Trending a very consistent 3.7 – 3.9 (6+) from June 2018 through December 2018 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; +.9 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex showing since 3.3 in September 2016.

Tuesday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2019

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019).  It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way.  Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Check it out!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

The Epoch Times: A New Resource for Talk Radio. For those in the talk media business not already aware of The Epoch Times, it is a multi-language newspaper with a mission statement asserting that it aims to serve society by “providing credible, quality news that is honest and unbiased, and never slanting from the influence of outside interests.”  The declaration on the Epoch Media Group website banner reads, “To report truthfully on important topics that other media choose not to touch.”  The organization was founded in 2000 by John Tang and a group of Chinese Americans responding to censorship in China. Today, in addition to covering the breadth of national and international news, The Epoch Times focuses on exposing communist propaganda in China and abroad. In a recent Epoch Times piece by editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert titled, “Never Trumpers Learn Resistance Is Futile,” he writes, “Whether one agrees with the policies of the Trump administration or not, there is no denying that Donald Trump’s presidency is transforming America.  This is something that most Americans genuinely care about.  We see the Trump administration’s efforts to change socialist policies in America, as well as set policies to counter infiltration and subversion by China, as remarkable reversals from past policies, and sincere efforts that, if fully realized, will benefit America and the world as a whole.”  Learn more about this amazing news organization and its value to talk media practitioners here.

Juliano to Lead Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois Cluster. Management and sales pro Mike Juliano is named the market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WROK and three music radio outlets.  He was most recently director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations.  He’s also held sales positions at Entercom Boston, Westwood One, Cox Media Group, and more.  Townsquare COO-Local Media Erik Hellum states, “Few people are as passionate as Mike is about our industry, about building great teams, and helping our clients grow their business, as he has proven over and over again in his career.  With our ‘local first’ focus, Townsquare is very proud to have someone of Mike’s caliber joining our company and leading our Townsquare Rockford team.  And as an added bonus I finally get to work with Mike, which I’ve been trying to do for 30 years!”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder was a featured speaker at the BLEXIT LA conference – a gathering of conservative Blacks and Latinos that took place in Los Angeles last Sunday – and the Salem Radio Network personality argued the two groups have not been served well by the Democratic Party and its policies over the years.  Read coverage of his appearance at BLEXIT LA in Breitbart here…..San Diego sports talk host Dan Sileo (mornings on Entercom’s KWFN “93.7 FM The Fan” ) is filling in on the company’s WEEI, Boston tomorrow night (1/23) from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Sileo guest-hosted last Friday evening’s program, as well…..FOX Sports Radio will be broadcasting live from Atlanta next week for its Super Week coverage leading up to Super Bowl LIII. Its daily shows – Clay TravisDoug Gottlieb, Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, and others – will all broadcast from Turner Sports studios in Atlanta…..A new podcast from Unqualified Media is being launched, co-hosted by actor Topher Grace and Sim Sarna called “Minor Adventures with Topher Grace.”  The show consists of the two interviewing a celebrity with a twist added later in the program, such as the introduction of a lie detector test…..Pictured below are Paul Glickman of the Radio Television News Association and KPCC (left) and Westwood One News correspondent Jim Roope (right) as Westwood One News received its fourth consecutive Golden Mike award in the “Best News Reporting” category from the organization during last Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, DC Protest Controversy, Democrats’ Agenda, 2020 Presidential Race, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21). The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the agenda of congressional Democrats and conservatives’ charges they are tilting farther to the left; the 2020 presidential candidates, including the entrance of Kamala Harris into the race; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT!  2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Nelson exits his position with Riverbend Communications’ Idaho Falls stations where he’d been operations manager and program director for adult contemporary KLCE and CHR KFTZ “Z103.”…..In Chicagoland, media maven Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media unveils its new lineup at hot AC WXLC, Waukegan.  Wes McKane is the new morning host after Jimmy Novak’s departure last week.  He’s joined by Leah Anderson as co-host.  Evening host Jason Cornell slides into the afternoon drive daypart and promotions director Janelle Rominski adds evening host duties…..At iHeartMedia’s Columbus/Albany, Georgia cluster Brian Paiz exits the SVP of programming position he’s held for the last 18 months.

Monday, January 21, 2018

| January 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in his weekly Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine that conservative news/talk stations should be working overtime to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  Cooke references a recent column in The New York Times by Frank Bruni in which he observes the president is covered by the media as “spectacle” and that makes Trump the “star” no matter what.  Cooke reasons that since the best way to increase ratings share with news/talk radio is to increase the TSL of its P1s, stations should “be to radio what Fox News Channel is to TV” – a safe space for like-minded conservatives. Read the Monday Memo here.

Entercom and DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Renew; Plan for Regional Distribution. The WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” morning drive program “The Sports Junkies” and Entercom agree to a long-term extension of their contract.  “The Sports Junkies” are John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim.  Entercom DC SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies’ have driven the sports conversation in Washington, DC and we couldn’t envision ‘The Fan’ without them. As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team.” The station says the program “is consistently rated number one among Washington, DC men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.”  It adds that “plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington, DC to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Harvey Wells Exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois Cluster. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells has resigned from his position as market manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WMAY-AM/FM and three music-formatted stations.  Wells served the Chicago market for years leading the then-CBS RADIO cluster of radio stations.  Wells is quoted saying, “I cannot say enough good things about Mid-West Family Broadcasting and feel fortunate to have spent two-plus years at an employee-owned company.  It truly makes a difference when you walk in the door and your fellow workers also have an ownership interest in the company.  However, the one family that has to come before the Mid-West Family is my own.”

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Issue, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, DC Students-Protestors Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Mexico Pipeline Blast, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020; the gas pipeline explosion in Mexico that killed more than 85 people; today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL Conference Championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk WSCR “The Score” weekend and fill-in host Barry Rozner – who is also a sports columnist with the Daily Herald – is considering leaving the station before the next season of the baseball show “Hit & Run” begins this spring.  Feder says Rozner has been in communication with station operations manager Mitch Rosen saying, “We’re still communicating, and we’ll see what comes of it, but I don’t – at this moment – see a path to returning.  No hard feelings. No one to blame. There’s just no role there for me comparable to the last 10 years when I hosted nearly 1,400 shows. If it’s over, I will miss ‘Hit & Run’ more than I can properly express.  It was a great run and I’m grateful for the opportunity Mitch gave me.”…..The sports media 2019 BSM Summit is taking place at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles February 21-22.   Barrett Sports Media president Jason Barrett says the event “will feature a star-studded lineup of guest speakers,” including CBS Sports personality Jim Rome, who will do a one-on-one with Barrett.  See more about the Summit here.….The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts officially name Matt Taylor the play-by-play voice for radio coverage of the team’s games.  Taylor has been part of the team’s broadcast operations since 2012.  He takes over the role handled by Bob Lamey, who exited the position after a controversial incident in which he used a racial slur off the air…..Binghamton market public broadcaster WSKG announces coming programming changes that will make it easier for listeners to find the programming they desire.  Currently, both WSKG-FM and WSQX-FM are airing programming consisting of news, conversation and music.  On February 3, the company will move all news and talk programming to WSKG-FM – its NPR member station – and WSQX will air classical, jazz and folk music programming…..Pictured below are the hosts of last Friday’s inaugural 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards that took place at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank, California. You can see all the categories and winners here.  Below from left to right are: Holly Frey, Bobby Bones, Charlamagne tha God, and Mario Lopez(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Sponsors Broadcast Booth at Local Science Center. Through his “Hurley in the Morning” charity, WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley donated $3,500 to the Patcong Creek Foundation Science Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey on January 19.  The charity sponsors the “Harry Hurley Broadcast Booth” in which Hurley is pictured above.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, air personality Ralphie Aversa exits his evening show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, as well as the company’s WPRO-FM, Providence and WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the show also aired. WPLJ APD Mike Allen is now handling evenings…..Chicago market hot AC WXLC, Waukegan parts ways with morning show personality Jimmy Novak.  He posted on Facebook, “The old building and loan has decided to cut ties with me as morning show host.  It’s been a fun decade of shows and I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible people.  I’m truly blessed with great memories and I look forward to new challenges and staying up past 7:30.”…..The 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert took place on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring: Twenty One PilotsRise Against, Muse, The Killers, Weezer, plus Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists.  Pictured below are The Revivalists with KYSR, Los Angeles midday personality Tamo Sein(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.)

Friday, January 18, 2019

| January 18, 2019

News/Talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska Honored with NAB Crystal Heritage Award.  The Lincoln, Nebraska news/talk station will be honored at this spring’s 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas at the “We Are Broadcasters Celebration” on Tuesday, April 9.  The NAB Crystal Heritage Award recognizes stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Seven other stations have received this honor in the 32-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.  Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Julie Gade says, “KFOR AM/FM has proudly served the Lincoln, Nebraska region for over 94 years, and our commitment to the community has never wavered.  We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”

FSR’s Clay Travis Hits 300-Affiliate Mark with ‘Outkick the Coverage’ Program. The Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio-syndicated “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” program hits the 300-affiliate mark with the recent additions of stations including: KKSE-AM/FM, Denver; WGFX-FM, Nashville; WEEX-AM/WTKZ-AM, Allentown; and WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte.  Travis is entering his third year with the network. He also recently joined FS1’s first-ever, daily gambling TV show “Lock It In” as a co-host alongside Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and Todd Fuhrman.  In a joint statement, Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the growth of ‘Outkick the Coverage.’  Clay and his team have consistently set new listening records, which promises for continued momentum and a lot more success in the future.  We are excited to share many more achievements with our affiliate partners around the country.”

Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Tonight. The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards show will take place tonight in Los Angeles and the evening’s ceremonies will be streamed live via Twitter.  Hosts for the 90-minute event will include Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Bobby Bones, Charlamagne Tha God, and Mario Lopez, as well as podcaster Holly Frey.  There are 22 categories with 17 having been voted on by listeners while the remaining five will be decided by a panel of judges.

Blass to Leave Pirates Broadcast Booth After 2019 Season. At the end this year’s baseball season, former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and longtime play-by-play crew personality Steve Blass will retire from his role with the team.  Blass has been working with the team’s radio and television crews since 1983.  The 76-year-old Blass has been calling only home games on radio and TV since 2005.

WTOP, Washington Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine Saves Woman from Drowning.  Washington, DC traffic reporter Dave Dildine was out in last Sunday’s snowstorm taking photos in Rock Creek Park when he heard a woman struggling in the creek under one of the park’s bridges. He called out to her and told her to swim to shore.  But as he prepared to call for help on his cell phone, he saw her go under and made the decision to walk out onto the ice to try to pull her in.  The ice broke and he fell into the creek but was able to drag 27-year-old Sarah Kirkpatrick out of the water and stay with her until emergency crews arrived.  Read the whole story at WTOP’s website here.

The Battle Over the Border Wall Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18. The battle between President Trump and House Democrats over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the related federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation tied with the allegations of campaign finance violations against the Trump campaign, followed by the House Democrats’ legislative agenda and the potential 2020 presidential candidates tied 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SPOTLIGHT CHINA: Award-Winning Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Is the world’s most populous country, with a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, a friend or foe to the United States?  Joshua Philipp is one of America’s most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of China and the existential threats it poses to US interests in the arenas of politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense.  He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare and subversion.  Philipp is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  His on-the-ground investigations in 2008 onward into connections between Chinese consulates, spy networks, and organized crime circles in New York City – and more than a decade of research and investigations on this and related topics – give him unique insight into the global threat presented by today’s repressive Communist Chinese government.  Harrison and Philipp take a deep dive into the subversive ways in which China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operate both domestically and behind the scenes on the world stage giving clear insight into such lightly covered news topics as the nefarious activities of its telecommunications giant Huawei and its recently arrested CFO, Meng Wanzou, in Canada.  Harrison states, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization founded by Chinese-Americans as an objective counterpoint to Communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media host interested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”  To listen to this extremely important podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Lansing, Michigan jock Deb Hart is retiring from the radio business and her morning drive gig with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WMMQ to pursue a career as a full-time yoga teacher.  Hart has worked in the market for decades.  She’s currently co-host of the WMMQ morning show with Joey Pants – who will continue with the station hosting mornings – and previously served with Midwest Communications’ crosstown rock WJXQ.  Her last show will be January 24…..iHeartMedia Atlanta is working with the Super Bowl Host Committee to open its iHeartRadio BoomBox Stage to activities from January 26 through February 2 during the 2019 Super Bowl LIVE week taking place at Centennial Olympic Park. The week-long stage of events will feature sets from iHeartRadio DJ’s and on-air personalities from the Atlanta cluster…..SiriusXM and legendary rock band KISS are presenting an invitation-only show for SiriusXM subscribers and VIPs on Monday, February 11 at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  The exclusive performance will air on KISS’ exclusive SiriusXM channel, KISS Army Radio.  KISS’ performance at Whisky a Go Go will launch SiriusXM’s “The Party Continues,” a new, live series that will feature music’s top artists performing in an intimate venue for SiriusXM subscribers following music’s biggest night at the Grammy Awards…..Pictured below is Columbia Nashville star Maren Morris (center) appearing on the syndicated Ty Bentli morning show in which she discussed her newest song “GIRL” and the coming GIRL: The World Tour.  With her is Ty Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).

Thursday, January 17, 2019

| January 17, 2019

WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues.  Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”  Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst.  The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues.  Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.”  Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”  Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio.  You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media.  Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”

Radio for the 55+ Listener.  Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.”  Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio.  They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives.  At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.”  Read the entire story here.

Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group.  Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales.  Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations.  She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team.  I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert FederVioleta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX.  She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season.  Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo.  He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets.  Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast.  WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown.  Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough.  We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network.  His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening.  Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm.  Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL playoffs 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. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host.  She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

| January 16, 2019

Cumulus Names Divello Market Manager for Abilene Cluster. Management and sales pro Paula Divello rises from director of sales for Cumulus Media’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group to vice president and market manager for its Abilene, Texas cluster that includes KTLT-FM “SportsRadio 98.1 FM The Ticket” and three music outlets. Divello says, “Thank you to Mary Berner and the Cumulus leadership team for this opportunity.  I am enthusiastically looking forward to leading from the front in Abilene.  It’s a strong cluster with an invested team, in a great market with tons of potential.  I’ve learned and grown so much with Cumulus, experienced FORCE values and culture – and how consistently they drive success. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to drive revenue, ratings, and community involvement for Cumulus as the new vice president/market manager in Abilene.”

Urban One Founder Cathy Hughes to Be Inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. The founder and chairperson of Urban One, Cathy Hughes, will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the 2019 NAB Show during the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on Monday, April 8 at the Encore in Las Vegas.  Hughes built what was formerly Radio One after buying her first radio station – WOL-AM, Washington – in 1980.  She became the first black woman to own a station in a major market.  At WOL-AM, she created the “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective” format.  Today’s Urban One is a publicly traded company operated by Hughes’ son Alfred Liggins III.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry.  We look forward to honoring Cathy with this well-deserved award at this year’s NAB Show.”

Facebook Announces Local News Initiative. Via a blog post by vice president of global news partnerships (former NBC and CNN news personality) Campbell Brown, social media behemoth Facebook announces “an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead.”  Brown writes that the goal of the initiative is two-fold: to support “local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs in the immediate future; and helping local news organizations build sustainable business models, through both our product and partnership work.  Over time, we think this work can have the added benefit of fostering civic engagement, which research suggests is directly correlated with people’s reading of local news.”  She says Facebook will invest $300 million over the next three years.  You can read about the breakdown of where that money is being spent here.  Brown also says Facebook will hold a two-day “Accelerate: Local News” summit early this year that will be “devoted to local news, in partnership with Knight Foundation and the Online News Association.  Our goal is to bring together top local US news organization leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and funders to discuss, design and drive towards solutions that address today’s most pressing local news challenges.”

iHeartMedia and Fremont Street Experiences Announce Downtown Las Vegas Revitalization Plan. The Las Vegas operations of iHeartMedia announces a partnership with Fremont Street Experience in which it wil