Category: Front Page News

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

| August 14, 2018

New Programming Lineup at ‘The Team 980’ in Washington; ‘Cooley and Kevin’ Exit AM Show. There’s a new weekday program schedule for sports talker WTEM, Washington “The Team 980” as Radio One assumes control of the station it is acquiring from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra.  The morning team of Chris Cooley and Kevin Sheehan is out and Al Galdi takes over the 6:00 am to 10:00 am daypart. The  Washington Post reports that midday personality Bram Weinstein, as well as “Inside the Locker Room” hosts Scott Jackson and Rick “Doc” Walker are also off the schedule as Fred Smoot is now host of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, followed by Brian Mitchell and Scott Linn from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Steve Czaban holding down the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  The paper says program director Chris Johnson reports the station is “still in the process of finalizing our lineup.”  Both Walker and Cooley will continue to work the Washington Redskins game day broadcasts on the station this season.

Lar Larson Celebrates 15 Years in National Syndication.  KXL, Portland-based Lars Larson is celebrating his 15thyear in national tomorrow (8/15). Larson tells TALKERS magazine, “Wednesday, August 15, 2018 marks 15 years since the national syndication of the Lars Larson show. That’s the day I took over what had been the Laura Ingraham show on Westwood One.  When Westwood dropped the show after six years of syndication, Peter Kosann (who left his position as CEO of Westwood two years earlier) was there to rescue me with his brand-spanking-new Compass Media Networks.  Since then, Peter and his team have grown our affiliates and advertisers to make the Lars Larson show more successful than ever.  I’ve done the show live from NYC, DC & Jerusalem among others, as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and literally dozens of towns – big and small – across the country.  Last November, the show was broadcast live from the East Room of the White House with President Donald J. Trump as the star guest.  Compass has agreed to carry my show through at least 2023, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ll keep talking for my friend Peter Kosann till he pulls the mic from my cold, dead hands.  Meanwhile, my show on the Radio Northwest Network marks 18 years in regional syndication throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho on 24 stations, including its flagship, ‘FM News 101’ KXL.”

Mark Sturcken to Lead Sales for iHeartMedia West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce Stations. Radio sales pro Mark Sturcken is named SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce stations, including news/talk outlets WJNO-AM, West Palm Beach and WZTA-AM, Fort Pierce/Vero Beach, plus sports talk WBZT-AM, West Palm Beach.  Sturcken was most recently director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster.  iHM West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce market president Mark McCauley says, “Mark brings more than 20 years of radio sales and management experience to us and we’re excited to welcome him back to iHeartMedia.  Mark is a highly regarded leader in our industry and we look forward to having him lead our sales operation in West Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Maria Sciullo, Steel City reporter Marty Griffin is leaving CBS Corp.’s KDKA-TV where he was featured in the “Get Marty” consumer assistance segment.  Griffin also hosts the late-morning “Inside Story with Marty Griffin” show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM and is continuing in that role. The television station says Griffin left at the end of July to pursue new opportunities…..Westwood One – in collaboration with Cult Favorite Media – is launching a new podcast titled, “Run Like a Girl,” hosted by voiceover artist and screenwriter Tracy Fraim.  The show will introduce listeners to different female candidates from across the country who are running the political race of their lives.  In addition, now through election day, the podcast goes inside the Gretchen Whitmer campaign for exclusive access to one of the most competitive gubernatorial contests in the country – Michigan.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “The time is now for these exceptional women.  They’re courageous and tenacious, and we are proud to shine our spotlight on their personal stories and support them with a massive radio, social, and influencer marketing campaign.”…..Salem Media Group is acquiring Hilary Kramer’s investment newsletters GameChangers, High Octane Trader, Value Authority and Inner Circle as well as the websites HilaryKramer.com and KramerCapitalResearch.com.  In a press release, Salem says that “adding Hilary Kramer to Eagle Financial Publications’ portfolio of investment newsletters and trading services adds more depth to an already powerful mix of products.”…..Radio pro Bo Woods is partnering with Pastor Ron Merrell to launch a new, daily, 20-minute podcast called the “Ronnie and Bo” show.  Woods says, “Our basic premise is to entertain each other, relating life experiences and observations.  I believe that if we’re having fun, then the listener is too.”  Woods is the son of National Radio Hall of Fame air personality, Jack Woods.  “My father was half of a radio morning team show.  I followed in his footsteps when I got into radio, but it wasn’t until I started working with Ronnie that I knew exactly what he did.” Woods has served with Dial Global satellite; KRTH, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101”; KLUV-FM, Dallas; and WWDE-FM, Norfolk.

Omarosa Book/Recording Case, Trump-Russia Investigation/Strzok Fired by FBI, DC White Nationalist Rally, Paul Manafort Trial, Tuesday Primary Elections, Turkey’s Lira Crisis, Aretha Franklin Ill, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/13).  The secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok; Sunday’s white nationalist rally in Washington, DC; the trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; today’s primary elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut; the financial crisis affecting Turkey’s lira and fears of global repercussions; reports of singer Aretha Franklin’s declining health; NFL pre-season activity; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Steve McKay moves from Cumulus Media’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster to the company’s Columbia, South Carolina station group to serve as program director for adult contemporary WTCB “B106.7” and classic hits WOMG.  Cumulus Columbia VP and market manager Rick Prusator says, “Steve McKay’s experience in our formats on WTCB and WOMG has delivered top ratings and revenues for the radio stations he has guided and his addition to our already great team in Columbia will bring immediate results.  Steve’s commitment to creating greater listener experiences and coaching his team to help them be their best is why I think he is the perfect leader to guide our team at this time.”…..Radio One Washington announces the return of DJ Quicksilva as the host of the all new afternoon drive “Quicksilva Show” on WERQ, Baltimore “92Q” and WKYS, Washington.  The show launched on WERQ on Monday (8/6) and will debut on WKYS on August 20. Quicksilva says, “I’m really excited to be back on the air doing what I love to do which is inspire and motivate all while making a party on your radio daily.  The Quicksilva show’s mission is to use my platform and voice to help others #InRealLife.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country WIL, St. Louis says that “because St. Louis is known as ‘the best baseball city’ in America,” it was “proud to present Dan & Shay with genuine, customized St. Louis Cardinals baseball jerseys before their recent show in St. Louis.”  Pictured below are (from l-r): Dan Smyers, WIL personality Kelly from Arnold, Shay Mooney, and WIL assistant program director/music director Danny Montana.

Takeaways from July PPM – Round Two. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Twelve Takeaways from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM ratings survey.  This second report includes the 12 markets of Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Each month this calendar year (January 2018 – June 2018), Hubbard all-news WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished first and second, respectively. There is a modification in July, however, as WTOP (9.5 – 9.3, -.2, 6+) remains at #1 for the seventh straight time, but WAMU (8.3 – 7.6, -.7, 6+) segues to third. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7 and was -1.1 in March. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. Down one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” interrupts three upticks in succession that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Before notching a +.6 in January, the Washington Nationals flagship was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). On the flipside, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL, which was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), adds two-tenths in July to 3.7 (#13 to #11, 6+). In March, WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). It was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since appearing in print in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH (#23 to #24) is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 and is without an increase for the third month in a row.

Washington, DC Music Formats – Once again, urban AC rivals WMMJ and WHUR take center stage and combine to elevate the format by a +1.3. The majority of that increase is supplied by Radio One-owned WMMJ, which continues on an historic roll with its sixth straight up or flat report for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “Majic” (third to second) registers the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set this time last month. Meanwhile, after four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Howard University’s WHUR (steady at #4) is 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’s 7.1. In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top until WMMJ picked up two-tenths to 5.8, while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7. The February 2018 – June 2018 6+ topline for WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety” was a steady 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.8, but the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet sputters in July by -1.0 to 3.8, drifting from fifth to ninth. This (3.8) marks the first time in the PPM-era that WASH has been below a four-share (6+). Despite being without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” climbs from sixth to fifth. With a July gain of three-tenths to 3.9 (#6+), Radio One urban contemporary WKYS wipes out the -.2 it logged in five straight down or flat surveys (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). Its similarly-formatted Baltimore sibling – WERQ “92-Q” – surfaces in the Washington, DC report with a .7 (6+), debuting at #20. Following three modest upticks in succession for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” surrenders four-tenths to 3.1 (#13 to #14, 6+). Its format foe – Cumulus Media’s WRQX – picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, 6+) and inches up from seventh to sixth. “Mix 107.3” was an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), before recording a -.4 in June. Three consecutive minor decreases totaling four-tenths (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) are enough to force Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) for the eighth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” drops from #15 to #17.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Up one-tenth in back-to-back monthlies (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM (ninth to eighth) overtakes Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (eighth to tenth), which is a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). It roared back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+) with a +1.0 in April. WBZ-FM was -1.5 in February. Adding four-tenths to June’s +.1 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM progresses from fifth to fourth. After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), “News Radio 1030” was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Owing to a two-tenths improvement to 2.5 (#15 to #13, 6+), news/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). The market’s two public news/talkers are off by a combined seven-tenths. Specifically, Boston University’s WBUR (fourth to fifth) is down three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, 6+), while WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (#11 to #12) forfeits four-tenths and is a combined -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+). In June, WBUR surrendered half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths. It was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH was off two-tenths in both February and March and – as was the case with WBUR – improved by seven-tenths in January.

Boston Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM up or flat for the third straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8, 6+), “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” sets the pace for the seventh straight ratings period. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+) and was off by one-half share in April. It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. Meanwhile, the “Holiday” 2017 – July 2018 topline trending for its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#15 to #16, 6+) is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2. Repeating in the runner-up slot is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits,” which is up an overall six-tenths via three modest upticks in succession (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Notching its third straight increase as well is rhythmic hot AC sibling WBQT “Hot 96.9” (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+), which has its highest 6+-share (4.1) since January 2017’s 4.4. This is the fourth month in a row without a loss for Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” (flat at #11), which is up two-tenths in that stretch (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It’s a remarkably similar story for Beasley Media Group alternative WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative,” which is up two-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, unchanged at #18, 6+). A combined +.8 in April and May (2.2 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” is now a collective -.9 in June and July (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1, #14 to #17, 6+). Having been up an overall seven-tenths in May and June (4.7- 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” returns six-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” surrenders all but one-tenth of the six-tenths it gained in June (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #13 to #15, 6+) and is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 13th successive sweep. Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” is off four-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), while Entercom’s WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” is -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+); WXRV and WAAF remain at #19 and #20, respectively. Operating out of Providence, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (#23) nearly doubles its 6+ Boston stat in seven successive up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country” (flat at #7) is off two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” (#17 to #13) gains four-tenths (2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Following three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of -1.0 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), WKLB bounced back with a +.7 in June. Entering the July sweep, “The Bull” posted four straight month-to-month fluctuations of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Linked together in June at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is flat at 2.0 (6+) and stays at #20, while Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN drops two-tenths (2.0 – 18, 6+) and falls to #21. A one-half share loss in May by WIOD halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). In the sports talk arena, Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” regains the one-tenth it lost in June (.9 – .8 – .9, flat at #25, 6+), while cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.9 – .8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+). When “The Ticket” posted a .8 (6+) in June, it curtailed five consecutive .9 postings (6+); WQAM’s May gain of two-tenths stalled five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Following modest back-to-back gains of one-tenth and two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” explodes with a whopping +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) and marches from fifth to first, where it catches Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1.” WFEZ  advanced from second to first in June. Following three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), “Easy” sputters by six-tenths in July to 6.9 (6+). Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. In addition to the July -.6 by “Easy,” the market’s adult contemporary 6+-share softens by another three-tenths as Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (fourth to fifth) is down by that margin and is actually a collective -1.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). This (5.5) is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” in exactly one year (5.2, July 2017). Just one-tenth behind co-leaders WFEZ and WAMR is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot,” which is off three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+), sliding from second to third. As the result of four straight (slight) upticks (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” (#16 to #14) is up one-half share, while Cox Media Group’s like-formatted WEDR “99 Jamz” (eighth to sixth) is flat in that same March 2018 – July 2018 timeframe, trending 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 (6+). Down a combined eight-tenths in June and July (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” slips from #15 to #18. Three-tenths of a share separates Miami’s two mainstream CHRs: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, 6+) yet advances from #11 to #10, while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” gains two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) to climb from #13 to #12. Down or flat nine reports in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. These two CHRs were separated by one-tenth in both April and May. At the same time that Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” (ninth to seventh) picks up three-tenths (4.2 – 4.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed WRTO “Mix 98.3” (#10 to #11) forfeits three-tenths to 3.5 (6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). WXDJ answers May’s -1.1 with a combined June and July increase of eight-tenths (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Immediately before May’s -1.1, “106.7 El Zol” was an overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline (6+) trending for Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” (steady at #16) is 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of nine-tenths (5.6 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” fades from fifth to ninth. A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Locked on 5.8 (6+) in May and June, cluster-mate WWJ “News Radio 950” slips by three-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. In three straight negative trends (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a collective -.7 and segues from #11 to #12. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Even though Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM (#19 – #20) is without an increase for the seventh straight survey period, it has lost just two-tenths in that timeframe (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a loss of two-tenths (.9 – .9 – .7 -.7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET picks up one-tenth to .7 and is steady at #22 (6+).

Detroit Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in May and June (7.9 – 7.1 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erases half that deficit with a +.7 to 7.2 (6+). After four straight months at #1, “Detroit’s Greatest Hits”    lost eight-tenths in May and fell to #2; WOMC carries on in the runner-up slot in July. Its -.8 in May ended four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). When Beasley Media Group’s WCSX dropped two-tenths in June, it pulled the plug on five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). In July, “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and is #1 for the third month a row. Locked on 1.4 (6+) in April, May, and June, Detroit Classical and Jazz Educational Radio, LLC’s WRCJ breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #19). While it remains in third-place, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” tumbles by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus ending four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+); June’s 5.9 was its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). Simultaneous with iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” (eighth to fourth) gaining two-tenths (5.3 – 5.5, 6+), Radio One rival, WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of ‘The D’” (#11 to #13), loses two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by four-tenths, as Entercom’s WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” (tie at #5 to a three-way tie at #4) is off one-tenth (5.6 – 5.5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” sputters by three-tenths to 2.5 (#16 to #17), its lowest 6+-showing since Holiday 2017’s 2.1. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). There is only slight June 2018 – July 2018 movement with the market’s two mainstream CHR players, although iHeartMedia’s WKQI iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (#10 to #11) is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for an overall -.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” (#17 to #15) is a combined +.4 in June and July (2.4 – 2.8, 6+), after having suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Bonneville cluster, news/talk KIRO-FM (5.1, second to sixth, 6+) and sports talk sibling KIRO-AMESPN 710” (3.5, #9 to #11, 6+) each surrender seven-tenths. The very steady KIRO-FM October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline trending was: 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Seattle Mariners flagship KIRO-AM was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Despite being down or flat for the third straight sweep for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), KUOW climbs from a fifth-place tie to a third-place tie. The Northwest Public Radio news/talker took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). In addition to posting its fourth up or flat trend in succession for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Logging a 2.3 (6+) for the third time in the last five survey periods (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #22). The (6+) topline February 2018 – July 2018 trending for co-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (#24 to #25) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1. Locked on .6 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” forfeits one-tenth to .5 (#27 to #28, 6+). Crista Media religious teaching KCIS – which notched a .5 (6+) in May – vanished in June but reappears in print in July with a .4 (#29, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – A June increase of two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1, 6+) was enough to lift Hubbard CHR KQMV from third to first. Now, “MOViN 92.5” solidifies its hold on the top spot with a +1.7 to 7.8 (6+). That +1.7 represents the largest (6+) June 2018 – July 2018 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve summarized so far. The last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in February (7.1). At the same time, KUBE (formerly CHR KPWK), which was a collective +.8 in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 2.8- 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), surrenders the entire eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+), fading from #12 to #17. Taking over the runner-up slot (from third-place in June) is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” which is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+). This (6.4) is the first time KJR-FM crosses the six-share level (6+) in more than two years (6.1, May 2016). The tie at #14 between the market’s two country FMs – Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” and Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) – is broken as “The Wolf” improves by one-half share and vaults to #10, whereas “The Bull” sputters by four-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and remains at #14. In a bit of a ratings oddity that dates back to October 2017, “The Wolf” continues a precise down/up pattern and is +.8 in that time period: (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). Meanwhile, entering the July 2018 ratings period, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+) and reached the three-share level (3.4, June 2018) for the first time since September 2017’s 3.1. In addition to “The Wolf,” Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” (4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+) and Classic Radio KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” (2.1 – 2.6, #21 to #19, 6+) were up one-half share in July. As far as “The End” is concerned, the +.5 wipes away three straight down or flat moves that generated a -.5 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+). The recent rollercoaster ride for public KNKX “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” (#12 to #14) includes a -.7 in May (to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0); +.6 in June; and -.6 in July (3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). Prior to May, KNKX was consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the previous nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+). Having added three-tenths in June, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM (seventh to eighth) surrenders more than twice as much in July with a -.7 to 4.3, its lowest 6+-stat since October 2016 (4.3, as well). Prior to June’s improvement, “Warm 106.9” was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Format challenger, Entercom’s KSWD (#16 to #13), is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+); “The Sound” posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Following five consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.3 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) and climbs from #17 to #16. Its format rival – Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” (eighth to ninth) – drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+); Star was +.3 in both May and June (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite recording its third straight uptick that has produced a collective +.7 (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” backslides from #14 to a tie at #15. When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). By notching a +.6 to 3.0 (#17 to #14, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ pulls the plug on three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Up three-tenths in April but then a combined -.5 in May and June, KTAR-FM gains one-tenth in July (3.1 – 3.2, 6+) and continues at #11. The Bonneville news/talk outlet was +.8 in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), followed by an overall -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June and July, sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” slips from #15 to #17. From January through May, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+). Prior to the just-concluded positive streak, KMVP-FM registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Topping the list of several particularly wild June 2018 – July 2018 swings in this Arizona market is the lofty +1.6 recorded by adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” which comes on the heels of its strong June improvement of eight-tenths (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9, 6+). “The Mountain” climbs from an eighth-place tie all the way to second, reaching the five-share level (5.9, 6+) for the first time in exactly two years (5.0, July 2016). Quadrupling its 6+-share (.3 – 1.2, +.9, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” checks in at #26. Meanwhile, a station with similar call letters to KLVA – The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA – improves six-tenths to 3.5, its finest 6+-showing since last August’s 3.6, as “Hot” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Format foe – iHeartMedia’s KMXP “Mix 96.9” (fourth to third) is a collective +1.1 in June and July (4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). By posting June’s +.8, “Mix” regained 80% of the collective full-share it lost in April and May (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Notwithstanding a mighty -1.2 (8.7 – 7.5, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ sets the pace for the ninth straight report. A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a gigantic +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of July’s lofty -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), Hubbard’s KSLX obliterates in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which had been entrenched in the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifts to fifth. It isn’t the only station in the market to erode by -1.1 in July though as Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” does so (4.3 – 3.2, 6+) and exits the top ten in the process (#8 to #11). Another similarity between “Classic Rock 100.7” and “Live 101.5” is that KALV’s -1.1 nearly erases the +1.3 it accumulated via three straight upticks (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” continues at #3, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – is a collective -.5 in June and July (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+) but advances from tenth to ninth. A cumulative -1.8 in four successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” drifts from #15 to #20.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The last four fluctuations for Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” (#12 to #9) are +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and now +.5 in July (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. This marks the fourth negative move in a row for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) and -.7 (July). Backsliding from #15 to #17, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is off an overall seven-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March loss of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). A collective -2.1 in four decreases in a row (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” dips from #11 to #12; “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Flat at #14, iHeartMedia’s KTLK regains half of June’s -.6 (3.3 – 3.6, +.3, 6+). Prior to the June sweep, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20).

Minneapolis Music Formats – In June and July, Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” is a collective +.9 (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) and advances from seventh to fourth. Notwithstanding that it is -1.1 in three straight downward trends (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” is on top for the seventh sweep in a row. Its -.7 in May pulled the plug on four successive progressive moves that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a one-half share increase (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Up a collective full-share in four consecutive positive spikes (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). In five consecutive sweeps without a loss, American Public Media Group classical KSJN (flat at #15) is up a collective +1.2 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). The market’s country stations are basically stagnant in July: iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is off one-tenth to 5.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+) and Entercom’s KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” is steady in both 6+-share (4.2) and market rank (#10). The loss of one-tenth by “K-102,” however, is significant as it concludes six successive sweeps without a loss that yielded a +2.3 (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) between January and May (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), KMNB is now a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 –  4.2, 6+) with June and July’s 4.2 its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.4. This is the fifth consecutive month that Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” (fifth to seventh) is without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2  – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite gaining three-tenths (5.5 – 5.8, 6+), KPBS backslides from third to fourth. The San Diego State University-owned news/talk facility shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; and – down nine-tenths in June – dropped from first to third. KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. Seven-tenths behind KPBS is iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO, which is frozen on 5.1 (6+), segueing from fourth to fifth. “News Radio 600” was +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is up two-tenths to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth curtailed three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). After a multi-year hiatus, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” resurfaces in the San Diego report (1.6, #23, 6+). Three of the market’s sports talkers combine for a -.8 (6+): Tied at #26 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+) and Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (1.0 – .8, -.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” slides from #26 to #28 (.9 – .6, -.3, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (3.7 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” zooms into the top ten (#11 to #7) with its best 6+-showing (4.7) since January’s 4.8. Tacking on nine-tenths to June’s +.5 (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” cruises from fifth to a second-place tie. After three increases in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), “Magic 92.5” sputtered by four-tenths in May. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5; was -.7 in May; answered with a +.8 in June; and by piling on a +.5 in July (5.7 – 6.2, 6+), advances from second to first. It supplants cluster-mate KSON (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, first to second, 6+), whose stay at #1 lasted just one sweep. An April loss of one-tenth by “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). After surrendering six-tenths in June, Local Media San Diego-operated CHR XHTZ regresses by another seven-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 32, 6+) as “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Also stumbling by seven-tenths in July is iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.9 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+), while sibling KGB-FM “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock Station” falters by six-tenths (4.9 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). Having posted a 2.7 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” surrenders one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #20, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Down eight-tenths in May; up four-tenths in June; and now off one-tenth in July (5.4 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA is steady at #4. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Shadowing KOA is Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR, which is also -.1 (5.3 – 5.2, 6+), thus remaining one-tenth behind KOA. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. When it faltered by six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. After picking up three-tenths to 2.2 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW returns two-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but stays at #19. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, “Talk Radio 630” had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). Replicating June’s -.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+) Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” (#15 to #16) posts its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) in exactly one year (July 2017, 2.3). “The Fan” was +1.0 in March; off four-tenths in April; and then up two-tenths in May. Its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9, #26 to #27, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0, KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – Not only does KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN erase June’s -.4 with a July +.5, “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). It is actually part of a four-way scrum there (at #9) that includes Entercom’s similarly-formatted KALC “Alice 105.9,” whose last four 6+-stats (April – May – June – July) are 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1. Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KQKS “KS-107.5” makes up all but one-tenth of the deficit with a +.5 to 3.9 (unchanged at #13, 6+). Classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” adds four-tenths to June’s massive +1.2 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Bouncing back from June’s -1.1 with a gain of four-tenths (4.8 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+) is similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” which is another member of that four-way logjam at #9 (up from #11 in June). Its 3.7 in June caused “The Fox” to fall below a four-share for the first time since “Holiday” 2015 (3.9).  Immediately after logging three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.1 in June and July (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). While May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7, July 2018’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. This is the fifth month in a row that Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI is up or flat for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+); “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” progresses from third to second, one-half share behind “The Mountain.” This (6.0) is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5. The fourth station in the aforementioned four-way tie at #9 is co-owned KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which is down three-tenths to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight upticks that resulted in a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+); June’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-performance since August 2017 (4.4, as well). A cumulative -1.6 in four straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” gains one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and progresses from  #16 to #15.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In five of the last six sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has had a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); and now -.7 in July (4.3 – 3.6, #9 to #11). Despite notching three straight up or flat trends for a +.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from #15 to #16. A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.3 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is now locked on 2.2 (6+) in June and July, but remains at #18. Starting with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Progressing from fifth to third, Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” adds a full-share to June’s +.4 (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+) and reaches the six-share level (6.4) for the first time since May 2017 (6.0). After logging four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” slips three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), but dominates at #1 for the 71st successive ratings period. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). Also under the AC umbrella, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” forfeits in its entirety June’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 1.9, #17 to #19, 6+). Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline was 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (6+); June’s 2.5 is its best (6+) showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Having regained the three-tenths it lost in May with a +.3 in June, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRBQ “Q-105” doubles that June increase with a +.6 in July to 6.4 (6+), advancing from #4 to part of a three-way tie at #3. The other two players in that three-way logjam at #3 are the aforementioned WWRM, as well as WRBQ’s format rival – Cox Media Group’s WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, second to third, 6+). Until this sweep (July 2018), the last time “The Eagle” didn’t prevail over “Q-105” was in February 2016 when WRBQ scored a 5.6 (6+) to WXGL’s 5.1 (6+). Four straight up or flat trends by iHeartMedia-owned WXTB netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but “98 Rock” (seventh to tenth) surrenders all of that increase and an extra one-tenth (3.8, -.9, 6+); June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). In the market’s CHR battle, Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5” (3.5 – 3.9, +.4, #13 to #9, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia-owned WFLZ “93.3 – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” (3.7 – 3.6, -.1, #12 to #11, 6+). The two stations were tied at 3.9 (6+) in March, but “Holiday” 2017 marked the last time “Hot” (4.0, 6+) beat WFLZ (3.8, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” answers with a July increase of six-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #11, 6+). Despite picking up three-tenths (4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” backslides from ninth to tenth. “The Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, #11 to #12, 6+) and Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (2.5, -.3, #12 to #13, 6+), which had logged a 2.8 (6+) the past three months. For the fifth consecutive time, Washington, DC’s WAMU records a 1.1 (6+) in the Baltimore report – the American University-owned news/talker, however, slips from #15 to #18. Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February and March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); disappeared in May and June; but is back in July with a .3 (#31).

Baltimore Music Formats – Dramatic shifts continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; +.6 in May; +.5 in June and now +.8 in July (6.0 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+). Displaying a +.8 in July as well is its CHR sibling, WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6, tenth to seventh, 6+), which hadn’t had an increase the previous four sweeps for a -.5 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). Slipping from third to sixth, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward trends (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). Having registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” forfeits eight-tenths to 4.4 (sixth to ninth, 6+). While both are down two-tenths from June, Radio One urban AC and urban contemporary cluster-mates WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (9.7 – 9.5, 6+) and WERQ “92-Q Jams” (7.1 – 6.9, 6+) finish first and second, respectively, for the third sweep in a row; “Magic” though is #1 for the seventh month in a row. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), WWIN-FM was an overall -2.2 but it bounced back with a +.3 in June. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. A one-half share jump in June took “92-Q Jams” to 7.1, its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 7.8. Long absent from being listed in the Baltimore report, seven Washington, DC signals return in print. Five of the seven are iHeartMedia outlets: alternative WWDC (1.7, #15, 6+); classic rock WBIG (1.4 #16, 6+); adult contemporary WASH (1.0, #19, 6+); CHR WIHT (.8, 6+); and country WMZQ (.8, 6+). The others reappearing in Baltimore are Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX (1.3, #17, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WKYS (1.0, #19, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down six-tenths (8.0 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” ends a two-month stay at #1 and shifts to the runner-up slot. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April, while May’s 8.3 represents its highest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Finishing back-to-back-to-back are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #15 to #14, 6+); Emmis-to-Entercom KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (3.3 – 3.1, -.2, #14 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.7 – 3.0, +.3, #17 to #16, 6+).  By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to a January gain of seven-tenths, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). July’s three-tenths increase by “101 Sports” concludes three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), WXOS posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – On the heels of eroding by a combined -1.5 in May and June, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+) and marches from second to first. After being #1 for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. A miniature yoyo effect is present with Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which was +.5 (May); -1.0 (June); and is now +.7 in July (2.9 – 3.6, #16 to #13, 6+). May’s 3.9 is its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” (seventh to fifth) is an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 –   4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Five successive negative moves by Radio One urban AC WFUN accounted for an overall -1.5 (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+) but “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” erases one-third of that decrease with a +.5 to 5.8 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Via three successive decreases, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#13 to #17) is off by one full-share (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Hubbard rocker KSHE (6.9 – 6.3, second to fourth, 6+) and co-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” (6.1 – 5.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). By logging a one-half share increase in May, KSHE stymied three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+); it was +.7 in June. Leading into the June report, WIL was without a loss for six survey periods in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), but then cratered by -1.1. Unlisted for 18 straight sweeps, Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY returned in June with a 6.6 (6+) and although “99.1 Joy FM” is down one-tenth in July to 6.5 (6+), it advances from fourth to third.

Monday, August 13, 2018

| August 13, 2018

Changes Coming to KSTP-AM, Minneapolis; Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse to Exit.  Air personalities Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse have been a part of the radio landscape in the Twin Cities for the last couple of decades. They’ve been informed by Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM “1500ESPN” that their shows will end on Friday, September 7.  The changes will also include new roles for late morning hosts Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad, though the station says the new programming is not finalized.  Newspaper reporters Soucheray and Reusse began hosting a weekly sports talk show on KSTP-AM in the early 1980s.  Soucheray’s daily “Garage Logic” show debuted on the station in 1993.  It airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and is followed by “Sports Talk” – an hour co-hosted by Soucheray and Reusse – followed by Reusse’s “Ride with Reusse” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Both the Pioneer Press and the Leader-Telegram report Soucheray saying, “I cannot say I’m completely surprised.  I’m going to feel a loss for the gang and the listeners.  The AM radio format is changing.  More and more young people are not tuning into the AM dial.  The way that content is going to be delivered is changing, with more digital platforms.”  He says he plans to continue “Garage Logic” as a podcast.  Soucheray says he’s appreciative of Hubbard letting them work the final month of their shows.  “It’s a sign that the station has had great respect for the show and it’s more than generous they’re allowing us to end it this way.  The usual way it happens is you are told, ‘Your last show was yesterday.’  They’ve told us we can handle this any way we want.  It’s very rare that someone’s on the same radio station, with the same show, for 25 years. It speaks well to the guys I’ve worked with and the people I’ve worked for.  There’s nothing else to say; I’ve had a wonderful run.”

Dave Tepper to Program KKSE, Denver. Sports talk KKSE, Denver “Altitude AM 950” is owned by Kroenke Sports and Entertainment – a company run by Stan Kroenke and family – that owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.  The station announces that sports radio pro Dave Tepper is named the new program director for the station, effective August 15.  KSE Radio SVP and general manager Brenda Egger comments, “We were fortunate to have many outstanding candidates for this position but Dave’s confidence, winning track record, play-by-play experience, and team relations truly stood out from the others.  Dave brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to KKSE and I am confident that he will be an incredible asset to our team.” Tepper was most recently operations manager at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster.

Brent Johnson Exits Cumulus’ Columbia South Carolina Cluster.  Air personality Brent Johnson was the morning host on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina and hosted a daily sports talk show on sister WNKT “107.5 The Game.”  The State reports that after learning of coming programming changes at the cluster, Johnson chose to leave the company.  He will continue to be part of University of South Carolina football coverage this season on WNKT as the games are produced by rights holder IMG.  Cumulus Columbia VP and market manager Rick Prusator tells The State that Johnson was not fired nor was he forced out.  Johnson announced his exit on social media but offered no reason for his departure.

Indy Sales Pro Brian Harrington Joins iHM’s ‘FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM’ and ‘Real 98.3.’ Indianapolis media sales pro Brian Harrington is appointed general sales manager for iHeartMedia’s sports talk WNDE-AM/W248AW “FOX sports 97.5/1260 AM” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis market president Brett Beshore says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Brian bring his 20-plus years of sales and management experience to our iHeartMedia Indianapolis team.  His experience, knowledge of the community, reputation, and passion for the radio business make him the perfect choice to lead our WZRL and WNDE sales teams.” Harrington was most recently an account executive with Woof Boom Radio.  He’s also served in the market in several capacities with Radio One.

Lotus Spins Off Tucson News/Talk KQTH-FM to Family Life Broadcasting; KTGV-FM Goes to Bustos Media.  In order to comply with FCC station ownership caps relative to its purchase of the Tucson and Boise radio clusters of E.W. Scripps for $8 million, Lotus Communications is agreeing to sell news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to not-for-profit Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM to Bustos Media for as-yet undisclosed sums.  Dr. Randy Carlson’s Family Life Broadcasting operates religious stations and is expected to flip KQTH from news/talk to a religious format.  Currently, Mike Rapp hosts the only local daily program on the station — the “Tucson’s Morning News” show.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker for both deals.

Gallagher and Elder Host Listener Cruise. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (left) and Larry Elder (right) in the theater aboard the cruise ship Pride of America as they guide Salem Radio Network listeners on a tour of the Hawaiian Islands.  In the photo, the two are participating in a discussion of the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa White House Recording, DC White Nationalist Rally, Paul Manafort Trial, Sea-Tac Plane Theft, Keith Ellison Allegations, Trump Trade War, Blackkklansman and The Meg Films, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the controversy over Omarosa Manigault Newman’s release of a recording purported to be her firing by John Kelly; Sunday’s Washington rally of White Nationalists; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges; the theft and crashing of a commercial jet by a ground worker at Sea-Tac airport; the allegations of physical abuse against Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison; the Trump tariffs and concerns about the effects of trade wars; the films Blackkklansman and The Meg; the NFL’s pre-season action; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, Hilary Doneux is promoted to assistant program director at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA-FM “91X.” Doneux is also music director and host of the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show.  She says, “To say I’m excited is an understatement.  ‘91X’ is my radio home and I feel ridiculously lucky that I get to continue to grow with such an incredible team.  I’m so grateful to Garett Michaels for having faith in me and sharing his knowledge (and snacks), and to [VP/GM] Gregg Wolfson, for this opportunity!”…..On-air pro Shawn Quinn exits the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas city “X105.1.”  Quinn had been the morning host at the station until Premiere Network’s “The Woody Show” was added to the program schedule…..Air personality Jahna Michal is named co-host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country 107.3.”  She joins station brand manager and morning drive host Joe Kelly for “The Cat Country Morning Show with Joe and Jahna.”…..Pictured at right is WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show personality Angela Yee standing next to the in-store display promoting her popular book club, Kickin’ It from The Stoop (#KIFTS) at Barnes & Noble’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. Yee hosts the book club along with friends Tasha Hilton and Tony Forte monthly at WOODStack Ivy in Brooklyn.  The gathering is also broadcast on Facebook Live via Yee’s page.

 

 

Takeaways from July PPM – Round One. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM ratings survey.  The first report includes the 12 markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being a combined -2.0 in four consecutive decreases (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS drops from fifth to seventh. On the flipside, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #13, 6+), pulling the plug on three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Their sports talk sibling, WFAN “Sports Radio,” regains the three-tenths it lost in June (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+); 4.7 in May and July is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), WFAN picked up four-tenths in March. Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR – is off for the third straight time for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, #19 to #20, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was +.6 in April. A March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.7 (6+) in May and June, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” falters three-tenths to 1.4 (6+) but remains at #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). The last 15 New York City (6+) trends for Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (flat at #23) are: 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Two-tenths behind it is Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which is without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is a combined -.7 in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .5 (#30 to #29, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Without a loss for the fifth sweep in a row for a +1.0, (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.6 , 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” advances from #20 – #16. This (2.6) is its best 6+-showing since May 2017’s 2.8. Moreover, it overtakes Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” (2.6 – 2.5, -.1, #13 to #17, 6+) for the first time since November 2017 when “X-96.3” held a 2.1 (6+) to 2.0 (6+) advantage over “Amor 93.1.” When WPAT-FM dropped four-tenths in June, it snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a +.3 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Vaulting from #17 to #12, Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” notches its third uptick in a row for a combined +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Conversely, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW logs its third setback in succession that has accounted for an overall -1.6 (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the 12th successive sweep. The last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Entering the June 2018 ratings period, WBLS “#1 for R&B” had posted a 5.7 (6+) in four of the previous six survey periods (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). While the Emmis urban AC improved by four-tenths in June, it sputtered by twice that margin in July, slipping from second to third (6.1 – 5.3, -.8, 6+). After posting four straight (modest) gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is up or flat for the fourth time in succession (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), but backslides from #10 to #11. Unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” which was off a collective eight-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), adds one-tenth to 4.1 (6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+) as “Power 105.1” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW adds three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) as “Fresh 102.7” moves from #16 to a three-way tie at #13. Another streak that ends in July involves Cumulus country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM,” which loses one-tenth to 2.4 (#14 to #18, 6+), thus curtailing three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever consistent, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI records a 4.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1), as “AM 640” continues in sixth-place. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” moves from #12 to a three-way scrum at #11; KNX was off six-tenths in April. Although perhaps not quite as pronounced as the KNX situation, the last five topline (6+) stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” are 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 (#10 to #15, 6+). Up two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” progresses from #29 to #27. Close behind are sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” up by one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, #29 to #30) and iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which nearly triples its 6+-stat (+.7) through six successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, unchanged at #31, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is up one-tenth in June and July (.8 – .9 – 1.0, #33, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .4 and remains at #41 (6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – The top eight July 2018 finishers in the “City of Angels” are either down or flat from June 2018. There has been quite a turn in the market’s alternative battle as Entercom-owned KROQ is a combined +.6 in five straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from #17 to #10. Contrast that to its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), spiraling out of the top ten (#9 to #15). For the fourth time in the last five survey periods and fifth time since March, KYSR hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM” registers a 5.7 (6+) and is #1 for the third straight sweep (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Even though “My-FM” is off one-tenth, it widens the lead over runner-up and adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (5.6 – 5.2, -.4, unchanged at #2, 6+) from two-tenths to one-half share. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-stat in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 35 Los Angeles sweeps dating back to December 2015, KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 15 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; May 2018; June 2018; and July 2018. Flat at 2.1 (6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 18th ratings period in a row; “Zona Mx 101.9” advances from #22 to a three-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV was a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but “94.7 The Wave” is now off a combined half-share in June and July (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (flat at #5) is an overall -.7. Its format rival, Entercom’s KAMP, logs a 2.7 (6+) for the third sweep in a row as “97.1 Amp Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #11. Flat at 2.3 (#20 to #19, 6+), Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 33rd time in succession; March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Hitting a 2.8 (November 2017, 6+) in its final days as classic rock KSWD “The Sound,” the Los Angeles frequency at 100.3 became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ. Following the format change, it immediately slumped to 1.2 (December 2017, 6+). “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” didn’t reach a 1.0-share (6+) in the next seven sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), including June’s .7; KKLQ disappears from print in July 2018.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above logging a combined full-share gain via three consecutive positive spikes (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN vaults back into the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #14). When the Chicago White Sox flagship picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). In the same vein, a March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row Entercom’s WBBM-AM (third to fifth) is without a gain for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The all-news outlet was up by an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), sports talk sibling WSCR “670 The Score” rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), but the Chicago Cubs flagship slips by one-tenth in both June and in July (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), exiting the top ten (#9 to #11). “The Score” was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January. Format competitor, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000,” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, #25 to #26, 6+). Up two-tenths to 1.7 (#24 to #22, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM suspends four consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) that accounted for a one-half share loss. Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is -.6 in three straight (modest) dips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, flat at #20, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Through May 2018, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrendered one-tenth in June. It roars back though with a +.7 in July to 4.9 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. The Cumulus Media-owned facility is tied for the runner-up slot with Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock,” which nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) via seven straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ is on top for the seventh month in a row. The +.1 in June by “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). No higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the last six sweeps, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (4.9 – 4.8, -.1, 6+) slips from second to fourth. After notching three (slight) increases in succession (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” returns the overall gain of four-tenths in its entirety (3.1 – .4, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #13). By gaining four-tenths (3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” progresses from #13 to #9. It is within 3.3 – 3.7 range (6+) for the sixth month in a row (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Seven-tenths behind WRME is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which is up or flat for the third consecutive month for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+). This is the 12th straight time that Entercom-owned WUSN (ninth to seventh) is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (3.5 – 3.9, +.4, 6+). “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” more than doubles the 6+-stat of iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.9 – 1.7, -.2, #23, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down for the fourth time in a row for a collective -2.2 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is on top for the seventh straight month. Finishing first and second, respectively, the past six reports are KQED and Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is locked on 5.5 (6+) in June and July after being frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). October 2017’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Not only does KSFO rack up its fourth successive increase for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, , 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talker enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KGO is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+) but remains at #21. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR climbs from seventh to sixth; “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). In July, however, the key station of the Oakland A’s plummets by -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), drifting from the top twenty (#15 to #24).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia’s KMEL post a gain of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, steady in fourth-place), “106.1 – #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area”) has its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2014 (4.4, as well). Talk about being consistent: Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN records a 6+-share in the two-share range (2.0 – 2.9) for the 40th time in a row (2.4 – 2.9, +.5, #16 to #14, 6+). The last time “107.7 The Bone” reached 2.9 was December 2015. In addition to dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Eight-tenths ahead of “Star” is its format rival, Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which adds two-tenths to June’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). In four successive (modest) declines prior to June’s increase (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), KLLC was off by eight-tenths; the two hot ACs were tied at #8 in May. An overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of four-tenths sends Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM from fourth to eighth; “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” has put up a February 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4. Very steady March 2018 – July 2018 trending for iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 (flat at #10, 6+), while co-owned 1980’s-based KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” gains four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Entering the July sweep, its past six (6+) stats were 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7. Returning to print after a lengthy hiatus are Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #18, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting-owned KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (1.5 – 1.7, +.2, #21, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the third time in a row that Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM slips by one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.3 The Fan” carries on at #19. In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Off one-tenth as well in July is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is -1.3 since May (4.1 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June. KTCK was stymied at 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 but registered a +.5 in January, before dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, January – February – March, 6+). Elsewhere in this Texas market’s sports talk format, the eight most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 (#32 to #33, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is flat at 2.8 (#17 to #15, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a 6+-share in the two-share range for the 36th consecutive sweep. A collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM nonetheless climbs from #20 to #19. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #19 with Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820,” which was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May and is now frozen on 2.1 (6+) in June and July. Finishing at #34 and #5, respectively, are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (flat at .7, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.5, -.1, 6+), which had recorded a .6 (6+) the past three sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Winning ways (that are now historic) continue for Cumulus Media’s KSCS, which is +1.3 in seven successive up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.3 New Country” reaches/crosses the five-share level (5.2, 6+) for the first time in its PPM history to inch up from third to second. It now leads co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” by +1.1 (4.2 – 4.1, -.1, flat at #6, 6+). Following a +1.5 via three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS is a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). While “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is the “Big D” pacesetter for the seventh straight month, its advantage over runner-up KSCS is just three-tenths. When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Advancing from #17 to #15, Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), while classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (fifth to fourth) is up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). Without a decrease for the third successive ratings period as well is Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). In an up/down pattern that commenced in January and includes July’s -1.0, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” is trending 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 1.9 (#23, 6+). Up three-tenths each are KDXX regional Mexican sibling KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.7 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+). A collective +.9 in May and June (1.2 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” returns two-thirds of that increase in July (1.5, -.6, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (four-way tie at #20 to #27). In June, it reached the two-share level (2.1, 6+) for the first time since March 2017’s 2.0.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing a March 2018 – July 2018 down/up pattern (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH elevates from #13 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of that particular gain, KTRH was down or flat the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Regaining half the four-tenths it dropped in June (3.2 – 3.4, +.2, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF moves from #16 to #15. Mirroring KTRH, KUHF was +.6 in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns half of June’s +.2 (1.0 – .9, -.1, #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is flat at .6 (#27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In addition to registering its seventh straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.4 dating back to “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “Houston’s Eagle” marches from third to a second-place tie. Moreover, this (5.7) is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017. As the result of three straight upticks netting eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” leaps from seventh to fourth. Debuting at #29 with a .5 (6+) is University of Houston-owned classical KUHF-HD2. The topline (6+) April – May – June – July trending for KODA is 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 7.3, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility is #1 for the third month in a row. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then answered a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Finishing second in October and November, KODA was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. After improving by two-tenths in May (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ  stumbles by a cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+); “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot, but is tied there with aforementioned KGLK. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; “Majic” and KODA were tied for #1 in April. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ is now -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), with “Country 93-Q” slipping from third to fifth. At the same time, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull” is +1.0 in June and July (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Prior to June’s +.6, “The Bull” had three straight declines for a cumulative -.6 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Six straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), cause KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” (#15 to #16) to erode by a cumulative -1.9. Topline (6+) March 2018 – July 2018 stats for Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (#13 to #14) are 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, while in that same stretch, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KAMA “Latino Mix” (#19 to #17) is equally consistent at 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 (6+). Along the same lines, KAMA Spanish adult hits sibling  KOVE “Amor 106.5” is trending 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 (flat at #17, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth sweep in succession for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE drifts from #11 to #15. Albeit down two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is on top for the 32nd consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths this time last month, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). WSB-AM, which was +1.6 in January, notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Tacking on two-tenths to June’s +.3 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is steady at #18. Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+) following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” picks up three-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and remains at #17. Immediately in advance of a -1.1 in February, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). A setback of two-tenths to 1.8 (6+) by Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” pulls the plug on seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), but the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #19. April 2018 – July 2018 stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – In addition to logging three straight up or flat trends for a cumulative gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” vaults into the top ten (#14 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.1) since February’s 4.3. It now trails Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.0 – 4.2, +.2, ninth to eighth, 6+) by just one-tenth. At the same time that Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a collective +1.4 (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is without an increase in the same timeframe for a loss of three-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Improving by one-tenth each are iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.9 – 4.0, steady at #10, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” which has its best 6+-showing (3.9) since August 2017 (3.9, as well), yet backslides from #11 to #12. A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was -.7 in June. The market’s two urban contemporary outlets are off a combined one-half share. Specifically, Entercom’s WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” falters by four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+) but stays at #2, while Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9,” which had been up six-tenths in three straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 4.6, staying at #7 (6+). Before losing one-tenth in June, WVEE logged four sweeps in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+); May’s 7.1 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). It is a somewhat similar situation with urban AC here (the format is a combined -.8 compared to June), as Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” sputters by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” drops three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+). After three negative trends in succession for an overall -.9 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Kiss” wiped away seven-tenths of the loss in June. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted in June and July.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following gains of one-tenth in May and June, Entercom’s WPHT breaks out a one-half share increase in July (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) to progress from #20 to #17. “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. While flat at #7, co-owned sports talk WIP is a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); and -.5 (June). Dropping from #18 to #19, its format foe, Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, is without a gain for the third time in succession for an overall decline of eight-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom all-news KYW (flat at #8) is -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave KYW its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Public news/talk WHYY posts its third successive negative move for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). It was up one full-share in January, but off six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #21, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” falters by two-tenths (1.6 – 1.4, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – It is truly a benchmark sweep for Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which records its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era (8.2); is #1 for the first time since August 2017; and registers its sixth straight gain for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). At #1, it displaces a station about to be its cluster-mate, adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which was on top the past four months. Regressing by seven-tenths to 7.8, its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (7.8, as well), WBEB segues to the runner-up slot. As a result of five straight increases before January’s -8.7, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Before officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of WBEB from Jerry Lee Radio, Entercom took over operation of the station last Thursday (9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). Wiping away June’s one-half share loss with a July gain of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM advances from fifth to fourth. Immediately prior to June’s -.6, “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since January’s 6.6. Without a loss for the seventh straight month for an overall +2.2 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), WXTU advances from sixth to fifth. Previous to the May sweep, the last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). After three straight flat or up trends that yielded six-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” surrenders the entire gain and one-tenth more (5.4, -.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Down one full-share in 16 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station” actually improves from #26 to #24.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a rollercoaster ride lately for Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio,” which was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and now the New York Yankees’ flagship is +.7 in July (4.2 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Meanwhile, the key station of the New York Mets iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – is -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) and moves from #21 to #22. In advance of surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Simply by remaining flat at 2.5 (6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM advances from #16 to #14, where it catches co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. This marks the third straight time WINS shows a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths: +.3 (May); -.3 (June) and -.3 (July). After five consecutive upticks for a +1.2, which more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off one-half share in June and July (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and departs the top twenty. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 (February 2018 – July 2018, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #25; meanwhile, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #26) is without an increase for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, , 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It is an extremely tight race at the top, as the first five Nassau-Suffolk July 2018 finishers are separated by just two-tenths of a share. Included in that pack is the market’s new number one (up from second-place in June), Cox Media Group CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits,” a collective +1.4 through four straight improvements (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). This (5.1) is its strongest 6+-performance  since September 2017’s 5.2. Format rival, iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100,” is flat or down (slightly) for the third straight time and slides from second to fourth (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). Displaced from the top spot after nine straight months there and taking WBLI’s place at #2 is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5,” which posts its seventh successive sweep without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+) for an overall -7.6. “Real Variety” was a cumulative +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off one-half share, owing to three straight minor dips (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” answers with a +.6 to 2.4 (6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #17). The format gains another three-tenths in July as Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which was tied with WNEW-FM in June, improves 1.8 – 2.1 (#19, 6+). Having been up or flat the past three months for a +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) but stays at #12. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 45th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#13 to #14) drops three-tenths (2.8 – 2.5, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -1.2 (eighth to ninth). More than a dozen stations that appeared in the June 2018 report have vanished from print in this sweep. With their (6+) June 2018 Long Island stat in parentheses, these are six notable examples that had at least a .6 (6+) in June 2018 but are now unlisted: Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ (1.3); co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT (1.0); Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV (.9); Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY (.8); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.7); and Fordham University alternative WFUV (.6).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in the last two monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR progresses from #13 to #11. In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding its very steady Inland Empire November 2017 – July 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” slips from #17 to #18. Debuting at #22 with a .2 (6+) is iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE.” Part of May’s four-way logjam at #20 with a .3 (6+), co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June, but resurfaces in July with a .2 (#22, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) and similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of being a collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” elevates from fourth to third. Quadrupling its 6+-share (.2 – .8, 6+) Lazer Broadcasting’s KCAL-AM La Mexicana 1410 vaults from #20 to #14. Regional Mexican sibling KXRS “Radio Lazer” (#20 to #17) is in a repetitive cycle of .2 – .5 – .2 – .5 ( 6+), while co-owned/similarly formatted KXSB (also using the “Radio Lazer” handle) is without a gain for the third straight month (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, #16 to #18, 6+). Not only does Entravision’s KLYY repeat at #1, “Jose” is +2.3 in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Replaced by “Jose” in June after a five-month run at #1 – Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA – improves by three-tenths to 6.6 (6+) and duplicates its second-place finish. The +.3 ends four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Similarly, January’s +1.8 applied the brakes to three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Four negative moves in a row by Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” (ninth to tenth) account for a collective -1.8 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). Off by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom country outlet KFRG, which carries on in third-place (5.5 – 4.9, 6+). When “K-Frog” lost four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). While steady at #5, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts its third straight Riverside decrease for an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). For the third time in the last four sweeps, All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (#15 – #16) logs a .6 (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – For the past six San Jose sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM have finished first and second, respectively. That changes in July 2018, however, as KQED (7.5 – 6.5, -1.0, 6+) drops to second and KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) shifts to third. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 6.1 for KQED, which rebounded from a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) with a June increase of six-tenths. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A setback of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Meanwhile, KCBS-AM’s -.8 pulls the plug on four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). In the Cumulus Media cluster, sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader is a cumulative -1.0 via three decreases in succession (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) and segues from eighth to tenth, with its lowest 6+-stat (3.6) since 3.0 in March. The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Without a loss the past five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KSFO drops two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), slipping from #19 to #20. A different streak concludes for sibling KGO, which adds two-tenths (1.9, flat at #22) to pause four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Over and above hauling out a robust +1.5 (5.2 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” jumps from fourth to first. By way of perspective, its July 2018 6.7  more than doubles October 2017’s 6+-share (3.2). Format rival – Cumulus Media’s KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is off three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+). Four straight negative trends by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” rebounds with a gain of seven-tenths to 4.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Following June’s massive -1.2, (4.2 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regains one-tenth to 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #12. Good news continues for Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY, which records its fourth gain in a row for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+) as “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” progresses from seventh to sixth. With exactly the same (6+) share it had when it began its down/up pattern in December 2017 (2.2 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” cracks the top twenty (#22 to #18). In three straight positive spikes, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG was an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), but “Amor 100.3” surrenders roughly 20% of that increase (5.2, -.4, 6+), slipping from third to fifth.  bit analogous to what is highlighted in Long Island (see above), seven stations with at least a 1.2 (6+) in the June 2018 ratings period have disappeared from print in this report. With their (6+) June 2018 San Jose stat in parentheses, the seven outlets falling in that category are: Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ (1.9); University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.7); Entercom alternative KITS (1.6); public contemporary Christian KLVS (1.5); Entercom sports talk KGMZ (1.4); Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2); and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ (1.2).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of four-tenths for the second straight time (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) propels WKXW from the runner-up slot to #1. The Townsquare Media news/talker was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. “New Jersey 101.5” was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Steady at #5, Entercom sports talk WFAN slips by one-tenth in both June and July (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but immediately prior to that, the New York Yankees flagship was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). The eight most recent topline 6+ stats for sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (flat at #21) are: 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.9. In five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM has lost nearly 50% of its 6+ share (-1.6) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and New York Mets flagship WOR makes up half the loss with a +.3 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty at #20. Locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, Entercom all-news WINS records a 1.7 (#23, 6+) for the third straight time. It is one-tenth ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#24, 6+), whose January 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6.

Middlesex Music Formats – On a roll in this New Jersey market, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” practically triples its 6+-share (+2.6) via seven up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 4.0, 6+) and catapults from #16 all the way to #7. Within three-share range (6+) in each of the past 13 sweeps, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” gains one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) to jump from #13 to #10. An overall +1.2 in three consecutive up or flat reports (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (5.7, – 1.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. The station it supplanted at #1 in June, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, collapses by -1.3 (6.3 – 5.0, 6+) but manages to stay in third-place. When “106.7 Lite FM” gained one-tenth in June, it applied the brakes to five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -5.3 (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to recording its fourth decrease in a row for a -1.8 (5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Continuing the theme set in Long Island and San Jose (see above), seven stations that registered at least a one-half share (6+) in June 2018 are unlisted in July 2018. With their (6+) June 2018 Middlesex-Somerset-Union stat in parentheses, these seven outlets are: Entercom news WCBS-AM (1.5); Press Communications country WKMK (1.2); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.9); Press Communications rock WWZY (.7); Univision Radio Spanish news/talk WADO (.7); Townsquare Media hot AC WJLK (.5); and Newark Public Radio jazz WBGO (.5).

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” 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 every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

Friday, August 3, 2018

| August 3, 2018

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Up 1%; Station Operating Income Up 3.5%. Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $61.6 million for Beasley Broadcast Group – an increase of 1% over the same period in 2017.  For the first six months of 2018, net revenue was $116.8 million – up from $114.8 million in 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s second quarter results reflect our ongoing execution of strategies to drive revenue, productivity and growth across our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms.  The 1% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues combined with essentially flat station expenses and the operating leverage related to the top-line growth resulted in a 3.5% increase in second quarter SOI.  Overall, our second quarter results again demonstrate the efficiencies we are realizing related to our expanded scale and the operating leverage in our model, which collectively led to a 28.6% increase in earnings per share.  During the second quarter, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements.  In this regard, we declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately 20% year-over-year to $3.8 million, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points.  We used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of $2 million in the second quarter and ended June 30, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $220 million.”  As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, Beasley completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby it exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM.  The results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results also reflect one month of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the three-month period, and four months of contribution in the six-month period ended June 30, 2017.  The $0.6 million, or 1.0%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion of WBZ-FM Boston, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations.

E.W. Scripps Radio Revenue Hit by Write-Down of Stations Value. The sale of its radio stations has been the focus of industry news about E.W. Scripps as it re-aligns to concentrate on its television and OTT businesses.  As a result, it has been reporting its radio segment as “discontinued operations” in recent quarterly reports.  In the second quarter of 2017, the radio segment’s income was $1.7 million.  The second quarter of 2018 has produced a loss of $2.9 million as the result of “non-cash charges of $25.9 million to write down the assets of the radio business to fair value.”  Scripps has agreed to sell its five-station Tulsa cluster to the local Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and its Milwaukee duo to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.  The company has 27 stations in six markets for which it continues to seek buyers.

Report: Cain to End Talk Show on WSB-AM, Atlanta.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is exiting his daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM 750.”  Cain – who assumed the late morning show slot after Neal Boortz’s retirement in 2013 – will continue with the station doing a daily, two-minute commentary leading up to the noon newscast.  To fill the hour, Eric Von Haessler’s program will expand to the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Spotify Pulls Some Alex Jones Podcasts For Violation of ‘Hate Policy.’ Media personality Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded that the episodes violated its hate content policy.  According to the Associated Press report, the episodes became notorious on social media, forcing the company to act.  It issued the following statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.  Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” According to the AP story, Jones said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Perry Stone Named OM for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. Programmer and air personality Perry Stone joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois four-station cluster to serve as operations manager for news/talk WMAY-AM/W234CC and rock WQLZ-FM, effective August 6.  In addition to his OM duties for both stations, Stone will host the afternoon show on WQLZ.  Stone was most recently with Saga Communications in Charlottesville, Virginia as operations manager for news/talk WINA-AM/FM and rock WWWV.  The company says Stone “has worked on-air in markets as large as New York City and San Francisco and as small as Carbondale, Illinois.  So, he not only knows Illinois, but he understands the opportunities and challenges in markets of all sizes.” Mid-West Family Springfield general manager Harvey Wells says, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and Perry’s experience both in management and on-air made the difference.  I’m looking forward to him joining our off and on-air team.”  Stone remarks, “It’s great to get back to the Midwest.  I spent time in Carbondale and in Milwaukee and have always enjoyed the people and places there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all that Central Illinois has to offer.  In addition, Mid-West Family Radio is one of the most respected companies in radio. I could not be happier.”

Wilson and Parcell New Midday Hosts on WFNZ, Charlotte ‘The Fan.’ After Chris Kroeger was named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Entercom sports talk outlet WFNZ “The Fan” conducted a search for his replacement in middays and announces that Nick Wilson (inset) and Josh Parcell (right) begin as the new midday stars on Monday (8/6).  Wilson was most recently with the company’s WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” where he hosted the evening program.  Parcell has done fill-in work on WFNZ and has served as a producer for ESPN.

Smith Promoted to VP of Engineering for Beasley Media Group. Moving up from his regional engineering director & corporate project manager position with Beasley Media Group to vice president of engineering is Lamar Smith.  He’s been with the company for the past seven years and he’ll continue to be based in Charlotte where he’ll manage large corporate projects throughout the country as well as assist in overseeing the company’s engineering staff.  Smith also currently serves as vice president of the Emergency Broadcast Association.

Mickey Moore Appointed VP of Sales at iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Media sales and marketing pro Michelle “Mickey” Moore is the new vice president of sales at iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK and sports talk KFXN “The Fan.”  iHM Minneapolis also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota.  Moore joins iHeartMedia Minneapolis from Franklin Covey, where she served as a client partner.  She previously worked at iHeartMedia as the general sales manager for KDWB-FM from 1994 to 2001.  Moore’s sales background also includes American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, where her positions included managing director of inclusion and community impact, senior director of organization development and senior director of underwriting sales.  Region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander says, “We are pleased to have such a respected, seasoned leader like Mickey join iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Her wealth of industry experience and her ability to blend creativity and sales strategy will benefit both our sales team and our clients.”

TALKERS News Notes.  It was a frightening experience for WWJ-AM, Detroit reporter Mike Campbell as an apparently disturbed man smashed the window of his station vehicle while he was filing a live report on a fatal car crash in the city.  He was unhurt in the incident and was able to successfully file his report. Numerous reporters form various outlets were on the scene when the suspect (who was subsequently tasered and subdued by police) used a metal baton to smash the windows of two station vehicles while shouting obscenities and racial slurs…..Former NFL tight-end Martellus Bennett debuts his new podcast, “Revenge of the Jocks,” on PodcastOne Sportsnet.  The company says the weekly program “goes beyond Martellus, the athlete, as the Super Bowl champion explores the infinite world of creativity.  Speaking firsthand, as an entrepreneur, musician, animator, sketch artist, children’s author and app creator himself, Bennett will be joined by fascinating friends to discuss a broad spectrum of topics, including what it means to be a creative, activist, and overall culture-shaping world-changer.”…..Entercom sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia relaunches the “Go Birds” podcast hosted by station personalities John Barchard and James Seltzer.  The radio show will continue to air on Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “SportsRadio 94WIP.” The podcast will be available on Radio.com.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Both the podcast and radio show have been Eagles fan favorites and we are excited to continue the tradition.  The name of the show might be changing, but fans can expect the same insight into their favorite football team.”…..VSiN – the network dedicated to sports gambling information – announces a partnership with sports talk KNBR, San Francisco that taps VSiN to deliver daily Bay Area-focused updates for the station. Starting Monday (8/6), KNBR will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Bay Area sports teams. VSiN will supply one report in the 9:00 am hour and another in the 5:00 pm hour each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.   KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are excited to partner with VSiN in bringing top-notch gaming updates to the KNBR airwaves.  VSiN continues to be an industry leader in this space and VSiN founder Brent Musburger has had his finger on the pulse of sports gambling for decades.”…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio announced that they have reached a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that will add per diem and temporary employees working in SAG-AFTRA covered titles to the union’s longstanding contract that currently covers more than 100 full-time workers at NYPR.  The Agreement adds more than 30 people to a larger group that has been represented by SAG-AFTRA since 2000…..Longtime Purdue University sports broadcaster Larry Clisby is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and metastic brain cancer.  The problem is Medicare doesn’t cover all of his medical bills.  Family have started a GoFundMe page to which people can donate.  Clisby became the radio voice of Purdue men’s basketball in 1984.  He also called Boilermakers football for 10 seasons.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 30 – August 3.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s immigration policy tied with the related story of the Portland mayor’s battle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, followed by the midterm races and the reports of continuing Russian election interference 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 the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A GoFundMe page has been set up for former triple A KINK, Portland program director and air personality Sean Demery.  He is battling to recover from a brain stem stroke suffered in January of this year and his insurance has run out, causing financial struggles for him and his family. You can donate here.…..An ill-advised Facebook post has cost classic rock WKLR, Richmond morning personality his job.  Brady DeAngelo posted a picture of the back of a woman sitting at a bar and a caption that contained coarse language. You can see WTVR-TV, Richmond’s coverage, including a screen capture of the post here.  DeAngelo commented, “I made a joke that some thought was inappropriate on my personal Facebook page and it became more of an issue than I believe it should have become.”.….KLAL, Little Rock “Alice 107.7” morning show personalities Heather (left) and Poolboy (right) were honored with the Best Radio Personality award from The Arkansas Times.  This marks the fourth consecutive win in the Best Radio Personality category for the duo.  CHR KLAL was named Runner-Up Best Radio Station for 2018, a category it has won or received runner-up in each year since 2010…..iHeartMedia announces it has partnered with Super Hi-Fi to introduce “new AI capabilities” that will make the iHeartRadio digital platform sound more like a live radio show.  iHeartMedia says, “The new integration brings the best of live broadcast radio to digital streaming music by delivering flawless song transitions, including precise crossfades, volume leveling and truly gapless playback to iHeartRadio’s listeners.”

Thursday, August 2, 2018

| August 2, 2018

Rush Limbaugh Celebrates 30 Years in National Syndication. On Wednesday (8/1), Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh marked the 30thanniversary of the national syndication of his radio program.  Premiere says that “in addition to discussing the latest news and events of the day, Limbaugh spent some time during this three-hour show reflecting on the special milestone and his journey to becoming the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.  The five-time Marconi Award winner featured calls from listeners and fans, as well as highlights from throughout his radio career, including audio of his first radio job as a disc jockey at WIXZ in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1971. Limbaugh was also surprised with a call from President Donald Trump.”  The president told Limbaugh, “You’re a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you.  I’m one of them.  But you’re a very, very special guy.  What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is.  So, I just wanted to personally make this one and I said, ‘I’ll even dial the number myself if I have to’…But I just want to congratulate you.  Thirty years in that tough business is incredible — and you’re stronger now than ever before.”  In 1988, Limbaugh and his partners founded EIB, the Excellence In Broadcasting network, launching his show into national syndication on August 1, 1988, debuting with 56 radio stations.  In just a few months, an additional 100 affiliates were added, paving the way for the expansion of the talk radio format.

Prescription Drug Cocktail Contributed to Art Bell’s Death.  The Clark County, Nevada coroner’s report on the April 13, 2018 death of talk radio pioneer Art Bell indicates that a prescription drug cocktail of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam (Valium), and the muscle relaxant carisoprodol were found in Bell’s system.  The report concludes he died of an accidental overdose, although it also says chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension contributed to his death.  According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, all of the medications were legally prescribed to Bell.

New York State Broadcasters Association Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2018.  The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces its Hall of Fame Class of 2018. This year’s inductees are: New York Yankees radio voice and WEPN talk host Michael Kay, J. David (Dave) Davis of WABC-TV and ABC News, WHAM-TV news team Doug Emblidge and Ginny Ryan, and legendary New York City disc jockey Dan Ingram.  The class of 2018 will be inducted at the New York Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB Show NY at 12:00 noon on Thursday, October 18 at the Jacob Javits Center.  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “The Class of 2018 represents the best in our profession.  We are honored to induct these highly successful broadcasters into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  They represent the best in radio and television.

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Financial Data Released.  Filing its 10Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that iHeartMedia’s revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was basically flat – up 0.7% — at $1.6 billion, compared to $1.59 billion in the same period in 2017.  Operating income was down 7.7%, dipping from $308 million a year ago to $285 million this year.  iHeartMedia is not holding quarterly conference calls while the company is in Chapter 11 reorganization.

Middle Tennessee Radio Pro David Tower Dead.  Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame member David Tower, a.k.a. David Milstead died on July 28 at age 78.  He’d been inducted into the hall this past May.  Tower was born in Orange, Texas in 1940 and came to Nashville in 1970 as a news reader for WMAK-AM.  He rose to news director and began a career that would lead him to other Nashville radio stops including WYHY-FM “Y-107” and WLAC.  In his later years, Tower worked as a real estate agent and lived in East Nashville.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump Calls to End Probe, Paul Manafort Trial, U.S. Immigration Policy, New China Tariffs, Economic Growth/Housing Starts Down, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with President Trump’s demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions shut it down; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the U.S.’s immigration and deportation policies; Trump threatens more tariffs on Chinese goods; the positive second quarter economic growth stats coupled with concerns about the decline in new housing starts; this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; the heatwave affecting Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mel, a.k.a., Melissa Sorrentino is now music director and midday personality at Entercom’s alternative WQMP, Orlando “ALT 101.9.”  She’s most recently been serving the company as programming assistant at alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”…..Premiere Networks is celebrating the 25thanniversary of the rock prep service “Today’s Rock Facts.”  The service was conceived by then-head of programming Bill Wise at MJI Broadcasting in 1993 with current Premiere senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione and West Coast prep producer Dave Schulps.  Premiere says highlights over the last 25 years include hundreds of interviews with every top act from AC/DC to ZZ Top; countless exclusive stories; and on-the-scene coverage of such memorable events as Led Zeppelin’s reunion show in 2007, Woodstock ’94 and ’99, Live Eight, and every Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and major awards show since the early ’90s…..SiriusXM is broadcasting performances and backstage interviews from Lollapalooza in Chicago on its Alt Nation channel.  The broadcast will include interviews and live performances by Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone, Portugal. The Man, CHVRCHES, The National, ODESZA, Walk The Moon, Manchester Orchestra, Khalid, Brockhampton, The WombatsJungle, Parquet Courts, lovelythebandSir Sly, and many more…..There are opportunities for air personalities at Service Broadcasting’s KRNB, Dallas “Smooth R&B 105.7.”  The company says if you are a “multi-dimensional” and “multi-platform” talent ready to elevate your brand, career and creativity; if your passion for people, music, culture and community is unmatched; if you live, love, and breathe the “Smooth R&B” lifestyle, they want to talk to you.  “Smooth Crew” candidates must possess a unique point of view and know how to connect with listeners, clients, partners, and team members to positively impact and enhance ratings, revenues and relationships.  Send your audio, resume, references and social media success stories to: SBG HR manager Debbie Henry at jobs@KRNB.com. No phone calls please.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case.  Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones.  According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed.  Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.”  Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money.  Read the American-Statesman piece here.

Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas 
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left).  A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.”  Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community.  We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape.  We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”  Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign.  But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.”  Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.”  The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.

Gallagher Mingles with Fans at Film Premiere.  Pictured above being photographed with a listener is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher.  He was at the Camelot Cinema in Greenville, South Carolina for the standing-room-only screening of the new Dinesh D’Souza film Death of a Nation.

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between United Stations Radio Networks and celebrity and entertainment news website TheBlast.com results in the availability of exclusive content for affiliated radio stations.  USRN says that to kick off this new relationship, the majority of the content will be delivered as customized live reports from top producers at The Blast.   “Eventually, USRN and The Blast will expand their collaborative coverage of celebrity and entertainment news to include pre-recorded reports and feeds that allow stations to maximize the share-ability of this exclusive content.”…..Univision Deportes and SiriusXM announce the launch of the Univision Deportes Radio channel on the SiriusXM satellite service.  Spanish-language content is also available via the SiriusXM app and on the streaming web player at SiriusXM.com…..Podcast and talk show producer Joel Meyer joins pubcaster KUER, Salt Lake City – the statewide NPR affiliate – as its director of programming and promotion.  Meyer was most recently an executive producer at WNYC Studios.  Prior to that, he was an executive producer of talk programming at WBEZ Chicago, a managing producer of podcasts at Slate.com and the executive producer of Soundcheck at WNYC.

L.A. Newsman Dave Zorn Passes at 73. Longtime KNX, Los Angeles news anchor Dave Zorn died recently at a hospice in Michigan at age 73 after a battle with liver cancer.  Zorn served with the station for 25 years and for many of those years was afternoon drive anchor.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Giuliani’s CNN Interview, Manafort Trial, Religious Liberty Task Force, Child Immigrant Order, ICE vs Portland Mayor, ‘Quiet Skies’ Monitoring Program, North Korean Rocket Program, the California Wildfire, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with the related Rudy Giuliani interview on CNN regarding the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian delegation; the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of new “religious liberty task force”; a California judge rules on policy for authorities’ handling of immigrant children; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents criticize Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for ordering Portland police not to assist ICE agents; the revelation of the government’s “Quiet Skies” programming monitoring airline passengers who are not on watch lists or suspected of anything; new information indicating North Korea is continuing its ICBM program; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and imaging pro Chris “Fish” Shatek moves from Entercom’s WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country 99.9” to the company’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N @ 102.9” as midday personality and imaging director, effective August 1. Shatek says, “I am so grateful to not only be back in the Twin Cities, but also back on ‘BUZ’N @ 102.9,’ a station I helped to get started. I get to work in my hometown, at a station I love, and with an incredible group of people. I couldn’t be more excited.”…..In Charlotte, morning drive co-host Meg Butterfly is exiting her full-time position at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat” for a gig outside the radio business.  She’ll continue to pull a weekend shift and host her blog on the station’s website.  She has worked for the past nine years on the station alongside morning personality Paul Schadt…..Philly rock personality Debbi Calton is celebrating 25 years as host of the midday program on Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  On Friday, August 17, the station will mark the occasion with a live broadcast with Andre Gardner celebrating Debbi’s big day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Tap 24 in Calton’s hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. Calton says her favorite aspect of her gig at WMGK are the listeners.  “I’ve formed 25-year relationships with so many of them.  We talk on the request line or see each other at concerts. Yes, we’re still going to plenty of rock concerts.”…..Programming pro Scott “Lugnut” Dwyer joins Max Broadcasting Group’s rhythmic CHR KFCO “FLO 107.1” and rhythmic AC KJHM “JAMMIN’ 101.5” in Denver as program director.  Dwyer comes to the Mile-High City after serving most recently at Ohana Media in Anchorage.

Monday, July 30, 2018

| July 30, 2018

Larry Wilson Steps Down from Alpha Media Chairman Role. The Citadel Broadcasting chief launched Alpha Broadcasting in 2009 with stations in Portland, Oregon.  The company would merge with L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting in 2014 and become Alpha Media.  Now, Larry Wilson will step away from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Media but will remain a member of the board.  A press release from the company says that under Wilson’s guidance, “Alpha Media has become the largest privately-owned radio broadcast company in the United States, operating 225 radio stations in 48 markets across the nation.  Wilson is also known for his work within the country music industry, having served on the board of directors for the Country Music Association from 1991 to 2001 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.” Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Wilson is a respected colleague and pioneer in the broadcast industry.  His vision helped craft today’s broadcast and radio landscape.” Alpha Media will elect a new chairman at its next scheduled board meeting.

Brett Winterble Re-Ups with KFMB-AM, San Diego. San Diego talk show host Brett Winterble signs a new contract with Tegna-owned news/talk KFMB-AM, San Diego to continue hosting the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Winterble originally joined KFMB-AM in 2012 as part of the Roger Hedgecock show and began hosting afternoons in 2015.  In addition to his radio show and podcast productions, he recently began hosting a two-hour show for Newsmax TV.  KFMB-AM program director Dave Sniff states, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Brett!  His ability to digest the daily news cycle and make it relevant for the San Diego community is unmatched and truly impressive.  Brett will play a key role in creating unique content, not only for KFMB-AM, but also for our various digital platforms.”

David Haugh Assumes AM Co-Host Role on WSCR, Chicago Today.  After 26 years with WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” Brian Hanley did his last regular morning show with Mike Mulligan on Friday (7/27) and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh debuts on the new “Mully and Haugh” show today.  Haugh says in a statement, “I’m excited to join The Score’s morning show.  Brian Hanley is a good friend and class act who set a high standard for me to meet.  Mike Mulligan has gone from fierce competitor to trusted confidante over the years, a relationship I’ve always valued.  I will continue to have the privilege of writing columns for the Chicago Tribune, where I have spent the last 15 years trying to serve the best interests of Chicago sports fans.  The job only gets better now.  Thank you to The Score for the opportunity, to the Tribune for the support and to everyone who will listen to “Mully and Haugh” do our best to entertain you every morning.”  Read Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s story on the changes here.

United States Traffic Network Sues Entercom for $5 Million.  Alleging that Entercom entered into negotiations with United States Traffic Network to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business based on information gathered during the discovery process, USTN is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.”  The complaint, filed  the District Court in Harris County, Texas, states, “During the transaction of the sale of equity in USTN, in April and the failed transaction, Defendants (Entercom) made false representations of fact, false promises or benefitted by not disclosing that a third party’s representations or promises were false.  The false representations or promises, set forth above, were made for the purpose of inducing Plaintiffs to enter into a contract regarding the equity of USTN.  Plaintiffs relied on the false representations or promises.  The reliance on the false representations, promises, and failures to disclose caused Plaintiffs injury and benefited Defendants.”  The suit further alleges that Entercom intentionally induced USTN to miss a scheduled debt payment to Entercom under the pretenses that this payment would be unnecessary due to the planned closing of the purchase transaction. USTN is owned by Fair and Equal LLC. For its part, Entercom issues a press release saying it has ended its reseller agreement with USTN and calls the suit “entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting.  Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues.  Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.”  Entercom says it “has successfully sold traffic and other short duration advertising on its own for many years.  In April, Entercom took back a portion of its broadcast inventory from USTN and is achieving great success selling that inventory through its own sales channels.  The Company expects to build on that success as it begins to monetize the remaining inventory taken back from USTN.”  CEO David Field says, “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger.  We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory.”

A Visit to WRKO’s New Digs.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to legendary outlet WRKO, Boston on Friday (7/27) to check out its new location and pristine, one-week-old studios at the iHeartMedia broadcasting complex in Medford, Massachusetts (a bustling area on Boston’s north side).  Until recently, WRKO was an Entercom property, but it was sold to iHeart after Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, significantly re-shuffling the playing deck in Boston.  While there, Harrison sat in from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the morning show’s regular co-host, Doug “VB” Goudie – something he occasionally does on the station.  Harrison (left) is pictured with the WRKO morning show’s co-anchor Kim Carrigan (center) and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin (right).  Carrigan will be the guest on the next installment of the award-winning podcast “The Michael Harrison Interview” set to be posted tomorrow (7/31).

Final Radio Talent Institute of the Summer Taking Place at Northwest Missouri State.  This week begins that final 10-day Radio Talent Institute of the summer. Students from 11 different universities are converging on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. MBA president Mark Gordon says, “This was made possible by the financial commitments from Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Broadcasters board of directors and broadcast companies that include: Hubbard Radio St. Louis; Eagle Communications St. Joseph; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; Alpha Media of Missouri: Union Broadcasting Kansas City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield.  We are pleased to bring this program taught by industry professionals to Missouri that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Founder and president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, comments, “To have so many students from so many different universities is a tribute to Mark and the MBA and their efforts as we work together to discover and prepare young talent for the industry.  These are the talent we will be hiring now and will be the leaders in our industry tomorrow.”

RI Talk Host John DePetro and Sean Spicer at Book Signing. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) returned to his home state of Rhode Island to promote his new book The Briefing (2018, Regnery Publishing).  He’s pictured here with WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro (right), who hosted him on his radio show and attended several of the book signings with him.  DePetro also emceed a private VIP event in Spicer’s hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island.

New Affiliates for ‘Our American Stories.’ Now airing in the evenings on iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHO, Des Moines is Lee Habeeb’s “Our American Stories.”  Additional new affiliate stations include: iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston and Inspiration Time’s WXTE, Erie.  Program host Lee Habeeb is a vice president of content at Salem Media Group and a contributing editor of the weekly essay series “Across America” for Newsweek Magazine and Newsweek.com.  “Our American Stories” airs on 139 radio stations across the U.S.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump’s Mueller Tweets, Trump-Sulzberger Fake News Meeting, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump Trade Wars, Facebook Value Plummets, California Wildfires, Les Moonves Allegations, New Mission: Impossible Film, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with President Trump’s weekend tweets about the matter; Trump’s meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger over the president’s fake news charges; Trump threatens to let federal government shut down unless border wall is funded; the effects of Trump’s trade wars on U.S. businesses; the plunging value of Facebook; the deadly California wildfires; allegations of sexual harassment against CBS chairman Les Moonves; the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NuVoodoo Study Reveals Listener Misconceptions.  Calling the results “startling new insights for radio stations,” NuVoodoo Media Services says its 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of more than 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets will reveal the findings in a series of free webinars for radio professionals, beginning Wednesday (8/1).  Register at http://www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars.  The study was fielded this June and indicates that about half of all radio listeners under age 35 believe radio’s tight playlists are a cost-saving measure to avoid paying licensing fees.  Among those respondents who are likely to accept a diary or meter, the perception jumps to more than 2/3 among 14-24-year-olds. The study also shows that nearly 60% of all respondents and close to 70% of likely diary and PPM participants conclude that radio stations play the music that record companies pay them to play.  NuVoodoo says the webinar series is part of its ongoing effort to inform the industry of emerging trends and to help uncover opportunities for stations to improve programming and marketing efforts.  The primary focus is on those who have accepted or are more likely to accept a ratings diary or become part of the PPM panel, since this small segment of radio listeners holds the key to any station’s financial success.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and iHeartMedia announce a renewed and expanded relationship in which Bones takes on the title vice president, creative director of iHeartCountry.  In addition to continuing to host his daily morning show and the weekly “Country Top 30,” Bones will executive produce a new, one-hour weekend program, “Women of iHeartCountry,” co-hosted by Amy Brown from the Bobby Bones show.  The program will feature music from established female artists and up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on air personalities. Bones says, “This is the opportunity I’ve been chasing my entire career.  Thanks to Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and Kevin Legrett for their years of support and for the space to build this partnership.”…..LARadio.com reports that CHR legend Rick Dees is joining KQLH-LPFM, Yucaipa, California to host the afternoon drive show.  KQLH-LPFM serves parts of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs.  It is a non-profit station but accepts sponsorships as tax deductible donations…..Entercom names Toshamakia Acevedo music director and afternoon drive personality for hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  Acevedo transfers from the company’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 Jamz.”  Entercom Denver SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team. We believe her on-air energy and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.”  Acevedo succeeds former APD, music director, and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM, Sacramento as program director and afternoon drive host…..Cumulus Media appoints Megan Stone co-host of WEBE, Westport, Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven markets) “WEBE Wake Up Morning Show with Jay Michaels.”  Operations manager Danny Lyons states, “It is exciting to welcome Megan to the Cumulus family.  I know her enthusiasm for radio, as well as for her listeners, will shine through every morning on WEBE 108.”…..At CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “ENERGY 93.9,” Robert “Sid” Sidloski takes over the program director role on August 6.  Cumulus Media Indianapolis operations manager Boomer says, “In seeking the next leader for WYRG I had the opportunity to speak with several skilled programmers from around the country, most with career credentials that would certainly be suitable for the role of PD.  However, I kept coming back to Sid’s positive attitude and seemingly relentless drive and determination to succeed in this situation along with his vision for the brand to pursue and achieve aggressive success right away.  Sid has an understanding of our obstacles and has shared impressive plans to seize upon our opportunities here in Indianapolis.  I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing his leadership in action as PD of ENERGY 93.9.”…..The nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” – led by Bert Weiss – enters into an agreement to be produced and distributed by Westwood One.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re excited to welcome ‘The Bert Show’ to Westwood One.  His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade.  Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.” The program was previously syndicated by YEA Networks…..In Detroit, Mildred Gaddis – host of the “Mildred Gaddis Show” on Radio One’s “Detroit Praise Network” is named community affairs director for Radio One’s Detroit cluster. The new “Praise Network” replaces gospel WPZR-FM that was recently acquired by EMF. As part of that transaction, Radio One acquires translators W228CJ at 93.5 and W252BX at 98.3 from EMF and plans to marry them with W260CB at 99.9 to build the new “Detroit Praise Network.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary star Delilah is publishing her latest book, One Heart At a Time (2018, RosettaBooks).  In the book, Delilah uses “stories from her extraordinary off-air life – full of trials, forgiveness, faith, and adventure (along with select well-executed pranks)” in calling on us to “connect, one heart at a time, to lift others, and in the process, our communities and ourselves.” Rosetta CEO Arthur Klebanoff states, “In her easygoing style and characteristic, beloved voice, Delilah shares the real woman behind the microphone. She tells her deeply moving story as the series of miracles and prayers it is.”

Friday, July 27, 2018

| July 27, 2018

Surprise Buyer for Scripps’ Milwaukee Duo Is Good Karma.  Numerous industry watchers expected E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM to go to a larger operator – such as Entercom.  Today’s announcement that the stations are being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million is sure to surprise many.  Good Karma already owns Milwaukee market ESPN affiliate WAUK-AM, as well as Madison sports outlet WTLX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson states, “Good Karma Brands’ focus on Milwaukee makes the company an ideal home for these important local radio stations. The company’s expertise in connecting audiences and advertisers, particularly with sports marketing, means these stations will be well positioned for the future.”  Scripps has put all of its radio assets on the market and Symson adds, “At Scripps, we are on track for the sale of our entire radio station group as a component of our enterprise-wide strategy to divest of non-core assets and focus on improving our near-term operating performance while fostering the growth ahead.”  The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Good Karma owns six sports talk stations (including WAUK). WTMJ has the rights to Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Milwaukee Brewers baseball – right up Good Karma’s alley – but it also operates a personnel-heavy news and programming department and one has to wonder if staffers there are concerned about the owner-to-be’s commitment to a big news department.  At the same time, there are those who will applaud the sale of these stations to a smaller operator and not one of the big conglomerates. Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis & Judi Suspended for 10 Days. You have to give credit to Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” management for getting out front on this and 1) quickly decrying the words of hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, 2) immediately suspending the duo while conducting an internal investigation, and 3) swiftly deciding the punishment and making it public.  This, of course, stems from their show segment during which they referred to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man” and disparaged his name.  The station pulled Malloy and Franco from Wednesday’s program and promised quick action.  It then announced they will be suspended for 10 days.  It also released the following joint apology from Malloy and Franco: “It was a mistake we both deeply regret.  We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners.”

Salem Radio Network Host Mike Gallagher is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In addition to being a top-10 member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred and a major radio talent, syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is a devoted theater fan and part-time stage actor.  The Salem Radio Network star has compiled quite an impressive list of credits over the years performing leading and supportive roles in musicals at professional regional theaters across the country including a brief guest stint on Broadway in the production of “Memphis.”  He’s even dabbled successfully in the risky business side of theater and has a Tony Award to prove it for his investment in the Broadway and road show revivals of “Pippin.”  Gallagher is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” in which he and the founder of TALKERS take a deep dive into the world of theater.  They explore what being a stage actor has meant to the talk star in addition to the state of the theater in general touching upon its role in today’s politically polarized and contentious environment.  Don’t miss this fascinating look into the multi-layered personality of one of talk radio’s most successful players.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Podcast” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland-based Alpha Media sells three of its Missouri stations for $250,000 cash.  To be transferred to Clayton and Brittany Radford-owned Radford Media Group are: agriculture-formatted KDKD-AM “Ag 1280,” country KDKD-FM, and classic rock KXEA “104.9 The Eagle.” These are the first radio properties for Radford.  The broker for the seller is Kalil & Co. and representing the buyer is Patrick Communications…..Louisville Public Media names Stephen George president and general manager for its public radio outlets WFPL, WUOL, and WFPK.  He’s been serving as interim president since January and takes over for previous president Michael Skoler.

Cohen Recordings and Trump-Russia Investigation Tied for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The recordings of conversations between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Donald Trump discussing a payment to Playboymodel and the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of July 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the threat by GOP congressmen to begin the impeachment process against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Coming in at #3 was the meeting between President Trump and the E.U.’s Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues, followed by the status of the second meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin 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 the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a new voice joining iHeartMedia’s and Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on September 17.  Medha Gandhi becomes co-host, moving to New York from her most recent position as executive producer and co-host of the “Matty in the Morning” program on the company’s WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  Cast member Bethany Watson left the program in February to pursue an acting career.  Duran says, “We fell in love with Gandhi within the first five minutes of meeting her.  When you have a show as long established as ours, it’s very important to continue to keep it fresh and in Gandhi we have found the perfect co-host to do that.  I can’t wait for her to join our dysfunctional family!”  The program emanates from WHTZ, New York “Z100” and airs on some 80 affiliate stations…..Entercom’s Portland country outlet KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” brings Toni-Marie aboard as midday personality and assistant program director.  Most recently, she was music director and air personality at Buck Owens Broadcasting’s KUZZ and KRJK in Bakersfield.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden says, “Toni-Marie brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to these roles and I’m looking forward to seeing her connect with our audience in the Northwest.”…..Beasley Media Group names Scotty B evening personality on rock WDHA, Dover, New Jersey.  Scotty B was most recently a part-time air personality and production staffer at the company’s rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey.  WDHA program director Terrie Carr comments, “Rockturnal with Scotty B,” which airs weeknights from 7:00 to 12:00 midnight, will focus on his strengths – interacting with rock fans, getting out in the community, and being host of the party!  I am thrilled to have Scotty’s energy, attitude, and huge presence on our airwaves and as part of our family.”…..Jeffrey Jameson exits Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York “NEW 102.7,” he announces in a brief tweet. Co-host Karen Carson will handle the morning show solo for now…..Iliad Media Group appoints James Garner regional operations manager for its Boise and Twin Falls station groups.  The company says that in this new position, the 11-year staffer will oversee the programming, production, and promotions at the 13 stations in Boise and Twin Falls…..Kenny Chesney’s exclusive SiriusXM channel, “No Shoes Radio,” is a live Town Hall with Chesney at Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend.  The show is being hosted by Storme Warren.  Chesney will give fans the opportunity to hear songs from his new album with track-by-track commentary, audience members will learn about the album’s inspiration, the recovery efforts from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, and his Love for Love City Fund.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

| July 25, 2018

Beasley Sets Price for ‘Bordes Family’ Stock at $7.50; Pulls Back on Secondary Offering. Analysts are saying the announcement of the sale of 3,126,147 shares of its Class A common stock – shares held by the Bordes family and received in the Greater Media deal – at $7.50 per share, combined with Beasley Media Group’s intent to purchase country WXTU, Philadelphia for $38 million in cash has sent the company’s stock price down 17.4% (as of Tuesday) to $7.35 per share.  As a result, Beasley has reversed course and will not sell 1.1 million shares of Beasley family-held stock in a secondary offering.  At the same time, the company has set the price of the “Bordes family” stock to the public at $7.50 per share.  That offering is expected to close on or about July 26 (subject to customary closing conditions).  Additionally, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 468,922 shares of Class A common stock from the “Bordes family selling stockholders.”  Beasley will not receive any proceeds from shares of Class A common stock to be sold by the Bordes family selling stockholders.  Guggenheim Securities, LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

Cox Media Group Considering ‘Strategic Options’ for Television Assets. It wasn’t that long ago that a rumor filtered through the radio industry that Cox Media Group may be shopping its radio station properties.  Now we learn that CMG’s concern is not with its radio division but with the 14-station TV group.  In a statement, Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie says that when it comes to television, “scale is critical to be successful.  We firmly believe that our great stations – and talented people – will need to be part of a larger entity to thrive in the future.”  It’s not clear if Cox has a buyer or partner in mind, but Guthrie says any deal would likely be completed in the next six to 12 months.  Her internal memo says the company would consider merging or partnering with another media entity.  Cox Enterprises president and CEO Alex Taylor  says in his internal memo, “We’ve identified a lot of exciting growth opportunities, and also some tough decisions we need to make as time marches on and things change.”

FCC Seeking Comments on Competition in Audio Marketplace.  Speaking of competition in the broader media marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission issues a public notice seeking comment from the industry on the “status of competition in the marketplace for delivery of audio programming.”  Recent legislation requires “the Commission publish a Communications Marketplace Report in the last quarter of every even numbered year.  Among other things, the biennial Communications Marketplace Report requires that the Commission assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver audio service among broadcast stations, satellite radio, and entities that provide audio content via the internet and to mobile devices.”  Responses to this request could go a long way in giving the FCC the information it needs to justify changes in ownership caps, for example.  The notice continues: “Accordingly, this Public Notice seeks input on the state of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming as it would relate to the overall goal of providing the required Communications Marketplace Report to Congress.  This Public Notice requests comment on the criteria or metrics that could be used to evaluate the state of competition in the audio programming marketplace, as well as comment and information on industry data, competitive dynamics, and trending factors.  For example, commenters are invited to submit the following data and information related to participants in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming, including, but not limited to, terrestrial radio broadcasters (i.e., AM and FM radio stations), satellite radio providers, and entities that provide audio programming over the Internet and to mobile devices (collectively, Audio Marketplace Participants): 1) identification and ownership of key Audio Marketplace Participants, as well as the business models and competitive strategies they use; 2) trends in service offerings, pricing, and consumer behavior; 3) the extent of competition among Audio Marketplace Participants, including intramodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of the same type, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations) and intermodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of different types, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations and satellite radio providers); 4) ratings, subscribership, and revenue information, for the marketplace as a whole and for individual Audio Marketplace Participants; 5) capital investment, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technology; 6) requirements for entry into the marketplace; and 7) recent entry into and exit from the marketplace.”  See the full Notice here.

Jack Taddeo to Lead Cumulus Des Moines. Radio management pro Jack Taddeo is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Des Moines station group that includes: news/talk/sports KBGG and four music formatted stations.  Taddeo was most recently market manager at NRG Media’s Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids cluster.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “We are thrilled to have a broadcaster like Jack Taddeo to lead the Cumulus team in Des Moines.  Jack’s passion for broadcast and the impact it has in communities is contagious.”

Doug Gottlieb and JT The Brick Launch NFL Camp Tour. The NFL season is just around the corner and that means FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb and JT “The Brick” are on the road visiting team training camps in California for the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.  The Doug Gottlieb show will broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams training camp at UC Irvine on July 27, followed by the Dallas Cowboys training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard on August 6, and the Los Angeles Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa on August 9.  JT “The Brick,” who has served in various broadcast capacities with the Oakland Raiders since 1998 and currently serves as a sideline reporter for the team’s pre-season broadcasts, will broadcast from their training camp in Napa Valley, on July 26 and 27.

New Affiliates for Walter M. Sterling; Guest Shot on KMOX, St. Louis. New affiliates for the Westwood One-distributed “Sterling on Sunday” program include KKSF, San Francisco and KUFO, Portland.  Walter M. Sterling says, “The show’s success comes from holding up a mirror to daily life.  I did a whole hour about stealing Splenda and tiny airplane bathrooms.” On Thursday of this week (7/26), Sterling guest stars on KMOX, St. Louis’ “Overnight America” program for regular host Ryan Wrecker.

Envision’s ‘Drive By Funny’ to Air on WWSE, Jamestown.  The city of license for adult contemporary WWSE “SE93” – Jamestown, New York – is the hometown of comedy legend Lucille Ball.  The owner is Media One Group and director of broadcast operations Andrew Hill says, “Jamestown, New York is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, the first female of comedy, so we needed to have a professional and easy-to-use comedy service to entertain listeners that come into town from across the globe to visit her hometown.  We are also opening the new National Comedy Center museum in Jamestown this year and we really needed a turnkey comedy option that our jocks could use to promote all of the comedy we have in town.  ‘Drive by Funny’ fits our needs perfectly and our audience is enjoying these clean, funny, and iconic audio pieces to laugh to throughout the day.”  Envision Networks says, “Drive By Funny’s contemporary and classic comedy cuts come from a library that boasts tracks pulled from an archive of more than 18,000 safe-for-work and in-the-car comedy clips that can create a great opportunity for benchmark features and lucrative sponsorship opportunities.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trade Wars/Farm Aid Package, Illegal Immigration/Asylum Policies, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Ivanka Trump Shuts Fashion Brand, Mega Millions Jackpot, Southwest Heatwave, Athens Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the Trump tariffs and fears of trade wars as well as the related move to provide $12 billion in assistance to U.S. farmers; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum polices; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Ivanka Trump shutters her fashion brand; the $522 million Mega Millions jackpot; the heatwave affecting the Southwest U.S.; the deadly wildfires ravaging Greece; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Nathan Graham is named PD at Entercom’s CHR WDZH, Detroit “98.7 AMP Radio.”  He comes to Detroit from his most recent position with the company at CHR WXSS, Milwaukee “103.7 KISS FM” where he was APD and music director.  Entercom Detroit vice president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Nathan has cultivated strong leadership skills and a wealth of top 40 format knowledge that we are confident will help propel ‘98.7 AMP Radio’ to new heights.  We are proud to cultivate talent within the Entercom team and look forward to welcoming him to Detroit.”  Graham succeeds Ian “Slacker” Richards as program director, who remains at the station as the afternoon drive host, APD and music director…..KISS-FM, San Antonio-based Billy Madison is named Best Talk Show Host by San Antonio Current magazine.  His syndicated “Billy Madison Show” airs in morning drive on the Cox Media Group rock outlet…..SiriusXM announces that The Beach Boys will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” series at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on July 30.  The session will be moderated by Emmy award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Rob Reiner and will air on August 10 at 5:00 pm ET/PT on the Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel.  In this rare, live group appearance, founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and David Marks along with long time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, will gather to speak with Reiner and answer questions from fans about their SiriusXM channel, their new album, The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their celebrated career as one of the world’s most beloved and respected bands…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 3.  The fifth annual concert will celebrate the best in Latin music with performances by Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, and Becky G with more artists to follow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

Mark Wainwright Exits Morning Gig at WSYR, Syracuse. WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Mark Wainwright says of his departure from the station’s full-time morning host gig, “I’ll skip over a lot of the details, but the end result is that my contract ended in July and I decided to move on.  It was as amicable and as mutually respectful a separation as anyone could want.  We parted on good terms and I would not hesitate to work for iHeartMedia again if the right situation came along.  In fact, the management at WSYR and several other iHeart stations indicated they would be happy to bring me back as a fill-in or guest host as the need arises, and at least one program director told me he definitely plans to call on me at some point. I’m looking forward to that.”  He says in a good-bye message on WSYR.com, “I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR.  I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today (7/20).  While it’s certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute – come on, at some point [Bob] Lonsberry has to take a vacation.” He relates how he filled in for the ailing Joe Galuski and eventually replaced him on the morning show after his passing.  He also thanks management for sticking by him while he dealt with his own throat cancer.  Read his entire post here.

Stephanie Perl Named Entercom Hartford Market Manager. Before moving into the television business as local sales manager for Tribune’s WTIC-TV and WCCT-TV in the Hartford-New Haven market, Stephanie Perl was general sales manager for CBS RADIO Hartford.  She returns to that radio cluster now owned by Entercom as SVP and market manager.  She’ll lead heritage news/talk WTIC-AM and sister stations CHR WTIC-FM, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5,” and urban contemporary WZMX “HOT 93.1.”  Entercom regional president Mark Hannon says, “We are happy to welcome Stephanie to the Entercom team and back to our stations in Hartford.  Her business acumen and leadership will help us provide our partners with premier solutions that reach our loyal and engaged audience in Hartford.”

TALKERS News Notes. This fall, award-winning journalist and author Alison Stewart begins hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program on public radio news/talk WNYC, New York.  New York Public Radio says the show will focus on culture, the arts, local news, and life in the New York area.  New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker comments, “Alison Stewart is the perfect host for our new midday show that will lead the New York conversation.  She is intelligent, lively, and experienced, and has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, the arts, and news in a way that is deeply of the moment.”…..Westwood One reports its plans for this week’s Podcast Movement conference.  It says one key element is the Westwood One “Pitch Pod” on the 5th floor lobby of the Marriott.  “Podcasting talent can tell their story right at the conference, recording a sharable video pitch for consideration for a roster slot on Westwood One Podcast Network.  Reporters and media contacts are also welcome to stop by the booth to record a video about their experience at Podcast Movement.”   Tomorrow, Westwood One Podcast Network’s Tim Sabean, Opie, and Carl Ruiz will present “The Art of Storytelling” for attendees…..The second season of the Jim Breslo-hosted podcast “Hidden Truth” is launched.  Following the first season of the weekly hourlong podcast titled “Hidden Truth:  Las Vegas Shooter,” comes “Hidden Truth: Transgender Movement.”  In this series, Breslo “embarks on a journey to discover what it means to be transgender and what impact the movement is having on society.” Episode one features the first of a three-part interview with Breslo’s fraternity brother Dave Richmond, a divorced accountant and father of two who, much to Breslo’s surprise, recently became Sabrina.  “No subject is left off limits as they discuss everything from sex and surgery, to parenting and pronouns.”…..Changes are coming to ABC-TV’s daytime talk program “The View.”  The New York Post reports that Sara Haines is exiting “The View” to work alongside Michael Strahan on the third hour of “Good Morning America.” It’s being reported that FOX News Channel “rising star” Abby Huntsman is in talks to become a cast member on “The View.”  She is the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and current Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Abby Huntsman, like her father, has some centrist tendencies, and is not reflexively conservative.  She made some headlines on July 15, when she appeared to ding the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin by tweeting, ‘No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.’”…..The NFL’s Oakland Raiders flagship radio station will still be an Entercom property but it is changing from sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” to all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM.  Games will continue to air on KGMZ as long as there is no conflict.

SRN’s Larry Elder Supporting Angel Tree Camp. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (right) at the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Camp that provides fresh air and summer camp activities for children whose mother or father are in prison.  Elder is a regular fundraiser for the program.  He tells TALKERS, “Children of prisoners haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t pay for the misdeeds of a parent.”  Elder notes that 70% of prisoners’ children eventually end up behind bars themselves, a cycle that is being broken by the Angel Tree Camp program.  Pictured here with Elder are Calacinto Ranch director Angela Cerda (center) and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).

KBA-WKU Radio Talent Institute Underway. Taking place this week on the campus of Western Kentucky University is the 6th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association-Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute. All week long, more than 40 broadcasters from Alpha Media, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Forever CommunicationsCapCity Communications, Forcht Broadcasting, The Cromwell Group, Cumulus Media, and iHeartMedia are working with students in sessions dedicated to on-air skills, sports, news, promotions, digital, production, as well as being certified by the RAB as Radio Marketing Professionals.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie comments, “It is great to have the solid support of the KBA, who are such early believers in and supporters of the Talent System, now for 6 years; and WKU, who embraced this from the moment it was introduced to the university.  Working together – broadcasters, universities and the National Radio Talent System – we are building the talent farm for the industry and discovering and preparing the next generation of broadcasters.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Trump Security Clearance Issue, U.S. Illegal Immigration Policies, Ozarks Duck Boat Tragedy, Toronto Shooting/Deadly BART Knife Attack, Southwest Heatwave, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Trump’s desire to remove security clearances from former intelligence officials who are critical of him; the policies relating to treatment of illegal immigrants and their children; the deadly Ozark duck boat capsizing; the fatal shooting in Toronto and the knife slaying on the BART train; the heatwave affecting the U.S. Southwest; the opening weekend for the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Big Lip joins to work alongside Shelby Rushin as co-host of the afternoon drive program, effective July 30…..Cumulus Media names 26-year radio pro Don Brake program director and morning personality for country KAYD-FM, Beaumont, Texas “NASH 101.7.”  Brake joins Cumulus from WKKQ, Morgantown, West Virginia where he was music director and midday personality…..Pictured below are WJBR-FM, Wilmington staffers (from l-r) Brandi Tigani, Chris Leonard, and Diana Beasley volunteering to cook for 50 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The effort was part of the radio station’s Beasley Best Day of Caring event.

Monday, July 23, 2018

| July 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this month’s final look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Comparing 6+ numbers, 51% of news/talk stations saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May 2018 survey to the June survey.  Looking at year-over-year numbers, 51% of stations realized AQH share gains.  In the June 2018 survey, 13 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their markets (6+), with Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati ranking #1 in their respective markets. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nielsen Releases Podcast Insights Study. This “marketers guide to podcasting” from Nielsen Audio explores the purchasing habits of podcasting fans in the fast-moving packaged goods category – groceries, booze, pet goods, personal care items, etc.  Based on its Homescan panel with additional data from an online questionnaire of those panelists who identify as fans of podcasting, Nielsen says, “The podcast listener tends to spend more at the grocery store on a weekly basis according to our research.  Advertisers who can leverage the podcast audience may find a greater ROI since this group tends to spend more.”  The study examines the buying habits of avid podcast fans based on podcast genre.  For example, the graphic at right shows the top five product categories purchased by fans of news and politics podcasts, as measured by the influence those fans have had on a category’s annual sales.

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Off the Air Today.  Contrary to the report published on Friday (7/20) in TALKERS based on a New York Post piece, midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno will not be on the air today.  Benigno – who is accused of sexual harassment in a suit filed against him, WFAN, and other staffers in New York state court in Brooklyn by former WFAN sales exec Laura Lockwood – was on vacation last week when the suit was filed.  Initially, the station said Benigno would be back on the air today (7/23) and that it looked forward to defending itself and Benigno. However, after letting clients know that Benigno would remain off the air today, the station is apparently doing its own investigation into Lockwood’s claims and deems it wise to keep him off the radio for now.  The station has not made public his return date.

NBC Sports Radio Adds Chris Simms and Peter King to ‘Pro Football Talk Live.’  Two NFL experts are added to the roster of NBC Sports Radio’s “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio.”  The press release from NBC Sports says former NFL quarterback Chris Simms continues as a part-time co-host during the radio/TV simulcast hours on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, and that NFL insider Peter King joins the program for a weekly, two-hour simulcast.  “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” launched in January of 2015 and is currently heard in morning drive on more than 150 affiliate stations.  It’s also heard on SiriusXM.

iHeartMedia’s ‘FM 96.9 The Game’ New Flagship for Orlando Magic.  Jumping from Cox Media Group’s WDBO-AM, Orlando to iHeartMedia’s simulcast of WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” is the NBA’s Orlando Magic.  The station will serve as the flagship for the franchise’s radio play-by-play.  Dennis Neumann is handling play-by-play, Richie Adubato takes on the color analyst duties for all home games, while Brandon Kravitz serves as pregame, halftime and postgame host for all games, and will provide sideline reports for all home contests.  Additional programming includes the nightly, half-hour “Magic Drive Time” hosted by Dante Marchitelli.

Wither ‘Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw?’  We know that Shelly Dunn is retiring from radio and the “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” program that’s been heard in the San Diego market for the past 28 years.  But now that rock KFMB-FM owner Tegna has announced that it and the show have failed to come to terms on a new agreement, where the show will land is the big question.  For its part, Tegna says, “After extensive negotiations and a generous offer to the DSC team, we were unfortunately unable to reach an agreement to keep the show here at KFMB.  We wish the DSC the very best with their future pursuits.  We also want to thank and wish Shelly Dunn well on her retirement, which she announced last week.  She’s had an incredible 30-year career and will be missed.  We are looking to the future and remain committed to our listeners in San Diego.”  Dave Rickards posted a series of tweets showing his removing the show’s stuff from the KFMB studios and saying he has a new place to put it, and ending with, “Announcement coming shortly.”  Some industry watchers believe the show might be destined for Entercom’s struggling sports talker KWFN, based on the idea that the DSC show would be a good way to draw listeners to the newly flipped station – that is if Entercom wants a non-sports show in morning drive.  Stay tuned.

Chad Benson Show Clears on ‘Power Talk 1360’ in Modesto-Stockton.  The Radio America nationally syndicated Chad Benson show is now airing in the afternoon drive daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFIV “Power Talk 1360” in the Modesto-Stockton, California market.  KFIV-AM is added to the recent list of affiliates to begin carrying the show, including KTAR-FM, Phoenix and KSTE-AM, Sacramento.

Trump-Putin Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Trade War Threats, Trump-Rouhani Threats, Jeanine Pirro-The View Spat, Trader Joe’s Slaying/Standoff, Toronto Shooting, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on goods from the European Union and concerns about a new trade war; President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchange threats; FOX News star Jeanine Pirro’s boisterous exit from an appearance on ABC’s “The View”; the slaying of a Trader Joe’s staffer after a standoff with an armed man in Los Angeles; the deadly shooting in a Toronto restaurant; the opening weekend of the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS AUDIO: Michael Harrison Interviews Former CBS Radio CEO/President Dan Mason About VSiN and the Potential Impact of Legalized Sports Betting on Media. Launched in 2017, VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) is the first media network dedicated to providing news, analysis and proprietary data to the millions of Americans who bet on sports and make gambling a multimillion-dollar industry. Launched by sports media legend Brent Musberger and fueled by award-winning broadcasters and legendary odds makers, VSiN’s mission is to inform and entertain these consumers wherever and whenever they want it. A dedicated SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel (204) is among the platforms on which VSiN is available, which also include live video streaming, web (www.VSiN.com), mobile and social. One of the principals in the VSiN organization is former CBS Radio CEO/president Dan Mason who serves as a strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations. Mason, who served in the top position at CBS Radio for 15 years, is one of the most colorful and accomplished figures in the radio industry today. He is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee who also serves as an advisor to iHeartMedia and chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, in addition to participating as a talent in network sports play-by-play announcing and commentary (women’s basketball and horse racing). TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who worked closely with Mason in the late 1980s establishing WZLX, Boston as one of the nation’s leading classic rock stations, caught up with him yesterday (7/17) for an exclusive telephone interview. They discuss VSiN and the potential impact of legalized sports betting on the media industry. To listen to the conversation in its entirety, please click

      here
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Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the title of director of music programming in Baltimore for Entercom is Tom Cook.  The company announces he’ll be responsible for programming adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” and CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5.”  Cook was most recently Michigan regional operations manager for Townsquare Media.  Entercom SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys comments, “We are delighted to welcome Tom to our team.  He has an amazing track record of accomplishments at the various stations he has programmed and we look forward to him bringing that enthusiasm and experience to us here in Baltimore.”…..On-air pro Dan Day exits his role as evening host at Guaranty Media’s classic rock WDGL, Baton Rouge “Eagle 98.1.”  At the same time, the company announces that Mike Benson– who also serves as an account executive for the cluster, is returning to the air to host the midday program.

Friday, July 20, 2018

| July 20, 2018

Report: Silver Lake Offers $500 Million Investment in iHeartMedia. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, private equity firm Silver Lake has offered to invest $500 million in iHeartMedia, though the piece says the company’s largest creditor group led by Franklin Mutual Advisers and Pacific Investment Management Co. has not accepted the offer.  Silver Lake’s intent is to invest prior to iHeartMedia’s emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization, expected to happen in November.  Such an investment would give iHM more cash to disperse to creditors.  The WSJ piece says Silver Lake’s investment offer is in the form of convertible preferred shares that are a hybrid instrument of debt and equity.  Convertible preferred shares usually pay interest.  They are called convertible because they include an option to convert to common equity at a specified share price.

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Returns to Air on Monday.  After the Wednesday filing of a sexual harassment/hostile work environment suit against WFAN, New York and midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno, the station tells the New York Post that the company will fight the allegations made by former WFAN sales exec Laura Lockwood and that Benigno – on vacation this week – will be back on the radio on Monday (7/23).

Star City Broadcasting Launches Lafayette, Indiana News/Talk Station. The new station emanates from WSHY-AM and is simulcast on translator W282CJ.  It’s a flip from the previous sports talk format and is being branded “The Patriot 104.3 FM.”  It will feature Premiere Networks programs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, as well as Westwood One’s Michael Savage.  Star City Broadcasting general manager Billy Huggins says, “This area is booming and there has been a huge demand for news and talk on the FM dial.  We will combine the power of top national talk shows, local personalities, and news from our growing TV stations to create a radio station that will most definitely be ‘The Voice of Greater Lafayette.’”  Huggins adds that the station is auditioning local voices “to make sure we cover the whole story and how it impacts Greater Lafayette.” Star City operations manager Ski Anderson comments, “Combining the resources of Star City’s four television stations and our well-established radio stations will give us a solid base to launch and grow news and talk, crystal clear on the FM dial.”

FCC Pushes Back Against Sinclair. Television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group appeared shocked by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Monday (7/16) release in which he stated that he has “serious concerns” about the Sinclair-Tribune deal.  Two days later, the commission adopted a Hearing Designation Order in which the transfer applications for WGN-TV, Chicago; KDAF-TV, Dallas; and KIAH-TV, Houston will go before an administrative judge.  The commission’s concerns are outlined in the following paragraph from the Order.  “Among these applications were three that, rather than transfer broadcast television licenses in Chicago, Dallas, and Houston directly to Sinclair, proposed to transfer these licenses to other entities.  The record raises significant questions as to whether those proposed divestitures were in fact ‘sham’ transactions. By way of example, one application proposed to transfer WGN-TV in Chicago to an individual (Steven Fader) with no prior experience in broadcasting who currently serves as CEO of a company in which Sinclair’s executive chairman has a controlling interest.  Moreover, Sinclair would have owned most of WGN-TV’s assets, and pursuant to a number of agreements, would have been responsible for many aspects of the station’s operation.  Finally, Fader would have purchased WGN-TV at a price that appeared to be significantly below market value, and Sinclair would have had an option to buy back the station in the future.  Such facts raise questions about whether Sinclair was the real party in interest under Commission rules and precedents and attempted to skirt the Commission’s broadcast ownership rules.  Although these three applications were withdrawn today, material questions remain because the real party-in-interest issue in this case includes a potential element of misrepresentation or lack of candor that may suggest granting other, related applications by the same party would not be in the public interest.” This transaction would transfer ownership of news/talk WGN-AM to Sinclair, which currently owns three Seattle radio stations – talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ – in addition to its television holdings.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention Videos All Posted.  Videos covering the entire nine-hour agenda of the recent TALKERS convention held on June 8 in New York City – from the opening breakfast to closing cocktail reception award ceremonies – are now posted here at Talkers.com.  Seventy-one industry luminaries spoke at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  The videos – 19 in all – will remain posted for the rest of 2018 on a convenient page sponsored by Comrex Corp and are available for unlimited free viewing by TALKERS readers.  To see any or all of the speeches, workshops, panels, and presentations at this tremendously successful gathering, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 16-20.  The Helsinki meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related request by Russia to interrogate former Russia Ambassador Michael McFaul and financier Bill Bowder.  Coming in at #3 was the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, followed by the fallout from President Trump’s recent NATO meeting at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Adrian Cronauer Passes at 79.  The man whose military radio show entertaining the troops in Vietnam was loosely adapted into the movie Good Morning Vietnam– Adrian Cronauer – died on Wednesday at age 79.  Robin Williams’ portrayal of Cronauer got him an Academy Award nomination.  The real Cronauer had broadcasting in his blood.  After his military service, he worked in New York doing voice work for radio and TV.  He programmed a TV station and managed a radio station.  Later in life, he would again serve his country as a confidential advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) from 2001 through 2009.  He represented the POW/MIA Office at meetings within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at various outside functions, including liaison with the leadership of veterans’ service organizations as well as family and activist groups.

Ralph Nader Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Iconic political activist, consumer advocate and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Nader – a Princeton and Harvard graduate – came to prominence in the mid-1960s with the publication of his book, Unsafe at Any Speed (Grossman Publishers, 1965), a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and particularly the first-generation Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, a New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century. Nader makes a case that news/talk radio – both commercial and public – no longer offers the American listener the level of ideological diversity that it did in years gone by before going in a “corporatist” direction. This has led him to launch a show of his own, “The Ralph Nader Radio Hour,” a weekly talk show broadcast on the Pacifica Radio Network, and available as a podcast on iTunes. Nader is joined by comedic co-hosts Steve Skrovan and David Feldman for what is described as a lively, informative hour of interviews with some of the nation’s most influential movers and shakers plus thought-provoking discussions of the week’s news. Harrison and Nader, whose friendship goes back about 30 years, gently spar – agreeing and disagreeing on a number of issues, including whether or not Nader’s refusal to withdraw from the historic 2000 presidential race prevented Al Gore from winning that election. A number of progressive media gatekeepers have held that against Nader for the past 18 years. Upon posting this interview, Harrison states, “Ralph Nader is one of the most influential Americans of the past century and has a voice that still deserves to be heard. His radio show on Pacifica is an excellent vehicle not only for his ongoing commentary but also as an alternative platform for provocative guests not often heard by the American public in today’s flash headlines-oriented media environment.” 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 every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At country KGGO, Los Angeles, Amy Mangola-Soler exits the morning show where she’d been serving as a cast member alongside Graham Bunn and David Bugenske.  She’d been with the Mt. Wilson Broadcasters station since 2015…..iHeartMedia Las Vegas announces that Las Vegas radio personality Mark DiCiero joins the company to host weekend shows on adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5.”  He’d been a radio personality in the market for the past 18 years as co-host of the “Mark and Mercedes in the Morning” program on Entercom’s crosstown hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.”  KSNE program director Chris Pickett says, “Mark is a well-known and beloved personality here in Las Vegas.  He has developed a genuine bond with the market and we’re happy that our listeners can connect with him on the Valley’s most popular radio station.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones morning show is being added to the program schedule at Community First Broadcasting’s country KKIA, Ida Grove, Iowa “The Moose.”  The show replaces “The Fish Tank” with host Matt Fisher.

PPM Analysis: Alternative. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative rock.  June was pretty good to alternative stations in PPM markets with 54% seeing their 6+ AQH rise.  Comparing June 2017 numbers to June 2018, 48% of alt rock stations enjoyed an increase AQH. Houston is the only market in which an alternative station ranks in the top five, with iHeartMedia’s KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz”  occupying the #5 spot with a 6+ weekly AQH share of 5.0%. See the whole report here.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

| July 18, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on the June 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Across the PPM markets, only 25% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ AQH rise from the May 2018 survey to last month.  However, when comparing year-over-year numbers, 67% of sports talk stations realized gains in their 6+ AQH.  A look at market rank shows three sports talk stations in the top five in their respective markets with three Entercom stations – WXYT-FM, Detroit; KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; and WFAN-AM/FM, New York ranking #5 (WFAN’s #5 ranking was in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market).  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Hubbard’s Marc Kaye Stepping Down After 45-Year Career. Seattle vice president and market manager Marc Kaye is retiring from Hubbard Radio and the radio business after a 45-year career that started at WGBB, Long Island – then owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting – as an account executive.  Kaye says, “I promised myself that when I hit the 45-year mark in the great business of radio, I was going to get a bit selfish and consider that milestone was enough to prove I have given it my all.  I am looking forward to spending a whole lot more time with my wife and see what new challenges and chapters I can write as I move forward.  I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best and for this I am very grateful.” Kaye rose quickly through the ranks at WGBB, becoming general manager at age 27.  At the same time his sales career was beginning, he held on to his sports broadcaster dreams by working as the radio voice of the St. John’s University basketball team and working for the brand new (at the time) cable sports channel, ESPN.  During his career he managed in markets including: St. Petersburg, Houston, Seattle, Tampa and Los Angeles for companies such as Harte-Hanks, Westinghouse, Gannett, and Jacor.  Hubbard chair Ginny Morris comments, “Having the opportunity to work with Marc Kaye has been one of the great delights of my career.  Marc’s positive spirit, creativity and passion for life made working with him a great joy.  Marc will be very hard to replace but we are very happy that he will stay in his position through the transition and will help us find his replacement.”

iHeartMedia Chicago Appoints Steve Vicenteno VP of Automotive. Most recently with Chicago Tribune Media Group as sales director, Steve Vicenteno joins iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region as vice president of automotive. In this position, Vicenteno will be responsible for “overseeing automotive sales opportunities for the Chicago region that deliver a strong return on investment for clients reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, personalities and live events.”   Vicenteno says, “I’m really excited to join the team at iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring my media and auto sales experience to such a reputable and vibrant organization. I’m ready to get started!”

We’re #24!  KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated morning duo Armstrong & Getty are pictured above in a still from a recent video the duo made celebrating their place on the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred 2018 list.  They say, “TALKERS has acknowledged ‘The Armstrong & Getty Show’ as the 24th most influential talk show in the entire U-S of A!  Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty wish to thank TALKERS, while complimenting them on their good taste and extraordinarily fine judgement!”  See the hilarious video here.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “The Talk Rumble.”  Today (7/18), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 16th installment is the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young.  Already posted:  the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb;  the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Air Staff for UConn IMG Radio Network Named. Hartford sports talk outlet WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford’s Sports Station” is carrying University of Connecticut play-by-play and the UConn IMG Radio Network is announcing the talent covering contests this school year.  Bob Joyce will serve as executive producer and voice of UConn women’s basketball.  Mike Crispino, five-time Emmy-winning broadcaster will serve as the voice of UConn football and men’s basketball. Wayne Norman returns for his 37th season as the color analyst for UConn football and men’s basketball, along with Debbie Fiske – a former UConn Women’s Basketball player – who will return for her seventh season as the color analyst for UConn women’s basketball.  Adam Giardino joins the team as the sideline reporter for UConn football and color analyst for UConn hockey.  Former Husky athlete Randy LaVigne rounds out the UConn IMG Radio Network broadcast team.  UConn coverage on the iHeartMedia station begins August 1.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, NATO Meeting Fallout, Illegal Immigration Policy, Obama in South Africa, MGM Sues Las Vegas Victims, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18). The aftermath of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the international reaction to President Trump’s appearance at the recent NATO meeting; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; former President Obama’s tour of Africa and his comments about the state of world politics; reaction to MGM’s suit to prevent victims of last fall’s Las Vegas shooting from suing it; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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. Denver radio personality Denise Plante joins iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull” as midday host.  iHeartMedia Denver Region president Tim Hager says, “Few names in Denver are as recognizable as Denise Plante. She’s a best-in-class personality who has a knack for connecting with listeners and business leaders in a meaningful way.  I’m thrilled to welcome Denise to the iHeartMedia family and I look forward to watching her grow with the largest media company in the land.”…..In the San Jose market, Alpha Media names Nancy Newcomer production assistant and air personality at classic hits KBAY “94.5 BAY FM” and sister hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  She previously was midday personality at classic rock KUFX, San Jose “KFOX.”  She says, “I’m thrilled to make ‘94.5 BAY FM’ my new radio home.  The South Bay has been good to me and I can’t wait to get back on the air.  Thanks to Dave Numme, Lori Hereen and the entire Alpha Media crew for welcoming me into the fold.”…..Dick Broadcasting adds midday duties at alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach for Josie Cothran.  She also handles the midday program at the company’s CHR WKZL, Greensboro…..Saga Communications’ urban contemporary WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” adds the syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings,” starring DeDe McGuire to the program schedule for morning drive…..Pictured below is Big Machine Records recording artist Carly Pearce (right) with “NASH Nights Live co-host Elaina Smith (left) at the NASH Campus in Nashville.  Pearce spoke with Smith for her new “Women Want to Hear Women” podcast with NASH Country Daily.  In addition to talking openly about what it’s like being a woman in country music, Pearce did two exclusive performances for the podcast – a cover of Dolly Parton’s classic “9 to 5” and her own current single, “Hide the Wine.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week 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 shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Monday, July 16, 2018

| July 16, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Tribune/Sinclair Merger.  Releasing a statement today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s sharing with fellow commissioners a “draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative judge.”  Pai’s sticking point is an aspect of the proposed merger that would allow Sinclair to control stations it doesn’t technically own.  “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction.”  The proposed sale of Tribune Broadcasting’s assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group includes Tribune’s lone radio property – news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Sinclair currently owns three other radio stations in the Seattle market: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments on Pai’s decision, saying, “I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings.  Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law — specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition.  After a lengthy and fair process, Chairman Pai acted in a non-partisan manner in making this decision – a marked departure from the Commission’s partisan actions during the Obama administration.

iHeartMedia Elevates Four to Division Presidents. Four iHeartMedia region presidents are being promoted to division presidents of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Linda Byrd, Scott HopeckBrian Olson, and Jeff Tyler are expanding their current region president roles to include division president responsibilities — joining current division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Tom McConnell — and will report to Greg Ashlock, president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

ESPN Extends Contract with Paul Finebaum. Sports media personality Paul Finebaum and ESPN announce they’ve inked a new multi-year contract that will keep Finebaum with ESPN and SEC Network.  Finebaum will continue to host his eponymous radio program and continue to serve as an analyst on “SEC Nation.”  Finebaum comments, “I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network.  I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”  Finebaum is also featured on a variety of additional ESPN programming, including “Get Up!,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter,” “College Football Live,” “Finebaum Film Room” and “College GameDay.”

Boomer Esiason Leaves Westwood One ‘Monday Night Football’ Radio Booth. No one can accuse Boomer Esiason of being a slacker.  His numerous media gigs make him one of the busiest sports media figures working today.  But now, he’s saying ‘good-bye’ to one of the roles he’s held for the past 18 years – color analyst for Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” radio broadcasts.  Esiason also co-hosts the WFAN-AM/FM, New York morning show with Gregg Gionnatti; he’s a lead studio analyst for CBS Television’s pregame, halftime and post-game program, “The NFL Today”; and is a member of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” team.  Esiason says, “It has been an honor to be a member of the Westwood One NFL broadcast team for the last 18 years.  I am proud to have delivered the calls for some of the most iconic Monday Night and Super Bowl moments in the history of the NFL.  With my continuing busy schedule during the NFL season, including my daily NYC-based morning drive radio show, ‘The NFL Today’ and ‘Inside the NFL,’ I thought the timing was right for me to step away.  I would like to thank my broadcast partners in the booth who have made the job enjoyable and fulfilling.  Also, I would like to thank Westwood One’s senior management and sales force, who, over the years, were instrumental in providing on-air support for the Boomer Esiason Foundation.”

Forbes: Hannity’s Rise ‘Inextricably Tied’ to Trump Friendship. In a piece in Forbes written by Hayley Cuccinello, some experts are quoted saying that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity’s “rise is inextricably tied to his close friendship and access to President Donald Trump.”  The piece goes on to note that Hannity is the only cable news/talk host to make the Forbes world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities list this year.   TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece explaining Sean Hannity’s eclipsing fellow Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh on TALKERS’ 2018 Heavy Hundred list of the most important radio talk show hosts.  Harrison says, “Sean Hannity’s prominence as a news-making, frontline player in presidential politics, coupled with being a double threat as a radio and TV star, rank him this past year as one of, if not the, most influential radio and TV talk show hosts of all time.”  Harrison adds in a statement to the TALKERS editors, “It is important to point out that even before Trump came on the scene as a political player, Hannity was a major force in talk media nipping at the heels of Rush for years.”  See the Forbes piece here.

Third Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway at Central Washington U. The third annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins this afternoon on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington with Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president of radio Drew Horowitz, Hubbard Seattle VP/market manager Marc Kaye, and more than 35 other radio pros from Hubbard, Entercom, Bonneville, Townsquare, Alpha Media, the Seattle Seahawks and others will lead sessions during the 10-day institute.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington is the sixth institute of the summer and will be followed by the KBA Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute in Kentucky and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  Today (7/16), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 14th installment is the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation/Indictments, NATO Meeting Aftermath, Trump Flouts Royalty Protocol, Illegal Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War, Chicago Police Shooting Protests/KC Cop Attacks, Brexit Controversy, France Wins World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Today’s meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the ongoing investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Friday’s indictment of 12 Russians on hacking charges; President Trump’s meeting with NATO leaders and his statement that the European Union is America’s foe; chatter about Trump’s failure to observe royalty protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; the trade war brewing between the U.S. and China; protests in Chicago after police kill an armed black man and the attack in Kansas City that wounded three police officers; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU exit woes; France wins the World Cup; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hubbard’s Triple A WWFD, Frederick, Maryland First Full-Time, All-Digital AM Station. Frederick, Maryland triple A WWFD-AM “The Gamut” (also heard on translator W232DG at 94.3 FM) is making history as the “first full-time, all-digital AM radio station in the U.S.” Hubbard Radio says, “In an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving demand for digital, ‘The Gamut’ will be turning off its analog signal and will no longer be accessible through regular AM radio beginning today (7/16) at 12:00 noon.  This announcement comes as a result of a collaborative effort between ‘The Gamut’ and HD Radio, an Xperi Corporation brand, to give AM broadcasters parity in the car dashboard with FM HD Radio, satellite and internet streaming, among others.”  The conversion to all-digital is primarily expected to provide listeners with better sound quality and include new display features such as artist name, song title and even album artwork.  WWFD engineer and program director Dave Kolesar states, “My belief is that AM needs to start trending in this direction. We’re excited to be doing this extremely innovative project that has tremendous potential to make AM much more viable to distribute all formats.”

Indianapolis Radio Personality Bernie Eagan Retires. WYXB, Indianapolis afternoon personality Bernie Eagan is retiring from the business on July 20 after almost four decades on the radio.  Eagan – who is blind – got his start on radio while in college at the former Indiana Central College.  He studied broadcasting at Ball State and joined Emmis’ WENS, Indianapolis “Lite Rock 97.1” in 1981.  In 2002, he became morning host on Emmis’ adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B105.7,” and later transitioned to afternoons.  Eagan was recently selected by the Indiana Broadcasters Association to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame. He will receive that honor this November.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York hot AC WNEW-FM re-brands from the “Fresh 102.7” moniker to “NEW 102.7.”  Entercom New York region president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “This is an exciting move that underscores our commitment to offer listeners in New York a top-rated content and music experience.  Feedback tells us that New Yorkers are looking for a hot AC station that can take them through their workday and we know ‘NEW 102.7’ will deliver.” Additional announcements regarding the new programming lineup will be made shortly…..After cutting loose longtime syndicated morning show Bubba The Love Sponge” from rock WRXK, Fort Myers, Beasley Media Group announces it is piping in the “Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show” that emanates from its Detroit classic rock WRIF.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “We are pleased to have some of the finest personalities in the rock format within our company and Dave and Chuck are among the best of the best.  The type of content that they deliver has proven success in this market and I have no doubt this show will be a winner in Fort Myers.”…..Saga Communications classic hits KIOA, Des Moines announces Luke Matthews is the new morning drive co-host, alongside Amy on the “Luke & Amy” show. Matthews takes over for Maxwell Schaffer, who recently departed to take on the director of promotions and marketing at iHeartMedia’s Des Moines station group.

Round Four of June PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2018 survey period covered May 24 – June 20. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a quick one-month stay at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT (8.2 – 7.8, -.4, 6+), which shifts to the runner-up slot. May’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Off one-half share in April but up one-tenth in May, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” now falters by four-tenths in June (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), exiting the top ten (#10 to #11). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Now, “The Horn” adds one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Anchored at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” posts a +.2 to .5 (6+), suspending four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On top four months in a row, Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” plummeted -1.4 in May (8.9 – 7.5, 6+), segueing to #2. Wiping away nearly half of May’s deficit, “Bob” – which was +1.0 in April – posts a June improvement of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+) and returns to #1. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In addition to moving from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is up for the third straight time for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat (5.8) in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). Off one-half share in May, iHeartMedia-owned KASE erases that loss completely with June’s +.5 (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). It now trails co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, third to fourth, 6+) by four-tenths. April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down slightly in back-to-back sweeps (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” improves by a cumulative six-tenths in May and June to 2.4 (#17 to #14, 6+). At the same time that Emmis regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Z 107.1” falters by one full-share following a May increase of six-tenths (5.3 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 returns in its entirety the six-tenths it picked up in May (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). The 5.3 for KLZT-FM in May is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.4.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a robust +.9 (7.8 – 8.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC progresses from third to first; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. In addition to dropping from seventh to eighth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April loss of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). After four successive times of posting a 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF gains two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) yet backslides from #18 to #19. Ironically, prior to May, “News Radio 680” occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; and now -1.3 in June (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 2.6, #11 to #14, 6+). This (2.6) is its softest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 2.4. Following eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), co-owned sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+) and now disappears from print.

Raleigh Music Formats – Three major improvements in a row by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, March – April – May – June, 6+) net a collective +2.6, propelling “Mix 101.5” from fifth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (7.7) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). With its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half as a result of four straight negative moves (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” bounces back with a +.6 to 1.6 (#19 to #17, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot following 12 straight months there and slipping to second is Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” (9.3 – 8.4, -.9, 6+). Its +.4 in May pulled the plug on three dips in a row that accounted for a combined -1.8 (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+). This past January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+). Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Within 6.0 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (6.0 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG  drops six-tenths to 5.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.3, but “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #6.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s largest (6+) May 2018 – June 2018 increase is made by Emmis news/talk WIBC (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+), which jumps from seventh to fourth. Prior to May’s -.3, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Having forfeited seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases it with a combined +.7 in May and June (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3, #13 to #14, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, Emmis-owned sports talk WFNI is off one-tenth to 2.2 (flat at #16, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without an increase for the third time in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A collective -2.3 as the result of three downward trends in succession (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” hangs out a +.6 to 3.7 (6+) but remains at #13. The Radio One CHR was a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). Its rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” advances from eighth to seventh with its third consecutive increase for a collective +.9 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+). Notching May 2018 – June 2018 increases of one-half share as well are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), which was a combined -1.3 in April and May (7.4 – 6.4 – 6.1, 6+), and Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” (6.8 – 7.3, fourth to second, 6+). Winning ways continue for co-owned WFMS, which is not only #1 for the third month in a row but “95.5 The Country Station” is an overall +2.3 in four straight upticks (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June 2018’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. WFMS was -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; and +.5 in May. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), spirals by nine-tenths to 6.2 (second to sixth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Including June’s -1.1, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is now an overall -2.0 via three straight negative moves (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 (March – April – May, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8) but stays at #11. Substituting May’s +.6 with a June -.6, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” carries on at #9. Its gain of six-tenths this time last month halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Displaying an identical May 2018 – June 2018 profile as “The Mix” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, flat at #9, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-stat since re-appearing in print in December 2016. In four downward trends in a row, Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) but actually improves from #12 to #11 – where it is tied with WOLT.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Scripps news/talk (and Milwaukee Brewers flagship) WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminates May’s -.6 with a +.5 (7.3 – 7.8, third to second, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” surrenders eight-tenths of May’s +.9 (7.7 – 6.9, second to fourth, 6+). In April (2018), WTMJ matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). With downward trends in three straight sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, January through April, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time it reached the eight-share level (6+) was just over five years ago (8.1, April 2013). An overall +.8 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), WUWM has a one-tenth setback to 2.7 (6+) yet climbs from #15 to #13; the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th consecutive sweep. The March 2018 – June 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); and now +.9 in June (6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+). A May uptick of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WMYX halted five successive sweeps without an increase which accounted for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). By adding one-half share (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), “99.1 The Mix” climbs from seventh to sixth. April’s 4.5 marked the first time “Mix” slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. In addition to being +1.7 in four straight increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 40th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. A cumulative +2.5 in five straight increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” forfeits 40% of that increase (5.1, -1.0, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Eight-tenths behind it is format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which loses one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Having recorded a +.7 in April and then a -.1 in May (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (#15 to #20, 6+) spirals by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8. In five consecutive losses, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  is -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+); “104.5 The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. Anchored at #9, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined -.5 in four straight sweeps without an increase, (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. For the third straight sweep, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+) with “Super Talk 99.7” remaining at #11. January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – June 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 (#19 to #11, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Roaring back from May’s -.5 with a gain twice that margin (8.2 – 9.2, +1.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA  is #1 for the fifth month in a row. “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want,” which had been (slightly) down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), dials up a one-half share gain to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. Adding seven-tenths to May’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from eighth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May, similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” breaks out a +.6 to 4.6 and remains at #10. Immediately in advance of the aforementioned -1.5, “Nash Icon” was an overall +1.8 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+). A loss of three-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WSIX (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) shifts “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” from sixth to seventh. “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -1.1 (May 2018 – June 2018, 6+) as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” erodes by seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. By dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” slips from #11 to #12. Four successive up or flat trends by co-owned WQZQ more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-share, but “Classic Hits 93.3” (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), hands over-one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) yet proceeds from #18 to a four-way tie at #16; May’s 1.2 is its best 6+-stat since November 2017 (1.2, as well). Also included in that logjam at #16 is TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL, which is off three-tenths to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+). Having reached the top twenty for the first time in March, “Activa” concludes three straight up or flat moves that produced a 6+ AQH stat seven times greater than it was in February (.2 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit that it remains at #7, Entercom sports talk WVEI posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Leading up to the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). One-tenth behind is Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (flat at 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). May’s setback of eight-tenths essentially negated the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The January 2018 – June 2018 (6+) topline for co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is a steady .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 (unchanged at #15). Down an overall seven-tenths in four straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ slips from #12 to #13; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” gained six-tenths in February. Off one-tenth (2.2 – 2.1, 6+), The Wheeler School’s WELH is unchanged in its market rank (#10); WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by three-tenths (2.2 – 1.9, #11, 6+); these two public news/talk facilities were tied in May at #10. Immediately prior to the May sweep, WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Owing to six straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8, third to second, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.6. Moreover, this (9.8) is its strongest 6+-performance in three years (9.9, June 2015). Tacking on nine-tenths to May’s increase of eight-tenths (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” repeats at #1. This (10.3) is the highest 6+-stat for “Lite” since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to this past October, “Lite Rock” (-1.1 in March) was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Erasing May’s -.4 with an increase twice that margin, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY (9.0 – 9.8, +.8, 6+) remains at #2, where it is tied with WCTK. On top in March and April, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” slipped to the runner-up slot in May. June 2018’s 9.8 is its best 6+-stat since January 2012’s 10.0. Following three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 but continues in sixth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, #13 to #12, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB loses exactly half its 6+-share (-1.4); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Huge winning ways continue for Entercom urban AC WVKL which is #1 for the 19th time in a row and a collective +2.2 in three straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3, 6+). Moreover, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 27th time in the last 28 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, WVKL set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) it set two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Having faltered by three-tenths May, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT displays an increase twice that size (1.9 – 2.5, +.6, 6+) and is anchored at #8. In five successive (slightly) up or flat trends, “92.1 The Beat” gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Bouncing back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE logs a one-half share increase (5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3