Category: Industry News

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Speaker Roster Growing for TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board has begun naming industry leaders who’ll be speaking at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. The following individuals have already been set to speak at the one-day, power-packed event on Friday, June 8 in New York City (in alphabetical order): Asa Andrew, host, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host KGO, San Francisco; Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Broadcasting; Mike Bendixen, PD, CFRB, Toronto and national news/talk format head, Bell Media; David Bernstein, GM, TalkersRadio; Chris Berry, SVP/news-talk-sports programming, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP/director, spoken word format and operations VP, New York Region, Salem Media Group; Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, VP/sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, PD, WRKO, Boston; Mike Francesa, sports media personality, New York;  Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Suzanne Grimes, president, Westwood One; Sean Hannity, host, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel; Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Bill Hess, program director, WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Harry Hurley, host, WWPG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel; Mike Kinosian, managing editor, TALKERS; Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; Mike McVay, EVP content & programming, Cumulus Media; Greg Moceri, consultant, Moceri Media; Norm Pattiz, executive chairman, PodcastOne; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Brad Shepard, GM/host, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio; Doug Stephan, host/CEO, Stephan Multimedia; Tom Sullivan, host, Talk Media Network and KFBK, Sacramento; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Fred Toucher, morning co-host, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub”; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers will be added in the days and weeks to follow. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions,TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout. Don’t be shut out! To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

KNBR, San Francisco Cuts Ties with Patrick Connor After Host’s Comments About Teen Olympian.  Sports media personality Patrick Connor has been let go by Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco after his sexualized comments about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.  Connor hosted the daily “The Shower Hour with Patrick Connor” at 5:00 am on KNBR but he didn’t make his comments on KNBR.  He did that on SiriusXM’s Barstool Sports channel calling in to the “Dailed In with Dallas Braden” program.  Connor’s radio bit revolved around his opinion of the 17-year-old athlete’s looks and that she would soon be 18.  Connor apologized for his words, calling them “lame and gross.”  Obviously, this latest incident comes as fellow broadcaster Entercom is dealing with the blowback from two recent errors in judgement by talk hosts and will suspend live programming on WEEI, Boston tomorrow (2/16) so the entire staff can attend mandatory sensitivity training.

John Patrick Joins WGAC, Augusta Morning Show.  At Augusta, Georgia news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Beasley Media Group names John Patrick as a new co-anchor of the station’s morning show.  He joins Steve Smith and Mary Liz Nolan for wake-up duties.  Patrick was most recently hosting the “Buzz on Buzz” show at sister sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta 1630.”  Among Patrick’s achievements in his 40-plus-year career is the 2008 creation of “The Augusta Golf Show with John Patrick.”  It will now air on WGAC-FM on Saturday afternoons.  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “To have a guy like John with 40-plus years in radio leading the way on the WGAC morning show is quite an honor.  We look forward to what John brings to WGAC and the Beasley Media Group of Augusta.”

Pub Talker Tom Ashbrook Exits WBUR, Boston for ‘Creating Abusive Work Environment.’ Host of the WBUR, Boston talk program “On Point” – Tom Ashbrook – had been on leave from the Boston University-owned public radio news/talk outlet since the school launched an investigation into his behavior back in December.  Now, the school has let him go, citing actions he was reported to have taken that created an “abusive work environment.”  According to a report of his dismissal in Deadspin, “The university said it had conducted two separate reviews after allegations were made by 11 former staffers claiming Ashbrook ‘created a work environment that included verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching.’ A second probe, conducted by a law firm, determined that the alleged unwelcome conduct was not sexual in nature, and was not sexual harassment under BU’s Title IX polices.”  See the Deadspin piece here.

Atlanta’s ‘The Sports X’ Gets a New Midday Show.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that another local show has been added to Dickey Broadcasting’s WOFM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “The Sports X.”  The station pairs up Jerry “Tug” Cowart with former University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cowart also works as a jock at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country outlet WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Station owner David Dickey has been retooling the station – a sister station to WCNN “The Fan” – in an effort to draw in younger listeners.  He recently added Mark Zinno to host the afternoon program and the late morning “Hometeam & Hamilton” show with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton.

WAXY, Miami Signs Deal for University of Miami Baseball. South Florida sports talker WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” enters into a multi-year agreement with University of Miami sports rights holder Learfield to air the school’s baseball games and ancillary baseball programming.  As part of the partnership, ‘The Ticket’ will broadcast at least 15 regular season games, all postseason baseball and various ‘Canes baseball-focused programs throughout the season.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We’re excited to begin a new partnership with Miami Athletics and are ready to air Canes baseball game broadcasts and various shows for fans this spring.  There’s not a better time than right now to be associated with the University of Miami and as part of our commitment to our listeners, we are always looking to bring them the excitement of the games they love.”  Joe Zagacki – in his 29th season as the voice of the ‘Canes – will continue calling games this season.

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA 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.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA 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. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Friday, February 9, 2018

| February 9, 2018

WTAQ, Green Bay Talk Host Jerry Bader Exits.  And he tells the Wisconsin State Journal that his critical coverage of President Trump is the reason he’s out, but he’s rather sanguine about it.  Jerry Bader doesn’t appear angry about his exit from Midwest Communications’ WTAQ, Green Bay, saying, “I’ve always known it was (their) microphone that I used each day.  I have no regrets on how I’ve handled the show the past two and a half years.”  He’d been with Midwest Communications for the past 14 years.  Bader was one of a number of Wisconsin radio talk show hosts critical of Trump’s personality and policies, going back to the primaries.  Most of those hosts fell into line after the primary and general elections (or left the air like WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes).  But Bader tells the paper, “I have always tried to tell what I believed is the truth and more recently to comport my behavior, on and off the air with my Christ-following faith, after I was saved in 2016.”  Bader’s late morning program was also carried on Midwest’s Wisconsin news/talk outlets WHBL, Sheboygan and WSAU-AM/FM, Wausau.  He transitioned to a part-time role with the company in 2016 to work full time with MediaTrackers.org.  Read the whole story here.

KSCO, Santa Cruz Launches New Show Dedicated to Improving Public Education.  The program is called “Edulution” and is hosted by Juan Cabrera, a corporate technology attorney and former teacher and who currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools at El Paso Texas Independent School District.  He is the co-founder of the Texas Council of Urban School Districts and serves on the executive board of the Council of Great City Schools.  The show will air weekly on Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on KSCO, Santa Cruz “NewsTalk AM 1080 and FM 104.1.”  The call-in show is “designed to spark discussion on how to improve the quality of public education in the USA.”  According to KSCO, “Cabrera believes that the success of our economy is predicated on the quality of our American education systems.  Thus understanding, analyzing and discussing our education systems and how to improve them is critical to our future success.”  Cabrera says, “We will not maintain our position as a global leader in this 21st century knowledge economy unless our education systems are designed to meet our economic needs.”  KSCO owner Michael Zwerling adds, “In these unprecedented, polarized times, the high cost and poor performance of public education and health care are two issues we can all agree on, regardless of our political perspective.  It’s always baffled me that talk radio — which can be such a positive force for civil discussion and problem-solving — has not been harnessed in this manner, which is a shame.  Rather than pitting people against each other to ‘divide and conquer,’ let’s all work together using today’s tools of technology, coupled with integrity to engage in courteous discourse to solve our problems and move our country forward.”  Juan Cabrera or Michael Zwerling may be contacted via email at: edulution@ksco.com.

WW1 and SiriusXM to Bring Winter Games to Radio.  The 2018 Olympic Winter Games officially get underway tonight in PyeongChang, South Korea and Westwood One, in partnership with U.S. Olympics rights holder NBCUniversal, is presenting live radio coverage of the games this evening through the closing ceremony on Sunday February 25.  Westwood One will broadcast – via affiliate stations and via SiriusXM Satellite Radio – throughout the Games as live events unfold, with around-the-clock Olympic updates three times per hour; live Team USA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey play-by-play; live coverage of various Olympic Winter events, including figure skating, speed skating, skiing, bobsled and luge; and a daily live show, “Today In PyeongChang.”

Dow Correction Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 5-9.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s loss of more than 2,000 points in a week was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Congress passing a new, $400 billion spending plan.  Coming in at #3 was Nancy Pelosi’s marathon speech and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation 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.

Bill O’Reilly Visits ‘Bernie & Sid’ at 77WABC. Conservative media personality Bill O’Reilly (center) stopped by the WABC, New York studios to chat with late morning hosts Bernard McGuirk (right) and Sid Rosenberg (left).  O’Reilly promoted his digital platform on which he broadcasts daily, saying he’s free from the constraints of commercial cable news/talk.  He added, “Our audience is looking for analysis they don’t get on cable television – or on talk radio, to be frank.”

The Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech Is This Week’s Guest on the Newly Rebranded Michael Harrison Podcast.  He is a self-described contrarian, libertarian, and conservative whose independent, articulate positions have gained him a significant following among Washington insiders and followers of public policy discussion across the nation.  Ben Domenech, publisher of the online political magazine The Federalist and host of the daily PodcastOne series “The Federalist Radio Hour” is this week’s guest on the award-winning series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” (formerly titled, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison”).  Harrison and 36-year-old Domenech engage in a deep-dive conversation about the state of the American conservative movement during the age of Donald Trump. They share insights about the nature of Millennials as well as the rapid evolution of today’s media, publishing, and podcasting.  Harrison describes Domenech (the son-in-law of U.S. Senator John McCain) as “one of the brightest, independent young voices in today’s political media.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” or “The Michael Harrison Interview” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former Boston Talk Host Janet Jeghelian Dies at 83.  In addition to hosting talk radio programs at WBZ-AM and WRKO in Boston, Janet Jeghelian also ran for several statewide offices, including lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.  Bryan Marquad of the Boston Globe notes that Jeghelian was a “pioneering Republican woman” who sought statewide offices and won.  Jeghelian also sought the Republican nomination to challenge Ted Kennedy for his U.S. Senate seat in 1994 but failed in that bid (Mitt Romney was nominated).  Jeghelian was a trained physical therapist who ventured into local politics.  During the 1980s, she co-hosted the “Ted and Janet” morning show on WRKO alongside Ted O’Brien.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It’s now official that Frank Ski is returning to Entercom’s urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” to co-host the morning drive program with Wanda Smith on the “Frank & Wanda in the Morning” show, effective Monday (2/12).  Ski takes over for Ryan Cameron, who exited recently after choosing not to negotiate a new deal with Entercom.  “V-103” says that Joe Taylor, a.k.a. Miss Sophia, is returning to the show with her signature “Girl Talk” segment and entertainment updates.  As recently reported here, Ski and Smith co-hosted the morning show on the station from 1998 to 2012…..In the Norfolk market, iHeartMedia announces that Michael “DJ Fountz” Fournier is promoted to the program director position at hip hop WOWI “103 JAMZ” and classic hip hop and R&B WHBT “92.1 The Beat.”  He’s also hosting the midday program on “103 JAMZ.”  iHeartMedia Norfolk market president Angel Brown says, “DJ Fountz is a part of the ‘103 JAMZ’ fabric.  He’s served as the station’s assistant program director for many years and we are excited to have him at the helm of the number one urban station in the Norfolk market and lead programming efforts at ‘92.1 The Beat.’”…..Salem Media Group names Mike Blakemore VP/programming, CCM format.  Blakemore is PD at the company’s contemporary Christian WFSH, Atlanta “104.7 The Fish.”  Salem says that in this new role, Blakemore will provide leadership to the company’s contemporary Christian music outlets.  Salem Media broadcast division president Dave Santrella adds, “Mike’s success in Atlanta has been confirmed by WFSH ranking consistently in the top-tier of stations in our target demo of Women 25-54, often in the top five.”…..Country air personality Vanessa Ryan exits Midwest Communications’ WDEZ, Wausau, Wisconsin after a 17-year tour with the station…..iHeartMedia country station WSIX, Nashville “The BIG 98” is presenting the 6th annual “Songs & Stories for St. Jude” fundraising event on Sunday, April 8 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.  It’s a live concert and auction that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  It’s being hosted by WSIX personalities Amy Paige and Tige & Daniel and will include acclaimed songwriters Chris DeStefano, JT Harding, Jon Nite and Matt Jenkins.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at Holiday 2017.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a more in-depth look into the Nielsen Audio Holiday 2017 PPM survey and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed.  In this report he delves into the myriad ups and downs associated with the annual Holiday ratings period.  Check it out here.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

| February 8, 2018

Nielsen Holdings Announces Q4 Up 6.3%; Audio Ratings Sector Rises 9.2%.  As a whole, Nielsen Holdings plc reports that its fourth quarter 2017 revenue was $1.76 billion, an increase of 6.3% (or 4.2% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period in 2016.  For the full year of 2017, revenue was $6.5 billion up 4.2% (or 3.8% on a constant currency basis) compared to 2016.  Nielsen calls its ratings segment Watch and within that is the audio ratings business.  Nielsen reports audio rating revenue was up 9.2% in Q4.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, we had a strong year.  Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components.  As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”

Talk Host Paul Harris to Do ‘Last Show’ Tomorrow on KTRS, St. Louis.  For the past five years, talk radio pro Paul Harris has been doing the Friday afternoon show on KTRS, St. Louis.  But, that gig will wrap tomorrow (2/9) as former KYKY, St. Louis morning personality Guy Phillips will take over the afternoon drive show (Frank O. Pinion exited the Monday through Thursday role last fall).  Harris says he was offered the gig but does not want to work full time.  He says, “Having done this for my entire adult life, I know the stress that comes from waking up every day and immediately thinking, ‘What am I doing to talk about today?’ It may not seem like it, but hosting and planning a well-executed, informed, entertaining radio show takes an enormous amount of preparation and brain power.  Since moving into semi-retirement a few years ago — working only one or two days a week – I’ve had a lot less of that stress, and have welcomed those mornings when I didn’t have to worry about developing enough content to fill three hours of airtime.”  See his full comments on his last show here.

WCTC’s Bert Baron Nabs Regular Show with NJ Speaker of the Assembly.  New Brunswick, New Jersey morning host and program director Bert Baron is announcing he’s arranged to host New Jersey Assemblyman Craig Coughlin every month for a one-hour, live call-in show on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC.  The show will take place the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am, beginning February 13.  Baron says, “This monthly show will serve as a platform for Speaker Coughlin to engage not only the residents of the district he was elected to serve, but also to provide real, honest information on all things Jersey politics.  A Central Jersey lawmaker, appearing regularly on Central Jersey’s heritage radio station, is community synergy at its finest.”

iHeartMedia Seattle Announces Changes to KFNQ, Seattle and KHHO, Tacoma.  Both stations have been sports talk outlets that complement KJR-AM, Seattle “Sports Radio 950” for iHeartMedia.  Now, KHHO, Tacoma becomes “South Sound Talk 850, Tacoma’s Voice” and KFNQ re-brands from “1090 The Fan” to “1090 KJR, Seattle Sports Radio.”  KHHO’s talk lineup will feature: Glenn Beck in mornings, “Armstrong and Getty” in late mornings, “The Schnitt Show” in early afternoons, “America Now with Buck Sexton” in afternoon drive, and “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” in evenings.  KFNQ’s new lineup is: Dan Patrick in mornings, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in late mornings, Doug Gottlieb in early afternoons, “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter in afternoon drive, and CBS Sports Radio programming from 7:00 pm through the overnights.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is making a few changes to its weekend staffing.  The station is adding Joe Brand as Saturday morning sports anchor during Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and the John Williams show.  Also, the station is putting Andy Masur in the sports anchor role during the Sunday morning Dean Richards show.  Feder also notes that Tribune is negotiating for the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball.  But, the price is going to have to be right as WGN let the Chicago Cubs go because the station could not justify the expense…..According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” is adding a new, Friday evening program hosted by Carly Zucker – wife of Minnesota Wild player Justin Zucker – called “Overtime” that will delve into the personal and philanthropic lives of professional athletes.  Zucker makes regular appearances on the station’s morning program and previously hosted on the Minnesota Timberwolves Entertainment Network and reported for CBS Sports and FOX Sports North…..iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati re-ups with Learfield to continue serving as the flagship for Xavier University men’s basketball through the 2022-23 season.  As part of the deal, the weekly “Chris Mack” coach’s show will air on sister sports talk WCKY.  In the event of a conflict, games will air on sister news/talk WKRC.

New Budget Proposal, Pelosi Marathon Speech-Immigration Policy, Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Trump Approval Ratings Rise, White House Aid Resigns, FBI Texts Issue, Tesla Shot into Space, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7).  The congressional budget proposal that would add $500 billion in spending; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for eight hours in effort to force a vote on immigration policy affecting “dreamers”; this week’s Dow activity and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump’s request for a military parade; President Trump’s approval ratings rise; White House aide Rob Porter resigns over allegations of spousal abuse; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; Elon Musk shoots a Tesla Roadster into space with successful launch of SpaceX rocket; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Ex-Governor Chris Christie Chats on ABC Radio Podcast. New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie (left) is pictured here with “Powerful Politics” co-host Rick Klein (right) as the two discussed the Nunes memo, the Russia investigation, the Rob Porter resignation, and more on the weekly ABC Radio podcast.

Comrex Releases New Firmware for Opal Including Support for Mac OS and Safari.  Broadcasters who are also Mac users will rejoice as Comrex announces it has released a new firmware version for IP audio gateway Opal that includes native Safari support for macOS and iOS11.  Comrex says that once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through an Internet browser on any device with a microphone and speaker.  This web page allows a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  Prior to the release of Opal 1.1, Opal was only compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox browsers.  Now, Opal users can connect using Safari, making it even easier to operate for Apple users.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett says, “Up until this point we could support iPhone users with an app.  But as simple as we made it, there was still a concern that even this step was too much for some guests.  Now users can connect in studio quality from their iPhone without installing anything at all.”  Opal users can download firmware v.1.1 for free from the Comrex website.

Beasley Philadelphia Honors Top Account Executives.  Pictured above are members of the sales staff of Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia station group at the January 31 President’s Club Dinner. At this event, the company’s monthly Philadelphia President’s Club winners, many of whom were also annual budget achievers, were recognized by their sales managers for their outstanding performance and dedication. At the same time, account executive Steve Simons was named the 2017 Annual President’s Club Champion for his commitment to excellence and for exceeding his goals throughout the year.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning duo Paul Fuller and Al Matthews sign a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s active rock WHJY.  According to WHJY, this new contract will take the two through their 30-year anniversary with the station.  Operations manager Rob Anthony says, “‘94HJY’ continues to dominate Southern New England and Paul and Al have always been a major factor in its success.”  Program director Doug Palmieri adds, “It’s a great day for ‘HJY.  I’ve known them since 1993 and to see them continue to love what they do and do it this well is truly inspirational.  We’re proud to bring three more years of live, local mornings to Southern New England.”…..The syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” show – co-hosted by Chris Kelly and Chris Demm – is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s alternative rock WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The morning show is based at Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Chats On Air with iHM CEO Bob Pittman.  During a visit to the Houston offices of iHeartMedia, company CEO Bob Pittman took a few minutes to sit in on the Michael Berry show based at flagship station KTRH, Houston.  He talked with Berry about his belief in the audio experience.  “I’m bullish on audio…depends on how you count it, we’re probably the number two podcaster in the U.S., behind NPR.  Podcasting has shown that, oh my gosh, people actually want to listen to people go in depth.  Certainly, radio has this enormous listenership…but we’re adding these pieces to it to make this even better and we’re doing this because the audience wants it.”  He also expressed his belief that smart speakers – such as Google’s Alexa – are the new clock/radio for the consumer’s home, citing their growth in popularity and ease of use.  Check out the segment here.

PodcastOne Series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” Rebranding with Expanded Scope.  Beginning this week, in marking its third anniversary, the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” will transition to a new name and incorporate a wider scope of guests and topics.  Under the new title, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the program will be less targeted to the talk media and radio industries and more aimed at a worldwide general audience consisting of what its host,TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, describes as “media freaks,pop culture aficionados, political junkies and the philosophically curious.”  Although the newly positioned podcast will still include guests from the talk media field, it will also delve deeper into politics, science, the arts, technology, sociology, sports and philosophy.  As far as the weekly audio interviews with talk media figures that “Up Close and Far Out” has encompassed are concerned, Harrison will continue to conduct them and post them on Talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “Nothing will change in that regard.  We have been very successful with the Talkers interviews and will continue to do them.  I will basically be doing an extra podcast each week with this expanded vehicle.”   In announcing the expansion of the PodcastOne series, company founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “I met Michael Harrison decades ago in Los Angeles when he was managing editor of Radio & Records.  He also was a leading major market music and talk personality on KMET and syndicated nationally as a star performer on several of the top networks including Westwood One.  He had an amazing range and skill set as a broadcaster.  He voluntarily gave that up as the years passed to concentrate on his role as a trade magazine publisher and industry thought-leader.  In time, most folks in the business forgot that he was one of the best interviewers and all around broadcasters in radio.  I’m pleased to say that his performance on ‘Up Close and Far Out’ these past three years caused many people in the industry to take notice of his outstanding talent as an interviewer beyond just the topic of radio.  It has led to a number of stand-out, major market fill-in appearances and now, this new podcast.  I’m delighted to roll out one of the best kept secrets in the radio business – Michael Harrison as a world class talk show host.”  To listen to the debut installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” featuring a deep-dive conversation with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, please click here.

Judge Shoots Down Request by Nielsen and Bubba Attorneys to Use Electronic Devices in Pre-Trial Conference.  When the pre-trial conference gets underway on Friday (2/9) at 11:30 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the lawyers for both sides in the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge case will be without their laptops, iPads and smartphones.  Lawyers for both parties filed a Joint Motion to Permit Use of Electronic Equipment, but were denied.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for $1 million for damages related to the ratings manipulation case in the Tampa market.  Bubba is countersuing.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a programming change at Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG, Atlanta “680 and 93.7 The Fan” as the morning drive and late morning shows flip-flop.  “The Front Row” with Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden, and Brian Finneran moves to the morning drive slot and the Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino show moves from mornings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The rest of the program schedule stays as is…..Another high-profile departure from NPR happens amidst allegations of sexual impropriety.  This time, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Zwerdling exits the organization, according to a report in The Current.  The story says that all NPR would confirm is that Zwerdling is no longer on the staff.  Zwerdling himself states that allegations of sexual harassment are untrue and that he retired from NPR in January.  But, the story notes that “at least two NPR staffers reported Zwerdling to human resources in November.”  It also reports that subsequent allegations go back to the mid-1990s.  Zwerdling is quoted saying, “The allegations are not true.  When the movement started sweeping across the nation recently to expose sexual harassers and predators, I applauded it.  I still do.  The current national reckoning regarding sexual harassment is a momentous opportunity for America to make itself a better, safer and more equitable country.  Yet as many have already observed, there are also perhaps predictable and troubling collateral casualties along the way. The allegations against me are one of those instances.”

Former WFNI-AM/WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Staffer Loses Harassment Case Against Emmis.  The complaint against Emmis by former WFNI and WIBC, Indianapolis digital brand manager Kristine Esser Slentz was dismissed after Emmis sought a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgement and was granted those motions.  The court also sustained Emmis’ objections to Slentz’s evidence as hearsay.  In her complaint, Slentz said that two show producers with whom she interacted in the course of her job, called her a “bitch” behind her back and criticized her work, among other actions she says created a hostile work environment.  But the court granted Emmis’ motions due to its agreement that any name-calling was hearsay – never heard by Slentz herself, and that the actions alleged on the part of the two producers, if true, did not cross the thresholds necessary for a hostile work environment claim.

Nominees Being Accepted for National Radio Hall of Fame. March 30 is the deadline for nominations for the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction that will take place in New York City in November.  The NRHOF nominating committee wants you to know you should make suggestions for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary in New York City.  As we prepare for the special evening, it’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of it, starting with suggestions for our 2018 nominees.”

RAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017.  This data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates study called, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues.”  This is the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report that analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.  Among the findings: 1) 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together; 2) digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year; 3) digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million.  The forecast for 2018 is even higher; and 4) radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank social media and radio as the top two methods to achieve those goals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off.  As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”  RAB members can get the full report here.

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; and NBA 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. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  The Holiday survey is usually a bonanza for adult contemporary outlets since Christmas music is such a part of their programming and the fluctuations in 6+ numbers from the December survey to the Holiday survey bear that out as “eight of 10 adult contemporary facilities noted here (80%) are up December 2017 – Holiday 2017, while 18% are down; the remaining 2% are steady.”  Looking at a comparison of Holiday 2016 to Holiday 2017, “approximately the same number of adult contemporary stations on this sample decline year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while the remaining 5% are flat.”  An amazing 38 AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Monday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Nielsen’s Holiday survey is generally not kind to news/talk stations as a comparison of 6+ ratings from December to the Holiday survey shows – “three of every four news/talk stations on this sample are down between December 2017 – Holiday 2017 (75%), while only 16% improve; the remaining 9% are flat.”  Comparing news/talk stations year-over-year, “nearly four of 10 of these qualifying news/talk panelists are up Holiday 2016 – Holiday 2017 (38%); 56% are down; and the remaining 6% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Just one news/talk outlet ranked #1 (6+) in its market during the Holiday PPM survey – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  Three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The photo above was taken at the Best Buy at the Mall of America where Westwood One taped its Super Bowl Preview show that was hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films.  From left to right are: Westwood One Sports EVP and Super Bowl LII executive producer Howard Deneroff; Westwood One SVP, sports sales & marketing Brandon Berman; Boomer Esiason; Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes; Rod Woodson; Westwood One Sports marketing manager Alyx Steinberg; Mike Holmgren; Westwood One director, national sports partnerships Adam Shifrin; and Scott Graham.

TALKERS News Notes.  With the aid of translator W252DF, Largo, Florida, that Genesis Communications is using to carry the signal from news/talk WWBA, Tampa, company president and CEO Bruce Maduri declares that “Bubba is back on 98!”  He’s referring to the FM frequency of the translator and that Bubba the Love Sponge (whose show is heard in mornings on WWBA) was heard on the FM dial for years in the market on iHeartMedia’s WXTB-FM “98 Rock” (at 97.9 FM).   Maduri says, “We are excited to expand our news/talk listenership in St. Petersburg and Clearwater with 98.3 FM.”…..The progressive talk format on Stephen King’s WZON-AM, Bangor, Maine is gone as the station flips to an oldies format branded as “Z62.”  The station had been airing “Retro Weekends” shows featuring oldies music and decided that the success of those weekends was a recipe for a flip.  The station will continue to use CBS Radio News for top-of-the-hour reports and the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Downtown with Rich Kimball” program remains on the program schedule…..At RadiOhio’s sports talker WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan,” former Ohio State and Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk is joining Anthony Rothman for a 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm Monday show called “Off-Season with A.J. Hawk.”  When the NFL season begins in September, Hawk will be part of the Friday programming on the “Carpenter and Rothman” show…..ABC News Radio is offering the 30-part series “Tax Tips.”   The feature is hosted by ABC News correspondents Scott Goldberg and Daria Albinger.  ABC news chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis is providing analysis…..The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated Joe Pags show is being added to the lineup on CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program airs at 6:00 pm ET on the network’s CRN 4 channel.

Alliance for Women in Media Announces News Officers, Record Gracies Entries.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the 2018 call for entries for the annual Gracie Awards was the most successful in the program’s history.  At the same time, the Alliance for Women in Media and its philanthropic arm, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, announce new officers.  The Gracie Awards are the largest fundraising event for the AWMF.  New to the AWM board are Joyce Fitch, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., and Diane Schwartz, SVP and group publisher, Media Communications Group, Access Intelligence.  Chairperson-elect of AWM/F is Keisha Sutton-James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting CorpHeather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, will serve as treasurer, while Sarah Foss, chief product officer, advertising management systems, Imagine Communications will serve as AWM/F past chair.

FBI Memo Release, Trump-Russia Investigation, Friday’s Dow Dip, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, South Carolina Amtrak Crash, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The release of the secret FBI surveillance memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the Dow’s Friday plunge of 666 points; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the deadly crash of an Amtrak train in South Carolina; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and the Eagles 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.  Programming pro Wayne “Big D” Danielson is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  Danielson will report to regional SVP Tony Matteo, who says, “Big D has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Bull’ brand in Vegas in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he’ll now be leading the station as program director.  No one knows this station, this city and this audience better than Big D.”  Danielson became part of the KWNR staff in August of 2016 after serving with sister adult hits station KYMT “93.1 The Party.”…..Entercom names William “Will” Althoff afternoon drive host and music director for alterntive rock WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley comments, “Will is an exciting addition to our afternoon drive on the ‘Shark.’  His background and expertise in connecting with the audience makes him the perfect fit for our station.”  Althoff takes over the afternoon drive show from Zach McHugh, who recently moved to Richmond to become PD and afternoon jock at the company’s alternative WRXL…..On-air pro Mercedes Howard exits her role as morning personality on Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  She says, “I was honored for the opportunity to return to the station that helped mold my radio career and take the top spot on Denver’s number one station for todayʼs hottest music on the morning show…The people of Denver have helped me reach immense success and for that I will forever be grateful.  Now I look forward to the rest of this year with pride and turn to a new chapter in my career book.  I am enthusiastic about new opportunities in my radio career and the possibilities of expanding my talents, my name and my brand in other areas.”…..Stacey Proctor is promoted to director of sales for Entercom’s Phoenix cluster that includes CHR KALV “LIVE 101.5,” classic hits KOOL-FM, and country KMLE “@107.9.”  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “Stacey has been an incredible colleague for the past two years and I’m confident she is the perfect fit to lead our Phoenix cluster.  She’s earned this promotion through the performance and her leadership that she demonstrates every day.”…..In the Longview-Tyler, Texas market, Alpha Media names Brandon Young content director for country KYKX.

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day!  Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Monday, January 29, 2018

| January 28, 2018

Afternoon Personality Carl DeMaio Renews with KOGO, San Diego. Former San Diego City councilman Carl DeMaio signs a new deal with iHeartMedia to continue hosting his “The DeMaio Report” afternoon drive show on news/talk KOGO, San Diego.  DeMaio had been co-hosting a midday program with Bob “Sully” Sullivan from April of 2015 through August of that year, shortly after losing a Congressional race.  Sullivan scaled back his work with the station and DeMaio continued to host the show solo.  In November of 2015, he was moved to the afternoon drive slot.  DeMaio says, “When we started ‘The DeMaio Report,’ we wanted a forum for San Diegans to share dialogue about important issues and also a vehicle for taking action on problems.  I’m thrilled we are accomplishing both goals.  I’m excited by the impact we’ve already had on important issues like the California gas tax and look forward to tackling many more issues in the years to come.”

Former KLZ, Denver Talk Host Convicted of Voter Fraud.  A man who was the one-time chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and a talk show host on news/talk KLZ, Denver was sentenced to four years’ probation and 300 hours of community service on January 26 after being convicted of voter fraud and forgery.  Steve Curtis was charged with using his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote in the fall of 2016.  He also signed the ballot by forging her signature.  Curtis’ defense was that he was suffering from being in a “confused state” due to diabetic issues and doesn’t remember signing the ballot and mailing it.  According to CBS Denver, he also testified that it was normal in his house for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and mail it.

Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status, The Grammy Awards, Trump State of the Union Address, Russian Protests-Navalny Detained, Deadly Kabul Terror Attack, 5G Nationalization Plan, Steve Wynn Allegations, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump Administration’s policy regarding the DACA Act; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and the controversy over political messages during the telecast; the build-up to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; protests over Russia’s March 18 elections take place and Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny is detained by Russian police; a deadly terror bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan kills more than 100 and injures hundreds more; the Trump Administration considers nationalizing America’s 5G wireless network in an effort to provide security from Chinese hackers; politicians distance themselves from casino mogul Steve Wynn after allegations of sexual misconduct are revealed; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. WEEI, Boston personality Alex Reimer has been suspended indefinitely by Entercom for calling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s daughter Vivian “an annoying little pissant” – referring to her appearance in the documentary film Tom vs Time.  Brady made known how he feels about the comment by cutting short his regularly scheduled interview on WEEI with morning hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane this morning (1/29).  Whether Reimer returns may be dependent on Brady.  He said he would be re-assessing his commitment to appearing on WEEI because of this.  The station recently signed a new deal with the Patriots for exclusive access to Brady and coach Bill Belichick for its “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” program segments…..During this week’s build-up to Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group’s Boston and Philadelphia sports talk stations are side-by-side on the radio row in Minneapolis.  WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be originating more of their show from radio row and will also be doing live breaks and cross talk between the stations.  WBZ-FM’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand will go live with WPEN-FM’s Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus.  WBZ-FM’s morning drive “Toucher & Rich” show will go live from WPEN-FM’s Anthony Gargano and Bob Cooney…..Entercom presented a special weekend edition broadcast of “The Taz Show” that aired across CBS Sports Radio.  The program followed wrestling’s big event in Philadelphia and featured Pete “Taz” Senerchia hosting a live show and talking with listeners from 11:00 pm Sunday to 2:00 am Monday…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington is being honored with the NAB Crystal Heritage Award by the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award will be presented during the new “We Are Broadcasters Celebration,” on Tuesday, April 10 during the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Only six other stations have received this honor in the 31-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.

Senior Moment.  One of the innovators of the hyper-local, online radio movement in America, Brad Shepard – GM and morning show host of Western Massachusetts-based Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) – is pictured celebrating the third anniversary of the station (1/26) by belting out the standards at the Pleasant View Senior Center in the town of East Longmeadow.  Accompanied on the keyboards by Western Mass music legend Richie Mitnick, Shepard treated the audience to a selection of great American songbook tunes, such as “Mack The Knife,” “Try To Remember,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “My Foolish Heart,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and many others.  Live performance and music has long been the “other side” of this veteran broadcaster’s repertoire.  This one-hour show is the first of a tour of many that Shepard will be bringing to other senior centers and retirement homes in the Pioneer Valley.  He tells TALKERS, “They are wonderful audiences and it is a pleasure to perform for them!  More importantly, we are not restricted by the tyranny of ratings and agencies that make it difficult for talk radio to provide service to upper demos – people who are affluent, active and grew up knowing how to use and appreciate radio.  At Pioneer Valley Radio we have an unlimited menu of programs for people of all ages and walks of life as well as enthusiastic local sponsors to support them.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Cindy Spicer moves across Florida to join iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay country outlet WFUS “US103.5” as program director, effective February 19.  She’s been with the company’s WQIK, Jacksonville as on-air host and program director.  iHM Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I could not be more excited for Cindy to join our team at ‘US103.5.’  Cindy has a track record of incredible success and I am excited to watch her dominate Tampa Bay!”…..In Austin, Texas, iHeartMedia ends the LGBT-focused format “97.5 Pride” on KASE-HD1 and translator W248CU and installs its alternative rock format with the brand “ALT 97.5.”  The lineup consists of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Woody Show” in mornings, followed by Wendy Rollins in middays, Klinger in afternoon drive, and Mike Jones in evenings.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Brian Gann comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ALT 97.5 to the Austin airwaves.  We know this format will resonate with our listeners, and we are beyond happy to show Austin the ‘New Alternative, ALT 97.5.’”…..Atlanta radio personality Ryan Cameron is saying good-bye to Entercom’s urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” after reportedly receiving offers to stay, but rejecting them.  Cameron told listeners he’s not leaving for another radio station but is pursuing other endeavors…..Radio personality David Mueller – known during his time as morning drive co-host on KYGO, Denver as Jackson – is back on the radio with Delta Radio Network’s WMYQ, Greenwood, Mississippi “Kix 92.7.”  Mueller is, of course, notorious for having been fired by KYGO for allegedly groping Taylor Swift at a backstage meet-and-greet and then suing her for causing him to be fired and losing that suit.  Mueller maintains his innocence in the Swift case and WMYQ owner Larry Fuss believes him.  Fuss offered Mueller a job on his new country station several months ago and many in the industry assumed it was a stunt.  But, the two had numerous conversations over time and Fuss says he thinks Mueller – who is going by Stonewall Jackson on “Kix 92.7” – will be a good fit for the station…..Beasley Media Group names Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson assistant program director for hip hop WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98-FM.”  Robinson has been with the station since 1997, serving as the music director and co-host for the “No Limit Larry Morning Madd House” morning show.

 

Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – More than doubling December’s +2.1, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” improves by +4.8 (7.6 – 12.4, 6+) in “Holiday 2017” to march from second to first. This is the highest 6+-share for Austin’s “Majic” since its 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016; KKMJ was -.8 in November. It succeeds Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which had been at #1 the past ten sweeps, but with a -1.7 – segues to #2 (8.4 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” was within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for six straight months. A November gain of one-half share took “Bob” to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). This is the first time that KBPA is below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for a +1.4 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 advances from #13 to #11. Ending its 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 October – November – December (6+) topline trend with a +1.2 to 3.1 – its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.7 – Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” leaps from #18 to #12. Immediately following December’s one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio’s Spanish adult hits KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” plummets by -1.3 to 2.3 (#11 to #16, 6+); December’s 3.6 was its most powerful 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). A combined +1.6 in November and December (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -1.0 to 5.2 (6+), sliding from fourth to fifth. May through September, “Kiss” trended 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December 2017’s 6.2 was the station’s best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. Its country-formatted siblings are each off by six-tenths: KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.6, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seventh to ninth, 6+). Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the eight sweeps March through October, KVET-FM was +.9 in November, but -1.3 in December. Prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). In its third straight decrease, KASE is an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Down by six-tenths this sweep as well is Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.1 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+), while news/talk sibling KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” posts its fourth decline in a row for a collective -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains in tenth-place. While flat at #3, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is -1.4 in three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. More than doubling its 6+-share in four consecutive uptrends through December (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), triple A sibling KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

2) Raleigh – The “Holiday” 2017 sweep has a rare tie at #1 and it’s here in “The Triangle” between Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul,” which is on top for the eighth straight month, and Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (third to first). Ironically, each station is riding three straight upticks in succession. Not only is WFXC an overall +1.7 in its winning streak (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4, 6+), “Foxy” registers its best-ever (6+) PPM stat, joining Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (15 times); WRAL (eight times); and iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (twice) as the only Raleigh stations to ever reach double-digits (6+). A loss of one-half share in October by WFXC halted six straight spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Mix” is +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. In an up/down pattern that began in August, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (fifth to fourth) is trending 6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 (6+) for an overall gain of nine-tenths. In addition to “K-97.5,” Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” is up six-tenths from December, as well (1.5 – 2.1, #18 to #16, 6+), reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.2. Through December, aforementioned iHeartMedia CHR WDCG was an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), however, “G-105” inches up from seventh to sixth; 5.0 (in November and December) matched its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Also referenced earlier, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), adds one-tenth to 6.8 (6+) but backslides from fourth to fifth. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Spiraling by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” (sixth to eighth) falls below a five-share (6+) for the first time since May’s 4.9. Classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.7, #10 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” (ninth to tenth) each tumble by nine-tenths. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, “Kix” was trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+); WTKK is -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Following four months in a row in the runner-up slot, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” sputters by six-tenths and falls to third-place (8.0 – 7.4, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” (5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9” (4.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY (2.4 – 1.9, #15 to #18, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Tacking on +5.6 to December’s +2.3 (7.8 – 13.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” continues at #1 and enjoys a more than two-to-one advantage over its runner-up. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). This (13.4) represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). Roughly one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media jettisoned the urban-rhythmic oldies format on WRWM “93.9 The Beat” in favor of CHR, renaming it WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” In six successive sweeps without a loss, that 93.9 Indianapolis frequency is +2.5 virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+), with “Energy” already cracking the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, more than tripling its 6+ AQH share in three straight gains (.4 – 5. – .7 – 1.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 checks in at #18. Slumping by -1.8 (7.7 – 5.9, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK – which had been on top in September, October, and November – drops from second to fourth. When WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, it halted three straight progressive moves for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era, while 5.9 in “Holiday” 2017 is its lowest in nearly two years (5.8, January 2016). Both Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” (6.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.1 – 4.8, seventh to ninth, 6+) erode by -1.3. This is the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016; December 2017’s 6.4 by WTLC-FM, which was a combined +2.1 in November and December, was its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. The market’s (6+) country share eroded by -1.6 in December and it’s nearly a carbon copy in “Holiday” 2017, as the format is down by -1.5. Specifically, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” is -.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is 6.6 – 6.0, -.6 (fourth to third, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Meanwhile, October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. It is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). Co-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regresses by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+); November and December’s 3.1 (6+) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Off by six-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (4.8 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” dips from #11 to #13, while Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falters by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is unchanged at #16. In four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), moving from #21 to #22.

4) Milwaukee – Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” improves by +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 and is on top for the 34th consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” has been in double-digits (6+) in six of the last 12 ratings periods and this (11.6) is its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Rebounding from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is now +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+). Moreover, “B-93.3” jumps from seventh to second with its best 6+-stat (7.4) since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.3. It is tied in the runner-up slot with iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which drops one-half share (to 7.4, 6+), thus curtailing five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+); WISN finished second in November and December, as well. Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” regains 60% of December’s full-share loss (4.5 – 5.1, +.6, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Prior to December, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Following four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+), Saga Communications’ WKLH surrenders nine-tenths to 6.7 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print three years ago (December 2014). Declining by -.9 as well is co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is down for the third sweep in a row for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). This Wisconsin market’s two country outlets continue to struggle. Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Immediately prior to its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). In five successive downward moves as well, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” and WKTI are tied at #12. Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). In December and “Holiday” 2017, however, “Now” is a combined -1.0 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the fourth straight ratings period for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). This is the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel,” which has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, flat at #21, 6+). Positive streaks conclude in “Holiday” 2017 for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station.” Off by two-tenths to .4 (#23, 6+), WMSE halts eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.5 (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), while “The Big 920” drops three-tenths to .3 (#24, 6+), ending five sweeps without a loss for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+).

5) Nashville – Winning ways continue for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Surpassing the 13.1 (6+) it registered in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to this particular run, “Mix” last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to posting a decrease for the fourth consecutive time for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) and slipping from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, “107.5 The River” has its lowest 6+-share in exactly seven years, matching the 5. 3 in “Holiday” 2010. Remaining at #15, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (sixth to a fifth-place tie) and Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (flat at #10). A December 2017 +1.4 to 6.2 took “The Zone” to its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016, but when the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Now a cumulative -2.4 in three straight losses (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), WPLN-FM was up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. While unchanged at #13, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” has its third loss in succession for an overall -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). There is mostly bad news for the market’s three FM country players, as WWTN cluster-mate WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is an overall -1.4 owing to three straight dips (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, flat at #9). “Nash Icon” has its lowest 6+ showing since July’s 4.1; likewise “The Big 98” has its weakest 6+-share since July 2016’s 4.0. On the positive side for the format, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+) and progresses from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-showing since May’s 4.3. Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the seventh consecutive sweep. Down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -1.9 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from third to fourth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+).

6) Providence – In a rare case of a PPM-market adult contemporary outlet showing a December decrease, Cumulus Media’s WWLI dusts itself off from that particular half-share dip with a “Holiday” 2017 +1.4 (10.9 – 12.3, 6+). Moreover, “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 28th consecutive ratings period; in double-digits (6+) for the seventh month in a row; and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Continuing its slow and steady climb at #7, co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.8 in its fourth straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM posted an 8.2 (6+) for the next three months in a row and now adds one-tenth to 8.3 as “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” carries on at #3. After a lengthy hiatus, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB appears in print for what is now its eighth report in a row, and aided by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), “Latina 100.3” returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). In this specific (albeit brief) ratings history (June 2017 – “Holiday” 2017), the station has a high of 2.4 (June, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Since surfacing in print in June, co-owned WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.8 – .9, +.1, #14, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (7.2, flat at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.9, unchanged at #6, 6+). WCTK was off by one-half share in December as well (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), but in November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share; “Coast” was a combined +.6 in November and December (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), public news/talk WGBH-FM slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (#10 to #12, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Stacking a “Holiday” 2017 +4.4 onto December’s +2.8 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” advances from third to second, registering its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). From June through November, “2WD” logged a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Precisely quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains since October (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” advances from sixth to fifth. This (5.0) represents its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Notwithstanding that it has eroded by a combined two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL remains at #1 for the 13th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 21st time in the last 22 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL in September. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – 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+). Progressing from #12 to #11, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” adds one tenth to (1.3, 6+), pulling the plug on six negative or flat moves in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” move from ninth to eighth. Returning in full the eight-tenths it gained in December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” drops from second to third (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2, 6+); December’s 9.0 was the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4. After trending 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. This is its softest 6+-share in exactly one year (6.0, as well in “Holiday” 2016). Dropping from fifth to sixth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Also in that Saga Communications cluster, adult standards WJOI is up one-tenth to .3 (flat at #13, 6+), ending four consecutive sweeps without an increase in which “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” lost 80% (eight-tenths) of its 6+-share (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” returns two-two-tenths to 2.7 (flat at #8, 6+).

8) Greensboro – A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8. Now, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary tacks on +4.3 to 16.1 (6+) as “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” advances from second to first, surpassing its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. December’s nearly six-share increase stopped three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0 – 11.5, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is -1.2 and slips to second, following seven straight months on top. The Entercom urban AC was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May and records double-digits (6+) for the 14th sweep in a row. Recapturing the one-half share it lost in December, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) carries on at #9. A one-half share gain (to .9, 6+) by Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” ends three successive down or flat trends (.6 – .5 – .5 – .4, 6+). After being in double digits each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017, falling to 9.0 (6+, flat at #3). December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. This though is its lowest 6+-mark since June’s 8.8. Down for the fourth month in succession for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #6 but has its weakest 6+-stat in one year (4.7, “Holiday” 2016). Format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – regresses by seven-tenths as well (6.0 – 5.3, 6+) and remains four-tenths ahead of “Q-104.1” at #5. When “The Wolf” added two-tenths in December, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately after December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July – rhythmic CHR sibling WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” surrenders all but three tenths of that gain (7.8, -1.2, flat at #4, 6+). Unchanged at #11, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” returns in full the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to logging a +3.9 (matching “Holiday” 2016’s 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” progresses from fourth to first. By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Dislodged from #1 – after 12 consecutive months there and dropping to the runner-up slot – is co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now,” which is without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). A one-tenth loss in September by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). This (8.2) is its lowest 6+-showing since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, seven to fourth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1 – #1 en Hits Latinos” (1.6 – 2.2, #13 to #12, 6+). In three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX lost a total of six-tenths, but “X-102.3” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in December, Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB surrenders all of it and two-tenths more (2.1 – 1.2, -.9, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to December 2017, “Moody Radio” last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). It is tied with JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm,” which nearly doubled its 6+-share in five sweeps in a row without a loss (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 to 1.2 (6+). Fading from fifth to eighth, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” returns in full December’s +.7 (3.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Following a +.8 in December, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” sputters by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to fourth). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at #10, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” forfeits four-tenths to 2.3 (6+), halting three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) that netted one-half share. With a loss of four-tenths to 2.9 (steady at #9, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” curtails three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – This Florida market’s adult contemporary share balloons by +5.1 as Renda Broadcasting-owned WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.9 as it marches from second to first, while Cox Media Group’s WEZI improves by +2.2, with “Easy 102.9” cracking the top five (#11 to #5). Owing to four straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ practically doubles its 6+ AQH share for an overall +5.8 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and registers its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is a somewhat similar scenario for “Easy,” which is +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+). After being on top in each of the last 12 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK segues to #2. In three straight decreases, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” has eroded by three full-shares (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6, 6+), including back-to-back losses of -1.3. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. It has been a rollercoaster ride for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.1) is its best 6+-showing January’s 5.4. Spiraling by -1.7 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” slips from third to fourth. Off by a total of two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, #13 to #15, 6+), co-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” has its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), recording its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Even so, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” inches up from fourth to third. In September, WOKV was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, CHR WAPE is an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+); in November, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” departs the top ten (#7 to #11), logging its lowest 6+-share since July 2014 (3.6, as well). A cumulative +.8 in November and December (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+), adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” is off by one-half share to 4.5 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJBT “93.3 The Beat” remains at #8. Public WJCT is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+).

11) Memphis – Not only is WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary property progresses from second to first, eclipsing its 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Exiting the top spot after four consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which shifts to #2 (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), but is in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time in a row. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” returned one full-share in December. Unchanged at #3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” boasts its fifth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+). By being up eight-tenths (6.2, steady at #5, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” ends an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” until it became “Christmas 98.9” on Halloween, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM transitioned to adult contemporary the day after Christmas (12/26). Adopting “98.9 The Bridge” as its handle, WKIM, a direct challenger to WRVR “The River” (see above), gains six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). A +.9 in November halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Finishing with identical profiles (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) are iHeartMedia news/talk WREC and co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Prior to this “Holiday” 2017 -.8, WREC was an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In December, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had its best 6+-share (3.4) since February’s 3.6. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” drops from ninth to tenth. After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” is now a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+) but stays at #13. In four consecutive down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 and is flat at #6.

12) Hartford – Coming within a whisker of the 18.4 it logged in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” flaunts its sixth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+) and is on top for the 17th successive ratings period. This is the 14th time in the last 16 sweeps – and sixth in a row – that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +2.4 as a result of four increases in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+); this (8.0) is its strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the seventh month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” (+.6, sixth to third) is no higher than a 6.8 and now lower than a 6.2 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and is up four-tenths in that timeframe. Down or flat for the seventh ratings period in succession for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” slides from sixth to seventh. This marks the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ is below a five-share (6+). Eroding by -1.3 from December as well is Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” (6.3 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Both Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (6.9 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+) slump by nine-tenths. Following five straight gains for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” surrenders just under half that gain to 3.2 (-.7, 6+) and remains at #10. This is the third sweep in a row without an increase for Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” for a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -1.4 in three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Friday, January 26, 2018

| January 26, 2018

E.W. Scripps Talk Stations on the Block.  Yesterday’s news from E.W. Scripps confirming recent rumors that it is selling its radio station assets has kicked the speculation machine into high gear.  Most experts believe there is no buyer out there who wants all 34 stations in this portfolio.  Some say iHeartMedia and Cumulus are right out due to debt issues and that Entercom is still digesting its CBS RADIO acquisition.  Companies that are more likely to be in the market for signals that fit their business model include Beasley Media Group and Saga Communications.  One thing we can be certain of – it will be interesting to see who acquires which stations and how much they pay!  Regardless, the following is a summary of the spoken-word stations in Scripps’ radio portfolio. In Milwaukee (Scripps’ largest market), there’s heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM.  In Omaha, the lone talker is sports KXSP “AM 590 ESPN.”  Tulsa has heritage news/talk KFAQ.  And, Tucson is the home of news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM (plus its translator).

Cumulus Officially Unveils ‘The New Talk 106.7.’ As TALKERS reported yesterday based on Rodney Ho’s column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cumulus Media has made another tweak to WYAY-FM, Atlanta, re-branding it “The New Talk 106.7” and getting rid of the “news radio” verbiage.  The station is still in the process of building a talk radio morning show after canceling the newsy program anchored by Rob Stadler in December.  The station is promoting personalities Shannon Burke, Kim “Kimmer” Peterson, and Brian Joyce.  Cumulus Atlanta vice president Sean Shannon says, “Talk has become the domain of dogma, where hosts are advancing an agenda.  ‘The New Talk 106.7’ will be a place for honest discourse where our hosts have a perspective, not an agenda.”

Entercom Names Rooney VP-DoS.  New York radio sales pro Brian Rooney joins Entercom’s NYC operations to serve as vice president, director of sales.  Rooney was most recently with iHeartMedia as VP of sales for classic rock WAXQ, New York ‘Q104.3.”  He’s also been sales manager at WFAN and worked in sales at WOR and the New York Mets Radio Network.  In New York, Entercom operates all-newsers 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan,” plus classic hits WCBS-FM, alternative WBMP-FM, and hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7.”  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam says, “Brian’s strong leadership and great track record in New York made him the perfect choice to lead our Entercom New York team.”

Vince Richards Appointed OM at Entercom Sacramento. Programming pro Vince Richards takes over the operations manager post at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM “ESPN 1320,” CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” rock KRXQ, classic rock KSEG “96.9 Eagle,” and alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7.”  Richards was most recently national operations manager for Townsquare Media.  He comments, “Sacramento is one of the crown jewel markets in the company with a tradition of excellence and an incredibly talented and passionate staff.  Thanks to Pat Paxton, Dave Richards and Lance Richard for passing me the torch and the opportunity to lead this awesome staff.”  Richards takes over for Jim Fox, who was recently named vice president of programming for Entercom Dallas.

Heavyweight Syndicators’ Top Execs to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of two of the leading radio syndication company executives to the roster of industry leaders serving as speakers at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks and Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One will address the movers and shakers of the talk media world at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Earlier this week, it was announced that Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity would serve as morning keynote speakers at the event. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Suzanne Grimes and Julie Talbott bring enormously pertinent content to this convention’s table. They are influential leaders with enormous experience, insight, perspective, and wisdom of great value to share about the state of the radio business.” The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception. All in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Lars Larson at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson (right) is pictured above at the enormous SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week.  Larson – whose national show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is seen interviewing Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian (left).

Popular Washington, DC Correspondent Victoria Jones Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime talk media personality Victoria Jones, executive director of the DC Radio Company and recent senior White House correspondent for the Talk Media News Service, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Jones – a British-US citizen – whose commentaries on Washington-based news and issues have been heard for years on hundreds of talk radio stations around the English-speaking world, is a veteran talk show host of such stations as WWRC and WMAL, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; WLAC, Nashville; and WXYT, Detroit. In a fascinating and unusual conversation with Harrison, she shares a candid, insider’s view of what it’s like to work as a member of the White House press corps. She talks about the processes and working conditions of being behind the scenes on a daily basis at the iconic mansion/museum/office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t miss this funny, eye-opening, and extremely informative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 22-26.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, as well as a possible interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the missing FBI texts case, followed by President Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Lisa Adams program director for country KVRQ “Country 98.9.”  Adams moves over from the company’s sister station KRWM “WARM 106.9,” where she’d most recently been serving as marketing director.  During her career she’s also served as OM/PD at Townsquare Media’s Boise station group.  Speaking about her new gig, Adams says, “‘Country 98.9’ is an extremely special radio station for Seattle.  To be given this opportunity is beyond my wildest dreams.  I am blessed and appreciative for the support and recognition.”…..Entercom adds Premiere NetworksDelilah to the program schedule at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  In addition to her national show airing in the evening daypart Fridays through Sundays on the station, she’s doing a custom show that airs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm…..Beasley Media Group re-brands Wilmington, Delaware adult contemporary WJBR-FM “The New Mix 99.5” and introduces new morning team Michael Waite with Jessie Micchelli.  This is a return to the station for Waite, who says, “After seven years of being away from radio, I look forward to returning to entertaining our incredible listeners and working with Jessie.”  Beasley VP and market manager AJ Lurie says, “It was important for us to continue offering our listeners the very best listening experience available.  A lot of time and research went into our decision in launching the new format.  I couldn’t be more excited as a fan!”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only concert by Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Portugal. The Man in the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon at Mississippi Studios next Wednesday (1/31).  The performance will be aired next Friday (2/2) on the Alt Nation channel…..Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) is pictured here with Sir Elton John (right) after his Gotham Hall press conference in which he announced his farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour.  Cirrincione got a one-on-one interview with Sir Elton who told him his decision to stop touring is so he can help raise his two sons.  The “Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour will end in 2021 and he says, “I want to start in America and end in America because I owe this country so much.  I love this country.  The Troubadour [in West Hollywood] kick-started my career in a big way.  Without that, you know, I don’t know what would have happened.  So, I’m very grateful to L.A. and I love New York.  But I definitely decided that the last show will be in America.  My dream show would be at Dodger Stadium because it makes sense.”

 

Round Three of Holiday PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below, with a reminder that the vast majority of major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – While not quite matching December’s +4.7 (to 13.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW dials up a +3.9 as it reaches 16.9 (6+) and repeats at #1. Off nine-tenths in November, “K-103” – with its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in this sweep – is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” responded in October with a +1.5. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” notches a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+). The last time “Charlie” was above a six-share (6+) was May 2015 with a 6.5. With its highest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to a three-way logjam at #13. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly programmed KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits the six-tenths it just gained in three straight upticks (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.1, 6+) by falling to – .5 (#23 to #27, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.8, as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #8 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is -.7 (#10 to #11, 6+). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In April – May – June, “The Bull” was down -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Meanwhile, this represents the sixth straight month that “The Wolf” is without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. Dropping out of the top ten (from #9) and tied with KUBL at #13 is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which erodes by nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.9, 6+). The decrease ends its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). In five of the previous six sweeps – including the last four – “Z-100” and Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KBFF “Live 95.5” were separated by just one-tenth of a share (6+). The margin is now one-half share as “Live 95.5” – albeit down three-tenths – is at 3.4 (6+). A collective +.9 in November and December (4.1 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns two-thirds of that gain (4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth time in succession, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (sixth to seventh) is a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Not only does WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety” improve its December +3.0 by one full share (7.0 – 11.0, +4.0, 6+), the Beasley Media Group adult contemporary progresses from second to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Making way for “K-104.7” at #1 is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (7.2 – 6.5, -.7, 6+), which drops to second after only one month in the lead. The August – September – October – November topline 6+-trending for “The Lake” was a very consistent 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, but, in December, it posted a +2.3 to 7.2, its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Tied with “The Lake” is co-owned classic rocker WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which had been on top in September, October, and November, as well as in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Its loss of four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.2 (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). The third player in that three-way scrum in Charlotte’s runner-up slot – and moving up from #4 – is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which is a cumulative +.8 via five successive positive spikes (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). A loss of -1.1 (3.9 – 2.8, #12 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM takes Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4. Down or flat for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” slips from sixth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-performance for “The Link” since April’s 3.9. As the result of six straight decreases (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG is a combined -2.1; “Power 98” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Following six consecutive up or flat moves that more than tripled its 6+-stat for a collective +1.3 (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” returns two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but remains at #18.

3) San Antonio – Piling a +4.9 onto December’s +3.9 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” repeats at #1 and posts its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Trending 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7 (October – November – December, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX erupts with a +1.0. Not only does that vault KSTX into the top five (#11 to #4), it is the first time in its PPM-history that it crosses the four-share level (6+). A collective +1.5 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” elevates from #15 to #12. Via three straight declines (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY is a cumulative -1.9 as “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” drifts from fourth to eighth. After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Tied with “Y-100” at #8 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which is without an increase for the fourth month in a row for an overall -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. After ten straight months at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” replicates December’s nine-tenths’ loss (6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include December 2016’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; and “Holiday” 2017’s -.9. On the heels of December’s -.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” sputters by another seven-tenths (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.1 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+) as it slides from #15 to #19. By posting a one-half share gain in December, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KXXM halted four successive down or flat trends that produced a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), but “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that half-share improvement in its entirety and is back to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). After both stations posted the identical topline-stat four months in a row (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (#23, 6+), while Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” is off three-tenths to 1.2 (#24, 6+). For KTSA, December’s -.2 ended four straight improvements that produced a +.7 since July (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while the loss of two-tenths in the December sweep by KKYX halted six straight up or flat trends for an overall +.7 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Frozen on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH more than doubles the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4 to 10.6 (6+) as “Today’s Wish 99.7” sails from fourth to second. This is the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year (12.4, “Holiday” 2016). Nearly six shares ahead of “Wish” is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS,” which adds a +3.5 to December’s +2.0 (12.9 – 16.4, 6+) and is on top for the tenth month in a row. By way of comparison, “3WS” recorded a 13.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. As a result of gaining six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh Sports Radio” (unchanged at #6) matches August’s 5.9. Immediately after posting a +1.6 in December, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” plummets by -2.1 (7.4 – 9.0 – 6.9, 6+) to shift from third to fourth. The market’s two hot ACs are a combined -1.7: Entercom-owned WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (seventh to eighth) is off one full-share to 4.0, its softest 6+-share in one year (3.6, “Holiday” 2016), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” drops seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, flat at #11, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 2.1 in May 2016. The country format isn’t much better this sweep as its (6+) -1.3 from December is split between Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.0 – 3.2, -.8, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (-.5, flat at #12, 6+), which is off for the third time in a row for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). The -.8 by WDSY ends an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Elsewhere in the iHeartMedia cluster, WDVE sputters by eight-tenths (9.2 – 8.4, 6+), falling to #3 after six straight months at #2, while CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” is a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 in October and -1.0 in November. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). Meanwhile, “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Without an increase the past seven months (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” adds one-tenth (to .2, 6+) and inches up from #18 to #17.

5) Sacramento – Repeating at #1, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX tacks a +5.4 onto December’s +1.2 (7.6 – 8.8 – 14.2, 6+). “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. Down or flat the past three months for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” answers with a +1.3 to 8.4 – its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7 – progressing from third to second. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the news/talk hybrid regressed by three-tenths in October. Showing one-half share gains are Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) rocketing from ninth to fourth, and co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” (3.3, #13 to #12, 6+), which was a combined -1.0 in three dips in succession (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). The station that KYMX succeeded at #1 in December – co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” – is a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). The last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). In the most recent four sweeps, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and now -1.0 “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned, similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). “The Wolf” was a combined -.4 in October and November (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). September’s +.5 suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country outlet – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is trending 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the last eight sweeps, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” falters by nine-tenths to 3.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Off by seven-tenths are co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.9, #15 to #16, 6+) and Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (1.7 – 1.0, #17 to #24, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Sports 1140” was +1.0 in seven successive up or flat trends (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at #8, iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River – The River City’s New Classic Rock” sputters by six-tenths to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since March (3.5, as well). After gaining six-tenths in December, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” surrenders all but one-tenth of it (2.6 – 2.1, -.5, 6+) but carries on at #15. Dropping one-half share as well is Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In a ratings period that has seen some truly astonishing benchmarks, it would be difficult to find a station with greater accomplishments than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI. For openers, “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” adds an eye-popping +9.6 to December’s +6.6 and is #1 for the third month in a row. Its 23.2 share (6+) is well over four times that of the market’s #2 finisher – or if you prefer – in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. In information from the 36 PPM-markets we’ve seen thus far, KSFI (23.2) is the only station to each a 20-share (6+); it did so in “Holiday” 2016, as well (20.6). “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October; it was a combined -.8 in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+). News/talk sibling, KSL “NewsRadio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM,” finishes second, but is a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November 2016), +1.1 (December 2016), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February 2017); +.6 (April 2017); -1.1 (May 2017); -.9 (July 2017); +.6 (August 2017); +1.1 (September 2017); +1.4 (October 2017); -1.8 (November 2017); -.8 (December 2017); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2017). Up or flat for the eighth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” inches up from #23 to #22. After an overall +1.9 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). This is the first time under a four-share (6+) for KODJ since April’s 3.9; November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Surrendering eight-tenths from December (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville’s similarly-formatted “103.5 The Arrow” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie with KODJ. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” spirals by -1.4 from 5.4 to 4.0 (third to fifth, 6+). Plummeting by nine-tenths is KSFI’s format rival – Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (3.2 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+) – which has its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Dropping by nine-tenths as well is Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 All the Hits” (3.4 – 2.5, #11 to #15, 6+). Owing to four negative moves in succession, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). In the country arena, KUBL is -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but stays at #8. Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country,” which netted eight-tenths in three straight gains (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), drops one-half share to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in third-place. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 -.8, #24, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2. After more than quintupling its 6+-share in six successive gains for a +1.3 (.3 – .4 – .5 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” is off by two-tenths to 1.4 (#21 to #22, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – An overall +7.7 in three straight positive spikes (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (14.0). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); and +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017). Up of flat for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, fourth to third, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” registers its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Off a total of six-tenths in three straight monthlies without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” gains two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #14. By improving two-tenths to 1.9 (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT “Latino Mix 99.3” curtails three downward trends in succession that accounted for a -1.5 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 1.7, 6+). Following five straight downward moves in which its 6+-share was sliced by more than 80% (2.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .4, 6+), University of Nevada-owned KUNV “91.5 The Source” adds two-tenths to .6 (6+) and continues at #28. Five successive improvements by Entercom hot AC KMXB accounted for a net gain of +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 94.1” returns the entire bounty in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). It slips to #4, after four straight months at #3. In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Not only is iHeartMedia country KWNR a collective -2.5 as the result of three consecutive downward moves, (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” fades from #5 to #13. In five successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -1.9 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as it drifts from sixth to tenth. Even though it is without an increase for the fourth ratings period in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” advances from #16 to #15.

8) Cincinnati – Making it five improvements in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” improves by +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+) and continues at #1. Its current 13.0 surpasses the 11.7 it recorded in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WGRR rebounded with a combined +.8 in October and November (8.3 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), but “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+), segueing from first to second. Stymied on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” notches its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Urban contemporary sibling WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” drops seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March. Down for the fifth straight time for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW remains at #3. “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Frozen on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, co-owned CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” drops eight-tenths to 4.0 (sixth to eighth, 6+). All three of the market’s country outlets surrender one-half share: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (6.8 – 6.3, fourth to a third-place tie with WLW, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” (2.2 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+); and Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (1.1 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+). November’s 8.2 was the highest 6+-share for “B-105.1” since October 2016’s 8.5; conversely, 6.3 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (5.3); WUBE plummeted by -1.4 in December. At this time last month, “Nash FM” regained the four-tenths it lost in November to end four downward or flat moves in succession for a collective -1.1 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), while in November, “The Wolf” ended four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned three country outlets, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” surrenders one-half share as well (4.6 – 4.1, flat at #7, 6+); “The Fox” was down six-tenths in December. While unchanged at #16, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is down for the third sweep in a row for a combined -.8 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Adding a +3.9 to December’s +4.4 (7.6 – 12.0 – 15.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 16.1. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP recaptures all but two-tenths of that loss (4.1, +1.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” By adding seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+), Cox Media Group country outlet WWKA “K-92.3” records its best 6+-stat since 5.0 in March. Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “Rumba 100” is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row with the bulk of the collective -2.7 coming with the current -2.4 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. On the heels of December’s -1.9, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” plummets by -1.0 (8.1 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Up or flat the past four sweeps for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” forfeits nearly half that gain (7.3, -.9, 6+) and remains at #3; December’s 8.2 was its best 6+-stat since May’s 8.8. In October, “XL-106.7” pulled the plug on five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). On the heels of a November gain of six-tenths, Entercom hot AC WOMX is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (#11 to #12, 6+) and (public) Community Communications news/talk WMFE (3.9 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). In four straight decreases, “News 96.5” – which racked up a +2.0 in September – is a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” registers its fifth consecutive decrease and is a cumulative -2.3 since August (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+).

10) Cleveland – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surges from fifth to first and matches its 10.4 in “Holiday” 2016. In December, “Star” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). It becomes the fourth different Cleveland station in the last four sweeps to occupy the top spot. Exiting after taking its one-month tenure in the penthouse is Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.4 – 8.6, -.8, first to third). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and advanced to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Even though it is unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” rolls out a +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) and is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November. Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” spirals by -1.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A combined +1.3 in November and December (6.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” returns nine-tenths (6.8, third to fourth, 6+). A nine-tenths erosion applies as well to sibling WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 3.7, #10 to #13, 6+), which was -1.0 in November and +.6 in December. Via five straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +1.7 and climbs from #13 to #12. By picking up three-tenths in December to 5.5 (6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL halted four negative trends in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+); however, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 4.7, sliding from eighth to ninth. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” follows December’s -1.1 with a loss of one-half share (7.5 – 6.4 – 5.9, 6+) but remains at #7. After six straight up or flat sweeps that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” was off one-half share in October; improved by nine-tenths (to 7.2, 6+) in November, crossing the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history; but is a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7. – 6.7 – 6,1, flat at #6, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Powered by four positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” more than doubles its 6+-stat since September (+4.1). Not only surpassing its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2016, “KC-102.1” jumps from fifth to third. The only two stations reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2017 from this particular list of 12 PPM-markets that are not adult contemporary are WWSW, Pittsburgh (see above) and Cumulus Media Kansas City’s classic hits-oldies KCMO, which moves from second to first; “94.9 – Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in November, as well. Similar to “KC-102.1,” KCMO is up for the fourth sweep in a row (but) for a collective +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+) and eclipses its “Holiday” 2016 showing (10.3) by one-tenth. The combination of KCMO’s +1.4 and co-owned classic rock KCFX “The Fox” dropping one-half share (9.6 – 9.1, 6+) results in “The Fox” shifting from first to second. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Before November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). In December, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4, thus curtailing at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+); however, “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 with a one-half share increase (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and improves from #15 to #14. A collective -2.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KCSP gains one-tenth to 1.6 (#20 to #19, 6+). Prior to this just-ended negative streak, “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share with a +3.2 in five consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. A November gain of seven-tenths by KMXV halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). The Steel City Media CHR added eight-tenths in December, however, “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” freefalls by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to ninth. In advance of December, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (6.4, January 2016), but this is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2017’s 4.2. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.1, dropping from fourth to fifth. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (#14 to #15, 6+). Regarding these two properties, one streak ends and another continues. Specifically, “The Rock” had been +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); 5.0 in November and December represents its best 6+-share in more than two years (5.1, October 2015). Meanwhile, “The Buzz” is -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+). In a similar vein, two streaks draw to a close in the country format. A combined -1.8 in three straight negative moves (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is +.1 to 5.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+). When “Country 94.1” lost three-tenths in October, it ended five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Conversely, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” which was +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), is -.1 to 4.8 (6+), but actually manages to improve from eighth to sixth; December’s 4.9 was its best 6+-share since April 2015 (4.9, as well).

12) Columbus – Aided by a massive +5.1 (5.9 – 11.0, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” races from sixth all the way to first. Moreover, while “Sunny” registered an 8.7 in “Holiday” 2016, this is its strongest 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Ousted at #1 after a six-month tenure and segueing to second is iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL (11.3 – 10.9, -.4, 6+), which has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; and -.5 in December. Adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus” follows December’s +.6 with a +2.1 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, fifth to third, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of three successive gains (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO is +1.7 and moves from ninth to eighth. Having registered five straight negative trends for a -1.4 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WYTS “Throwback 105.3” (.3 – .8, #18 to #17, 6+). Following a +.6 in December, RadiOhio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” plummets by -1.4 (5.6 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #7. When “The Fan” lost three-tenths in November to 5.0 (6+), it closed out three straight gains that produced a +3.4 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+). December’s 5.6 was its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report; conversely, 4.2 is its lowest since September’s 4.0. Down or flat for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” shifts from second to fourth. The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was in March (8.9). With a September – October – November – December topline (6+) trend of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 (#15), Radio One urban contemporary WBMO “Power” disappears from print. After posting a +1.6 in November, Saga Communications’ WNND “Rewind – Columbus’ Greatest Hits” has returned all but two-tenths of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, -1.4, #11 to #12, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.6 in November, “Rewind” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) in each of the previous ten ratings periods. As a result of a December -.3 to 6.2 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), but “NewsRadio 610” falters by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+).

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

E.W. Scripps Puts Radio Stations Up for Sale.  We’d call this a “shocker,” but there have been rumors in the industry recently that E.W. Scripps is not happy with the performances of its radio stations and is looking to sell.  Today’s announcement seems to verify that.  Saying that it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings,” it is also planning to sell its 34 radio stations and has “retained Kalil & Co., Inc. to handle the process.”  In the press release, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “Today, Scripps is a dynamic leader in the media industry through its strong local TV station portfolio, its growing multicast network, its national news network, and its podcasting business.  The enterprise-wide restructuring positions us well for continued growth while maintaining high-quality journalism as our central focus…Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”  Scripps got into the radio business as a result of the merger between Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps back in April of 2015.  The two companies merged and spun off their newspaper assets as Journal Media Group with E.W. Scripps keeping Journal’s TV and radio stations.  Adding more insight into Scripps’ restructuring plans, the press release says, “During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge.  The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.  The annual cost savings are driven by reductions in head count and operating expenses over the next 12 to 18 months.  These include centralization of services and technology; sharing of resources; elimination of redundant positions and services; and other expense reductions.”

McKay and Barks Out at KNZR, Bakersfield.  According to a report at Bakersfield.com and KERO-TV, Bakersfield, KNZR talk radio personalities Jaz McKay and Inga Barks have exited the Alpha Media news/talk station.  The moves happened within a week of each other but little else is known since Alpha Media is not commenting publicly about either change.  Barks hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and she’s been replaced by former Bakersfield city councilman Terry Maxwell.  McKay’s departure is a little more interesting.  McKay shot a Facebook Live video of himself sitting in his car going up the dial of his radio and commenting on the large number of Spanish-language stations, eventually using the word “spic.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is now being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

Cumulus WYAY, Atlanta Completes Transition from Newsradio to Talk. It may appear to be just a formality at this point, but Cumulus Media has taken the final step is transitioning WYAY-FM from its former all-news format to news/talk.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Rodney Ho reports that station program director Tom Lee says, “The whole concept is personality-driven radio.  People can get news anywhere.  They can’t get Shannon [Burke] or the Kimmer [Kim Peterson].  Our goal is to have four morning shows, one after another.”  The station canceled its remaining newsy program – the morning drive show featuring Rob Stadler – at the end of 2017.  It’s currently seeking a talk host for morning drive.  Read Ho’s piece here.

‘Markley & van Camp’ Expand Syndication Effort.  The WMBD-A, Peoria-based “Markley & van Camp” show is spreading its syndication wings by signing a deal with Compass Media Networks to handle syndication of the program, effective April 2.  The program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David van Camp – airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It’s also heard on other Alpha Media stations, including: KXL-FM, Portland; WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City; and WBRP-FM, Baton Rouge.  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “Thank you Alpha Media for developing MVC! ‘Markley & van Camp’ bring a unique mix of humor and fun to current events that will retain core talk radio listeners while gaining the hearts and minds of millennials searching for compelling daytime entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. Willamette Week reports that Portland radio personality Sheila Hamilton is no longer with Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM where she was co-hosting the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  She had also been heard in the market on the company’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland in morning drive with co-host Cort Johnson, but their show was replaced in May of 2017.  Hamilton told the Willamette Week she’s waiting until “final negotiations have been resolved” before explaining her departure.  There are rumors in the industry that Alpha Media is undergoing a company-wide, cost-cutting measure and some speculate that Hamilton’s departure from KXL and the recent actions taken at the company’s KNZR, Bakersfield – among others – support the theory…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group is collaborating with Cape Fear Valley Health to present a cluster-wide, commercial-free program to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic titled, “Fayetteville Fights Back.”  The program will air on January 30 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the company’s five stations in the market.  Physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, and addiction specialists – along with local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio) – will participate in the simulcast.

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI 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.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018).  The vast majority of (but not all) major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. See all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to this sweep, WHUR was anchored in third-place for each of the last 12 ratings periods. Entering the November ratings period, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three monthlies for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). As for WMMJ, it is up or flat for the fourth month in succession for a collective gain of +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Aforementioned American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is now a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. A one-half share gain in December by WLZL (1.6 – 2.1, 6+) elevated the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016), but “El Zol 107.9” returns all of that gain and one-tenth more (1.5, -.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WWDC “DC 101 – DC’s Alternative Rock Station” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #16, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.3, January 2016). In eleven straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS is a combined -.8, as “93.3 Today’s New Country” drops from #21 to #22.

2) Boston – Tacking on a +4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 to December’s +3.5 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1. Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but “The Sports Hub” surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December. The flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots bounces back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+), progressing from fourth to third. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Its “stream” disappears in “Holiday” 2017, following a .6 (6+) in December. Falling by six-tenths as well as the WBZ-FM stream is Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 for R&B” (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #18, 6+). Beantown’s (6+) CHR share erodes by -1.4, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, flat at #2, 6+) and Entercom-owned WODS “Amp Radio 103.3” (2.6, -.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). “Amp” had been a collective +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). This represents the sixth downward move in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WZLX, accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+), with “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dipping below a four-share (6+) for the first time since January 2017 (3.4, as well). A collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), WBUR drops from sixth to seventh. In November, the Boston University-owned news/talker added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). After three positive spikes in a row produced a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” surrenders roughly half that total (2.5, -.6, 6+) but carries on at #14. As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (formerly CBS Radio’s WBMX) is off by one full-share (#11 to #12). Entercom transferred the WBMX calls to Chicago on the station formerly known as WJMK. After four successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB stumbles by two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), yet improves from #18 to #16. In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which has its fifth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) for an overall -.8. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+) and improves from eighth to sixth. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – This Florida market’s top three finishers in “Holiday” 2017 are separated by four-tenths of a share. The December 2017 difference between the same three outlets (now in a different order) was just two-tenths. Two adult contemporary outlets are included in that trio: Entercom-owned WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (third to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.7, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Lite” is a collective +1.3 in four successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance since 7.0 in November 2016. It displaces “Easy 93.1,” which had registered a +.2 in each of the last three sweeps (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progressed from second to first in December. The third member of that trio is WFEZ urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105,” which is -1.5 in three dips in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before “Easy” succeeded it in December. An overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” gains three-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and is steady at #15. Up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #21, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD ends at six a string of down or flat trends for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four positive spikes in succession for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” erodes by one full-share to 5.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Locked on 4.0 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) and carries on at #8. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August. The May through “Holiday” 2017 (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 (flat at #17).

4) Detroit – By registering its fifth straight increase (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” has improved by nearly ten full-shares (6+) and is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved one year ago (13.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). After notching three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. A gain of six-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” applies the brakes to three straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (fifth to seventh) is a collective -2.2. It is a rough sweep for the market’s two CHRs as iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” is -.6 (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). “Channel 95.5” was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December. The -.6 by “Amp” curtails three up or flat trends in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to sixth, 6+); Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (#11 to #12, 6+), which is a collective -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths (in November) to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is without an increase for the eighth consecutive sweep and is -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picks up two-tenths (2.0, flat at #19, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – Adding a +3.7 to December’s +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1 – 11.8, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Stymied at 3.4 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” rolls out a +2.3 to 5.7 (6+). Not only does “Star” reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, it leapfrogs from a three-way tie at #12 all the way to a tie at #3. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 3.9 (October – November – December, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” dials up a +.7 to 4.6 – its highest 6+-share since July’s 5.0 – and advances from seventh to sixth. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which shifts from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia, picks up three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. Up until December 4, Hubbard’s KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it flipped to “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country.” Without an increase for the fifth month in a row (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), KVRQ has eroded by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23). Forfeiting in full December’s one-half share increase, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) drifts from #12 to #15. Prior to December’s +.5, “The Wolf” was -.4 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” drops out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Although it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (1.3 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW remains at #22. Seattle’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, and was -.7 in November. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW (6.4, steady at #2, 6+), which closes five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 fourth to fifth, 6+), and Aloha Station Trust contemporary Christian KTDD “Positive Hit Music” (.7 – .2, #30, 6+). Without a decrease in the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#21, 6+). Following five straight up or flat monthlies that nearly tripled its 6+-share (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” drops three-tenths to 1.0 (6+, #24 to #23). Conversely, after three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” adds two-tenths to 2.8 (#19 to #17, 6+).

6) Phoenix – While its “Holiday” 2017 gain (+4.3) is not as lofty as December’s +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.2 – 12.1 – 16.4, 6+) repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016.  Not only that, KESZ has a nearly three-to-one advantage over the runner-up, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -2.4 as the result of its fifth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). KSLX – which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8 – exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Up an overall nine-tenths in four successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” carries on at #19. A combined -1.2 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drifts from sixth to tenth; 3.3 is its lowest 6+-share since February (3.3, as well). With identical 3.8 – 3.2 (-.6, #8 to #11, 6+) topline profiles are Entercom’s KALV “Live 101.5” and Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; and now -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). While very consistent April through July (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); lost three-tenths in November; and has sputtered by an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). It exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

7) Minneapolis – Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary station ranks first in 11 of the 12 markets featured here. The exception is the Twin Cities, which – by the way – is the only PPM-market which does not have a mainstream AC. Powered by a +5.2 following December’s +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0 – 14.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -2.9 as the result of six straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is bumped from the top ten (#9 to #12). Furthermore, it is overtaken by Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which gains four-tenths to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.8 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share evaporates by -1.8, split between “Kool 108” cluster-mate KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (-1.1, #12 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (-.7, third to fifth, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” is now a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, “Cities 97” continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+). Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD3 channel improves by one-half share (.7 – 1.2, 6+), cracking the top twenty at #18. Down seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, reprises at #2; it finished first in October and November. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). The third part of the iHeartMedia #1/#2/#3 finish (in addition to KQQL and KFXN) is CHR KDWB, which is a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK posted a +.9 in December to 5.5 (6+), but “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” squanders roughly half of that increase (5.0, -.5, 6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

8) San Diego – Over and above posting its fourth straight uptick for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first, exceeding (by four-tenths) its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though KPBS gains three-tenths (6.0 – 6.3, 6+), the San Diego State University-owned news/talker segues from first to second. A December gain of four-tenths pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in calendar year 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS was on top. Three straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” net a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By rolling out a full-share gain (4.1 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” jumps from ninth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 5.2. With similar call letters, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” improves by six-tenths to 3.0, #18 to #13, 6+, curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). In three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO has eroded by three full-shares, drifting from fourth to seventh. 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’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” follows in December and “Holiday” 2017 with an overall -1.9 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14; November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat for four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” returns seven-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#15 to #21). A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Slipping by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMYI “Star 94.1” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -1.0 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). As the result of three improvements in succession, XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, 6+), but the Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet drops two-tenths to 3.5 (6+); nonetheless, it climbs from #12 to #11.

9) Denver – After hanging out a December +1.8, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” follows with a +3.7 (7.8 – 11.5, 6+) as the Bonneville adult contemporary property is #1 for the third month in a row. This (11.5) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Trending 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.6 (October – November – December, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” posts a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.2 (#18 to #14, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” registers a gain of one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#13 to #8). Its classic hits-oldies sibling KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In three straight down or flat sweeps, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). This is the fourth straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” (third to fifth) for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). An overall +.9 in November and December (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+), cluster-mate KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” coughs up eight-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #21). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was up six-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.6 (6+), exiting the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville country outlet KYGO, which is down or flat for the eighth month in a row for a collective -1.4 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, flat at #2, 6+), and Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.2 – 3.7, #8 to #11, 6+). After six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW slips by one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), yet inches up from #20 to #19.

10) Tampa – It is a bit of a mixed bag for the market’s adult contemporary outlets. On the plus side, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” tacks on a +1.6 to December’s +1.2 and has more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+). Moreover, it rockets from #18 to a three-way tie at #9. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 is now its best-ever 6+-stat. At the same time, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” hangs out a +1.5 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+) and is the market’s pacesetter for the 64th successive ratings period. In “Holiday” 2016, “Lite Favorites” had a 12.7 (6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). On the flipside though in the AC format, WDUV cluster-mate WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one full-share (4.9 – 3.9, 6+), fading from #5 to #12. Bouncing back from December’s -.6, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is up nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+). “The Joy FM” was +.6 in November, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 is the highest 6+-share for WCIE since July (5.1, as well). Following three straight gains (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” returns more than half of that cumulative +2.2 with a -1.3 to 4.7 (third to sixth, 6+). Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 was its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Advancing from fifth to third, its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+). As a result, it curtails three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Posting a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is off six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Without an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” drops from #16 to #18.

11) Baltimore – Easily scoring top honors for the most robust (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WLIF “Today’s 101.9” with an eye-popping +6.6 (9.7 – 16.3, repeating at #1, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Entercom adult contemporary facility, which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. One year ago at this time, “Today’s 101.9” registered a 15.3 (6+, “Holiday” 2016). Occupying the top spot for four months in succession, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” segued to #2 in December and continues there in “Holiday” 2017. Furthermore, it is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in a row for a combined +2.4 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4, 6+). In the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far, “Magic” is the only station at #2 that achieves double-digits (6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Applying the brakes to three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” improves by two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), progressing from ninth to sixth. Within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WPOC was below a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (4.7). After sputtering by six-tenths in December (5.2 – 4.6, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” falters by twice that margin to 3.4 (-1.2, 6+) and spirals from fifth to tenth. In a similar vein, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” was -.7 in December and follows with a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, #9 to #12, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+); independent WCBM “680 – Stimulating News Talk,” which had been +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), but is back at 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+); and iHeartMedia gospel WCAO “Heaven 600” (1.0 -.4, #16 to #21, 6+). While it remains at #15, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” forfeits roughly half of December’s +.9 (1.6 – 1.1, -.5, 6+); December’s 1.6 is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s. The ten most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+). Most recently, that topline includes five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Not only is KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” up six full-shares via three successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary leaps from fourth to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It succeeds iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which – despite rebounding from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 (7.3 – 9.5, 6+) – segues to #2. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. The wild ride truly continues for WARH “106.5 The Arch.” The Hubbard adult hits outlet was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); +.6 in December; and now -1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (6.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. When Emmis’ KPNT lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Now, “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” regresses by -1.1 (4.4 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in November and December, CHR cluster-mate KNOW “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” is off by one-half share as well (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). Returning all of December’s +.6 and one-tenth more (7.0 – 6.3, -.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” slips from second to fourth. December’s increase by “The Lou” concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (sixth to fifth) is a cumulative -3.0 and has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

| January 24, 2018

‘Rip City Radio’ Portland Begins Partnership with NBC Sports Northwest.  The content simulcast of KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” and NBC Sports Northwest began today (1/24).  This collaboration means the iHeartMedia sports talk station is re-branding to “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  The deal provides for nine hours of combined content with NBC Sports Northwest producing its own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  The rest of the lineup is: “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel”; “Dwight & Aaron” (with sports journalists Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress,); and “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad.”  KPOJ is also simulcasting NBC Sports Northwest’s “Outdoors GPS” program.  All shows will originate from a new, state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.   iHeartMedia president, Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all-in-one destination.”

FAIR Names Joe Gomez Press Secretary.  News/talk radio pro Joe Gomez joins the Federation for American Immigration Reform as the organization’s press secretary.  He was most recently serving with NBC News Radio as a Washington, DC-based correspondent.  During his career, he’s served with KTRH, Houston (covering the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexico border); KOA-Denver; KIRO-AM/FM, Seattle; and CBS Radio News based in Texas.  He says, “I’m very passionate about immigration reform.  I look forward to using my experience in radio to expand FAIR’s presence on news/talk stations across the country.”  His duties with FAIR include working directly with news/talk radio stations to provide FAIR’s expert voices on immigration issues and serving as an additional spokesperson.  He can be reached at: jgomez@fairus.org or phoned at 202-742-1843.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley as one of the two morning keynote speakers at Talkers 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  Beasley will be the other half of a one-on-one “fireside chat” double-header that will be conducted by Michael Harrison.  The other is Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star in the radio industry and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading going forward.  She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise.  Radio is in her DNA.  I am thrilled to personally have the opportunity to conduct one-on-ones with these two individuals – Hannity and Beasley – who are situated at the tip of the spear – as we kick off an amazing day.”   The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry, with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes.  For the 18th straight year, FOX Sports Radio is broadcasting from the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game.  As part of the network’s coverage, several programs will broadcast live from Minneapolis next week, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” and “J.T. The Brick,” who will broadcast live from the NFL Media Center at the Mall of America.  DIRECTV’s Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen will broadcast live from downtown Minneapolis, overlooking U.S. Bank Stadium…..Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) announces that the featured keynote speaker at his 10th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner Event – being held on Friday, April 6 at the Resorts Casino – Hotel – is FOX News Channel television and radio superstar Brian Kilmeade (right).  As part of the evening’s program, Kilmeade will be doing a book signing for his latest historical work, Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (2017, Sentinel).  Hurley tells TALKERS that his Harry Hurley Charity has raised more than $750,000 and written grants to hundreds of worthy not-for-profit organizations, including an annual grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America…..ABC News announces plans for coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the Democratic response on Tuesday, January 30.  For the radio side, ABC News Radio will provide a special, one-hour program titled, “Preview to the State of the Union,” at 8:06 pm, ET and live coverage of the president’s address with anchor Aaron Katersky and correspondents Karen Travers from the White House and Stephanie Ramos from the Capitol, as well as analysis by Rick Klein and contributors Steve Roberts and Alex Castellanos…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and the New England Patriots announce a multi-year extension of their agreement that includes broadcasting rights for “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that features Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Entercom is enthusiastic of and committed to its role as the nation’s premiere sports audio producer.  Continuing this winning combination of WEEI and the Patriots, one of Entercom’s over 40 professional team partnerships, is a strong sign of that commitment and passion to our listeners.”

Westwood One Is Exclusive Radio Partner for Super Bowl LII.  Syndicator and sales unit Westwood One is the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League and this year’s Super Bowl LII.  Parent company Cumulus Media reminds us that this is the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.  Calling the game are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason.  Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren will also contribute throughout the game broadcast.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for second straight year as sideline reporter, and this year will be joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder.  Jim Gray anchors the pre-game and halftime coverage.  Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will also contribute to the pregame show coverage.

Trump-Russia Probe, FBI Missing Texts, DACA Status/Border Wall, Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Torture House Case, Oscar Nominations, and Super Bowl LII Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; five months of missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; the battle between Democrats and President Trump over the Dreamer Act and a funding mechanism to build the Mexican border wall; a school shooting in Kentucky claims the lives of two students; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; the North Korean nuclear weapons threats; the case of the California couple charged with child abuse of their 13 children; the Academy Award nominations are revealed; and the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Patriots and the Eagles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Sacramento, Amanda Burd is the new midday personality and assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s contry KBEB.  She takes over for Michelle Buckles…..Sarah Lanieu is named director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay cluster that includes news/talk WFLA-AM, news/talk WHNZ “Impact Radio,” and sports talker WDAE, as well as CHR WFLA-FM and country WFUS “U.S. 103.5.”…..Programming and on-air pro Chris Ryan moves to Memphis to take on the morning show co-host role using the air name Ryan Anderson at Entercom’s hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100.”  He’s partnering up with current morning host Michelle Lewis.  He’s most recently been serving with Neuhoff Media’s hot AC WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois as PD and morning host.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. Information from the “Holiday” 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). More often than not, sharp December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Over and above being on top for the fifth straight time and boasting a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” posts the largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (+4.3, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” however, drops seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM picked up two-tenths in December to 5.7 (6+), but “New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits eight-tenths in “Holiday 2017” (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. On November 9, Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through “Holiday” 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1; WBMP remains at #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in the last three sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from seventh to sixth. Down or flat for the seventh straight time for a combined loss of -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” (8.7 – 11.9, +3.2, 6+) is in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Off the past three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” hauls out a +.8 to 2.9, rocketing into the top ten (#20 to #8, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH “Radio Free 102.3” improves by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, #21, 6+) and reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1. Down or flat for the third month in a row, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+) is a collective -1.3 in that stretch and plummets from #10 all the way to #22; this is the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Cross-town competitor, 93.9 License KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” falters by six-tenths (2.0 – 1.4 #22 to #26, 6+). One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuted in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+) and now erodes by another seven-tenths to .5 (6+), freefalling from #28 to #36. Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (6+) since September, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” drops one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11).While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In the alternative tussle, Entercom’s KROQ drops two-tenths (2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and remains at #1, while iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is off four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, 6+), drifting from a #13 tie with KROQ to #19. With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.8 in five successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September.

3) Chicago – Not only is WLIT “93.9 My-FM” the first station in the market to reach double-figures since it did so exactly one year ago with a 13.7 (“Holiday” 2016, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned hot AC stays at #1 and is a remarkable +10.2 in three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Its format competitor, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” sputters by an overall two full-shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to fifth. “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). Following an increase of +2.0 in December, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” tacks on an additional +1.0 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from fifth to third. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling). Dropping by one-half share is co-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” down or flat for the third straight time for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off by -.5 as well is Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” which is -1.4 in three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, #10 to #15, 6+), and adult contemporary cluster-mate WSHE “100.3 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2K, and Today” (2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #18, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.5 (#20 to #15, 6+), Merlin Media alternative WKQX applies the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Similarly, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 3.2 (ninth to seventh 6+), ending four straight sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entercom-owned WSCR is a combined -2.8 in the last three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “670 The Score” is steady at #21; the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+).

4) San Francisco – By adding a +2.4 to December’s +2.3, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” occupies the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016. Ironically, it accomplishes the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016. With KOIT-FM advancing from second to first, it ends 12 successive times that KQED-FM (7.6, -.1, first to second, 6+) set the pace in San Francisco; the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet was off by nine-tenths in December to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Having picked up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR regressed by seven-tenths in December, but “The Sports Leader” bounces back with a one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2017 and returns to the top ten (2.4 – 2.9, #14 to #10, 6+). When KOIT-FM finished second in December 2017, it curtailed 11 straight months of Entercom all-news KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), but carries on at #3. October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined full-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), falling out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips by one-half share in consecutive sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #14 to #18, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is its Spanish adult hits sibling KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.0 – 2.5, #9 to #12, 6+).

5) Dallas – Doubling December 2017’s +1.0 with a +2.0 (4.2 – 5.2 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” takes sole possession of first place. Whereas 7.2 is KLUV’s highest 6+-share in two years (10.6 in “Holiday 2015”), November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). It shared the lead in December 2017 with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which dips to fourth (4.8, -.4, 6+), and ends at three a string of consecutive increases that netted seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that accounted for a +.9 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling, KDGE, is a combined +3.8 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 as “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” progresses from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Leaping back into the top twenty (#21 to #14), Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up eight-tenths (2.2 – 3.0, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since September’s 3.3. Tied in tenth-place are “Smooth R&B” urban contemporary cluster-mate KKDA-FM “K-104” (3.2 – 3.7, +.5, up from #11 in December, 6+) and Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (3.1 – 3.7, +.6, up from #12 in December, 6+). In addition to “K-104,” Entercom’s KVIL adds one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, #20 to #16, 6+). In recent years, once heritage adult contemporary KVIL has repositioned itself to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.5, as Cumulus Media’s KPLX “The Wolf” (fifth to sixth) suffers its fifth straight negative trend for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to a three-way tie at sixth, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “LA Grande 107.5” surrenders nine-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly, a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (unchanged at #5) curtails at three a streak of positive spikes that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). After six months in succession of being either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ drops four-tenths to 3.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, steady at #3, CHR sibling KHKS “Kiss” is up or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In 14 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#19 to #17) has been within a high of 2.5 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Houston – After back-to-back stays at #2 in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is now #1 in consecutive reports. An up/down pattern which saw “Sunny 99.1” gain eight-tenths in August; lose it all in September; pick up one-half share in October; surrender eight-tenths in November; and then log a +2.8 in December ends in “Holiday” 2017 as it racks up a +3.6 (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9 – 12.5, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station has reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Gaining one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” (4.6 – 5.1, fifth to third, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KEYH “La Ranchera” (.3 – .8, #25, 6+). Conversely, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KGLK “The Eagle” (5.3 – 4.3, third to sixth, 6+) and Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (3.1, #11 to #16, 6+) are each off by one full-share. “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” (7.5 – 6.9, steady in second-place, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Positive Hits” (1.6 – 1.0, #23, 6+). When “Majic” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. A collective -1.4 in four straight negative trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slides from #17 to #19.        Following three upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+) Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” slips by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), moving from sixth to ninth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December.

7) Atlanta – On the heels of a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” adds another +1.3 to 8.5 (6+) and carries on in second-place. A November decrease of one-tenth curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fish” trails Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM (-.5, 6+) by just one-tenth. Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WSB-AM is now a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the 25th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. On the flipside, co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” garners a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to sixth, 6+), thus erasing its -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Owing to a +.5 (1.5 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDA “Alt 105.7 – Atlanta’s Rock Alternative” reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.0 and cracks the top twenty at #19. The market’s urban AC takes a -2.1 hit as Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is -1.6 to 4.9 (third to fifth, 6+), while Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” is off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to the -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Following a November improvement of six-tenths, “Majic” is -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017; it was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Having returned November’s +.3 in December (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” coughs up another half-share to 2.9 (6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Steady at #9, CHR cluster-mate WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.1, -.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), which had posted three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Even though it lost the honor of largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets summarized here by one-tenth to iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW (see above), Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” claims bragging rights for highest 6+-share in these 12 metros (12.8 – 17.0, +4.2, 6+). Displaced from #1 in November, WBEB hung out a +5.0 in December to return to the top spot. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and has its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #15. Advancing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL picks up four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight declines for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+). A loss of one full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) drops Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” from third to fifth and below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. Included among those eroding by six-tenths from December 2017 are public news/talk WHYY (3.8 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+); Entercom news/talk WPHT (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), WISX returned one-third of that increase in December (-.5, 6+). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. The last time WPHT fell below a two-share (6+) was nearly two years ago (1.7, January 2016). It is déjà vu for Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.8 – 3.3, -.5, #eighth to #tenth, 6+), which registers its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (3.3, as well).

9) Long Island – As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has easily more than tripled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+) as New York City’s “106.7 Lite FM” progresses from fourth to second; “Lite” had a 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. More than four full-shares ahead of WLTW in Long Island though is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM, which is an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well as for the last three sweeps. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In ten (10) straight Long Island ratings periods without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), WWPR “Power 105.1” was off by a collective one-half share, but the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet recaptures the entire loss with a gain of six-tenths to 2.2 (#21 to #17, 6+). In the CHR arena, WWPR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” surrenders six-tenths and is down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (seventh to eighth) erodes for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WBLI, Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” (4.4 – 3.7, flat at #6, 6+); Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); and public news/talk WNYC-FM (1.8, #15 to #20, 6+) all slip by seven-tenths. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), “The Fan” relinquished all but four-tenths of that increase in December (4.4, -1.5, 6+). Prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, WNYC-FM had been up or flat the past four months, more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+). Forfeiting six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.3 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+), which had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 15 sweeps. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” has since faltered by three times as much as that (-1.5) in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 38th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) to progress from #18 to #14. Even though Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), it advances from #13 to #12.

10) Riverside – Applying the brakes to four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-2.3) of its 6+-share (4.2 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” improves by six-tenths to 2.5 (tenth to eighth, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gains one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+).  Logging a 1.5 in four of its last five survey periods (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” breaks out a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+) and carries on at #11. Notwithstanding that it remains at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +1.2 in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Setting the pace for the 27th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” slides by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After four straight monthlies without a decrease netting nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” returns one-half share (3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); December’s 4.1 was its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9.

11) San Jose – Six-tenths of a share separates the top three stations in San Jose’s “Holiday” 2017 report and there’s a new #1 in this Bay Area market. Registering an increase of two full-shares after December’s +1.6, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” advances from third to first (5.6 – 7.6, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (8.4 in “Holiday” 2016). Following five straight sweeps on top, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by six-tenths (8.1 – 7.5, 6+) and takes over at #2. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. It has a one-half share advantage over Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0 (6+); 7.0 represents its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. An improvement of six-tenths (1.2 – 1.8, #23, 6+) takes Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” to its best 6+-showing in San Jose since February’s 1.9. Freefalling by one full-share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.4 – 3.4, eighth to tenth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), but eroded by eight-tenths in December. Not only does iHeartMedia-owned KOSF slip by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, 6+), “iHeart80s @103.7” exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).

12) Middlesex – In three separate metros – New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” is a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Regarding its performance in this New Jersey market, “Lite-FM” spikes by +3.0 (8.5 – 11.5, 6+) and repeats at #1; WLTW logged an 8.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. Furthermore, this is its sixth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). Spiking by 20% of WLTW’s +3.0 is Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is an overall +1.5 in three consecutive progressive trends (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+). Posting gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing here since May’s 4.0. After dropping two-tenths in December to conclude three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM flounders by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” segues from fifth to seventh. In three declines in a row, Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” has lost more than 50% (-1.8) of 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, #22, 6+), which had recorded a 2.0 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods. This is the third downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.0 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; and NBA 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. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

Monday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2018

Imus: Show Will End on March 29.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media or Westwood One, but Don Imus announced on the WABC, New York-based morning program today (1/22) that he will end the “Imus in the Morning” program on March 29.  The iconic New York and nationally syndicated program has been part of the broadcast landscape in America since the early 1970s.  Stay tuned as more information about the change is revealed.

WTVN, Columbus Talk Host John Corby Dead at 61.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that afternoon drive host John Corby had been off the air a few days prior to his unexpected death at 61 on Saturday (1/20).  No cause of death has been announced but the Dispatch story says fellow station personalities said on the air that he passed peacefully at Mount Carmel West Hospital.  He is survived by his wife Jodi and a daughter.  He worked at WTVN from 1984 to 1994, when he left to host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh.  He returned to WTVN in 1997.  Read the Dispatch obituary here.

Profile: Reliable Remote Royalty Comrex.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of the company so many broadcasters have turned to over the years to provide them with the high-quality, American-made equipment to get “studio-quality” audio from remote locations to their transmitters.  The 60-year-old Comrex Corporation was born as a firm dedicated to providing wireless microphones to the Broadway theater and live events markets.  But, the company quickly transitioned into one that used telephone lines to deliver “higher-quality audio” from remote locations to broadcast facilities.  Comrex truly upped its game by leading the industry with its mastery of voice-over-Internet protocol in its line of ACCESS products.  Read all about it here.

Are Radio and Agencies Missing the Mark by Not More Heavily Targeting Boomers?  Two noted media consultants think that the radio and advertising industries are blowing a huge opportunity by not paying more attention to the increasingly growing 65-plus crowd.  TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke and Jacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs tackled the issue this past Friday on the latest installment of Cooke’s weekly TV talk show “The Big Picture” on RT America.  The two boomers make a very strong case for their generation’s radio marketplace pertinence showing statistics and examples of the affluence and influence wielded by today’s upper-demo audience.  To see the video of “Baby Boomers: The Most Consequential Generation,” please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The sale of Boston AM signal WBIX, means the demise of the Salem Media Group conservative talk format in the market.  Salem is selling the station to religious entity International Church of the Grace of God Inc. for $685,000 — $185,000 more than it paid for the signal when it bought it from ABC/Disney almost three years ago.  The church is already airing a Portuguese-language format on the station under an LMA…..The fourth signal that made up Connoisseur Media’s “Talk of Connecticut” format is being sold to Trignition for $260,000.  WWCO, Waterbury and the construction permit for an FM translator were not part of the recent announcement of the sale by Connoisseur of WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden to Red Wolf Broadcasting for $8 million…..At San Diego’s Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas, Jenny Rose Gonzalez is promoted from her local sales manager post to general sales manager for the cluster that includes: sports talk XEPRS “The Mighty 1090,” sports XEPE “ESPN 1700,” and classic hits XHPRS “105.7 Max-FM.”  Station president and general manager Mike Glickenhaus comments, “It is always great when you can promote from within your organization.  This promotion reflects the dedication, creativity, passion, leadership, and great work ethic that Jenny Rose has demonstrated day in and day out since she walked in the door.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning personality Steve Harvey is getting another year for his television talk show.  NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announces that it is picking up a second season for the “Steve” program.   Of course, Harvey’s daily radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  NBCUniversal says that Harvey’s show delivered “a season high 1.5 rating for the week ending 1/7/18.”  The program “recently averaged a 1.4 national household rating for the November 2017 sweep, delivering the highest November sweep rating for a new, first-run, one-hour syndicated program in five years.”…..In Maine, Townsquare Media steals Boston Red Sox play-by-play away from Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor.  With the new affiliation with the WEEI, Boston-based Red Sox Radio Network, Townsquare’s WEZQ, Bangor “92.9 The Ticket” holds the play-by-play rights to all four Boston sports teams.

Government Shutdown, DACA/Immigration Policy, Women’s Marches, Allegations Hillary Clinton Investigation Was Fixed, the SAG Awards, Middle East Peace Talks, Kabul Hotel Attack, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown and the politics of crafting a solution to the impasse; the Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama era DACA act and its immigration policy; the weekend’s women’s marches that took place across the country; allegations that former members of Robert Mueller’s team knew that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted in the emails investigation ahead of time; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards show; Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel after visiting Egypt and Jordan for Middle East peace talks; terror attacks at the International Hotel in Kabul; and Sunday’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the establishment of the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away last week at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, Florida.  McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is responsible for putting legendary talk host Rush Limbaugh into syndication in 1987.  McLaughlin was a longtime chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of chairman emeritus at the time of his death.  To donate to the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email: info@thebfoa.org.

Karen Hunter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of the most important talk media personalities in the industry whose time has definitely come,” SiriusXM Satellite Radio star Karen Hunter joins the TALKERS founder as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Hunter hosts a daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm talk program on the SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel that has been receiving glowing industry acclaim.  She is also a prolific New York Times best-selling co-author; CEO of highly successful Karen Hunter Publishing; and a professor of film and media at Hunter College in New York City.  (The name is coincidental.)  Hunter is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the first female African American news columnist at the New York Daily News.  Harrison and Hunter discuss today’s hottest issues regarding media, race, society, gender relations, education, science, religion and politics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. If Cumulus Media gets its way and a bankruptcy judge allows the company to get out of its deal to buy WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago from Merlin Media, Merlin principal Randy Michaels says the company is prepared to step in and operate the alternative and classic rock stations, “essentially, as is.”  That’s according to Robert Channick’s piece in the Chicago Tribune.  Cumulus appealed to the court to get out of certain deals that are losing ventures – such as the White Sox and Bulls play-by-play contracts for WLS-AM that are revenue negative.  Cumulus told the court that the Merlin LMA of the two rock stations has cost it $8.4 million to date.  Merlin exercised the option in the contract to sell the stations to Cumulus for $50 million.  Cumulus is asking the court to allow it to get out of that deal, as well.  Cumulus and Merlin have been trying to negotiate a new deal but have not been able to come to terms that each side like.  A judge is set to decide on Cumulus’ requests by February 1.  Cumulus hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by May 29…..Alternative rock radio pro Lisa Worden is adding program director for KSYR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” to her responsibilities for iHeartMedia.  She was appointed vice president of programming for the station and alternative rock brand manager for the company’s National Programming Group when she joined it back in November.  She was previously assistant program director and music director for crosstown KROQ-FM, Los Angeles prior to the station’s sale from CBS RADIO to Entercom…..After two years in the St. Louis market as regional SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, A.J. moves to the company’s Charlotte market where he’ll be the new program director for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” effective February 12.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments,  “Bringing A.J. to Charlotte is a game-changer for the market.  He is passionate and creative as well as analytical and strategic.  He’s the perfect addition to team Charlotte.”  In St. Louis, he programmed CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Entercom and KMXB, Las Vegas “Mix 94.1” agree to terms on a contract renewal for morning personalities Mercedes Martinez (right) and JC Fernandez (left).  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “‘Mercedes in the Morning’ is an integral part of the Las Vegas community’s morning and we are proud to continue our partnership with the iconic Mercedes and JC for the years to come.  Both bring an exciting energy to ‘Mix 94.1’ and we are looking forward to seeing them take the show to new heights.”…..Sean Stewart is the new program director and morning drive personality at Entercom’s rock WRXR, Chattanooga “Rock 105.”  Stewart, who moves to WRXR from his post as music director at crosstown CHR WDOD, says, “This role is a huge opportunity and I’m excited to bring new life into Chattanooga’s best rock brand.”…..Westwood One is again the official radio broadcast partner of the Recording Academy and the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.”  As part of its build-up to the January 28 awards show, Westwood One is presenting 13 “intimate performances for passionate music lovers and dedicated station listeners” live from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 high atop Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Hot AC WPLJ and country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” are hosting the invite-only performances that will feature: Troye Sivan, Lauv, Bleachers, Cody Simpson, Logan Henderson, Shane Owens, Max, Marshmello, Jessie Chris, Lauren Alaina, PJ Morton, Midland, and Kelly Clarkson.

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

| January 18, 2018

WCBS 880 Promotes Alex Silverman.  News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted to assistant director of news and programming for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  Prior to joining the station in 2011, Silverman served with Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  As an anchor/reporter with WCBS 880, he was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017 for “Excellence in Sound.”  In his new role, Silverman will help manage the day-to-day news coverage for WCBS, its website and social media channels, in addition to his current reporting and anchoring responsibilities.  Entercom SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Alex is a talented news broadcaster and passionate storyteller.  His work on air, online, and on the station’s social media channels has helped set WCBS 880 apart from our competitors as a brand that delivers more than just the headlines.”

Beshore to Lead iHeartMedia Indianapolis Cluster.  Radio management pro Brett Beshore is named the market president for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WNDE “FOX Sports 97.5 and 1260 AM,” classic rock WFBQ, alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3,” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  Beshore most recently served as region president for Fairway Outdoor Advertising.  He’s also managed for Times-Shamrock and Cumulus Media.  Beshore comments, “I’m thrilled to return to iHeartMedia to lead this heritage market.  iHeartMedia has tremendous brand recognition in the market and a highly talented team.  I look forward to delivering results for our advertisers and providing great radio entertainment for our listeners.”  Beshore takes over for Brad Polston, who exits the company.

Hopeck Named Chairman of NYMRAD.  There’s a new chairman and executive committee for the New York Market Radio Association.  The organization announces that iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck rises from secretary to chairman.  Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan remains on the executive committee as vice chairman, CumulusChad Lopez joins the committee as secretary and Spanish Broadcasting SystemsEric Garcia is named treasurer.  Hopeck says, “I’m committed to evangelizing the clear advantages of using Audio to engage consumers.  I look forward to working with [executive director] Debbie Beagan and New York’s top radio leaders to inspire marketers with the most compelling cases of audio attribution in building brands and increasing sales for advertisers.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Probe/Bannon Testimony/Mexican Wall, Trump on DACA/Immigration Policy, Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Larry Nassar Trial, Soaring Dow/‘Cryptocollapse,’ NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The threat of a federal government shutdown; the Trump-Russia investigation, the testimony of former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, and the issue of the Mexican wall; the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obama DACA policy and its overall immigration stance; President Trump issues his “fake news” awards and the media’s reactions; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the trial of former Olympic gymnast doctor Larry Nassar and the victim impact statements; the continued rising of the Dow Jones industrial average and the sinking value of cryptocurrencies; the NFL playoffs; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewed former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what he calls the “definitive exit interview.”  Hurley’s interview with Christie lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was broadcast without interruptions.  You can hear the interview here…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Women In Trucking,” a live, call-in show airing exclusively on its Road Dog channel and hosted by Ellen Voie.  SiriusXM says the program will feature listener call-ins and interviews with professionals from the trucking industry and will also address gender diversity issues, pushing for more women to join its ranks…..Six-time WWE champion Chris Jericho is adding two new shows to his Jericho Network podcasts being distributed and sales repped by Westwood One. The Jericho Network is an extension of Jericho’s diverse array of subjects and guests featuring other entertaining podcast hosts.  It debuts on Monday, January 22.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Gig alert!  Cumulus Media Indianapolis is seeking a program director and operations manager with strong country experience.  The company says the “winning candidate will be responsible for all programming of WFMS-FM, one of America’s most-storied country stations with a passionate following, and for helping to grow our dominant classic hits station WJJK and our exciting new CHR station ‘ENeRGY 93.9.’  The WFMS PD/OM will be responsible for leading WFMS to continued market dominance through precise music curation and scheduling; expert coaching of a veteran, winning air staff; and development of eye- and ear-catching promotions, NTR events-concerts and contests; finding new ways to increase ratings and revenue while ensuring WFMS remains essential to the people of Indianapolis and Central Indiana.  If this sounds like the job you’ve prepared for and aspired to for your whole career, we want to talk to you!  Send resume, ratings history, references and mp3 in confidence to Tom.Stemlar@cumulus.com with the subject line “Indianapolis PD.”…..In Columbus, Ohio, alternative WWCD program director Mase Brazelle assumes the afternoon drive show, taking over the daypart from Lesley James, who exited at the end of 2017.  Mase also hosts the station’s “The Stash” evening program.  He’ll continue to do that show in its new time of 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Saga Communications Portland, Maine brings country programming pro Crash Poteet aboard to serve as brand manager and afternoon drive personality for country outlet WPOR.  Poteet comments, “I’m beyond excited to join the WPOR team and its legendary brand.  Thanks to Saga for allowing me the opportunity to share in the ‘POR passion for creating fun and compelling country radio.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..In the Peoria market, Marc Alghini exits Advanced Media Partners’ rock WWCT, where he was program director and morning drive personality.  At least for the interim, Chris Watters is serving as the morning co-host alongside Roxy Baker…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that “The Billy Madison Show” adds three new affiliate stations – Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock,” Western Rockies Radio’s KDXT-HD2/K237DZ “95 3 The X,” and Lotus Communications’ KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102.1.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

| January 17, 2018

Jennifer Seelig Promoted to Director of News and Programming for KCBS All News in San Francisco.  Seventeen-year KCBS-AM, San Francisco broadcast journalist Jennifer Seelig is named director of news and programming for KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco.  The UC-Davis grad has been serving the Entercom all-news station as acting news director (and prior to that, assistant news director).  Entercom regional president and San Francisco market manager Susan Larkin states, “I’m incredibly excited that Jennifer will be leading KCBS’s strong team and very important brand.  KCBS has a legacy of success serving our community and I’m certain that with Jennifer’s talent and direction, we will take it to the next level.”  Seeling comments, “I am honored to lead the KCBS team of award-winning journalists.  KCBS is justly celebrated for its incisive news stories and coverage.  The station has always provided timely news to the public and we will continue and enhance that tradition.  We are committed to providing the best news product to both our on-air listeners and digital audience.”

‘LI News Radio’ Adds KC Armstrong for Evening Show.  Long Island-based JVC Media announces that former Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is joining its Long Island news/talk station – WRCN, Riverhead, New York “Long Island News Radio 103.9 FM” – to host a one-hour, evening program airing at 7:00 pm.   LI News Radio operations director Frank Brinka states, “KC will really round out this news/talk staff.  Part of what he learned from Howard Stern is total, non-negotiable honesty at all times and it shows in his interview style and on-air presentation.”  Armstrong will host his show from the station’s window studio at Long Island MacArthur Airport.  He comes to this gig after battling through serious health problems.  He says, “I had a really bad drinking problem.  I had pancreatitis. I had been in and out of the hospital over 30 times.  I had bled out one time and almost died.”  But he says he’s excited for this opportunity.  “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live-and-local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio.’  I am looking forward to bringing out the best in other people on the air.  I feel that that’s what my role here is.  I know I make a lot of people feel really good. And selfishly, it makes me feel good, too.”

WW1’s Harlan Named ‘Sportscaster of the Year.’ Sports play-by-play pro Kevin Harlan is being named “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Hall of Fame.  Harlan is Westwood One Sports’ “Monday Night Football” announcer – he’ll be behind the mic for Westwood One’s coverage of the NFC Championship game and for Super Bowl LII.   He also currently calls play-by-play for CBS Sports’ coverage of both the NFL and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  This was his 33rd consecutive season broadcasting the NFL and with his additional role as play-by-play announcer for the NBA on TNT, this also marks his 30th season broadcasting the NBA.

Tom Birch Joins Media Services Group as Director.  Radio ratings company founder and station owner Tom Birch is joining Media Services Group as a director, effective February 1. Birch is currently owner of the nine-station Lakes Media company.  He’s well known in the radio business as the founder and CEO of Birch/Scarborough Research.  Media Services Group managing director Eddie Esserman says, “Tom Birch brings a wealth of industry, financial and market research experience to Media Services Group.  He has raised millions of dollars in investment capital, authored numerous business and financial plans, was involved in successful radio acquisitions and turnarounds and built a major, industry-changing business.  He will be an enormous asset. All of us at Media Services Group are thrilled to have Tom’s experience, perspective and involvement in the industry on our team.”  The press release notes that “at its peak in the 1980s, Birch/Scarborough employed more than 1,200 people nationwide and maintained sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.  The company interviewed over 100,000 persons per month in 260 markets and its client base included major radio broadcast groups such as Clear Channel, CBS and ABC, national advertisers such as McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and Delta Airlines and major national advertising agencies such as BBDO, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.”

Edward F. McLaughlin to Be Honored with BFoA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Legendary radio syndication executive Edward F. McLaughlin is being named the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  McLaughlin will be honored at the BFoA’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  During his 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1987, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  Shortly thereafter, he put KFBK, Sacramento talk host Rush Limbaugh into national syndication, providing the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  McLaughlin currently is chairman emeritus of the BFoA.  He says, “Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the charitable organization that I have believed in and supported for many years means a great deal to me.  I am grateful for the generosity of the broadcasters who make it possible for the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Ed is a visionary who took chances that led broadcasting into uncharted territory and tremendous success.  His dedication and leadership of the Broadcasters Foundation helped advance our mission. It is with great pride that we honor his innovation and recognize his years of service.”

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Creator Hugh Wilson Dies at 74.  Television writer and producer Hugh Wilson – the man who created the classic radio station sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” – died on Tuesday (1/16) at the age of 74.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo tells TALKERS magazine, “What most people don’t know is that Wilson never checked to see if there was a WKRP in the Queen City – and there wasn’t – but there is iHeartMedia’s WKRC.  It was widely reported that mail that was addressed simply to: WKRP in Cincinnati went to WKRC!  Oddly enough there was a station with the WKRP call letters at the time – in Dallas, Georgia.”

Trump DACA Policy-‘Shithole’ Controversy, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Bannon Subpoenas, Trump-Acosta Incident, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Captive Kids Case, Dow Hits 26,000, Cryptocurrency Value, Intense Flu Season, NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The Trump Administration’s Reversal of the Obama DACA policy and the related controversy over President Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole” during a cabinet meeting; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the subpoenas issued to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon; President Trump kicks CNN’s Jim Acosta out of presser after Acosta’s aggressive questioning; the North Korean nuclear threat; the case of 13 California children held in prison-like conditions by their parents; the Dow Jones industrial average tops 26,000; the fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies; the intense strain of influenza sweeping the U.S.; the NFL playoffs, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘The Infinite Dial’ Expands to Canada. The annual radio study from Triton Digital and Edison Research titled “The Infinite Dial” is expanding into Canada.  The firms say that the study is currently being fielded using a telephone survey representative of all Canadians that “will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Canadian consumers, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, social media, video, mobile, and more.”  The study was launched to track Americans’ use of audio back in 1998.  Edison Research and Triton Digital expanded the study outside of the U.S. for the first time last year with the unveiling of ‘Infinite Dial Australia’ in June.  Edison SVP Tom Webster comments, “The ‘Infinite Dial’ studies explore the penetration of online audio and other digital media in a way that no other study does.  A wide audience across the world, including broadcasters, ad agencies, and the financial community at large, have come to rely on the insights that the ‘Infinite Dial’ provides year after year.  With data derived using the highest-quality research standards, we are proud to be expanding our insights to Canada in 2018, in addition to our parallel work in the U.S. and Australia.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated, ‘Z100’ New York-based morning radio star Elvis Duran is being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  The induction will take place at the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on April 9 as part of the NAB Show…..Entercom’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound” announces that Seattle radio pro John Fisher is its new morning show host.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We couldn’t be more excited to announce John Fisher as the inaugural host of mornings on ‘94.1 The Sound.’  With his 20-plus year relationship with the Seattle community, John is morning radio royalty to the Puget Sound.”  Fisher first joined Entercom in 1992 as morning host for “103.7 The Mountain” (KMTT), a role he held for over 20 years.  Fisher served with Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” for three years.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th