Category: Industry News
Dr. Daliah Wachs Named 2017 TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year. The TALKERS magazine editorial board announces the selection of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) syndicated radio talk host, Dr. Daliah Wachs as the 2017 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by A Radio Talk Show Host (also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award). Wachs, a board certified family physician, practiced in Las Vegas where she began her radio career giving medical advice on the air in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN. Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, GCN. In Nevada, she had owned a private practice for 16 years. In March of 2016, she was chosen to serve as faculty at Touro University. She was recently awarded the UNLV Honors College Alumni of the Year and her extensive work with charities include Opportunity Village, Children’s Miracle Network, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, FAST 4 Kids, Good Will and, as she puts it, “just about any great cause that includes children, animals, or people.” In 2014, in an effort to help replenish hospital’s blood supplies, Dr. Daliah worked with United Blood Services and the American Red Cross to create a state Blood Donation Day in Nevada. In 2016, this effort was taken national to create state Blood Donation Days in the majority of states as well as National Blood Donation Week. Upon making the announcement of the board’s selection, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Dr. Daliah Wachs is a dynamo! She operates on so many levels – she is talented, funny and consummately entertaining. She is also informative and charitable on a level that makes her stand tall as a role model for our radio industry. And that’s what this very special award is all about!” Dr. Daliah Wachs will be presented the award at the forthcoming national media industry convention, TALKERS 2017: A New Era, on Friday, June 2 in New York City. For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.
2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City. Media consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. In today’s report, Cooke sifts through his voluminous notes from the mega-convention and presents some of the most important takeaway sound bites from the media professionals he heard speak. They’re all here.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian today turns his attention to news/talk radio for this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey. In general terms, the news/talk format avoided the immediate drop-off in ratings after the 2016 election that often follows a presidential election. But it appears there’s some erosion happening as Kinosian reports that, when comparing February (6+) numbers to March numbers, “ Only one of four stations (25%) on our news/talk sample improves between February 2017 – March 2017; roughly six of 10 (61%) are down; and the remaining 14% of the panel is unchanged.” When comparing data from March of 2016 to March of this year, “Not quite half the stations on this news/talk panel improve year-to-year (46%) and 39% decline; 14% are flat.” Three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the March survey – WSB-AM, Atlanta; KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; and WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” but 13 other news/talkers ranked in the top five in their markets. See all the data here.
Austin Jury Awards Alex Jones’ Ex-Wife Joint Custody. Child custody cases are not usually part of the TALKERS magazine beat, but the contentious one that just wrapped in Austin between Infowars chief Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly Jones made news – and the pages of TALKERS – because of reports that Alex Jones’ lawyer said his client’s on-air persona is an “act” and his capability as a parent can’t be judged by that. In the end, the jury deliberated for nine hours before awarding Kelly Jones joint custody of the three children with her home being their primary residence. Alex Jones will have visitation rights. The Austin America- Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove reports that Kelly Jones argued that her ex-husband has been purposely trying to turn her children against her, a phenomenon peculiar to divorce situations called parental alienation. Read the story here.
Entercom Names Michael De Amicis Director of Sales in Charlotte. Radio sales pro Michael De Amicis is the new director of sales for Entercom’s Charlotte properties news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ, and hot AC WLNK. He was most recently with Radio One as general sales manager for that company’s Atlanta stations. Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “We are excited to welcome Mike to the Entercom Charlotte team. His experience and success in radio along with his commitment to making a difference in the community make him a great fit for our team and our stations in this city.” De Amicis has previously served on the board of directors for the Rickey Smiley Foundation, The Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club and the Atlanta Marketing Association.
SiriusXM Reports First Quarter Financials: Revenue Up 8%. In announcing its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2017, SiriusXM reports record revenue of $1.3 billion, up 8% compared to the same period a year ago. Net income totaled $207 million, an increase of 20% from $172 million in the first quarter of 2016. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says,, “The year is off to a very solid start for our business and we are on track to achieve our guidance for 2017. I’m particularly proud of the record adjusted EBITDA of more than half a billion dollars and record adjusted EBITDA margin of 38.7% we recorded in the first quarter.” The satcaster reports that its subscriber total is now at 31.6 million. During the quarter it added 259,000 net new self-pay subscribers to end with more than 26.2 million self-pay subscribers. At the same time as the company released the Q1 figure, it announces the acquisition of Automatic Labs Inc. Meyer calls it “an exciting company focused on innovative products that broaden our array of connected vehicle services.”
TALKERS News Notes. WOC-AM, Quad Cities, morning drive personality Dan Deibert is leaving his position with the station to join the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based PR firm Edge Messaging LLC where he’ll be the new director of creative services and innovation…..The 2017 NFL Draft got underway last night in Philadelphia where CBS RADIO stations news/talk WPHT and sports talk WIP-FM have been broadcasting live from along the Ben Franklin Parkway. Pictured here are WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) and WIP-FM morning host Angelo Cataldi (left) during Thursday’s broadcasts. The NFL has brought its interactive theme park – the NFL Fan Experience – to Philly for the draft to attract fans to the four-day event…..MediaDC announces it is joining forces with Ricochet to “bring the best conservative podcasts together on one platform.” Under the terms of this collaboration, conservative journalists and pundits, including Steve Hayes, Byron York, Bill Kristol, and Salena Zito will be available on the same Ricochet platform as Peter Robinson, Rob Long, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Jay Nordlinger, John Podhoretz, and many more. Beginning May 1, The Weekly Standard’s “The Daily Standard” podcast and the Washington Examiner’s “Examining Politics Daily” will be available on the Ricochet Superfeed and on Ricochet.com, along with the pop-culture podcast, “The Sub-Standard.” Ricochet co-founder Rob Long says, “We’re excited to add to the outstanding team at Ricochet the fresh reporting and keen insights of MediaDC journalists…we couldn’t be more proud and honored to carry MediaDC’s shows.
Trump’s First 100 Days Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 24-28. Assessing the achievements of the Trump Administration during its first 100 days was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Trump tax cuts proposal. Coming in at #3 was the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, followed by President Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber and his promise to renegotiate NAFTA 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.
KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Commonwealth Broadcasting’s country WUSH, Norfolk “US 106.1,” Dave Parker is promoted to program director for the station. Parker – a talent at the station since it launched in 2007 – takes over for Brandon O’Brien, who exits the radio business. Parker is handling the midday air shift…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that air personality Joe Breezy is taking over the hosting duties for its nationally syndicated “Celebrity Top Ten Countdown.” Breezy assumes the role from Jackson Blue, whose new duties as a morning personality on WKLB, Boston are forcing him to give up the “Celebrity Top Ten” gig. Also, in addition to Joe Breezy taking over the show, the radio station where he is based, Midwest Communications’ WNFN, Nashville “i106.7,”becomes the new flagship affiliate of the program.
2017 NAB Show: Cars, Congrats, and Commish #1. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. In today’s report, Cooke covers yesterday’s Radio Luncheon where attendees heard Ford Motor Company’s Scott Burnell speak and witnessed Premiere Networks’ Delilah inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. Also yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered the keynote address and reassured attendees that he remains “‘fundamentally optimistic about the future of broadcasting’ because of the ‘localism, diversity, and public service’ that distinguishes diligent broadcasters.” Read Cooke’s entire report here.
Hannity Plans Legal Action Against Debbie Schlussel. On his Fox News Channel program last night (4/25), Sean Hannity led off the program by addressing the allegations being directed against him by attorney and conservative media figure Debbie Schlussel. Detroit-based Schlussel stated during an interview on KFAQ, Tulsa’s Pat Campbell program that Hannity propositioned her after a book signing event in Detroit about a decade ago and that, after she rebuffed his advances, she was blacklisted from being a guest on Fox News Channel. Last night, Hannity said, “I have to start tonight by addressing a well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country that is designed to silence every conservative voice and by any means necessary. Now, I’m speaking out tonight so that you, our audience, will understand what is really happening and what is at stake when it comes to freedom of speech in this country.” He said in a prepared statement that he is planning legal action against Schlussel. “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation. The individual has not just slandered me over the years, but many people who this individual disagrees with.” Schlussel told NBC News she doesn’t believe Hannity will sue because, “If he did, it could spur other people to come forward and he wouldn’t want that.” NBC News notes that Schlussel is a polarizing media figure, having suggested that President Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that death camps in occupied Poland during World War II were run by Poles and not Germans. Read the NBC News piece here.
Emmis to Sell $80 Million in Assets. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications will be a different company in July of 2018. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that under pressure from lenders, the company will shed $80 million worth of its radio assets in order to pay down debt. This is the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon. Emmis CFO Ryan Hornaday tells the IBJ, “We’re confident that we can achieve the $80 million [divestiture] without selling a substantial portion of the portfolio. We do still have some very desirable assets.” The company owns 19 radio stations in five markets: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin, and Indianapolis. The IBJ reports that Emmis’ total debt was $221 million as of February 28, 2017. Read the story here.
Nielsen Explores All-News, News/Talk Listening Trends Over Seven Years. There’s been a lot of scrutiny of the audiences for all-news, news/talk, and talk oriented public radio leading up to and since the 2016 election. Over all, according to ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys of radio listening, the three formats have realized increased listenership of late. Now, Nielsen shows how listening to the all-news and news/talk formats has changed over the past seven years, based on PPM data. (Remember, Nielsen includes public talkers in the larger news/talk category.) The result is that listening to all-news has remained fairly steady during that time across the three demos cited – persons 6+, 18-34, and 25-54. For news/talk, the format scored a 10.6 share in March of 2011 (6+), and a 10.2 share in March of 2017. In the 25-54 demo, 2011 saw an 8 share compared to this year’s 7.6 share. And probably buoyed by younger public radio listeners, the 18-34 demo rose from a 4.2 share in 2011 to a 4.6 share this year. See the whole report here.
ESPN Layoffs Coming Today. The names of those who are exiting sports media giant ESPN will begin to trickle out as time passes, but for now only a few of the estimated 100 ESPN staffers – mostly television and radio personalities – are known, with reporter Ed Werder tweeting that he’s been let go. It’s unclear how many of the cuts are from the radio and the television sides of the operation, but ESPN chief John Skipper says in a memo to staff, “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions…we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
TALKERS News Notes. We now know the trial date for the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge suit in Florida. U.S. District Court Judge James D. Whittemore has scheduled the case to start on January 2, 2018, with a pre-trial conference on December 8, 2017. Judge Whittemore also ruled on Bubba’s motion to exclude Nielsen Audio expert witness David Haas, denying it…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WGN, Chicago director of marketing and digital innovation Jackie Paulus will exit the station and join Jimmy deCastro’s new sports marketing and rep firm After The Whistle as a partner…..Public radio icon Robert Siegel announces he’s retiring as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” in January of 2018. Siegel assumed that position in 1987. He’s been with NPR since 1976…..Here are some more winners of 2017 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards: In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO “News 1000/FM97.7” is honored with the award for Overall Excellence. The station also took first place for Breaking News for its coverage of the Seattle May Day protests. CBS RADIO’s WCBS-AM, New York; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; WBZ-AM, Boston; WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and five other stations amassed 25 awards with the four mentioned being honored for Overall Excellence. Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix picked up three Murrows, including Overall Excellence.
U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Mexican Wall, Trump’s Proposed Tax Cuts, Michael Flynn Case, Ivanka in Berlin, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). The military tensions between North Korea and the United States and concerns about a full-blown war starting; the judging of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days; a California judge blocks part of President Trump’s sanctuary cities order; talk about the effects of Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber; debate over whether President Trump’s Mexican wall will actually get funded and built; the tax cuts being proposed by the Trump Administration; comments from House members that it appears Michael Flynn broke the law in accepting payments from Russia; Ivanka Trump attends European conference with Angela Merkel and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former WJMN, Boston personality Bobby Blaze is joining Beasley Media Group’s crosstown rhythmic AC WBQT “HOT 96.9 FM” to host the afternoon drive show, effective tomorrow (4/27). Blaze says, “I’m so excited to be back on Boston radio and being surrounded by the most talented on-air team in Boston. You only become great when you’re surrounded by great people and that’s what ‘HOT 96.9’ represents.”…..Morning personality Fitz exits Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and the “Fitz in the Morning” program. Entercom states, “‘Fitz in the Morning’ will no longer be on air on 100.7-FM The Wolf in Seattle as of Monday, April 24. Fitz has been an important part of the station for nearly 12 years, but we have decided to part ways. We wish him well, and we will be conducting a nationwide search for the station’s next morning show.” In the interim, morning personalities Ellen Tailor and Randy The Biscuit will host the program…..The afternoon drive Zepp & Terri show – featuring Brian Zepp and Terri Traen – exits Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis. The two had been partnered on the show for the past year. Traen was formerly part of the Tom Barnard morning show. As a result of the move, Ray Erick is now hosting the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot…..With the departure of Brett Hall from the stations – and the radio biz – Saga Communications names Tom Scott morning drive host at hot AC KJBX, Jonesboro, Arkansas and to voice track the night show at sister country KDXY.
Karaoke for a Cause. Pictured above at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City are members of the band Ocean Park Standoff and staffers from Voss Foundation. The band performed for an intimate group of listeners on Monday (4/17). Afterward, WPLJ personality Ralphie Aversa sang karaoke to the group’s new single “Good News” competing against a winning listener. “Karaoke for a Cause” is raising awareness of Voss Foundation and VOSS Water’s annual #31Days to Make a Difference initiative. Voss Foundation is dedicated to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of the ongoing need in the region.
TALKERS AUDIO EXCLUSIVE: WMAL’s Larry O’ Connor Tells Michael Harrison About His Experience at President Trump’s Meeting Yesterday with Conservative Media Reps. Yesterday afternoon (4/24) at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news websites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC. During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record. Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview this morning (4/25), discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president. To listen to the entire interview, please click here. O’Connor (left) is pictured here with Red Alert Politics editor Ron Meyer (right).
CBS Announces Launch of ‘Airtime Analytics.’ The company worked with AnalyticOwl to develop what it is calling “a new and exciting measurement tool that illustrates the ROI and effectiveness” of marketing campaigns. CBS RADIO says that Airtime Analytics “measures the impact of audience delivery and engagement to show proven results. An exclusive tool offered only by CBS RADIO in the markets in which it operates, Airtime Analytics evaluates the volume of audience delivered from an over-the-air radio campaign to an advertiser’s website. Those valuable insights are then used to optimize creative content and placement throughout the flight of a campaign to maximize results.” CBS RADIO chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Radio has long been one of the most effective mediums in reaching a targeted demographic and Airtime Analytics is the next step in delivering even greater value to our clients. This exclusive new tool allows us to finally measure an advertiser’s lift in website traffic following a radio spot. Armed with an analysis of consumer movement, we are then able to give our clients a clear understanding of their most successful creative and daypart executions.”
Yogurt Maker Chobani Sues Alex Jones. The nationally known yogurt maker is suing Infowars chief Alex Jones for at least $10,000, claiming that Jones published false information connecting the company to a sexual assault in Twin Falls, Idaho. Chobani filed the suit in District Court in Twin Falls. According to the suit, Chobani claims that Jones has fabricated stories that wrongly suggested a connection between the company and its practice of hiring refugees to the case of three Twin Falls boys – children of refugees – who admitted to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl. Chobani says the video report was spread via social media and caused a boycott of its yogurt.
TALKERS News Notes. After reporting last week’s news that Radio One is buying two signals from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra – WWXT-FM, Washington and WXGI-AM Richmond – we learn that the price for the pair is $2 million. Radio One will simulcast urban AC WMMJ on WWXT and retain the sports talk format on WXGI…..For broadcast this weekend, ABC News Radio is offering a one-hour special titled, “The 100 with Brad Mielke,” in which the ABC News correspondent is joined by the ABC News team for an in-depth look at the beginning of President Trump’s term. Correspondent Karen Travers reports from the White House. The special will be available for affiliate use beginning April 28…..AdLarge Media restructures its digital team with new positions and expanded roles for four key team members: Ilwira Marciszek rises to vice president of digital sales strategy from her previous director of ad operations post; Stephanie Vance is promoted to vice president of digital content from her director of revenue planning & development position; Donelle Brown is elevated to vice president of marketing and client solutions from her old director of marketing solutions role; and Rebecca Lam becomes manager of digital ad operations after serving as digital operations coordinator…..SiriusXM is covering this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft, providing live coverage of every selection from every round, plus four days of special programming, live from Philadelphia. The on-site broadcast team will feature: Gil Brandt, former longtime player personnel executive for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; Jim Miller, former veteran NFL quarterback; Phil Savage, former college coach and NFL general manager.
Commenting on Trump’s First 100 Days. Yesterday morning (4/24), WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” morning host Joe Kelley appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with host George Stephanopoulos to speak about President Trump’s first 100 days and his promise to build a Mexico border wall. WDBO is an ABC News Radio affiliate.
NAB Show: Cast Broader. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith spoke yesterday and, with the ‘change is inevitable’ theme running through his speech, addressed the FM chip issue, the connected car and more. Read Cooke’s notes here.
North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days/Approval Polls, Government Shutdown, French Presidential Race, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Trump Tax Cuts, NOLA Confederate Monument Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). North Korea’s ongoing weapons tests and its threats against the U.S.; judging President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office and his approval ratings; the threat of a shutdown of the U.S. government; the French presidential race between National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; President Trump seeks a tariff on Canadian lumber; the proposed tax cuts by the Trump administration; controversy over the removal of some Confederate statues by the city of New Orleans; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Derek Madden inks a contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles with the company. Madden serves as program director for Twin Cities rock outlet KXXR “93X” and as corporate programmer, rock & alternative. Madden’s been with “93X” since March of 2015, arriving from KLOS, Los Angeles where he was also PD. Cumulus Minneapolis VP and market manager Shelly Wilkes comments, “Derek is a great rock PD and a terrific guy to work with. Looking forward to years of continued success with Derek at the helm of ‘93X.’”…..In Worcester, Massachusetts, morning personality Jen Carter of Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is named “Best Radio Personality” in Worcester Magazine’s Best of Worcester 2017 special issue. Carter has been co-host of the “XLO Morning Show” since 2000. WoMag’s “Best of Worcester Awards” are determined by readers who vote for their local favorites…..Alpha Media launches a new classic hip hop and R&B station in San Antonio on the HD-2 channel of CHR KTFM and simulcast on translator K277CX at 103.3 FM. Core artists on “G103.3” will be The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Destiny’s Child and many more. Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “As the other San Antonio operators show their lack of commitment to classic hip hop, Alpha Media sees this as an opportunity to super serve those who truly love the format. To put it simply, Yo! We got all the HOT throwbacks now!”…..Traffic woes in already commuter-challenged Atlanta have gotten worse since part of I-85 has been shut down due to the recent fire that caused a portion of the road to collapse. But, WNNX “Rock 100.5 FM” morning personalities Bailey and Southside are coming to the rescue of some lucky listeners via their “Free Ride Fridays” promotion. Each week, Bailey and Southside will qualify listeners via their website for a chance to get a free ride to and from work in a premium black sedan every Friday until the interstate is fixed…..Last Thursday (4/20), Westwood One – with the assistance of Home Depot – helped spruce up Patriot Place in Madison, Tennessee. Patriot Place is a 34-unit apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans. The Home Depot Foundation provided a grant to help build the facility and volunteers were there to make it feel more like home. Westwood One executives Steve Shaw, Jim Daunais, Ron Russo, and Pierre Bouvard, plus “NASH Nights Live” personalities Elaina Smith and Shawn Parr, and “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” host Ty Bentli, joined more than 250 volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation and its vendor partners to paint, landscape, install fencing, and improve recreation spaces at the Patriot Place facility.
John Fogerty Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Rock ‘n’ roll legend John Fogerty (center) poses for a pic with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) as the show broadcast live from the Country Music Hall of Fame in support of Brad Paisley’s new album, Love and War (Arista Nashville). Fogerty worked on Paisley’s album along with Timbaland, who also appeared on last night’s program, as did Paisley himself. They also discussed Paisley’s new partnership with Sarah Cannon’s Band Against Cancer.
While industry lords in expensive suits swap radio stations like baseball cards at the opulent Wynn and Encore twin towers, your correspondent is among 103,000 from around the world swarming the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s the National Association of Broadcasters’ big show, themed “The M.E.T. Effect,” as in Media, Entertainment, Technology.
Unlike NAB’s smaller September Radio Show, the massive April event isn’t just about radio. Although, as corporate barks for more-more-more digital revenue, stations know darn well that radio isn’t just about transmitters any more. “These once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts,” the conference program offers, “redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play, from content creation to consumption.” So I’m impressed by how many radio people I see here.
There’s a Facebook Video Boot Camp, an Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, and lots about virtual and augmented reality. Radio sessions include strategies for mobile, video, texting, apps, web, and podcasting.
Speakers include executives from Adobe and Amazon and Roku and TMZ. In addition to the inevitable surprise walk-ons, celebs speaking here include Al Roker, actors Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet and America Ferrera, and various TV reality show stars. Larry King and Jane Pauley are among moderators.
At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, Ford’s Scott Burnell will discuss radio’s future in the car, Delilah will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and NAB Crystal Radio Award winners will take a bow for community service.
The Show will broadcast online at nabshow.com and broadcastbeat.com and feature live streaming of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors. And look for my daily updates this week here, and follow my real-time convention Tweets @HollandCooke.
WIBC, Indianapolis’ Greg Garrison to Retire from Daily Talk Show. Indiana talk radio legend Greg Garrison is retiring from his daily, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm talk show on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, effective June 9. Garrison – who gained international fame for successfully prosecuting boxer Mike Tyson on rape charges – will remain involved at WIBC by writing a weekly column for www.wibc.com, doing regular commentary on air, and by serving as a contributing legal expert for WIBC news and programs. WIBC-FM program director David Wood states, “Greg’s unique style, sharp wit, deep understanding of the law and conservative values have attracted a loyal, devoted audience. He’s their friend, advocate and conscience – and he will be sorely missed.” The station will announce Garrison’s replacement at a later time. Garrison began his program on WIBC in June of 1997. He expanded his reach across Network Indiana in 2000. In addition to numerous media appearances over the years, Garrison served as CBS News’ legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials.
Cumulus Appoints Merenda Topeka Market Manager. Radio sales and management pro Nicola Merenda joins Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Topeka cluster that includes: news/talk KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker,” sports talk KTOP-AM, classic country KTOP-FM “NASH Icon,” classic hits KWIC “99.3 The Eagle,” rock KDW “V100,” and adult contemporary KMAJ-FM “Majic 107.7.” Merenda was most recently with Pandora’s San Antonio offices. Cumulus regional vice president Donna Baker states, “Nic brings a wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for our industry. We are excited to welcome him ‘home’ as he joins the Midwest Region to lead our outstanding Topeka team.”
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour Visits Madison. The 2017 Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour – featuring talk show host Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang – kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend. Pictured above are (from l-r): Fugelsang, Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor for The Capital Times John Nichols, Miller, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).
‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ Reunion a Possibility. According to a report in the New York Daily News, WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa spoke very positively about considering a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Friday (4/21). The ESPN 30 for 30 “Mike and the Mad Dog” premiered at the festival and, taking the stage together after the screening, the two chatted with Francesa saying he’d consider working with Russo again, something he previously said wouldn’t happen – mostly due to how much it would cost to pay both of them. Francesa is leaving WFAN when his contract expires at the end of this year. Russo hosts his own show on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio channel. Read the Daily News story here.
Dave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Atlanta and San Antonio. In the photo above, nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured addressing the packed audience at his Smart Conference at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. Last week, Ramsey visited Atlanta as well as San Antonio. He presented his Smart Money event there on Tuesday (4/18) and his Business Boutique 1-Day event on Wednesday (4/19). To promote those events, Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia’s Talk Radio 640 WGST. In San Antonio, the Business Boutique 1-Day event happened on Friday (4/21) with the Smart Conference taking place on Saturday (4/22). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA helped promote the San Antonio events. KTSA sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “Dave has made a tremendous impact on our lives, in our businesses and our families. The Smart Conference was another terrific event filled with world class speakers and life changing information. We couldn’t be more proud to team up with Ramsey Solutions.”
Norman Lear to Host Show on PodcastOne. Legendary television producer, writer, and director Norman Lear launches a weekly podcast on the PodcastOne platform beginning May 1. Lear – known for creating such revered television programs as “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and others – “brings his progressive and boundary-moving voice” to the microphone with an intimate weekly podcast. A press release says that “while topics will cover any and everything you can think of, the show will always feature the unique perspectives of celebrities, politicians and everyday folk. Lear is joined each week by great friend, actor, composer and sidekick, Paul Hipp. Early celebrity guests include Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerrod Carmichael and America Ferrera. PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I have known and admired Norman for a very long time. Having his podcast on our PodcastOne network is gigantic, not to mention totally cool. From one Norman to another, ‘Welcome aboard.’”
TALKERS News Notes. When this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft begins. FOX Sports Radio will provide multi-platform coverage of the first round, live from the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia, beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday (4/27). FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer will lead the coverage, joined by Joel Klatt and Chris Spielman. Additionally, WPEN-FM, Philadelphia morning host and FSR weekend personality Anthony Gargano will host a two-hour pre-Draft show live from Philadelphia beginning at 6:00 pm ET…..Envision Networks announces it adds Entercom’s newly acquired stations in Charlotte – news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM, and hot AC WLNK-FM – to Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli networks.” The three Charlotte stations join Entercom’s recently extended agreement for Focus 360 ad sales representation on Jelli’s platform…..KMG Networks is partnering with Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group to make the FNTSY Sports Radio Network available to terrestrial radio station networks and groups. The network’s focus is on fantasy sports, breaking sports and fantasy sports news updates, scheduled sports and fantasy sports news, season-long fantasy strategy and advice, daily fantasy sports advice, general sports talk, call-in segments, celebrity guests, fan trivia, entertainment and pop culture programming…..CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM Newsradio won five awards this past weekend from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including Best Spot News, Best Newscast, and Outstanding News Operation. Individually WBBM’s Lisa Fielding won Best Series “Generation Heroin” and WBBM’s Rick Gregg won for Best Sports Report “The Ballad of James Shields.”
U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Russia Patrols U.S. Coast, French Election, Looming Government Shutdown, American Airlines Incident, Actress Erin Moran Dies, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s threats against the U.S. and China’s attempts to diffuse the situation; Russian fighters continue to patrol the U.S. coast; the first round of France’s elections and the results that pit far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off; concerns about the looming U.S. government shutdown; American Airlines in the headlines after a flight attendant scuffles with a mother over her child’s stroller; “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran dies at age 56; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jules Riley is named program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull.” She has been programming sister classic hits KLOU and continues in that role. iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. comments, “Jules has done amazing things with 103.3 KLOU over the past six months. I am very excited to see her utilize her wealth of market knowledge and experience as well as her innovative style in leading ‘93.7 The Bull.’”…..A coup of sorts takes place among the two top syndicated urban radio morning shows as longtime Tom Joyner show cast member J. Anthony Brown joins Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a daily contributor. Harvey says, “I’ve known J since my very first comedy gig outside of Cleveland, and it’s my joy to be reunited with the man who taught me real comedy. Get ready folks, we’re ‘bout to turn the funny meter up 10 notches. Having J join Shirley, Nephew Tommy, Carla, Junior and myself is going to create bend over, stop the car, spit on your computer, spray your drink, gut-busting laughter.”
Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.
1) Austin – In addition to notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.0 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” logs its highest 6+-share since July 2015 (6.4, as well) and marches from fifth to third. Following February’s +.6, KKMJ “Majic 95.5” erodes in excess of three times as much (7.4 – 8.0, 6.1, -1.9, 6+), tumbling from second to fourth; “Majic 95.5” was down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, the Entercom adult contemporary facility nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM-stat (previously 11.4). On top for the third successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” posts a gain of six-tenths (8.5 – 9.1, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by KKMJ. With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Improving by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which bounces back from February’s -.9 (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and climbs from #13 to #12. In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely, format rival – Emmis’ KLZT – is experiencing a yoyo effect with a -.5 in January; +1.0 in February; and now a -.5 in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” slipping from fourth to fifth. Its HD2 channel gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+) to enter the top twenty at #20. Still in that Emmis cluster, it is a mixed bag for the KLBJ calls as news/talk KLBJ-AM registers a one-half share gain, while KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” is down by that same margin (to 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), KLBJ-AM cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “The Rock of Austin” was +.7 in February.
2) Raleigh – Trending 6.0 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” explodes with a +1.3 to 8.0 (6+), inching up from a fourth-place tie to third. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Today’s Best Country” since its 8.0 in October 2015. One-half share ahead of WQDR – and locked in a first-place tie – are Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (8.8 – 8.5, -.3, #1 in February) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (flat at 8.5, second to first, 6+). Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest March -.3 isn’t exactly typical, considering that WRAL’s recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC “Sports Radio 99.9 – The Fan” breaks out a +.7 to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April, but remains at #12. A one-half share gain from February’s 3.7 (6+) enables Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” to match October’s 4.2 (6+); “Kix” carries on at #11. The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WDCG drops one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – After dropping one-half share in February, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” answers with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+) and remains in eighth-place. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Climbing from seventh to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its third successive increase that accounts for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #17, sibling WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Following three successive sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regressed by nine-tenths in February and slips six-tenths further (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), moving from sixth to seventh. Seven-tenths of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three March 2017 finishers. Not only does WZPL have its third straight upward move for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), the Entercom CHR makes it three consecutive months at #1. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Off by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” slides from second to third. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods, University of Indianapolis-owned WICR (#20 to #21) is down or flat for the seventh straight time (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Unlisted for the third successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).
4) Milwaukee – This is the only PPM market to have a station register a February 2017 to March 2017 (6+) gain of at least two full-shares as well as an outlet declining by at least two full-shares (February 2017 – March 2017, 6+). On the positive side, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 24th consecutive sweep and does so in grand fashion with a +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its 6+-share in “Holiday” 2016. “Big” month-to-month moves are practically to be expected for WRIT as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and now +2.5 (March). On the flipside, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” has its string of four successive increases that netted two full-shares since November (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) end rather emphatically with a -2.3 to 4.0 (6+). The Saga Communications urban AC plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ recoups just over one-half of that loss (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8, +.8, 6+), zooming from ninth to fifth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. Off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” hangs out a +.7 to 5.0 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This is the third successive sweep that Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (steady at #6) is frozen on 5.7 (6+), while CHR sibling WXSS “Kiss 103.7” (unchanged at #10) records its third consecutive (albeit modest) increase (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Three consecutive increases by WUWM produced a +.9 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4), but the string ends as the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet stumbles by one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). Talk about consistency: The line for public triple A WYMS (#17 to #18) between March 2016 and March 2017 (14 total sweeps) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.2 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).
5) Nashville –The market’s (6+) CHR share balloons by +1.3, with iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7 (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “Nashville’s New Hit Music” picking up six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+). The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Prior to gaining one-tenth in February, “Nashville’s New Hit Music” was down the previous three sweeps for a cumulative -1.0 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+). In the country tussle, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” enjoys a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), but co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” sputters by one-half share (5.5 – 4.8, seventh to tenth, 6+); meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” is steady at #7 (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, 6+). This is the 11th successive sweep that “Nash FM” has been within 3.3 – 3.9 (6+). “The Big 98” returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One share separates March 2017’s top five. Steady at 7.4 (6+) – after a combined December- “Holiday” 2016 – January – February +1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” repeats at #1. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Off in three straight previous ratings periods for a combined -.5 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM posted a +.6 in February, but “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” forfeits one-half share in March (2.3 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Locked on 1.6 (6+) in January and February, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” drops one-half share to 1.1 (#19 to #21, 6+). As the result of five straight decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#11 to #12) is a combined -3.8 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Although flat at #18, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” drops by one-tenth to 1.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close at seven its string of up or flat trends that more than tripled its 6+-share since September (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).
6) Providence – A genuine statistical oddity occurs here: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, the March 2017 rankers are a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 is up or down by more than four-tenths. Boasting the best month-to-month gain (+.4, #11) is The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective +1.0 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Albeit the net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nevertheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Gaining three-tenths and up or flat for the third straight time is Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, #7, 6+). Public news/talk WGBH-FM is also +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #10, 6+). Trending 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 (+.2, 6+) and finishing fifth is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3.” Up by one-tenth each are Cumulus Media CHR WPRO “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6, #2, 6+) and Bryant University classical WJMF (.5, #13, 6+). Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) but is #1 for the 18th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Flat from February are iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.2, #3, 6+); Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (7.8, #4, 6+); and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR and news/talk siblings WWKX “Hot 106” (2.7, #8, 6+) and WPRV (.4, #14, 6+).
7) Norfolk – In the span of just two sweeps (January and February), WWDE “101.3 2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary regains eight-tenths to 5.8, moving from fifth to fourth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Following a massive +1.2 in February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI tacks on another half-share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths to 11.6 (6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is at #1 for the third straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, adult contemporary sibling “2WD” bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been on top the previous 55 ratings periods. The two swapped places in January 2017 as WVKL registered a +.7. This is the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range – it has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. Owing to a -.7 to 5.5 (6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) ends at three its consecutive string of uptrends that produced a +2.1(4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.2 it notched in February was its best 6+-share (in print) since a 6.6 in July 2010. Cluster-mate WNOR “99 Rocks” is in a similar situation, given that a -.6 to 6.7 (6+) stymies four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), but “99 Rocks” continues in third-place.
8) Greensboro – Via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (unchanged at #10) is a combined +.7. After being up or flat the last four ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG surrenders half that gain (10.3, -.6, 6+). On the plus side though, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fourth straight sweep and has been #1 since January. Country-formatted sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), erodes by seven-tenths in March to 5.6, sliding from fifth to sixth. In February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Leapfrogging “The Wolf” is its rival, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (sixth to fifth, 6+), which is up or flat for the third straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon,” whose last four moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and another -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+) with “Simon” flat at #3. January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Although steady at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” posts its fourth straight gain (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+); “La Ley 101.1” is +1.7 since November. After five successive times of logging a .4 (6+), co-owned news/talk WSJS drops to .3 but stays at #13.
9) West Palm Beach – The top four finishers are Alpha Media properties, followed by three in a row owned by iHeartMedia. By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+), the drought is finally over for WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which hadn’t had an increase since last May. In that stretch of ten down or flat reports, the iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary outlet was a combined -1.5 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+); “Mia 92.1” moves from #16 to #14. In only two back-to-back declines, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -1.5, 6+) lost half as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell, but “Sunny” bounces back with a one-half share increase (6.6, 6+) to advance from third to second. Roughly three shares (6+) ahead of “Sunny” is co-owned hot AC WRMF, which despite a loss of seven-tenths (to 9.5, 6+), is #1 for the third consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off by seven-tenths as well is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (unchanged at #8), which in the last four survey periods, is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; and now in March -.7 (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Without a decrease for the seventh straight time for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” has its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, but backslides from second to third. Steady at #6, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).
10) Jacksonville – Powered by an impressive +1.7, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” posts an 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since last September’s 9.3 and cruises from fourth to second. A combined +1.1 in three straight sweeps (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” regains one-tenth of the one-half share it lost in February (12.8 – 12.3 – 12.4, 6+) and is #1 for the third time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Wild ups and downs continue for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety,” whose last four (6+) moves are +5.8 (“Holiday” 2016); -6.6 (January); +.7 (February); and now -1.2 in March (8.9 – 14.7 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 7.6, 6+) for a net loss of -1.3. With a 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016, “Lite” returned to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Even though Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” is without a decrease for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and segues from #14 to #13, it does not appear to be a benefactor of WEJZ’s -1.2. Unchanged at #6, WEZI’s CHR sibling WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers its sixth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) that has resulted in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares. Frozen on .6 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (flat at #17) has followed with a 6+-line of .3 – .4 – .3 – .4. For the third consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.
11) Memphis – Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop” gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #12 to #11. In its third straight up or flat sweep producing a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM elevates from fifth to fourth. Adding three-tenths (9.0 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” repeats at #1. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February, and now -1.0 in March (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6, 6+). A net +1.3 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” slides from fifth to sixth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). As a result of dropping nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC has its softest 6+-share since last June (2.7, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Dating back to December, the 6+-trends for Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR For the Mid-South” are 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 (steady at #15, 6+). Right behind it and unchanged at #16 is iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits,” down for the fourth straight time (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+) for a -.8.
12) Hartford – Although unchanged in the runner-up slot, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” lengthens its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to six for a cumulative +1.7 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), with its best 6+-performance since October 2014’s 8.9. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” add six-tenths to February’s +.3 (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, +.3, 6+), “Lite” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Gaining six-tenths as well (4.9 – 5.5, 6+) is Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock,” which was without an increase the past seven sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). The improvement of six-tenths pushes “The Whale” from ninth to eighth. Co-owned news/talk WDRC-AM though (unchanged at #13) is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6, 6+). Ever since October, it has been an up/down pattern for iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” including a +.5 in March. Overall in that period though, “Country 92.5” is -2.1 (9.2 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). While it remains at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), thus stymying at three its string of progressive trends that netted at +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).
Fox News Channel Announces New Prime Time Lineup. In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement that 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel has parted company with embattled personality Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year relationship, the cable news leader reveals its new prime-time lineup. Taking over the 8:00 pm ET slot will be Tucker Carlson, who recently joined FNC after Megyn Kelly‘s departure. Sean Hannity remains in his 10:00 pm time slot and moving into the 9:00 pm hour is the panel discussion program “The Five,” co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams. Martha McCallum stays in the 7:00 pm hour but her show is re-named “The Story.” Beginning May 1, Eric Bolling – regular O’Reilly fill-in anchor and “The Five” contributor – will launch his own program at 5:00 pm.
Clive Davis Chats with WABC at Stage 17. Recording industry legend Clive Davis (right), talks with 77WABC entertainment reporter Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman (left) at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City yesterday (4/19). Davis was in town promoting the premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which opened at the TriBeCa Film Festival last night. During the interview, Davis discussed his early days in the industry as well as his years working with the legendary Whitney Houston and other iconic artists, including Simon & Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen. Davis also told Gunzelman he believes in the vitality of radio, calling it “vital” to creating hits.
No Charges Filed in the Michael Savage Kerfuffle. According to a report in the East Bay Times, the Marin County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against Westwood One talk host Michael Savage or John Spreckles Rosekrans, the man Savage accused of assaulting him outside a Tiburon, California restaurant. Savage and Rosekrans placed each other under citizen’s arrest after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical conflict. Neither man required medical treatment nor appeared visibly injured, according to police. The paper quotes Marin County assistant DA Barry Borden saying, “After a thorough review of all the police reports and communications with attorneys representing each of the two individuals involved with this incident, a decision has been made that charges will not be filed against either individual.”
TALKERS News Notes. Southern California broadcaster Fred Lundgren’s website for KCAA, Loma Linda was hacked and directed to a porn site last week. Lundgren details the arduous journey to recovering control of his station’s website in a piece published at Huffington Post. Check it out here…..iHeartMedia and SpokenLayer announce a new relationship that will put nearly 40 SpokenEditions onto the iHeartRadio platform. SpokenEditions are human-read versions of written content from premium publishers and the collaboration will bring the audio version of hundreds of news stories to iHeartRadio listeners each week. Some of the publishers involved include: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Slate, Time, Reuters, Wired, and more…..Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk “FM News 101” KXL is named the 2016 Radio Station of the Year from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. In addition to that, KXL was also honored with Best Newscast, Best Coverage of Breaking News, and Best Feature awards. Alpha Media Portland market manager Lisa Decker comments, “These awards are great recognition and honor for an outstanding product that the KXL staff produces every day.”…..Football great AJ Hawk is joining Radiohio’s sports talk WBNS, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” beginning May 8 for a summer program titled “Off-Season with AJ Hawk,” that’ll also feature co-host Anthony Rothman. The show will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the NFL, as well as other hot sports topics. During the NFL season, the former Green Bay Packers linebacker will join the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show for “Football Fridays.”…..CBS RADIO inks a deal with TrafficLand – one of the largest authorized aggregators of live traffic video in the U.S. – for CBS to use the company’s video management technology (VMC). The TrafficLand VMC service provides integrated access to real-time video from more than 20,000 state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. through a specialized interface that was built by TrafficLand for traffic reporters and first responders to improve situational awareness…..Total Traffic & Weather Network announces it inks an exclusive, nationwide agreement with TrafficCast, a provider of digital traffic information and technology. In the multi-year partnership, TTWN will serve as the exclusive U.S. radio and television distributor and marketing partner for TrafficCast’s new smartphone app, TrafficCarma…..Red Rock Radio enters into an agreement to sell Duluth market sports talk duo WWAX-FM, “92.1 The Fan” and KQDS-AM to Twin Ports Radio, LLC. for an undisclosed sum. Kalil & Co. represented Red Rock and Steve Moravec of Phoenix Media Group, LLC assisted Twin Ports Radio.
WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan’ Visits the White House. Pictured above is the WEEI, Boston morning show cast posing for a photo with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during yesterday’s visit by the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots. The morning show was invited to the event by Spicer. The Patriots were officially congratulated on their victory in a ceremony with President Donald Trump. Pictured (from l-r) are: Gerry Callahan, Spicer, Kirk Minihane, WEEI program director Joe Zarbano, Kirk & Callahan senior producer Chris Curtis.
Hangin’ with Rusty Wallace. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace poses for a photo with (from l-r): Chris McKee of the Motor Racing Network, AdLarge Co-CEO Cathy Csukas; Wallace; and AdLarge Co-CEO Gary Schonfeld. Wallace serves as an analyst for MRN. AdLarge is the exclusive national ad sales partner for MRN: The Voice of NASCAR.
Fox News and Bill O’Reilly Part Company, North Korea Nukes/‘Trump Armada,’ Russian Saber-Rattling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Aaron Hernandez Suicide, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Fox News Channel’s announcement that personality Bill O’Reilly will not return to the cable channel in the wake of sexual harassment allegations; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the controversy over misleading Trump Administration information about where in the region U.S. Navy ships actually were; reports of Russian fighters patrolling near Alaska; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s promise of a “comprehensive review” of the Iran nuclear deal; the apparent suicide of fallen NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Washington and Baltimore markets, iHeartMedia announces two promotions. First, Tommy Chuck is named program director for adult contemporary WASH-FM. He’s been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for two-plus years programming CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5” and country WPOC, Baltimore. He’ll continue to program WIHT in addition to WASH-FM. He says, “I am honored to now lead the two most-listened-to radio stations in Washington, DC. Like ‘HOT 99.5,’ 97.1 WASH-FM is a blue-chip brand with an incredible history and even brighter future.” At the same time, the company announces that Jeff Wyatt moves up from his vice president of programming for the company’s Virginia-Carolina region to become SVP of programming for the Baltimore market and program director for WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”…..In the Savannah market, Cumulus Media names Mike “Big Mike” Bell program director for its hip hop outlet WEAS “FM/E93.” Bell moves to Savannah from his most recent position with the company at its Florence, South Carolina operations where he’s been PD for hip hop WYNN. Cumulus Media Savannah VP and market manager Eric Mastel says, “Mike’s creativity, positive energy and experience programming successful urban-formatted stations make him a tremendous addition to the ‘E93’ team. Our listeners are going to love what they hear.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio flips KZEP from urban contemporary to Spanish pop as “104.5 Latino Hits,” the new home of Spanish contemporary hit radio. The station is kicking off today with 10,000 commercial-free songs. Core artists include: Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Shakira, and Mana. Effective May 1, Enrique Santos hosts wake-up show “Tu Manana con Enrique Santos.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is celebrating the life of Prince all day tomorrow – the one-year anniversary of his death – dubbed “Purple Friday.” “106.5 The Arch” will be airing special features throughout the day as well playing one of Prince’s hits every hour, on the hour. WARH music director and afternoon personality Robert Fithen states, “As Prince broke through lyrical and musical boundaries, fans broke through with him. His music taught me to challenge the rules and not be content with labels and confines. Go ahead. Try to categorize ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ a song that starts with a sermon, builds to a keyboard hook and ends with a blistering hard rock guitar solo. Is it R&B? Rock? Pop? It’s Prince!”
Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.
1) Washington, D.C. – Baseball “experts” are predicting great things this year for the Washington Nationals. The National League East team’s flagship – CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM – rebounds from February’s one-half share loss with a gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+) as “106.7 The Fan” inches up from #18 to #17. Unlisted for the third straight month is its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). Despite declining by one-half share (11.5 – 11.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finishes first for the third straight time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+); February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. When WPRS “Praise 104.1” lost one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016, it ended five successive improvements that produced a collective +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). The Radio One-owned gospel outlet faltered by another eight-tenths in January; regained six-tenths in February; but in March, “Praise” sputters by -1.3 (5.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 3.5, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. Up a combined +1.2 in January and February (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) but carries on in eighth-place. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak, however, concludes as “Majic 102.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (+.3 and unchanged at #3) – posted a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a -.3 to .8 (6+), Alpha Media-owned WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” (flat at #20) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – end at five (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+).
2) Boston – Over and above registering a strong +.8 to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, Beasley Media Group-owned WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is #1 for the third successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; and now +.8 in March. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” CBS Radio’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” picks up eight-tenths as well, adding it to February’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9, 6+), leaping from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2014’s 5.2. By gaining four-tenths in January, WZLX pulled the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Both of Beantown’s mainstream CHR facilities increase by one tenth. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 5.6 – 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned WODS “Amp 103.3” (unchanged at #13) is up or flat for the third successive time (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s typically robust FM sports facilities though erode by a combined -1.3, with “Amp” sibling/Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” -.7 (5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom owned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is off by six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January and February (3.4 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), talk-oriented public outlet WGBH-FM forfeits nine-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, WGBH-FM had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+).
3) Miami – By notching a +.7 (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR WPOW not only recaptures what it lost in four straight declines starting in November (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). The game of musical chairs at the top continues as Univision Radio’s WAMR picks up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, second to first, 6+) and is back at #1 – as it was in January. “Amor 107.5” has recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the last seven ratings periods. One-tenth behind it and dropping from first to second is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which is actually up three-tenths (6.9 – 7.2, 6+). In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Sputtering by a full-share (6.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s WLYF “Lite FM” slips from third to fourth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled “Lite FM” to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); WLYF was #1 from July 2016 through October. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) has its fifth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) for a combined -1.1, directly after a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. Although it only slips from fifth to sixth, there is another major fluctuation for urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz.” When WEDR declined by -.5 in December, its string of consecutive trends without a loss that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Rolling out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “99 Jamz” floundered by -1.5 in January; posted a +.8 in February; but regresses by -.7 in March (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Declining by seven-tenths as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), which plummets from #7 to #14. At the same time, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WRTO “Mix 98.3” is off by one-half share to 2.7 (6+), sliding from #13 to #16. Entering the March sweep, “Mix” was trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). Tied at #10 in February and at #12 in “Holiday” 2016, the market’s two mainstream CHR outlets continue to be nearly inseparable as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 3.8 (#10 to #11, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is one-tenth behind at 3.7 (-.1, #10 to #12, 6+).
4) Detroit – A robust +.9 by WWJ – #1 for the third successive sweep – takes the CBS Radio all-news operation to 7.4, the first time it has crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Slightly less than two shares behind WWJ are three stations tied in the runner-up slot. All with a 5.6 (6+), they are classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOMC (-.1, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (also -.1, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WJR (+.1, 6+). The country share in Motown swells by six-tenths, with WWJ sibling WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” up four-tenths (5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” gaining two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “Detroit’s Country” was locked on 4.9 (6+) in January and February. After registering three straight gains for a collective +2.2 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “The Bounce” surrenders exactly one-half of that gain all at once (4.1, -1.1, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#7 to #11). It would be an understatement to note “The Bounce” has had its share of sharp ups and downs since transitioning from sports last July 1. It quickly posted back-to-back gains totaling a combined +7.3, vaulting from #23 (June 2016, .7, 6+) to #15 (July 2016, 3.1, 6+) all the way to #1 (August 2016, 8.0, 6+). Not only was it just a one-month stay at #1, “The Bounce” sputtered by -2.7 in September; -1.2 in October; and -.8 in November (8.0 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+). Down by more than 50% since August 2016, “Bounce” quickly plummeted from #1 (August) to #5 (September) to #12 (October) to #13 (November). Following four consecutive positive trends that generated a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” is off two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from #11 to #12. By picking up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WMXD “Mix 92.3” (#11 to #10) overtakes “Kiss” and ends three straight ratings periods without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) that accounted for a -.7.
5) Seattle – On the strength of a +.9 to 4.5 (6+), Entercom’s KISW “Rock 99.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). “Rock 99.9” had posted a 3.6 in four of the last five sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). While flat at #18, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is without a decrease for the fourth consecutive ratings period (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Not only does co-owned KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” hang out a +.6 (7.2 – 7.8, 6+) the mainstream CHR ranks first for the third consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. After progressing by nine-tenths in February, University of Washington-owned KUOW falters by -1.1 (5.8 – 6.7 – 5.6, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. In the four most recent ratings periods, KUOW is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); and now -1.1 (March) for a net gain of three-tenths. Having improved by one-half share in back-to-back survey periods (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” returns 80% of that combined gain (4.8, -.8, 6+) and drifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” (#28 to #25) rings up a +.3 to 1.2 (6+), thus curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a collective -1.4 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – .9, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” (#12 to #15) have yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” drops four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), slipping out of the top ten (#10 to #12). In four of the last five sweeps, “Kiss” posted a 3.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).
6) Phoenix – In 3.2 – 3.9 range (6+) since December, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” busts out a +.8 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). This time last month, adult contemporary sibling KESZ – which had been #1 for 30 successive ratings periods – held a nine-tenths advantage over its runner-up, Hubbard classic rocker KSLX. With KSLX gaining seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and KESZ faltering by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), however, that impressive KESZ streak comes to an end with the two outlets swapping places. Improving by one-half share and six-tenths, respectively, are KSLX cluster-mate KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock,” which has its third straight gain netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” (.9 – 1.5, #26, 6+). Four consecutive (modest) increases give Hubbard’s KDKB a combined +.8 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) as “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” climbs from #14 to #12. Following six consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#23 to #20). As Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-LOVE” gains one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, #18, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted KLVA (also) “K-LOVE” is off by six-tenths (1.2, #23 to #28, 6+). KLVA was a combined +1.2 in January and February (.6 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). In a three-way tie at #14 in February, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” freefalls to #25 as a result of a massive -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+). Logging its fifth straight decline for a combined -1.7 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” drifts from #21 to #26. Up a cumulative +1.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (2.1 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ surrenders one-half share (to 2.8, 6+) and dips from #11 to #15.
7) Minneapolis – Improving by seven-tenths each are American Public Media Group’s news/talk KNOW (5.8 – 6.5, fifth to third, 6+) and triple A sibling KCMP (2.3 – 3.0, #14, 6+), with the latter having its highest 6+-share since September 2015 (3.0 as well). Unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB displays a one-half share increase (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” is #1 for the third straight time. In January 2017, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – follows up January’s +1.3 by stumbling one-half share (each) in back-to-back sweeps (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from #11 to #12. “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). After being up a combined +1.2 (2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KTLK returns more than half that gain (2.5, -.7, 6+) as it skids from #14 to #16. It is tied there with American Public Media Group’s KSJN “Classical MPR,” which is down three-tenths (2.5, 6+), halting at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, a two-tenths drop to 5.4 (6+) marks the end of three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (sixth to eighth). February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” since September’s 5.8. In the Twin Cities’ country contest, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” adds three-tenths to February’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #6, while CBS Radio-owned KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” (+.5 in February) drops two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and is steady at #13.
8) San Diego – Nearly identical to what we witnessed this time last month when the ten best finishers were separated by one share, the margin now dividing the first ten rankers is 1.1 shares. Moreover, the distance between the top five is a mere three-tenths. By adding just one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS breaks out of February’s three-way tie at #2 and grabs the lead. After one month at #1, “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Displaced from the top spot and falling to third is KPBS (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+). A collective +.8 in January and February (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+) was enough to lift the San Diego State University outlet from third to first. February’s 5.4 was the strongest 6+-stat for KPBS in just over two years (5.5, 6+, January 2015). In three straight declines, iHeartMedia’s KGB was a cumulative -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), but “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” recaptures three-quarters of that loss (3.6, +.6, 6+) and zooms from #16 to #12. This is the 17th straight time KGB is within three-share range (6+). Registering an improvement of six-tenths as well and jumping from eighth to fifth is XHTZ “Today’s Hit Music – Z-90.3,” which regains what was lost in its mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). While steady at #22, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” triples its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Following a January boost of six-tenths, Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet XLTN (#12 to #14) is a combined -1.3 in February and March (3.6 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+).
9) Denver – Seven-tenths of a share separates the market’s top four March 2017 finishers. Having floundered by seven-tenths in February, Bonneville‘s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” recoups all but one-tenth (4.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, +.6, 6+) and leaps from #16 to #11. “The Fan” was -.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and +1.1 in January 2017. A loss of six-tenths in November 2016 halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+); October 2016’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Albeit down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), country cluster-mate KYGO repeats at #1. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. A full-share negative fluctuation in February sent iHeartMedia’s KTCL (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) from first to third; now, “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” falters by another six-tenths (5.4, 6+) to dip to fourth. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Channel 93-3” was +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). As a result of its fourth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” cruises from ninth to sixth and has its best 6+-performance since last June’s 4.8. Steady at 3.5 (6+), co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (#15 to #14) is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 16th successive sweep. Flat or down (modestly) in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) going into the February ratings period, KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” dialed up a +.7 to 4.4, its best 6+-showing since last April (4.4 as well). The KSE Radio Ventures hot AC relinquishes that increase in its entirety though (4.4 – 3.7, -.7, 6+) and spirals out of the top ten (#6 to #12). It is tied there with its format rival, Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9,” which is up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and climbs from #14 in February.
10) Tampa – Pulling the plug on four successive declines that yielded a collective -1.8 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and carries on in fifth-place. Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which had been confined to 3.3 – 3.6 territory (6+) the past seven sweeps (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Not only does “Mix” reach the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since last June’s 4.3, it leaps from #15 to a three-way tie at #10. Off two-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK bounces back with an increase of one-half share to 4.7 (6+) as the country facility advances from ninth to sixth. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” remains at #3. This is the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Ahead of it and again at #2 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which (like “Q-105”) has its third straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) but for a cumulative +1.1. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last soared to the seven-share level (6+) more than four years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. While co-owned WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for a remarkable 54th successive ratings period, the adult contemporary property falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the third straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (#18 to #19). Down the past four sweeps for a collective -.8 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” picks up two-tenths to 4.5 and remains at #7 (6+). Similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” departs the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+); the iHeartMedia-owned outlet is without an increase for the third straight sweep (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Dropping from #15 to #16, news/talk sibling WFLA regresses by one-half share to 2.9, its weakest 6+-share since September’s 2.5.
11) Baltimore – Boasting impressive back-to-back increases of +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC tacks on another three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+) for its third consecutive progressive trend, with “Baltimore’s New Country” continuing in third-place. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. On top in the Washington, D.C. report (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is without a decrease in Baltimore for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #15. Inching up from #17 to #16, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS more than doubles its 6+-share in Baltimore with its fifth successive up or flat trend (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Without an increase since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” picks up four-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and holds the runner-up slot for the fourth straight ratings period. February’s 7.3 was the lowest 6+-share for WERQ since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Even though it is down (slightly) in consecutive sweeps (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is on top for the third straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic 95.9” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” (#9 to #12) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.2, its lowest 6+-stat since August (3.0, 6+). Doubling its 6+-share via back-to-back gains (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Music Station” falters though by one-half share to .9 (#15 to #18, 6+).
12) St. Louis – The third straight increase (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) by CBS Radio heritage news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is by +1.1 and it represents the only (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase by at least one full-share in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday. With its finest 6+-stat since October’s 6.8, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship progresses from seventh to fifth. Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive sweeps without a decrease (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” moves from #15 to #12 and matches September’s 4.2 (6+). Unchanged at #17, co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its best 6+-showing since June (2.6, as well). This marks the third straight time at #1 for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (7.4 – 7.6, +.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. It is three-tenths ahead of Emmis rocker KSHE, which is steady at #2 and without a decrease for the fourth successive ratings period netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). A full-share loss (4.8 – 3.8, its lowest 6+-share since March 2016’s 3.8) causes University of Missouri’s KWMU to drift from #9 to #14. More ups and downs for Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which squandered seven-tenths in January; recaptured it in February, but regresses by one-half share in March (5.1 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+) to dip from seventh to eighth. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio’s KEZK has had three straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative -6.8 (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), but the adult contemporary property actually climbs back into the top ten (#11 to #10). Ironically, prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the third consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).
Glenn Beck and TheBlaze Countersue Tomi Lahren. TALKERS magazine recently reported that conservative media figure Tomi Lahren filed suit against Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze in which she stated that she’d been fired for espousing a pro-choice opinion during an appearance on television’s “The View,” that she’d been told to “go dark” on social media and had been shut off from her Facebook account. Yesterday (4/17), Beck and TheBlaze filed a counterclaim in District Court in Dallas that paints a very different picture of the problems between the two sides. TheBlaze states that Lahren has not been fired and is still an employee (is being paid) and therefore is bound by her employment contract to certain things that includes not making public statements or appearances that relate to her employment by TheBlaze or about its officers or staffers. It also says that, contrary to her claim, she has control over her Blaze-owned Facebook page. Further, TheBlaze claims that Lahren “quickly made herself into one of the most divisive people in media both to the general public and within TheBlaze organization.” It goes on to claim Lahren was difficult with fellow employees, had to be corrected for her choices of words that “repeatedly bordered on the profane,” “turned down a number of advertisers on TheBlaze for unexplained reasons, limiting any chance for TheBlaze to recoup its investment into her and her show,” and more. TheBlaze states that the employee agreement also requires Lahren’s public appearances be cleared by TheBlaze and Lahren is not complying with that. TheBlaze does admit that the appearance on “The View” was problematic but claims it had decided before the appearance not to renew her contract – it expires in September of this year – for the reasons listed above, among others. It went before a judge late yesterday afternoon seeking a temporary restraining order to force Lahren to comply with the contract. Additionally, TheBlaze is seeking unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and more.
TALKERS News Notes. A new esports show is being put into syndication by Westwood One. The show, “Checkpoint Radio,” is touted as “the first, nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of esports.” A press release states that hosts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan are lifelong, passionate gamers that connect with this loyal, younger-skewing fanbase. Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “Westwood One is synonymous with best-in-class sports audio programming with over 62 million weekly listeners tuning in for live sports game coverage and expert commentary, and these passionate sports fans are also front-and-center with the emerging esports movement.”…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York adds the “House Smarts with Lou Manfredini” program to its Saturday morning lineup. Manfredini also serves as an “NBC Today Show” home improvement contributor…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Dick Penn, who died on April 15 at age 75. Penn was a former NBC Radio, Shadow Traffic and Navteq executive.
Julian Lennon Visits Cumulus’ Stage 17. Last Friday (4/14), Julian Lennon sat down with WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby for an interview before a live audience at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 performance space. Lennon discussed the music of his father’s band The Beatles, his own music, and his new kid’s book, Touch the Earth (Sky Pony Press 2017). Pictured above are (from l-r): WABC program director Craig Schwalb, Lennon, and Rita Cosby.
Hunt for Facebook Killer, Arkansas Executions Controversy, North Korea Nuke Threats, Georgia House Race, French Presidential Race, Prince Opioids Stashes, and NBA & NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The search for Steve Stephens, the Cleveland man suspected of killing a 74-year-old man and posting the video to Facebook; the SCOTUS’ denial of permission to Arkansas to begin a schedule of eight executions; the North Korea’s continuing tests of missiles and the U.S.’s concerns about Kim Jong Un’s developing nuclear program; the intense scrutiny of the Georgia U.S. House race for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s seat as money and support from Democrats outside the district support Jon Ossoff; the build-up to France’s June presidential elections and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s notoriety; reports of numerous stashes of various opioids found at late pop star Prince’s home; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Sterling Chats with ‘Hizonner.’ Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (right) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (left) during their 50-minute, exclusive conversation for Sterling’s program. Kenney is holding and reading aloud a Midnight Misfit Membership card offered to Sterling listeners. During the conversation, Mayor Kenney gave considerable background on the controversial soda tax, plus answered tough questions such as: What is the best pizza? Are there really ancient artifacts in Philadelphia like in the movie National Treasure? And what station did you listen to growing up – WIFI, WFIL or WIBG?
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Portland triple A KINK announces Corey Foley and Mitch Elliott are the new hosts of the morning drive show on the Alpha Media station, effective May 2. Foley was most recently with CBS RADIO’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.” Mitch Elliott was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.” Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “We are elated to have found our soulmates to pair with Portland’s iconic KINK brand for mornings. Corey and Mitch are two uniquely talented, entertaining hosts with huge passion for the music, Northwest lifestyle and a love for the arts.”…..At Entercom’s Rochester classic rock WCMF, Michael “Mud” Gross joins as the new program director, effective May 15. He replaces Chris Crowley, who is moving to Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland. Gross was most recently with iHeartMedia at classic rockers WBGG, Miami “BIG 105.9” and WNRQ, Nashville “105.9 The Rock.”…..Matty Staudt is appointed to the new digital program director position at iHeartMedia’s San Francisco operations. In this role, Staudt will oversee digital strategy for iHeartMedia’s six San Francisco radio station brands, “working closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”…..The syndicated country morning duo “Wilhite and Wall” add another station to their roster of affiliates – KMTB, Nashville, Arkansas “B99.5.” Tim Wall states, “We still have room to grow, but want to keep our station roster low so we can maintain the local content we give each market.”…..United Stations Radio Networks names Danny Ocean affiliate relations rep in which he’ll take over the management of affiliate acquisition and maintenance in the Northeast Region of the U.S. He’ll also specialize in guiding the affiliate marketing efforts for the company’s CHR and hot AC programs…..Entravision reports that the “El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata” adds two Texas affiliates: LBI Media’s Regional Mexican “La Raza” simulcast on KTJM and KJOJ in Houston and KNOR, Dallas “La Raza.”…..Cumulus Media debuts the new hot AC format (and new call letters) on WQPD, Florence, South Carolina. “Q100.5” features the “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive. The station flipped from Cumulus’ country “NASH FM” format.
Alex Jones’ Radio Persona At Issue in Child Custody Case. In a story in the Austin Statesman by Jonathan Tilove, the child custody case between Infowars founder Alex Jones and his ex-wife could involve asking the jury to decide whether Alex Jones is a capable father whose radio persona is not the same as his everyday persona or if he’s – as his ex-wife claims – “an unstable person.” According to the report, Kelly Jones is asking District Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo to allow jurors to see video of Jones doing his radio show and creating videos as evidence. But Jones’ attorney, Randal Wilhite, told the judge during a recent pretrial hearing that Jones’ on-air persona is an act, like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “Batman.” Judge Naranjo has made it clear the case is about the welfare of the Jones’ three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and not about Infowars. Alex and Kelly Jones divorced in 2013. Read the Statesman story here.
McGill and WVON, Chicago Part. Chicago urban news/talk WVON and morning drive personality Matt McGill are parting ways. Midway Broadcasting Company says that McGill “arrived at WVON 13 years ago as a radio neophyte, but rose to become a recognized local talk show host.” Midway recently added Maze Jackson to the morning show and it’s clear from both the company’s and McGill’s perspective that the addition of Jackson to the show is the reason McGill is leaving. Midway chairwoman Melody Spann Cooper says, “Matt is a tremendous talent and will be missed. Change is inevitable in this business. Our listeners can be assured that we will continue our reputation of delivering top-notch talent, news and information that will empower the communities we serve. That has always been and remains our priority.”
WNIS, Norfolk Adds ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ to Lineup. The FOX News Radio show starring Brian Kilmeade will air live from 10:0 am to 12:00 noon on Sinclair Communications’ WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia, beginning today (4/17). “Kilmeade & Friends” is also carried on the company’s KLBJ-AM, Austin. Kilmeade says, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the morning programming at KLBJ 590 AM in Austin, Texas and we are thrilled to be the newest addition to their sister station’s schedule. For the past eight years, ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ has been dedicated to providing our audience with fresh perspective on the most important news stories. I am heartened to know many of our listeners in the Norfolk area will be military families.”
TALKERS News Notes. WSKO, Syracuse afternoon personality Mike Lindsley is honored by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Sportscast (medium market). Lindsley hosts “In the Cell with ML” on the Cumulus Media-owned station. Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “In addition to being The Score 1260’s brand ambassador, Mike truly has his finger on the pulse of the Central New York sports fan. Whether it’s a good or bad day in Syracuse sports, our listeners count on hearing Mike’s well-informed take. We’re proud that his talent is recognized by his fellow broadcasters!”…..The nationally syndicated Sean Salisbury sports talk show is now being simulcast on TV via program producer Gow Media and the beIN Sports television network. Gow CEO David Gow says, “We are really excited about the partnership and the opportunity to give Sean’s radio show a national TV platform. This is a significant step for our company, as we can now offer our advertising partners radio, digital media and television – and we can do so on a local, regional or national basis.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliate stations: KKGX-AM/FM, Palm Springs, California; KYAH-AM, Delta, Utah; and KTRC-AM, Santa Fe…..Last week, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano interviewed FOX News Channel correspondent Jesse Watters during a sold-out event at the National Constitution Center.
North Korea Threats/Pence Visit, U.S.-Russia Relations, Kushner-Bannon Power Struggle, Berkeley Trump Rally Violence, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Cleveland Facebook Killing, Easter/Passover Holidays, Celtics Star Plays After Sister’s Death, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The development of nuclear missiles by North Korea, its threats against the U.S., and Vice President Mike Pence’s weekend visit to the Korean DMZ; the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria; reports of the power struggle between President Trump’s advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner; the violence between Trump supporters and protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California; Saturday’s “SNL” sketches poking fun at Trump Administration staffers; the manhunt for a Cleveland man suspected of posting the murder of his elderly victim on Facebook; the Easter and Passover holidays; Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas plays the day after his sister is killed in a car accident, and the NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mary Berner Named Recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award. The TALKERS editorial board has selected Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner as the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”). Mary Berner assumed leadership of Cumulus in October 2015. As the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus owns and operates 447 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), and provides content to more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network, as well as numerous digital channels. For over three decades, Berner has led some of the world’s top media companies and brands, building and directing them to increase productivity and financial performance. Before joining Cumulus, Berner served as president/CEO of MPA -The Association of Magazine Media, where she leveraged her deep understanding of media to aggressively champion and advocate for that industry. Berner also previously served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, where she developed and executed a successful turnaround strategy, oversaw the restructuring of the company’s acquisition-related debt and the subsequent doubling of the company’s stock price and optimized its brands and assets. Upon making the announcement of Berner being selected as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is no secret that the biggest radio companies – Cumulus, iHeart and others – are being smothered under the burden of crippling debt accrued over many years following deregulation and the runaway growth of consolidation. Since assuming her extremely challenging role as the head of Cumulus, there have been measurable improvements in the company in terms of programming, infrastructure and employee morale – developments that offer reasonable hope that its financial situation will begin to improve. Hope is something that the good people who work in the radio business can use more of as we head into what has the potential to be an exciting new era bursting with opportunity.” The annual TALKERS “Woman of the Year” award goes back to 2001, named after its first recipient the late Judy Jarvis, an independently syndicated host who helped pave the way for women to make progress as players in the male-dominated talk radio field. Jarvis, a non-smoker, received it posthumously after succumbing to lung cancer at a young age during the peak of her career. Recent recipients include Ginny Morris, Robin Quivers, Julie Talbott, Heather Cohen, Robin Bertolucci, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Stephanie Miller, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Adriane Gaines and Kim Komando, among others. The award will be presented on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mo Lightning is the new morning host on Mid-West Family Broadcasting-owned rock outlet WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois. It’s part of a number of changes at the station including Kyle Hutchinson’s move from afternoon drive to midday and program director Wes Styles’ move to the afternoon program. Lou Brutus is hosting the evening “Harddrive XL” show…..At SummitMedia’s urban contemporary WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina, Tone Hollywood takes over the midday show, moving over from his previous role hosting in morning drive at sister rhythmic CHR WHZT “HOT 98.1.”…..iHeartMedia wins a Shorty Award for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in the Best in Live Events category. The 9th annual Shorty Awards recognize “the most influential, popular, and culturally relevant brands and influencers across social media.”…..Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is launching an all-Milwaukee music platform in its HD-2 channel branded “414Music.fm.” The channel and stream will debut on June 20 and the station is inviting Milwaukee musicians to submit their music, recently recorded or from past years, to Radio Milwaukee for possible inclusion on “414Music.fm.”
Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team. Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”
Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17). The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am. KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community. In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.” Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’ It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics. Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.” The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.
Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.” Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.” Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”
TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET. Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action. Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio. Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada. As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56. Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.” He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.
U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14. At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats. Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page 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.
Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” 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. Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions. Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia. Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research. The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial. WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes. Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act. The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum. The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.
Entercom CEO David Field Issues Companywide Memo Regarding Merger. In a memo that was also filed with the SEC under rule 425, Entercom president and CEO David Field encourages staffers to stay focused on their programming and sales goals as the company and CBS RADIO move toward the merger, scheduled to close in the second half of this year. Field writes, in part, “We are creating a truly preeminent radio company with an extraordinary platform of the industry’s best local brands, personalities, content and marketing solutions covering virtually all of the nation’s top 50 markets. The new Entercom will be a leading local media and entertainment company with strong positions in radio, digital, events, news, sports, music and entertainment. With close to $2 billion in annual sales, a value of over $4 billion, and a very strong financial position, we will have the scale and resources to compete aggressively with other media for a significantly larger share of advertising dollars…Until the transaction closes, Entercom and CBS RADIO will continue to operate as separate and independent companies and it is business as usual. We ask that you stay focused on delivering great content to our listeners and providing the best media and marketing solutions to our advertisers. With every passing day, I become even more excited about this combination and the opportunities it will create for our listeners, customers, shareholders, the radio industry, and most importantly, our outstanding team. As this process continues, we will do our best to keep you informed, providing you with periodic updates when we are able to do so. As always, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication and leadership.”
iHeartMedia Names Pickett EVP Marketing, Digital Products. Marketing pro Donna Pickett comes to iHeartMedia’s New York offices from her most recent role as VP of performance based media at Cannella Response Television. She also worked at Time Life for more than 20 years, including as senior vice president. At iHeartMedia, she’ll be EVP of marketing, digital products and report to Darren Davis. The company says Pickett will work closely with iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams to “align all marketing and product/programming efforts.”
Only Three Slots Remaining for FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row in Washington. Broadcasters wishing to take part in the annual Washington, DC radio row event “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” – produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform – should contact event manager Cassie Williams at email@example.com today! FAIR executive director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “FAIR’s 11th annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ radio row is one for the record books. Over 60 hosts are confirmed to attend this year’s special ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ broadcast which will evaluate the progress the new administration is making toward securing the border and enforcing immigration laws. Radio row is staged at the Phoenix Park hotel on Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday June 28 and 29. Morning drive is now full, but one midday and two afternoon booths are still available. FAIR covers most expenses, hotel accommodations, all equipment and coordinates guests from Capitol Hill and across the country.”
Crawford to Buy WCHB-AM, Detroit for $2 million. Motor City news/talk and jazz hybrid WCHB-AM will be sold by Radio One to Crawford Broadcasting for $2 million. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show will remain with Radio One, airing on translator W260CB at 99.9 FM. Current WCHB-AM personality Mildred Gaddis will move to Radio One’s Gospel WPZR. At this time, it’s unclear if Crawford intends to continue airing talk programming on WCHB.
TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia’s Crossing Broad is reporting that sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” morning sports update anchor and sidekick to Anthony Gargano, Maureen Williams, a.k.a. MCW, has left the station – possibly in a cost-saving move. It also appears that Gargano is not pleased with management’s actions…..Operations manager John Blake leaves the Cumulus Media Albany, Georgia six-station cluster for a position outside the radio business. Blake’s position included handling operations at news/talk WALG-AM in addition to its five music-formatted sister stations…..The Kevin Jackson show joins the Genesis Communications Network for national syndication, effective Monday (4/17). The program – which originally launched as “The Black Sphere Radio Show” on BlogTalk Radio in 2009 – will air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” was honored with three awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association in the large market radio division. The sports talk station won for: Best On-Air Broadcast Personality/Team – “Hahn, Humpty & Canty”; Best Station Sponsored Event – for the Michael Kay show’s “The Great Sports Debate” live at Fordham University; and Outstanding Commercial for a campaign for client New York Sports Clubs.
U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Trump-Bannon Relationship, Sean Spicer Apology, United Airlines Passenger Removal Scandal, Daily Mail-Melania Trump Settlement, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Tensions between Russia and the U.S. over the two nations’ Syria policies, and the aftermath of Syria’s alleged use of sarin gas on its citizens; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and reports of an imminent bomb test; speculation about the future of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s apology for his remarks about Hitler’s use of gas on Jews; the backlash against United Airlines over its rough removal of a passenger; First Lady Melania Trump’s libel settlement with the Daily Mail; the NBA playoff teams are set; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Alan Taylor on ‘LIVE with Kelly!’ Nationally syndicated auto talk host Alan Taylor (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Ripa (left) – host of “LIVE with Kelly!” – after appearing on the program this week during Auto Show Week. Taylor is appearing all week to show off the top automobiles in all categories. Earlier this week he showcased new vehicles with Ripa and celebrity guest hosts Morris Chestnut, Vin Diesel, and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Dan Mason to Speak at TALKERS 2017: A New Era. One of the most respected broadcasters in the radio business, Dan Mason, has joined the stellar roster of speakers at the forthcoming 20th annual installment of the longest-running and most important annual convention in the talk media industry – TALKERS 2017: A New Era. The convention takes place on Friday, June 2 in New York City. Mason, who retired from his long standing position as CEO of CBS RADIO in 2015, currently serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America as well as senior adviser of broadcast relations for iHeartMedia. In addition, Mason has been pursuing his passion for sportscasting as a commentator on women’s college basketball for the CBS Sports Network and a horse racing analyst for NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mason will participate in one of the exciting series of “fireside chats” that will mark the updated format of this year’s conference. He will be interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City’s popular morning host Harry Hurley – the recipient of last year’s TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award. Hurley will also present Mason with a check in the amount of $1,000 for the BFoA from his Hurley in the Morning Charity. For more information about TALKERS 2017: A New Era please click here.
TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda. The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – continues to grow and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.
The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”
New Brisk Format
The speaking sessions will feature a newly developed format consisting largely of keynote fireside chats, solo addresses and intimate one-one-one conversations.
There will be specially curated exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order): Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.
The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.
Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return
Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike Francesa. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention. Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important players in the game.”
Jeff Smulyan to Keynote
Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.
Pattiz on Podcasting
Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.
A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr
Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.
Heavyweights and Star Power
In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, DGital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Chris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore. More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.
The complete agenda will be posted in the coming days and weeks. As is customary, TALKERS 2017: A New Era 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. For hotel information please click here.
Tommy Hilfiger Visits WABC, New York. Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger appears on this weekend’s edition of the WABC, New York show “Always in Fashion” with host Mark Weber. The program was recorded live during Hilfiger’s appearance at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here are (from l-r): Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz, Mark Weber, Tommy Hilfiger, and 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Albany Broadcasting’s CHR WFLY, Albany “FLY 92.3,” the new morning team of Jake Allen and Ashley Marie will begin hosting mornings on Monday (4/17). Allen moves to WFLY from the company’s sister country station WKLI “100.9 The Cat,” and Marie heads north from her most recent gig at Delmarva’s hot AC WAFL, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Magic Broadcasting announces that David “No Sleep” Sebastian is the new afternoon drive host at its CHR WILN, Panama City, Florida “Island 106.” Sebastian’s previous stops include on-air gigs at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz,” MacDonald Broadcasting’s hip hop WQHH, Lansing “POWER 96.5,” and CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.”…..Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” announces the addition of “promotions guru” and radio personality Matt Cruz to the staff as promotion & marketing director and assistant program director under Mike Kennedy, effective April 24…..Radio One debuts a new Saturday program on WOSF, Charlotte “Old School 105.3” hosted by former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon called, “At The Table With Cannon.” Cannon just wrapped a year of house arrest after serving almost two years in federal prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents while service as mayor…..Adult hits WHCN, Hartford “105.9 The River” morning personality Joseph Aguiar is facing charges of third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace after being identified as the man on a March 9 security video tape seen attacking another man from behind at a gas station, knocking the victim unconscious. Aguiar is free on $75,000 bond and has a court appearance set for April 25.
KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Jack Swanson Agree to Part Ways. San Francisco news and talk radio programming legend Jack Swanson announces he will exit the news director role at CBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM, effective May 1. In a social media post, Swanson writes, “Gosh I thought I’d have some news to share with all of you this afternoon. But it seems Social Media waits for no man. Or woman. Yes, it’s true. I’m leaving the News Director’s chair at KCBS on May 1. When I came off the beach for this assignment I agreed to stay a few years and my bosses agreed to give me enough rope for me to have fun. Mission accomplished. Both sides got what we expected from the bargain. And we part in a way that is rare in the broadcasting business. Feeling great about each other. I will miss my newly-made friends at CBS terribly. But life is calling.” Swanson programmed crosstown heritage news/talk outlets KGO and KSFO during his many years at the now-Cumulus-owned station group.
TALKERS News Notes. Some of this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games are being aired on the radio in a deal with NBC Sports, NBC Sports Radio, and Westwood One. Beginning this Saturday (4/15), WW1 will present live, play-by-play audio coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinals game two. Westwood One will broadcast a Playoff Game of the Week on each of the next four Saturdays and will broadcast every game of the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals…..CBS RADIO launches a new podcast hosted by Olivia Caridi, a Season 20 contestant on the popular reality dating show, “The Bachelor.” On each episode of “Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi,” she’ll welcome actors, friends and fellow reality TV and internet stars to dish about love, relationships and navigating the ups and downs of being single and dating. A new 45-to-60-minute episode will be available on Play.it every Tuesday…..Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media is reporting that Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco is adding Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory for the overnight slot.
U.S.-Russian Animosity Over Syria Attack, FBI Monitored Trump Adviser, U.S. Response to North Korea Threats, United Airlines’ PR Crisis, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). The Russians’ warning to the U.S. about attacking Syria and the U.S.’s contention that Syria used Russian-made sarin gas on its citizens; the FBI acknowledges that it obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page; the U.S. responds to North Korea’s threats with naval operations; United Airlines deals with a PR nightmare over the forced removal of passenger; the ongoing scrutiny of FOX News Channel and host Bill O’Reilly in response to allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro James Steele adds some programming duties to his work with Alpha Media. Steele is the afternoon drive host on the company’s CHR WXYK, Biloxi-Gulfport “107.1 The Monkey.” Now, he’s adding program director responsibilities for alternative rock K277CX, San Antonio “103.3 The APP” (KTFM-HD2). Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, James is that fun-spirited guy at the party you want to be around. His creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for the alternative format is contagious, and we are happy to advance talent from within Alpha.”…..In Pittsburgh, Forever Media launches a classic country outlet on WOGH – taking one of the stations off its simulcast of the country “FROGGY” format still heard on sister stations WOGI and WOGG. Dubbed “Willie 103.5,” WOGH features country hits primarily from the 80s and 90s…..Envision Networks announces that Johnny Stone is the new host of the live country music weekend show, “The Live Ride.” Envision says that Stone – a Nashville insider – will “provide up-to-date country news, concert information and artist interviews.” Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein comments, “Johnny Stone’s boundless energy and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for ‘The Live Ride.’ The winning mix of live country hits with Johnny’s love for all things country will bring listeners back week after week.”…..KIIS, Los Angeles – and nationally syndicated personality Ryan Seacrest – announces that Backstreet Boys have been added to the lineup for the station’s Wango Tango concert on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster. The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.” Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events. iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others. Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.” He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.
Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim. In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.” Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist. Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages. Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame. Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality. He joined the station in 1990. WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.” Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte. He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.” He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years. Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte. His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996. Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.
‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room. Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6. The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days. Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.
KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly. Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles. She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.” She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room. Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX. After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended. FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings. Read the Washington Post account here.
TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.” The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey. Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships. These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel. Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others. Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.” WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.” This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com. Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college. Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about. We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.” See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida. The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country. Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats. The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha. The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000. St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.
KKOB, Albuquerque Celebrates 95 Years On Air. On Tuesday evening (4/5), Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM celebrated 95 years on air with a birthday bash at the New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque that drew some 800 people, including listeners, clients and past on-air talent. The photo above is the station’s first studio at the original transmitter site in Las Cruces, where it signed on on April 5, 1922. The station moved to Albuquerque in 1932, and in July 1941 upped its power to 50,000 watts. Cumulus Media added the 94.5 FM simulcast on translator K233CG, Sandia in August of 2016.
Jeff Lyon to Lead Cumulus Media Abilene. Radio management pro Jeff Lyon joins Cumulus Media to serve as VP/market manager for the Abilene, Texas cluster that includes sports talk KTLT-FM, “The Ticket,” classic rock KHXS “The Bear,” country KBCY, and CHR KCDD “Power 103.” Lyon was most recently with Townsquare Media’s Victoria, Texas four-station cluster as president/chief revenue officer. Cumulus Media regional vice president Mark Sullivan comments, “We’re thrilled to have a manager of Jeff’s caliber joining our team in Abilene. Jeff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that provides him with a strong foundation for success.”
Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 3-7. The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign personnel was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination battle. Coming in at #3 was the deaths by chemical weapons of civilians in the Syrian conflict, and following at #4 was President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. 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.
Cox Launches COMET Programmatic Platform. The company says the launch of this programmatic platform – dubbed COMET (Cox Media Technology) – brings together data from Cox’s dozens of companies to connect buyers and sellers across all advertising channels, including desktop, mobile, video, and TV. Cox Enterprises EVP and COO Alex Taylor says, “Our company’s investment in COMET is an example of our commitment to drive innovation and enhance the customer experience. COMET’s technology will use customized data to establish meaningful connections to better serve the needs of the constantly evolving advertising ecosystem.” Cox Enterprises SVP and general manager of corporate strategy and investments Duncan O’Brien adds, “The world of advertising is transforming before our eyes, and the necessity to support this evolving marketplace is expanding. Cox is fusing technology with data, access and expertise to better serve the needs of the advertising ecosystem. We have a long, proud history in the media industry, and with COMET, we’re using this experience and knowledge to best prepare for the future of the advertising business.”
TALKERS News Notes. This weekend, Westwood One is presenting exclusive radio coverage of the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament through Sunday. In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, WW1 will be broadcasting hourly updates, and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.” Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club along with WW1 broadcast crew members Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Maureen Madill, Kevin Kugler, Whit Watson, and Ted Emrich…..CBS RADIO announces its plans for the Chicago Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field. On Monday (4/10), CBS RADIO Chicago will broadcast live from the ballpark with on-air personalities on site and present a series of live events for fans. All day (starting at 5:00 am!) and leading up to the first pitch, WSCR “670 The Score,” WBBM-FM “B96,” WXRT, WUSN “US99,” and WJMK “104.3 K-HITS” personalities will be entertaining game attendees and fans at Wrigley. Additionally, The Score’s Ron Coomer will be reporting on-field during the opening ceremonies and for the raising of the 2016 World Series Championship Banner.
Emmis Head Jeff Smulyan to Receive 2017 TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board has announced today (4/5) the recipient of the publication’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious honor is going to Emmis Communications chairman, CEO and founder, Jeff Smulyan. Smulyan has contributed to radio in a wide variety of ways and on a number of fronts as one of the industry’s most visionary leaders. Among his many achievements, Smulyan is the father of the all-sports talk format which he boldly launched as then-owner of WFAN, New York in 1987. He built Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications into one of the 10 largest radio corporations in America with an ongoing reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly radio companies in the business. Today, Emmis owns and operates 16 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, St. Louis and Indianapolis, as well as its hometown Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Emmis owns the two top hip hop brands in the world, KPWR “Power 106” in Los Angeles and “HOT 97” in New York City. On the news/talk front, the company owns and operates heritage station WIBC, Indianapolis. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. Upon making the announcement of Smulyan’s selection to receive this award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Having the guts and foresight to launch all-sports talk radio is reason enough for this wonderful member of our industry to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. But that is only the tip of an iceberg of accomplishments attributable to his stellar career and it is but a small token of our appreciation for his continuing body of work when stacked up against all the many industry awards and honors he has received over the years.” Past recipients of the award include: Don Imus, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, and Don Barrett among others. Harrison will personally present the award to Smulyan during their “Fireside Chat” scheduled to take place at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York City on Friday, June 2. For more information about the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Morning drive personality Teri Ann Schlesser re-ups with iHeartMedia Fresno’s adult contemporary KSOF “Soft Rock 98.9” to continue co-hosting the “Jason & Teri Ann Morning Show” (with partner Jason Hurst). Schlesser comments, “I’m so excited to continue my journey with ‘Soft Rock 98.9’ and iHeartMedia. The past eight years have been wonderful and challenging and I’ve never had so much fun doing what I love!”…..Across the hall at iHeartMedia Fresno’s hip hop KBOS “B95,” Monisha Mann returns to the station where she once interned to host the evening show from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. The 15-year radio pro says, “I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at ‘B95.’ I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”.…..Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” is offering a local couple the chance to be married on stage during the station’s 10th Annual Birthday Celebration Presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers at the BB&T Pavilion on Sunday, June 11. The wedding ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Mike Jones and the winning bride and groom will be serenaded by Andrew McMahon during their first dance. The couple will also be showered with gifts including a five-star, all-inclusive honeymoon at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau. The promotion is in conjunction with WRFF’s 10th Birthday Celebration concerts, taking place on May 13 and June 11. The June 11 lineup features: The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo, Marian Hill and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of “On the Move with Enrique Santos,” the company’s hallmark English-language, Hispanic-targeted content initiative. The company says that in 2017, 53% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are primarily Spanish-language first households and 43% are primary English-language households and its goal is to deliver to both at scale across broadcast and digital platforms. “On the Move with Enrique Santos” is the first English-language radio program to feature Hispanic broadcast powerhouse Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform. “The new, two-hour music-intensive CHR weekend program features what’s hot and moving in music, entertainment, lifestyle and current events targeted to the Hispanic community.” It will originate from Miami and debut the weekend of April 15 on more than 100 iHeartMedia stations nationwide…..KTJJ, Farmington, Missouri morning personality Mark Toti was recently honored by the Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The country radio personality spends a lot of time at various charity events in the community. The Alpha Media station notes that the Lifetime Achievement Award is not an annual one, but an honor that is only given out when an individual stands out above the rest. Toti comments, “I am quite honored to receive this award. It is very humbling. Farmington has a number of people who give their time to the community and they deserve this award as much as me. I don’t do what I do so people will say ‘Good job!’ I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Having said that, I’m very grateful for the recognition.”
Envision Broadcast Network Merges with Rocking M Media. The Envision here is not the Danno Wolkoff-led syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks. This Envision – the Envision Broadcast Network – owns hot AC KKGQ, Newton, Kansas “Q92” (Wichita market) and its mission is to “grow and expand employment opportunities in the radio industry for people who are blind or visually impaired.” Manhattan, Kansas-based Rocking M Media owns stations across the state of Kansas. Envision SVP of foundation and mission services Heather Hogan states, “Having already employed individuals with vision loss at some of its existing stations, Rocking M Media shares Envision’s belief that people with all abilities should have access to meaningful career paths. We’re proud of our successes with the Envision Broadcast Network and ‘Q92.’ The fact that we found a radio group with the capacity to carry out our objectives on a much wider scale will propel our mission forward.” Q92’s current on-air personalities who are blind or visually impaired will be brought into the Rocking M Media family. In addition, Rocking M Media will collaborate with Envision to take the Envision Broadcast Academy model to its entire multi-state listening area. The Envision Broadcast Academy is a hands-on training program intended to equip youth and adults with vision loss with the skills and encouragement they need to explore high-tech careers in the radio industry.
Shelley Rises to Executive Director of RTDNA/F. Longtime association member, former chairman of the board and current foundation secretary/treasurer Dan Shelley is named incoming executive director of the RTDNA and the RTDNF. He’ll begin his new position in September. Shelley is a veteran Edward. R. Murrow Award-winning radio, television and digital media executive. He’s served in key news positions with iHeartMedia, Radio One, CBS Television Stations and Journal Broadcast Group. He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri. RTDNA/F board chairman Vincent Duffy states, “Dan’s unique blend of experience, energy and deep understanding of our mission will position us for growth and continued success. His passion and dedication make him an ideal leader for our organization.” Shelley comments on his new position, “I am honored to take on this exciting new challenge at a critical time for our profession. More than ever, RTDNA plays an essential role in defending the rights of electronic journalists. I am looking forward to serving our members and advocating on their behalf.” This spring and summer, Shelley will oversee the development of RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force. Current executive director Mike Cavender, who previously announced his intention to retire, will provide transition assistance to the organizations through the end of the year.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago Media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl’s disappearance from his afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM for more than a week. Feder writes that “an upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday (4/5) more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. ‘I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,’ Dahl, 62, told listeners. ‘I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain. They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating. I can live with it.’” Read Feder’s column here…..WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli afternoon drive program is honored with an excellence in broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters in the category of Outstanding Local Personality or Team for large market stations. In a memo to staffers, program executive producer Greg Stocker writes, “Host Rich Zeoli and news anchor Dawn Stensland were recognized for their outstanding broadcast abilities and the Rich Zeoli show has brought home WPHT’s first award for this category. A very big congrats to Rich and the whole PM drive team. These awards are never won alone, with lots of tireless work off the air helping make all of our shows successful.”…..The team of Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey exits Union Broadcasting Louisville’s sports talk WLCL-FM, Louisville “93.9 The Ville.” In a post on SB Nation Card Chronicle, Rutherford shares his reasons for leaving the station’s afternoon show. He writes, in part, that “Working multiple jobs that I really and truly love is an unbelievable blessing, but all of them reaching their maximum level of demand at the same time is taxing.”…..Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Elvira Salazar enters into a multi-year deal with Creative Talent Inc. for representation encompassing her work in television, radio, blogging and digital media. Salazar is a nightly news anchor with Mega TV and serves as a columnist with Newsmax Insider. Creative Talent president and CEO Steve Gallagher states, “Elvira has covered every major breaking news event in the past 25 years and regularly speaks out on immigration issues across the country on media outlets such as FOX News and FOX Business and she is a popular guest on radio talk shows nationwide. We are thrilled to be working with Elvira Salazar in getting her message out on every platform.”…..The central division of the Kroger grocery chain is honoring Neuhoff Communications’ WSOY, Decatur, Illinois “News/Talk 1340AM 103.3 FM” with its “Community Partner of the Year” award. WSOY was nominated and chosen for this prestigious honor for the impact of the WSOY Community Food Drive, an event that has raised more than 7.9 million pounds of food for local food pantries in its 15-year history. WSOY was chosen based on several key performance criteria, as well as general cooperation and enthusiasm toward achieving mutual goals. Previous honorees of the Community Partner of the Year Award include the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Lottery. Vendors honored at the awards this year included Red Bull, The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Hershey Company…..Salem Media Group announces that Heath Garlutzo will move from the company’s Phoenix station group where he’s been general sales manager to Colorado Springs to assume the general manager role there…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Neil Sargent, who passed recently from complications from lung cancer at age 85. Sargent was a much-loved broadcast executive whose last gig before retirement was CEO of TM Century. He’d also served with syndicators Unistar, Transtar. During his long career, he also managed radio stations.
New Categories, Broad Scope of Esteemed Jury Panel Mark 2017 New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs’ Awards. This year marks the 35th annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” awards presented by New York Festivals. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian speaks with New York Festivals International Radio Program competition executive director Rose Anderson, who tells him the competition is unique because virtually everything is covered from news programs; news features; documentaries; entertainment; drama; talk; promos; audio books; podcasts; and student work. Anderson says “It really is all things audio. It is most important to us that we make New York Festivals Radio Program awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality…This year, we have added four pretty interesting categories. They are ‘Best Live News Special,’ ‘Music Podcast,’ ‘Personalized Podcast,’ and ‘Heroes Documentary,’ with the latter a bit more than a biography profile documentary. ‘Heroes’ would be ordinary people whose extraordinary acts have influenced others.” Read more about the New York Festivals International Radio Program competition here.
Gorsuch Nomination, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Bannon Exits NSC, Trump and Xi Jinping Meeting, North Korea Missile Threats, Syrian Gas Attack, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The status of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents and Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking them; presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon exits the National Security Council; President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting at Mar-a-Lago; concerns about North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program; the deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians and the political blame game; and the first games of the Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hanging with the GOAT. WQAM, Miami afternoon show personalities (from l-r) Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, and Marc Hochman – of the “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show – chatted with all-time victories records-holder and Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula (seated) at a recent remote broadcast at Shula’s Steakhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-seven year radio pro Lori Tournay Liggett is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media Nashville’s music stations country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” and WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon,” and urban contemporary WQQK “92Q.” Liggett joined Cumulus Nashville in 2015 as general sales manager for WQQK. Prior to that, she was with CBS RADIO Detroit. She states, “I am honored to lead the WQQK, WSM-FM and WKDF sales team. Broadcast and digital media is constantly evolving and Cumulus Nashville puts local client solutions, employee development and our communities at the forefront of everything we do. I look forward to continuing these efforts.”…..Rock KFMB, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM” afternoon personality Mike Vasquez is promoted to program director for the Midwest Television station. He takes over for Garett Michaels, who exited the PD post in January…..Danny Hill is back with Alpha Media’s CHR KLLY, Bakersfield “Energy 95.3” as program director. Hill posts on Facebook that he’s psyched to be back at the station. He exited KLLY two years ago to take a management gig at Hawaii Media’s Kauai station group…..iHeartRadio’s “Artist Stories,” presented by State Farm, was honored for the Best Film & Video – Unscripted (Branded) category in the 21st Annual Webby Awards – an international award that honors excellence on the Internet…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of a number of acts to its Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. New artists added to the bill include: Halsey, Little Mix, Bleachers, Niall Horan, Bebe Rexha, and Cheat Codes.
Bi-Partisan PROMOTE Act Would Let Copyright Owners Opt Out of Uncompensated Radio Airplay for Their Songs. Radio station owners – as well as the National Association of Broadcasters – are no happier with this new bill (fully titled the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act) sponsored by U.S. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) than they were with the recently filed Fair Play Fair Pay Act that would force payments to AM/FM stations for playing copyrighted material. This PROMOTE Act would allow copyright holders of electronic performances – in most cases the record companies themselves – to not allow their material to be aired by AM/FM stations if they don’t believe they’re being compensated fairly. Issa says this proposal hits both sides of the free-play-in-exchange-for-promotion argument where they live. Issa says, “Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated. This is a win-win that helps solve this decades-long problem in a way that’s fair to both parties.” Radio station owners hate the idea almost as much as being forced to pay the copyright fees. But TALKERS editors wonder how many labels would really remove their music from AM/FM playlists unless they are paid. This could also adversely affect certain radio stations and not others. Remember that iHeartMedia and Cumulus have negotiated deals (the details of which are private) with a number of major labels and label groups that include compensation for AM/FM airplay.
Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater. Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.” Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event. WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia. His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see. We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.” Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.
USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show. Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies. USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio. Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”
FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million. FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark. FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand. The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia. The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research. WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.
Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports 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. Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.” iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio. We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10). Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.” Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.” Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles. Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie. Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more. Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks. Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues. We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22. This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event. Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.
KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup. San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00. Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program. He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold. Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station. Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”
Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report. This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016. Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year. Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks. For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital. Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5. As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016. See the Nielsen report here.
CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights. Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.” Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around. His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.” The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”
Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman. She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte. In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events. She also will focus on new business and growing account managers. In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN). CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team. Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”
Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast. Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX. Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015. He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”
Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media Station. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media. Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.” He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year. To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June. Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station. WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio. In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.” Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative. He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.
Opening Day at Citi Field. The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast. Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.
Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte. The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK. For information about the position and to apply, click here.
Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro. Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.” In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events. Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.” iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’ She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building. I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.” Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.” She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.” Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years. She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth! I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley. But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10. VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple. We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.
Kaloustian Returns from Pandora to Lead Sales for WPHT, WIP-FM, and Phillies and Eagles Radio Networks. Radio sales pro Rob Kaloustian exited CBS RADIO in 2013 after an 18-plus year career with the company’s Philadelphia stations to assume a senior sales executive post with Pandora. Now, CBS RADIO announces Kaloustian is returning to CBS RADIO to become general sales manager of SportsRadio 94WIP, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Phillies Radio and the Eagles Radio Network, effective April 5. CBS RADIO Philadelphia VP and director of sales Dave Scopinich says, “We’re thrilled to bring Rob back home to CBS RADIO Philadelphia. He’s a proven difference-maker who has a keen ability to connect our community of listeners with our advertising partners.” Kaloustian started his radio career with CBS in 1995 as an account executive at KYW Newsradio. He later was named local sales manager. In 2008, he was promoted to general sales manager of Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2017 Major League Baseball season gets underway Sunday and ESPN Radio is celebrating its 20th season airing games on the national network. ESPN Radio will present 71 games with commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton returning as the lead commentator team. Sunday’s game is the Chicago Cubs visiting the St. Louis Cardinals…..Over at SiriusXM, baseball is on tap as well. SiriusXM is again providing “the most comprehensive national Major League Baseball coverage available on radio…subscribers will have access to every regular season and postseason game on their satellite radios and via the SiriusXM app, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.”…..The Golden State Media podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio. The former is bringing 20-plus shows to the BlogTalkRadio platform “to take advantage of BlogTalkRadio’s unique monetization offerings.” Golden State Media CEO Andrew Tate says, “Combining the GSMC Podcast Network with BlogTalkRadio is the perfect fit to move Golden State Media Concepts into the future of podcast media.”…..CBS Sports Radio continues its on-site coverage of the Final Four as the Doug Gottlieb show and “The DA Show” broadcast live from radio row. Also, Gottlieb will broadcast live ahead of the highly anticipated National Championship Game on Monday, April 3.
Wayne Gardner Retires from WAVH, Mobile. Alabama talk show host Wayne Gardner retired from Bigler Broadcasting’s news/talk WAVH-FM, Mobile “Talk 106.5” this morning after a career in broadcasting that spanned 45 years. Gardner, who worked as a morning radio personality in the Mobile market in music radio prior to joining WAVH-FM in 2009, was part of the show on crosstown WKSJ that ruled the ratings during the 1970s and 1980s, according to a story in AL.com.
Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 27-31. The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and the Trump campaign was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week. At #2 was the GOP’s willingness to try again to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump travel ban, followed by the sanctuary cities/immigration-deportation policy stories 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.
New ‘Fair Play Fair Pay Act’ Officially Reintroduced. As expected, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D-NY) have reintroduced the Fair Play Fair Pay bill designed to end AM/FM radio’s immunity from paying copyright royalties on the performances of recorded music. A joint statement from the bill’s co-sponsors says, “Our current music licensing laws are antiquated and unfair, which is why we need a system that ensures all radio services play by the same rules and all artists are fairly compensated. Our laws should reward innovation, spur economic diversity and uphold the constitutional rights of creators. That is what the Fair Play Fair Pay Act sets out to accomplish: fixing a system that for too long has disadvantaged music creators and pitted technologies against each other by allowing certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists.” The National Association of Broadcasters issued the following statement in response: “NAB respectfully opposes the legislation reintroduced by Rep. Nadler that would impose a job-killing performance royalty on America’s hometown radio stations. NAB remains committed to working with Congress on balanced music licensing proposals that help grow the entire music ecosystem, promote innovation, and recognize the benefit of our free locally focused platform to both artists and listeners. We’re thankful to 165 House Members and 21 Senators who back the Local Radio Freedom Act that acknowledges broadcast radio’s indispensable role in breaking new artists and promoting record sales.” Nadler’s website highlights the proposed bill here.
PPM Analysis: Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rock stations based on ratings data from the February 2017 PPM survey. Kinosian writes, “Nearly twice as many rock panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (58%) versus those down (30%), while the remaining 12% of the sample is flat (6+).” When it comes to comparing performances from February 2016 to February 2017, “there is just about an even split here, as 53% of our eligible rock sample improves year-to-year (6+), while 47% decline. iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh is the only rock station ranking #1 in its respective PPM market, but seven others ranked (6+) in the top five. See all the data here.
Convergent Broadcasting II Exits Radio Biz with Sale of Corpus Christi Stations. The sale of three Corpus Christi FMs from Convergent Broadcasting II to ICA Radio Ltd. closes. ICA acquires CHR KKPN “Planet 102.3,” classic rock KPUS, country KAJE “My Country 107.3.” It also owns stations in the Odessa-Midland, Texas market. Convergent owns no other radio stations.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former longtime WXRT, Chicago music director John Farneda is returning to the CBS RADIO triple A to serve as music director, at least on an interim basis. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Farneda, who exited the station in 2014 after more than 30 years with the station, is taking over the music director duties from Kelly Ransford, who’s leaving the station to become director of event marketing for iHeartMedia Denver. Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom and hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5” are unable to come to terms with Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J. on contract renewals so the pair departs the morning show daypart. Obviously, the station is on the hunt for a new morning show…..iHeartMedia’s KIIS, Los Angeles announces that Miley Cyrus is joining the bill at this year’s Wango Tango on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson…..In the Detroit-Windsor market, Bell Media makes cuts across its radio stations that affect alternative CIMX “89X,” which lets go of morning personalities Cal Cagno and Gillian Reilly, midday host Phil Kukawinski, and afternoon personality Reed Petitpren…..Cumulus Media SVP of content and programming Mike McVay will be a recipient of one of the inaugural music industry awards bestowed by the Innovation in Music Awards. McVay is being honored with the Heritage Award in Innovation, while CMT’s Leslie Fram will receive the Innovation in National Media Award at a ceremony in Nashville on June 6. The Innovation In Music Awards were founded by Cold River Records CEO Pete O’Heeron.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers. The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball. This year seems no different. Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).” However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.” See the entire analysis here.
Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh. At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director. Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot. Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!” In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.
TALKERS News Notes. Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods. Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts. You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017. “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo. For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers. This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year. Read more about it here.
Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate. Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia. Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate. Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments. David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.” Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money. Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.
GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum. On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events. Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl
WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.” They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3. The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years. About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community. Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!” During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.” The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle. Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.” The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.
BIA/Kelsey: Radio’s Digital Revenue Rises 14%; OTA Revenue Flat. The first quarter edition of BIA/Kelsey’s 2017 Investing In Radio Market Report indicates the bright spot for radio revenue is on the digital side where, looking back on the year 2016, digital revenue for radio companies rose 14%, while over-the-air revenue was relatively flat. Looking ahead to 2017, BIA/Kelsey projects that the local ad market in the U.S. will be $148.8 billion, with radio – both digital and OTA – getting about $14.9 billion of that. Direct mail continues to lead BIA/Kelsey’s projections for 2017, expected to garner 24.9% of that ad market. OTA television is in second place with 13.3%. Online/Interactive follows with 12.5%, mobile is right behind with 10.8%, and radio OTA will be in fifth place with 9.6% of the U.S. local ad market. For those keeping score, the top radio biller in 2016 was Bonneville’s all-news WTOP, Washington, DC, taking in $67.5 million. See the chart below for the rest of the U.S. top 10 for 2016.
Mike Carruthers to End Radio Syndication of ‘Something You Should Know.’ After 37 years and close to 10,000 episodes, Mike Carruthers announces he’s ending the radio syndication of the “Something You Should Know” daily feature. Carruthers will continue the program as a podcast, but he says changes in the network radio business are forcing his hand. “It’s going to feel weird to NOT do something I have been doing every day since 1979. But it has been a good run and it is time to go. I am very proud of the work I have done on the radio. The fact that it ran successfully for so long makes me feel great.” The feature launched on WFTQ-AM, Worcester in December of 1979 and will wrap on May 26 of this year.
TALKERS News Notes. Last week, TALKERS magazine reported that Denver talk radio host Steve Curtis had been charged with voter fraud after allegedly using his ex-wife’s mail-in voter form during the 2016 general election. Curtis, who hosted two programs on Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver, resigned from the station the day after the news broke. At one time, Curtis served as the chairman of the Colorado GOP…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that veteran journalist and Chicago Reader political writer Ben Joravsky is the new afternoon host on Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk station WCPT. Joravsky assumes the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot formerly hosted by Wayne Besen…..Today (3/28), ESPN Radio and espnW are collaborating on a three-hour program, “The Trifecta: Women Making History Special,” which will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on ESPN Radio and simulcast on ESPN3. The special, honoring Women’s History Month, is being hosted by The Trifecta’s Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Sarah Spain and will delve into the impact female athletes have had on the sports landscape. Scheduled to join the show are current WNBA (and former UConn) stars Sue Bird and Stefanie Dolson, espnW commentator Julie Foudy, “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, “ESPN Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Jessica Mendoza and Olympic beach volleyball bronze medalist April Ross…..Boston-based sports media personality Danny Picard’s twice-weekly podcast is now available on the PodcastOne platform. Picard calls his show “an entertaining and informative sports talk podcast with a Boston edge.” New episodes every Monday and Thursday. Check it out here.
Trump Campaign-Russia Connection Investigation/Call for Nunes Recusal, GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Sessions’ Sanctuary City Strategy, Russian Protests, Koppel-Hannity Exchange, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Raiders Move to Las Vegas, and the Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents, tied with the call for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation; the GOP’s decision not to vote on its health care bill and what it means for the Trump Administration; Attorney General Jeff Sessions moves to penalize cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants; the weekend’s protests of Russian corruption resulting in hundreds of arrests; chatter about talk host Sean Hannity’s appearance on CBS News in which Ted Koppel told Hannity he’s bad for America; the aftermath of the London terror attack; the NFL’s Raiders wooed to relocate to Las Vegas; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament’s Final Four were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
2017 Radio Gracie Winners Announced. The winners of this year’s 2017 Radio Gracie Awards have been announced by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, June 6 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York. AWMF chair Sarah Foss states, “If we learned one thing this year, it is that the strength, courage and contributions of women are crucial and necessary components in moving the world forward. As we look to honor women in media, we take pause and recognize the millions of women who are not able to use their voice and creativity to share their message with the world. We hear you. We are you. And we stand beside you. We look forward to another great year and congratulations to the 2017 Gracie Award honorees.” Radio Gala Winners include: A Date with the First Lady (“Cafe Mocha Radio”), Special, Miles Ahead Broadcasting; Adell Coleman (SiriusXM Urban View), Producer, SiriusXM Radio; Cheree Carter, Host/Personality, Cumulus Media; “GMA After Hours,” Talk Show, ABC Radio; Kelly Ford (Ty, Kelly and Chuck), Co-host, Cumulus Media; McVay Minute and J:30, Public Service Announcement, Dawson McAllister Association; and Sandyland: On the M Train, Interview Feature, SiriusXM Radio. Radio Luncheon Winners: A League of Our Own – How Social Media Affects Women (Juliana Spano), Talk Show – Student, Radio Hofstra University; A League of Our Own – Women In Prison Project (Juliana Spano), Public Affairs – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Boyfriends Killing Boys (Megan Cloherty), Hard News Feature – Local, WTOP Radio; Decision 2016 (Kelly Green, Alyssa Compa, & Geneva Gerwitz), News Feature – Student, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM; Erin O’Malley (WBMX Boston Middays), Host/Anchor – Local, CBS Radio; Jillian Kempton (WLTW 106.7 Lite FM), Imaging – Local, iHeartMedia; Juliana Spano, Producer – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Laurel Lee (Pulse Roundtable Broadcast), Producer – Local, Cox Media Group; New York Primary Day – Election Central with Rita Cosby, Interview Feature – Local, WABC Radio/Cumulus Media; Orlando Pulse Tragedy Roundtable, Crisis Coverage – Local, Cox Media Group; Pavlina Osta (Toni Tennille – Surviving Muskrat Love), Host/Personality – Student, The Pavlina Show; Shelli Sonstein (The Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show – Q104.3), Co-host – Local, iHeartMedia; Sonstein Sunday (Q104.3), Public Affairs – Local, iHeartMedia; The New 93Q Cares For Kids Radiothon, Public Service Announcement – Local, Cox Media Group; and Then You Stand (Exceptional Women – MAGIC 106.7), Soft News Feature – Local, Beasley Media Group.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sacramento hot AC KZZO “NOW 100.5” brings Mark S. Allen back to the air staff to host the morning drive show. Allen worked afternoons at the station for five years, exiting in 2015. In addition to his new gig with the CBS RADIO station, Allen continues his role with KXTV-TV, Sacramento’s “Morning Blend” program…..Press Communications announces the new air staff for its WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey “107.1 The BOSS” branded as “classic rock of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and More.” The AM drive show “The Morning Kickstart” features Rob Acampora and Wendy McClure, Michele Amabile is the midday host and station VP of programming Jeff Rafter is hosting the afternoon drive program…..iHeartMedia is reporting that its iHeartRadio digital audio service has surpassed the 100 million registered user mark. iHeartRadio president Darren Davis comments, “100 million registered users is an amazing milestone and we are thrilled to see such great momentum and traction for iHeartRadio. We are committed to continuing to provide an exceptional listening experience for our millions of fans and listeners, and with the official launch of our new on-demand services, we are able to offer even more iHeartRadio features for our listeners who want to enhance their radio experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin on May 6. The free daytime event will feature live performances by Jon Pardi, Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Tucker Beathard, Chris Janson and Kip Moore. The Daytime Village will also feature fan zones and interactive experiences by iHeartRadio’s brand partners…..Cumulus Media’s consumer survey series, NASH Country Pulse Poll, announces the results of its first poll. Ahead of the Academy of Country Music Awards, the poll asked country fans a number of questions, and the results included Luke Bryan and Keith Urban in a dead heat for “Entertainer of the Year” with both stars tied at 26%; Tim McGraw’s 27th #1 country hit “Humble and Kind” was voted most likely to win “Song of the Year,” with 29% of the votes; and 57% of respondents expect Carrie Underwood to make a grand entrance at the awards show.
Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party. Nationally syndicated urban morning host Tom Joyner visited affiliate WNBM, New York “Radio 103.9” and Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 for the “Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party” at which one lucky listener was invited to join Joyner on the April cruise. Pictured above (from l-r) are: WNBM personality Marc Clarke, Tom Joyner, cruise winner Osborne Bryant, and WNBM personality La Loca.
Hannity and Koppel Clash on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’ Radio and television talk star Sean Hannity is calling for CBS News to release the raw, 45-minute video of his conversation with CBS correspondent Ted Koppel, from which a highly charged segment on news/talk media was culled for a piece that aired on the “CBS Sunday Morning” program. In the report, which also featured White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, Koppel expresses his view that news/talk shows like Hannity’s are widening the divide among Americans. At one point, Hannity asks Koppel, “You think I’m bad for America?” And Koppel responds, “Yeah…You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.” Hannity told Koppel he was not giving Americans credit for being able to discern between an opinion show and a news show. After the show aired, Hannity Tweeted complaints about the editing of the program. “Fake ‘edited’ news. I gave a example after example of why I say ‘journalism is dead’. I also gave many examples of how liberalism has failed.” Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full, 45-minute video “so people can see the BS games you play in the edit room. I dare you!” See the CBS story and link to the program segment here.
Zito to Host ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ on SiriusXM. A joint production of the Washington Examiner and SiriusXM is presenting the new, weekly show, “Main Street Meets the Beltway,” Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on the satcaster’s non-partisan POTUS channel. The program is being hosted by Washington Examiner reporter Salena Zito. She’s been with the Examiner since 2016 as a Pittsburgh-based columnist and reporter. She is also a columnist at the New York Post and serves as a contributor for CNN. She spent much of the last 12 years with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as both a reporter and columnist covering national politics. On the radio show, “Zito will prioritize the stories and opinions of Americans across the country over politicians and bureaucracy. Having travelled across the heartland extensively throughout the 2016 campaign, Zito gathered countless stories from people of all backgrounds, leading her to correctly predict President Trump’s victory in November. ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ will focus on these individuals – their needs, concerns, and hopes for their futures – and what their expectations are from both local and federal government.” Zito will host the new weekly program live from the studios of Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
‘AM1280 The Patriot’ in Twin Cities to Presents Trump 100 Days Event. Twin Cities news/talk outlet WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” along with Salem Media Group’s fellow Minneapolis-St. Paul stations – business talk KYCR-AM “Twin Cities Business Radio 1440” religious KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” and talk KDIZ “Twin Cities Wellness Radio 1570” – are co-presenting the live event, “President Trump: The First 100 Days” on Sunday, May 21. It features Salem Radio Network hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager with moderator Ed Morrissey from HotAir.com. The event is one of 18 that will be taking place in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, and Philadelphia.
Cooke: Radio’s Biggest Star Is Back. No, not Orson Welles…baseball! Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that the evidence of how beneficial baseball play-by-play is to radio is overwhelming. But, now the games are available in numerous other places. So, “stations need to play defense to exploit the franchise.” Read Cooke’s advice here.
WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran Returns to the Air After Being Treated for Blood Clots. WGN, Chicago morning drive personality Steve Cochran returned to the air this morning after spending two days in the hospital being treated for blood clots in his lungs. Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes that Cochran had been under care for bronchitis and shortness of breath. Feder reports that the source of the clot was behind Cochran’s left knee. Cochran is quoted saying, “Serena Williams, Regis Philbin and me — what do we have in common? Not much…but we’ve all had blood clots. DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) — all quite serious, but I’m lucky as mine are meds controlled.”
GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Trump-Ryan Relationship, Gorsuch Nomination, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Russia Anti-Corruption Protests, Cincinnati Nightclub Shootings, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The failure of the GOP-authored health care plan designed to replace the Affordable Care Act and speculation about what it means for the Trump Administration; chatter about the working relationship between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan; the status of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the Supreme Court; the aftermath of last week’s London terror attack that killed five and injured 50; Russia cracks down on anti-Putin and anti-corruption protesters, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and other Western nations; the slaying of one and injuring of numerous others after a gun battle at a Cincinnati night club; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Diane Look, Wife of WFHR PD and AM Host Bob Look Slain in Wisconsin Shootings. The shootings in Wausau, Wisconsin last week that stemmed from a marital dispute claimed the life of Diane Look, the wife of Bob Look, the program director and morning host at Seehafer Broadcasting’s news/talk WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids. Diane Look, a staffer at Marathon Savings Bank, died along with fellow bank worker Karen Barclay after Nengmy Vang showed up at the bank looking for his estranged wife, Naly Vang, who was not injured in the attack. Nengmy Vang also killed Naly Vang’s divorce attorney, Sara Quirt Sann, at her office, and police officer Jason Weiland after barricading himself in his apartment.
Covering the White House Health Care Issue. Pictured above in the Oval Office on Friday (3/24) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugton (standing, second from left) covering the president’s remarks after the decision not to put the GOP health care bill to a vote in the House. Clugton was in the Oval Office as part of the White House radio pool and was one of only four reporters to question President Trump directly.
KIDO, Boise Morning Host Kevin Miller Guests on Harrison Podcast. This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the hard-working morning host and brand manager of Townsquare Media’s 580 KIDO, Boise – Kevin Miller. Miller is a seasoned veteran who paid his dues in the trenches of local radio in such markets as Pittsburgh, Nashville, Raleigh, Birmingham, Nashua and more before landing in Idaho’s Treasure Valley where he has dug deep and meaningful roots into the community for the better part of a decade. Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of doing local radio with all its many challenges and rewards in the era of Donald Trump…and then some. 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.
Roasting to Benefit the American Diabetes Association. KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (standing) is pictured above emceeing the 20th Los Angeles Political Roast at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last Thursday (3/23). The “roastee” for this year’s event was Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. Pictured with McIntyre here is Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Busciano. The event was expected to raise $500,000 for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Diabetes Association.
Drew Bland to Lead Programming at Entercom’s ‘Wolfe’ in Seattle. Country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” has a new program director as Entercom announces Drew Bland assumes the role, effective April 12. Entercom Seattle VP of programming and operations Dave Richards states, “After a nationwide search, it was very clear that Drew was the right person for the job. ‘The Wolf’ is one of America’s great country stations and it deserves a great leader like Drew.” Bland comes to Entercom from Cox Media Group where he was director of programming and branding for country WWKA, Orlando “K92.3 FM.”
WZAT, Savannah Flips to Hot AC. On Friday afternoon (3/24), Cumulus Media flipped WZAT-FM, Savannah from classic country as “NASH Icon 102.1” to hot AC, rebranding the station “102.1 The Sound.” The station is using syndicated morning program “The Bert Show” with Bert Weiss. Cumulus Media Savannah vice president/market manager Eric Mastel says, “We are all very excited to debut Savannah’s newest radio station, ‘102.1 The Sound.’ After extensive market research, it was overwhelmingly evident that Savannah was asking for a radio station they could call their own. ‘102.1 The Sound’ is not only named for the music, but also for the beauty of our home and the water that surrounds us. With artists like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd and Lorde, and featuring ‘The Bert Show’ in the morning, we have given Savannah exactly what they asked for ‘102.1 The Sound!’”