Category: Industry News

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity 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.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Thursday, March 22, 2018

| March 22, 2018

Townsquare to Acquire Three More New Jersey Signals. This deal with Connoisseur Media will transfer ownership of Trenton, New Jersey’s CHR WPST and sports talk WNJE “AM 920 The Jersey” and Christian teaching WCHR, Flemington to Townsquare Media.  The price tag for the three is $17 million.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says in a press release, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of these radio stations, particularly WPST, one of the Northeast’s most respected and highest-performing CHR stations.  Combined with our market leading news/talk radio station based in Trenton – ‘New Jersey 101.5’ – and our existing portfolio of 10 other stations in the state of New Jersey, we believe these assets will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, engaging, local content and superior, multi-platform marketing solutions.  This is the third strategic acquisition that we have announced within the past nine months, demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing capital at attractive values in our local media business.”  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “This is a bittersweet deal for us. We are very proud of our talented team and their accomplishments in New Jersey. I’m confident that these stations will continue to thrive as part of the Townsquare family.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is former deputy White House assistant to President Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, in the Washington, DC studios of Salem Radio Network as he sits in for nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager on Wednesday’s program.  (Prager was addressing audiences in Australia.)  SRN vice president/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup says that although Gorka is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel, it was his first time hosting a radio show. He says, “His debut was flat out amazing.  Nothing fazed him.  Dr. Gorka was calm, unflappable, and performed as if he’d been a talk radio host for 20 years.”…..Next week, ABC News launches a daily news podcast titled, “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke.  ABC News says the 20-minute episodes will “draw on the global resources of ABC News and deliver meaningful insights on events shaping the world.”  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “This new venture will provide expertise, curation and credibility as an antidote to information noise.  The median age of podcast listeners is 29.  Brad’s inviting and energetic delivery powered by ABC News gives us the opportunity to reach that next generation of ABC News consumers in a medium they love, and allow them to not just hear the news, but to step inside of it and emerge better equipped for their day.”…..The Dr. Daliah Wachs show, syndicated by Genesis Communications Network, adds a new affiliate station as Wynne Enterprises’ KFLS, Klamath Falls, Oregon adds the show for weekdays and weekends…..ESPN’s WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM New York” is broadcasting the 45th annual NYPD vs. FDNY charity hockey game taking place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (3/24).  Station personality Don La Greca – co-host of the Michael Kay show – will do the play-by-play alongside Rick DiPietro – co-host of the Humpty & Canty program – who will be color commentator…..iHeartMedia news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth, New Hampshire “NewsRadio 96.7” raised more than $160,000 during Wednesday’s fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon – spearheaded by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath.  The funds benefit Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  Heath says, “‘New Hampshire Today’ is committed to supporting the men and women that selflessly serve our country.  With the help of our generous listeners and sponsors we were able to raise a significant amount of money to help the vets in our local community.”

Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes Announces Podcast Deal with Westwood One.  Eight months after exiting SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes has struck a deal with Westwood One to join the company’s podcast network.  Hughes released a YouTube video in which he talks about the project.  He’ll do a twice-weekly podcast and look for other shows that he can include under the “Opie Radio” umbrella he’s been asked to build.  He says there is a possible radio component to his deal with Westwood One, but that hasn’t been ironed out yet.  He credits Westwood One’s Tim Sabean with brokering the deal.  Sabean worked with Hughes at SiriusXM.  The podcast debuts on April 17.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Hometown Heroes Awards Take Place Next Thursday. Next Thursday evening, the “Sixth Annual Larry Hometown Heroes” event takes place at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  This annual awards program is hosted by KDKA-AM morning host Larry Richert and honors individuals who are giving back and making a difference in their local community.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.  Former football player Merril Hoge will be the keynote speaker.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “It is a privilege to give back to our local community and honor our hometown heroes who have been doing extraordinary things for the Pittsburgh community and to place a spotlight on the selfless work they do.  We are looking forward to having Merril Hoge join us as the keynote speaker for this year’s Larry’s Hometown Heroes.”  Also this year, the Larry Hometown Heroes “Lifetime Hero Award” is being presented to local sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove for his philanthropic efforts within the community and through the University of Pittsburgh.

Trump-Putin Relationship, Mueller’s Russia Investigation, Trump Women Litigation, Facebook-Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Austin Bomber Case, Fed Raises Interest Rates, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The controversy over President Trump’s congratulating Vladimir Putin for his “election” victory and speculation about their relationship; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the legal battles being waged against President Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s CNN apology; China’s threat of retaliation if the Trump tariffs go into effect; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the death of the Austin serial bomber; the Fed raises interest rates; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Jack Daniel joins Beasley Media Group in the Charlotte market to serve as afternoon personality on adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and classic hits “94.7 Smoke.”  Daniel comments, “I’m thrilled to be working with longtime friends John Reynolds, DJ Stout and Bill Schoening.  It will be exciting to host the drive home show on ‘K-104.7’ and ‘94.7 SMOKE’ and be part of the Beasley team in Charlotte.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Entercom names Chris “DECiPHA” Hernandez program director for CHR KALV, Phoenix “Live 101.5.”  He rises from his role as APD and music director.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to continue to have Chris on the ‘LIVE 101.5′ team.  His hard work and dedication, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community, make him ideal for this role.”…..iHeartMedia Chicago promotes Matthew Harris to promotions director for hip hop WGCI.  Harris has been with the station’s programming since last year.  He will report to iHM Chicago director of marketing and promotions Echo Robinson.

The Jim Brickman Show Welcomes Hannah Rae as Co-Host.  The Envision Networks-syndicated Jim Brickman show announces Hannah Rae joins as the new producer and co-host.  Rae (center) joins award-winning songwriter and best-selling solo pianist Jim Brickman (right) and “formidable slacker and gen-Xer” Bob (left) as the most recent member of the show.  Brickman says, “It’s rare to discover an authentic talent who’s never done radio and yet shines when the mic goes on.  Hannah Rae rounds out the B-team with a refreshing, millennial point of view.”  As well as serving as a co-host, she writes for the show, coordinates in-studio recording, interviews, and handles social media.

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland Spoken Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it returns all of the +1.1 it racked up in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.6 – 8.5, -1.1, 6+) remains at #1. When it entered the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there though as KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Its recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018) and now -1.1 (February). Despite posting its third increase in a row for a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). After gaining one-half share in January to 1.7 – its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well) – iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” repeats the 1.7 and stays at #19. Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is off two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #23, 6+). As it returns the four-tenths it picked up in January (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” moves from #17 to #18. Dropping four-tenths as well is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” (1.4 – 1.0, unchanged at #22, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#25, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (4.4 – 5.4, eighth to fifth), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.2. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) co-owned KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+). Although steady at #7, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of gaining one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #10) applies the brakes to six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths slices in half the 6+-share of Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD “Jazz Radio 89.1” (1.4 – .7, #25, 6+). Over the course of the last two ratings periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW (-9.0) has seen its 6+-share dwindle by more than 50% (16.9 – 8.5 – 7.9, 6+) but “K-103” remains in second-place. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Off one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” dips from #16 to #17.

2) Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging its third uptick in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). Earlier, WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). Dropping one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE remains at #15; “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.6 (October); +.5 (November); -1.1 (December); and +.6 in January. Off seven-tenths (1.9 – 1.2, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” slips from #18 to #19.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), “V-101.9” jumps from #2 to #1. This represents the first time that WBAV has reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Exiting the top spot and segueing to #4 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which surrenders seven-tenths of January’s +1.9 (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.9 it registered this time last month was the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since 7.0 in May 2016. WKKT hadn’t hit #1 since August 2017, when it registered a 6.1 (6+). Tied at #4 with “The Kat” is its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” – which is off two-tenths, thus ending at three a consecutive string of gains that netted seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” (7.0, unchanged at #2, 6+); CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (#16 to #13, 6+); and Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.5, steady at #17, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. “Channel 96.1” has its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), while “The Block” was -.3 in three successive down or flat moves (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A +.9 in January by Radio One gospel outlet WPZS ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” surrenders six-tenths in February (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In a similar situation, iHeartMedia’s WEND picked up seven-tenths in January to suspend three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); however, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” now forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #14).

3) San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January +1.6 to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well) – iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is flat in both 6+-share (4.4) and 6+-market rank (#9). Before that massive +1.6, WOAI was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” continues at #20. A combined -1.7 in January and February (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #13 to #15. With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Flat at .5 (6+) iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” checks in at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – If January’s +1.1 to 5.2 (6+) wasn’t sufficient, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” follows with a +1.6 (6.8, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. With a (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase half that of KAJA, CHR cluster-mate KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #15 to #11 (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, 6+). A January +1.8 by KONO-FM lifted the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to #1, as well as suspending three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In the February report, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and repeats in the lead position. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. An overall +1.8 in seven sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. By picking up one-tenth to 2.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of January’s +1.1 (5.4 – 4.4, -1.0, 6+), classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” plummets from third to ninth. Down by one full-share as well (3.4 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+) is Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which improved by eight-tenths in January.

4) Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – When Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM broke out a +1.3 in January to 5.3 (6+), it pulled the plug on four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Remaining at #7 in February, “News Radio 1020” matches that 5.3 – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), sports talk sibling KDKA-FM surrenders nine-tenths in February to 5.7 (6+) but “93.7 The Fan” remains in sixth-place. January’s 6.6 represents the best 6+-showing for “The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. While it is true that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG is without a loss for the eighth ratings period in a row, “ESPN Pittsburgh” has a net gain of just one-tenth in that stretch (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Following a six-tenths gain that halted three successive downward trends resulting in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and stays at #12.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double digits (6+) as it was September through “Holiday” 2017, “94.5 – 3WS” gains nine-tenths and is #1 for the 12th ratings period in succession (9.4 – 10.3, 6+). It is rebounding from January’s loss of seven full-shares. Adding six-tenths to January’s +.4 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” inches up from fourth to third. A collective -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” carries on in fifth-place. In “Holiday” 2017, the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary facility posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. More major ups and downs for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January); and now -.9 in February (9.2 – 8.3, #2, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in eight of the last nine sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4).

5) Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – After only a one-month stay at #1, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” sputters by one-half share (8.6 – 8.1, 6+) and slips to the runner-up slot. Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Having posted a 2.7 in January – its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8 – co-owned KSTE regresses by two-tenths (2.5, #13 to #16). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January. By posting a one-half share gain in January, KXJZ recaptured approximately half of its combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet returns three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) to dip from fifth to sixth. There’s little movement in the market’s sports contest as Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (#21).

Sacramento Music Formats – As part of a steady September 2017 through February 2018 progression, Capital Public Radio classical-formatted KXPR “88.9 The Classical Station” is a collective +1.5 in six straight up or flat trends and reaches the two-share level (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well in February is Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to fifth, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.2 – 8.3, 6+), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” marches from second to first. Its +2.0 in January basically erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; “The Eagle” was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Steady at #4, CHR sibling KUDL “106.5 The End” is off two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), ending three positive trends in succession that produced a +1.8 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative moves, Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2 (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+), but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with an overall +1.6 in January and February to 6.7 (6+) and continues in second place. After logging a +.7 in January, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off one-tenth to 3.9 (flat at #10, 6+). Having trended 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November, but was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting all of January’s +.8 and three-tenths more (4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” slumps from a three-way tie at #19 to #21.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Rebounding from January’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” flashes a +.9 to 2.1 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19, 6+). This (2.1) is its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). In addition to registering a +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), allowing it to leap from #17 to #12, Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” reaches the three-share level for the first time since January 2017’s 3.1. Albeit a whopping -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fifth ratings period in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. A one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.2, 6+) takes Broadway Media adult hits KYMV to its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (1.2, as well in January 2017) as “Rewind 100.7” departs the top twenty (#19 to #23). Given that both stations’ 6+-share is unchanged from January, there’s still a seven-tenths difference between Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (flat at 5.3, 6+) and independent rival KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (steady at 4.6, #7, 6+). “K-Bull” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but logged a +2.0 in January. Up or flat for the tenth sweep in a row – including 1.4 (6+) in each of the last four (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” continues at #22.

7) Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by one-tenth after January’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR is this market’s only spoken-word representative to appear in February 2018’s top twenty (#17 to #15). This (2.6) is KNPR’s best 6+-stat since May 2017’s 2.8. Up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” continues at #21, while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” doubles its 6+-share via five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7      – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) to carry on at #23. Conversely, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.4 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” to its strongest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 5.6. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.0, progressing from fifth to fourth. Despite surrendering roughly half of January’s +1.1 (7.6 – 7.1, -.5, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” repeats at #1. In December, KKLZ was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 (December). Down or flat the past six survey periods for a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” dials up a +.5 to 3.8 and enters the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+). Without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is now a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), spiraling from #8 to #15; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4.

8) Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – After logging five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), WLW is +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, flat at #2). The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. It returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances in the runner-up slot. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” backslides from #10 to #11. Its +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following January’s one-half share improvement, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet slips from #11 to #12. The market’s 6+-sports talk share shrinks by three-tenths as iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” is down two-tenths (.7 – .5, #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Three gains in succession by Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (unchanged at #3) flips December’s -1.4 into a +2.3 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10) with its strongest 6+-share since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Unchanged at 9.6 (6+), cluster-mate WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The classic hits-oldies facility dusted itself off from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” (4.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January’s -7.6, “Warm 98” (#1 in “Holiday” 2017) was an overall +9.1 in five improvements in a row since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A January +1.3 by “Mix” virtually eliminated its -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) – immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+) – Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ picks up one-tenth to 1.5 (6+) as “Soul 101.5” moves from #18 to a four-way tie at #16.

9) Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner did iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS explode with a January +1.7, “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” immediately follows with a +1.3 (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). January’s mammoth gain ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WTKS bypasses Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM, which after January’s +1.3, is flat in both 6+-share (4.7) and rank (#10). Entering the January sweep, “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); WDBO-FM registered a +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January but coughs up three-tenths in February (1.9 – 1.6, flat at #16, 6+). Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE slides from #11 to #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Tied at #20 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (1.2 – .7, -.5, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.8 – .7, -.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” erupts with a full-share gain to 6.0 – its best 6+-share June 2017’s 6.1 – progressing from eighth to fifth. After recording four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017. It faltered by nine-tenths in January but “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative” bounces back in February with a +.7 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Its hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” improves by six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, ninth to sixth, 6+), as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.6 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and +1.0 in January. “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plummeting -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+) in January. Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is up two-tenths (9.3 – 9.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. At the same time, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted WNUE “Salsa 98.1” erodes by nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #15. A collective +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country-formatted WWKA hands over all but two-tenths of that margin (4.0, -1.1, 6+) as “K-92.3” drifts out of the top ten (#7 to #12). The wild journey keeps going for iHeartMedia CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive positive moves (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before recording a -.9 in “Holiday” 2017. It logged a +1.6 in January to 8.9 – its best 6+-stat since April 2017’s 9.9 – but is -.6 in February (8.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.5 – .9. #17 to #19, 6+). In January, iHeartMedia’s WJRR posted a +1.3, obliterating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” returns one-half share in February (5.3 – 4.8, sixth to ninth, 6+).

10) Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – Having gained one-half share in January to curtail three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” regresses by two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+) but moves from eighth to seventh. A major winning streak is snapped as Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN – which was a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+) – relinquishes roughly half that increase (3.6, -1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). In four successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up six-tenths and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Cleveland Music Formats – The loftiest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase logged by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here is by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (8.4 – 10.3, +1.9, 6+), which progresses from second to first. Ironically, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Even though it displays a +.4 (9.1 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC is displaced from the top spot after a one-month stay and shifts to #2. Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” posts a +.6 to 6.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Eroding by more than 50% (-5.6) in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) after being a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” dips from seventh to ninth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above racking up six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” zooms from eighth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.0 and remains at #19, while Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 (#22, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR shifts from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+). When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Owing to a loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” falls off the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Kansas City Music Formats – Recapturing all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” storms from second to first. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which falters by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8, first to second, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Frozen on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” registers a one-half share increase and is back at 5.0 (tenth to seventh, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned KCMO-FM, skidding by six-tenths as well are KQRC’s country cluster-mate WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (5.3 – 4.7, fifth to ninth, 6+), up one-half share in January, and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #15, 6+), which gained eight-tenths in January. Ups/downs continue for Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz,” which was an overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; +1.0 in January; and now -.5 in February (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+).

12) Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” relinquishes two-thirds of that gain (6.1, -1.0, third to fifth, 6+); WTVN was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) for five sweeps in a row, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU registered a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) in January. It follows with a +.1 in February to 4.3 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Locked on .9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” repeats January’s .8 (#17 to #16, 6+). This time last month, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk station has ceased to subscribe to Nielsen ratings and will not appear in this or future public releases of 6+ data from Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” makes up about one-fifth of January’s -5.8 and advances from #5 to #3. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Notching a February increase half that of WSNY is iHeartMedia adult hits WODC (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). Even with a +.6, however, “93.3 The Bus” backspins from fifth to sixth. Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. “The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+), but -2.9 in January. After spending six months at #1, country-formatted sibling WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January and repeats in February with a 12.3 (6+). It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Accustomed to major fluctuations, WCOL was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); and now -1.7 in February. Elsewhere in that cluster, urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” drops six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

| March 21, 2018

Will iHeartMedia Sell Lots of Radio Stations? Forbes Contributor Gene Ely Thinks So. The piece published by Forbes suggests that because the purpose of bankruptcy protection is to emerge a leaner, more efficient organization, iHeartMedia will begin shucking underperforming stations as well as clusters in smaller markets.  Gene Ely writes that we can expect iHM to sell stations, “likely hundreds, many at rock-bottom prices.”  In explaining the situation in which iHeart finds itself, Ely further opines that the company’s use of syndicated programming defies the trend toward localism as a hedge against digital competition.  He also blames Lowry Mays for taking “the local out of radio.”

FOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Shows. The new spring and summer lineup of programs from FOX Sports Radio launches this weekend and includes some new talent.  The company says that joining it for the first time is NBA Champion and two-time All-Star Caron Butler, who will team up with NBA insider Chris Mannix (he currently writes for Yahoo! Sports basketball platform The Vertical).  Their show airs Sundays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  FSR is partnering hosts and FS1 analysts Chris Broussard and Rob Parker for “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” program airing Sundays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Network personality Mark Willard teams with 14-year NBA veteran and FOX Sports BIG3 analyst Jim Jackson for a Sunday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET show.  Willard will also partner with six-year NFL offensive guard Rich Ohrnberger for a Saturday 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET show.  Finally, FOX Sports college sports insider Aaron Torres joins the network to co-host Saturday evenings from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with FSR’s Arnie Spanier.

TALKERS News Notes. All day today (3/21), iHeartMedia’s WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth “NewsRadio 96.7” in New Hampshire are holding the fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon to benefit New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  The “New Hampshire Today” morning show – led by local radio pro Jack Heath (pictured at right) – is spearheading the radiothon that will benefit Veterans Count.  He says, “What started as an impassioned rant on-air about improving our servicemen and women’s benefits turned into a successful community radiothon that makes a positive impact on the lives of our local veterans.  Last year the ‘Make 12 Hours Count’ radiothon raised nearly $140,000 and we were astounded; this year, we merely wish to match that number.”  To date, “Make 12 Hours Count” has raised over $350,000 to benefit local veterans and military members…..Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch is added to the program schedule at new affiliate stations including: WPTF-AM, Raleigh-Durham; KTOW-FM, Buhl, Idahol; KEVA-AM, Evanston, Wyoming; and KDXC-AM, King Hill-Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho.  The show is heard in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot on WPTF and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the other stations…..WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” is adding the Reach Media-syndicated “Keeping it Real” with Rev. Al Sharpton to the program schedule, airing from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, effective Monday (3/26).  Station operator Kevin Adell says, “Rev. Al Sharpton is the most iconic civil rights leaders of our time!  I have known Rev. Al Sharpton for 30 years and I look forward to him joining our ‘910AM Superstation family.’”…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network NewsEthan Tradup (left) interviewing actor Jim Caviezel (right) at last night’s Dallas red carpet premiere of the SONY/AFFIRM film PAUL: Apostle of Christ.  The film also stars James Faulkner of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”  This weekend’s opening of this faith-based film follows last weekend’s opening of the film, I Can Only Imagine, that surprised the industry by grossing $17.1 million.

‘Free Beer and Hot Wings’ Producer Arrested on Domestic Battery Charges.  According to a report by WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, Joseph Gassmann, a.k.a. Producer Joe for the WGRD-FM-based, nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” program, was arrested in Illinois on domestic battery charges.  The television station reports that he’s been suspended by WGRD pending the outcome of his case.  He’s expected to be in court in DuPage County, Illinois on April 23.

Nielsen’s Podcasting Audience Growth Report Indicates Increasing Interest. According to the latest Nielsen Podcast Insights, the medium is showing increased listening and engagement.  It says that its Fanlinks Survey asked households “to rate their interest in overall podcasting as well as various genres of podcasts.  The highest scores are tagged as ‘avid podcast fans.’  In fall of 2016, there were 13 million homes who identified as ‘avid fans.’  In fall of 2017, the number of homes who consider themselves ‘avid fans’ surged to 16 million!  Not only is the podcast audience growing, but the level of engagement is increasing.”  Check it out here.

Noory Inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory (pictured above) was among 22 legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, filmmakers and others inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Saturday (3/17).  The inductees were chosen based on their “significant contributions to print, broadcast and digital media, advertising, and public relations” by the St. Louis Media History Foundation.

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Breach, Austin Bomber Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case-McDougal Suit, Maryland School Shooting, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  The data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; porn star Stormy Daniels’ legal battle with President Trump and a new suit against the president by former Playboy model Karen McDougal; a school police officer kills a would-be school shooter in Maryland; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle country outlet KNUC “Country 98.9” names Michael Kraig Mason evening personality.  Lisa Adams programs the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Michael is a Pacific Northwest native who is incredibly creative and unique, with high energy!  Seattle nights are in for something very special!”…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Christopher “Boomer” Layfield operations manager for its three-station group in Indianapolis.  He’ll also serve as program director for country WFMS-FM.  Layfield was most recently with iHeartMedia in Charlotte.  Layfield comments, “Cumulus has assembled quite a talented team in Indianapolis that’s getting great results with a pair of the market’s iconic radio brands in classic hits WJJK and country WFMS, as well as the exciting new CHR “Energy 93.9.”  For me, it’s a privilege and a thrill to join such a thriving operation in one of America’s great cities and work alongside such passionate people to elevate these brands even higher…I can’t wait to get started!”…..Curtis Media Group names Mike Biddle program director for country WQDR, Raleigh.   Biddle assumes the role that opened after the untimely January passing of Lisa McKay.  Biddle had served two previous tours with Curtis Media.  He left in 2016 to serve as operations manager for the digital marketing firm Heart+Hammer…..The Kansas City radio group MGTF Radio Company, doing business as Steel City Media, files to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In 2014, Steel City bought the Wilks stations in Kansas City for $105.5 million.  Those signals are adult contemporary KCKC “KC 102.1,” country KBEQ “Q104,” country KFKF, and CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3.”  Steel City’s Pittsburgh properties – hot AC WLTJ “Q92.9” and adult hits WRRK “96.9 BOB FM” are not listed in the company’s petition.

Round Two of February PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding a decline of four-tenths to 10.2 (6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP repeats at #1. After four consecutive months in the driver’s seat, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since 10.6 in March 2011. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January 2017 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. One full-share behind WTOP and steady at #2 is American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” (9.3 – 9.2, -.1, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained 85% of that loss back in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), WMAL dialed up a +1.1 in January, registering its strongest 6+-performance since March 2015 (4.8, as well). Off two-tenths to 4.6 (6+) in February though, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet slips from sixth to seventh. As Hubbard news/talk WFED “Federal News Radio” resurfaces with a .1 (#24, 6+), Radio One news/talk WOL disappears from print with its sixth straight down or flat trend (.5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .0, 6+). Steady at 2.4 (6+) and continuing at #18, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+), before notching a +.6 in January to 2.4 (6+). Since appearing in print in May 2017, co-owned business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 (#22 to #21, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last 15 survey periods, WPGC breaks out a +.8 (3.7 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+) as the Entercom rhythmic CHR reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2016’s 4.0. In a seesaw pattern, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR recorded a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing; forfeited one-half share in December; was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2017; +.3 in January; and now -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, WHUR was in third-place for each of the previous 12 ratings periods.

2) Boston Spoken-Word Formats – Post Super Bowl, the market’s two huge FM sports talk properties account for a massive -2.8 (6+), virtually split down the middle between Beasley Media Group-owned/New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (7.1 – 5.6, -1.5, second to third, 6+) and Entercomowned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM (5.4 – 4.1, -1.3, fourth to tenth, 6+). It is quite a turnaround for the two, as WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January and WBZ-FM was +1.2 for a collective +2.6. Whereas November’s 5.3 was the weakest 6+-stat for WBZ-FM since 5.1 in January 2011, the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. January’s +1.4 by WEEI-FM pulled the plug on three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). This is the fifth sweep in a row without an increase for similarly-formatted WEEI-AM (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #28, 6+). Heritage iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds two-tenths to January’s +.3 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from sixth to fifth with its finest 6+-share (5.4) since May 2017’s 5.6. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” dips from #13 to #14. Public news/talkers – Boston University-owned WBUR (4.9 – 4.9, flat, seventh to eighth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to ninth, 6+) – continue to shadow each other. Both stations improved by seven-tenths in January, displaying identical 4.2 – 4.9 (6+) profiles. In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+) – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Albeit down one-tenth (7.3 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, “Kiss” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” (4.6 – 5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB (1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). With a +1.2 in January, “Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). After four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WCRB was a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+). In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+).

3) Miami English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – The steady climb continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD, which is up six-tenths via five straight positive or flat trends (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+). This is the first time in exactly one year that WIOD has reached a two-share (2.0, 6+), February 2017). Back-to-back at #25 and #26, respectively, are Entercom sports talkers WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (trending .8 – .9, .9, 6+) and WQAM “Sports Radio 560,” which is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -.7 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WINZ “940 – Miami’s Sports Station” is off one-tenth to .2 (#34, 6+). Up by one-half share in January, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN dips by two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #19. Prior to January’s +.5, WLRN was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a +1.1 to 7.3 (6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT not only pulls the plug on four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), “Hot 105” storms from third to first. October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. It succeeds Entercom-owned adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, first to second, 6+), which held the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. A January gain of one-half share took “Lite,” which ends five successive up or flat trends for a collective +1.8 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), to its strongest 6+-stat (7.4) since September 2016’s 8.4. Right behind “Lite” – and down four-tenths as well – is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.8 – 6.4, second to third, 6+), the station that succeeded cluster-mate “Hot” at #1 in December. Posting its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a combined +1.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country” jumps from #16 to #12. Four Spanish contemporary properties are found in February 2018’s top twenty, including iHeartMedia’s WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits,” which registers its fifth increase in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 5.2, unchanged at #6, 6+). Elsewhere in that genre are Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” (5.6 – 5.5, -.1, flat at #4, 6+) after January’s +.5; Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (5.1 – 5.3, +.2, steady at #5, 6+); and co-owned WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” (2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #16 to #15, 6+). These four outlets combine for a 6+-total of 18.9. Without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” remains at #11. Its format competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is flat at 4.0 (6+) and continues at #9. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August.

4) Detroit Spoken-Word Formats – Following a gain of nine-tenths in January, Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” is flat at 6.5 (6+), but inches up from third to second. WWJ had been within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Co-owned sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” which was +1.0 in January, drops one-tenth to 5.0 (fifth to seventh, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row before January’s full-share gain, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2. Recording a .1 (6+) each are sibling WXYT-AMCBS Sports Radio 1270” (.2 – .1, -.1, #25, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WDFN “1130 The Fan” (flat at .1, #25, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WJR add three-tenths to January’s +.6 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), “News Talk 760” is back in the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Dropping below a one-half share (6+) are Radio One news/talk WDMK-HD2 (.6 -.4, #23, 6+) and Adell Broadcasting’s WFDF “Superstation 910 AM” (.5 – .2, #24, 6+). This is the third straight time that Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is at 1.9 (flat at #20, 6+), while Wayne State University news/talk WDET is off three-tenths (1.1 – .8, #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.1 (3.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” adds another seven-tenths (5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths in November to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Similarly, classic hits-oldies sibling WOMC tacks on one-half share to January’s +.6 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) and repeats at #1; 7.2 is the best 6+-stat for “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2015 (7.2, as well). After three straight (slightly) up or flat trends for a +.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of The D” surrenders six-tenths (2.9, #13 to #14, 6+). Dropping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” (6.6 – 6.1, second to fourth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s whopping -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). Recent ups/downs for WRIF include a -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; +.6 in January; and now -.5 in February.

5) Seattle Spoken-Word Formats – Finishing on top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW displayed a +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+), as it returned to #1. It is a short-lived stay this time though as KUOW surrenders all but four-tenths of that huge increase (6.8, -1.1, 6+) and is back at #2. When it dropped six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Just over one-share behind KUOW is Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM (fifth to third), whose six most recent (6+) trends are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, flat at #21, 6+), while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” falters by that same margin (1.3 – 1.0, #25, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). KVI all-news sibling KOMO returns the two-tenths it gained in January (2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, #17 to #18, 6+). The market’s two major sports talk properties – Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #19 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM (1.2 – 0.8, -.4, #26, 6+) post modest declines.

Seattle Music Formats – Down or flat three consecutive times for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers with a combined +1.9 in January and February (5.2 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+), “moving” from second to first (where it replaces KUOW – see above). The last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in June 2017 (7.4). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” regains all that loss and an extra one-tenth in January and February (+2.0), flying from eighth to fifth (3.4 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). This marks the fourth positive or flat trend in a row for hot AC cluster-mate KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety,” which is +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+). Despite notching its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” backslides from third to fourth; this (5.6) is its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 5.7. Adding one-half share to January’s +.2 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Classic Radio KING “Listener Supported Classical Music” climbs from #20 to #19. On the heels of January’s -6.3, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” falters by another six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to sixth, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+).

6) Phoenix Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last three sweeps, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.8 (3.2 – 4.0, January 2018, 6+); and now -.5 in February (3.5, 6+) as it departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to three increases in succession (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” is a collective +.9. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in January (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #12 to #11. As the result of four consecutive down or flat trends, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” has lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #24 to #25, 6+). It faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk arena, co-owned KTAR-AM is up one-tenth (.2 – .3, #35, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” drops two-tenths (.8 – .6, #31, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Following three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.5 (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” recaptures all of it and three-tenths more (+1.8) in January and February (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Despite being a combined -9.3 in January and February (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ is #1 for the fourth time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was a combined +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. While unchanged at #4, hot AC sibling KMXP “Mix 96.9” is without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Anchored at #19, Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” is up or flat for the sixth successive sweep for an overall +1.0 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Via four straight gains – two of which were especially robust (1.0 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH-share (+3.7); however, “88.3 Campesina Radio Network” returns seven-tenths (4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+). Following three straight increases that generated a cumulative +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9” drops two-tenths to (4.2, 6+), but remains at #8; 4.4 in January was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in March 2017.

7) Minneapolis Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is +1.2 and progresses from #16 to #15. Flat at 5.0 (6+), after a January gain of six-tenths, Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” falls from eighth to ninth. In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” – up nine-tenths in January – levels out at 3.4 but climbs from #14 to #13. Spiraling by -1.5 (7.2 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” drifts from second to sixth. As it returns the one-tenth it grabbed in January (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” manages to move from #20 to #19. Regressing by seven-tenths to 5.2 (6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips from fifth to seventh. Until reaching 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” progresses from tenth to seventh. January’s +1.1 pulled the plug on six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Over and above repeating at #1, Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM is a collective +2.4 in January and February (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). The “stream” of Minneapolis Public Schools jazz-formatted KBEM pops on at #24 with a .6 (6+).

8) San Diego Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit off just one-tenth (6.2 – 6.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS segues from a first-place tie in January to #2; KPBS was -.1 in January, as well. A December gain of four-tenths by KPBS pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that it was on top. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat move for Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” for a +.5 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, #22, 6+). Having eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO responded in January with a +.8, but “News Radio 600” forfeits seven-tenths in February (5.0 – 4.3, third to fifth, 6+). When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Co-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” is off six-tenths (1.3 – .7, #27, 6+). Three up or flat reports in succession by Interamericana de Radio’s similarly-formatted XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” have netted four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6, #23, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Not only does Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN record its fifth straight gain for a net +1.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” breaks the January tie at #1 (with KPBS, see above) and takes sole possession of the top spot. Adding eight-tenths to January’s +1.1 (4.7 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” advances from fifth to third. KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In addition to “Sunny,” iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (2.3 – 2.8, #21 to #16, 6+) and Entercom CHR KEGY “Energy” (1.1 – 1.6, #23, 6+) improve by one-half share as well. At the conclusion of the February sweep, KEGY transitioned to a hybrid talk-comedy-classic rock mix as “97.3 The Machine – Talk That Rocks” and will be the flagship of the San Diego Padres. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a collective -1.1 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5” improves by three-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Within 4.0 – 4.8 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” plummets by -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#5 to #12). Sputtering by six-tenths (4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” falls from fourth to sixth. After posting a +.7 in January, Tegna-owned KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” surrenders one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, flat at #13, 6+). KFMB-FM was an overall -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.8 – 2.7, 6+), Prior to December, “100.7 KFM – BFM” was a combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+); November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016.

9) Denver Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time its consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ends at three, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR regresses by six-tenths and shifts from first to second. Meanwhile, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC is off three-tenths (1.0 – .7, #26, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s one-half share loss, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.3 yet backslides from ninth to tenth; January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. With a consistent November 2017 – February 2018 (6+) topline of 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, news/talk cluster-mate KHOW “Talk Radio 630” carries on at #18. A +.4 in January to 3.6 (6+) by Bonneville-owned KKFN suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by nine-tenths in February to 2.7 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – When KBCO “World Class Rock” posted a one-half share gain in January, it curtailed four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). Over and above adding seven-tenths in February (5.1 – 5.8, 6+), the iHeartMedia triple A leaps from third to first, succeeding KCFR (see above). Notching gains of seven-tenths as well are co-owned KTCL “Channel 93.3 Denver’s Modern Rock” (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6), and Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (2.7 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+), rebounding from January’s loss of one-half share. Classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined +1.3 in January and February (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) and zooms from seventh to fourth.  Advancing by six-tenths as well is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” (2.4 – 3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” though erodes by six-tenths (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last nine sweeps for a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+) Bonneville-owned KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 for New Country” escapes the slump with a one-half share uptick to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Ousted in January from the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there, adult contemporary sibling KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is -6.9 in January and February (11.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, second to eighth, 6+), following a combined +6.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017. KOSI’s 11.5 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

10) Tampa Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” inches up from #14 to #13. Even though it gains one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from a tie at #16 to #17. Its +.3 in January stopped four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Displaying a 1.6 in three of the last four sweeps (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” remains at #20. As a result of three straight down or flat ratings periods, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -.5 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” breaks out a full-share increase to 6.9 – its best 6+-showing since July 2017’s 7.1 – and is #2 for the fourth straight sweep. At the same time, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105,” which was trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), posts a +.6 to 5.6 (seventh to fourth, 6+). By registering a +.8 (to 3.2, 6+), its Spanish contemporary sibling WYUU “92.5 Maxima” wipes out the -.8 from three straight decreases (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #14. Despite being -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV is the market’s pacesetter for the 66th successive ratings period; “Lite Favorites” was a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). After recording a January +1.8 to 5.7 (6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one-third of that bounty (5.1, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). That huge January increase by “Magic” halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a -1.2 (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+). Off by one-half share each are co-owned WSUN “97-X Your New Alternative” (2.1, #16 to #18, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to February, “97-X” was an overall +1.0 in five successive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+); “The Beat” was up eight-tenths in January.

11) Baltimore Spoken-Word Formats – The 12 most recent (6+) trends for model of consistency Hearst news/talk WBAL (#13 to #12) are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1. Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. WBAL is one-tenth ahead of independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (2.9 – 3.0, +.1, #14 to #13, 6+). Disappearing from print is Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+). After picking up six-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” gives back two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but remains at #6. When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Co-owned WJZ-AM “1300 CBS Sports Radio Baltimore” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 -.3 – .3 – .2 -.1, #26, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +.7 (4.2 – 3.7, -.5, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU improves by a combined January and February total of six-tenths in Baltimore (.8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #16 to #15, 6+); WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – “Winning” continues for Radio One urban AC WWIN, which is without a loss for the eighth sweep in a row for a combined +3.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+) and “Magic 95.9” repeats at #1. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four months in succession before segueing to #2 in December. Entering the November sweep, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). The rollercoaster ride keeps going for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary facility dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (#1 in both of those sweeps); was -10.2 in January; and is now +.9 in February (6.1 – 7.0, third to second, 6+). The same can be said for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); dialed up a +2.5 in January; and now erodes by -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, second to fourth, 6+). From May 2017 through November, however, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). A collective -.7 in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6, October through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine FM” rebounded in January with a +.8 but decreases by -.5 in February (3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #14, 6+).

12) St. Louis Spoken-Word Formats – Following a full-share January increase, Entercom news/talk KMOX drops one-tenth (6.4 – 6.3, 6+) but stays at #4. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Down two-tenths to 3.1 (6+), Emmis-owned KFTK carries on at #16. Prior to January’s +.7, “FM News Talk 97.1” was a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS posted a +.8 in January, but is -.6 in February (4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as “101 Sports” tumbles from the top ten (#10 to #14). Although off two two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU stays at #13. By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Owing to three straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +1.2 and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) with its strongest 6+-showing (4.4) since May 2017’s 4.5. Although a combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98 Today’s Best Music” continues a down/up pattern that began in August (4.3 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). An overall -1.5 in four downward moves in succession (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” dips from #14 to #15.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

| March 20, 2018

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Launches Live Midday Show Hosted by Pat Frisch.  Longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director and air personality Pat Frisch is debuting a new, live midday talk show to air in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Frisch’s eponymous program is being produced by Jim FreeseCumulus Media Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “Some of the largest feedback we’ve received from our listeners is that they love our local programming and they love when Pat fills in on KKOB.  This gives us the opportunity to enhance our live, local approach to radio and gives our listeners the chance to call in, be heard and hear the latest news and topics nationally and locally.”  Frisch hosted the station’s morning drive program in 2005-06.  The station now airs 11 hours of local talk in addition to the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin programs.  Frisch states, “I’m so excited to grab the reigns from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  KKOB is as New Mexican as red or green and Lobos or Aggies.  This move gives us even more opportunity to focus on serving New Mexico.”

KJR-AM, Seattle Makes Programming Changes.  Seattle sports talker KJR-AM announces a new morning drive program called “Chuck and Buck in the Morning” hosted by Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen.  The move of Powell to mornings changes the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Chuck & Puck” show to “The Jason Puckett Show.”  Also, current morning drive personality Dick Fain is moving to the new afternoon drive show with Dave “Softy” Mahler.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Seattle Rich Moore says, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR.  We just got bigger and stronger today.  We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

Broadcasting Live from Qatar.  One of the fastest-growing, independently syndicated news/talk hosts in America – and a long-time Donald Trump insider – John Fredericks is broadcasting his show live this week from Qatar where he is on a Middle East fact-finding mission.  He is pictured yesterday (3/19) with Dr. Ali bin Smaikh al Marri, chairman of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee.  Fredericks tells TALKERS, “We discussed the adverse impact the Saudi-UAE-Baharain-Egypt embargo is having on the basic human rights of Gulf citizens, students, families and migrant workers in Qatar.”  Earlier today (3/20), Fredericks is pictured with Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of @QatarFoundation.  He engaged her in a wide-ranging interview that included Qatar’s unique empowerment of women in the Gulf and the six U.S. universities in Education City.  Fredericks reports, “Her Excellency is focused on education and finding new and innovative ways to learn.  She told me, ‘Our history has not yet been written.’”  Fredericks’ show airs live each day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am ET.  For more information, please click here.

Entercom’s David Field Shares Thoughts on iHeartMedia and Cumulus Bankruptcies in Companywide Memo.  Addressing the bankruptcy proceedings of both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Entercom president and CEO David Field tells his employees that the reason the two companies are in the situation they are is because of “ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies.  Period, full stop.  The bankruptcies have nothing to do with radio.  In fact, any company in any industry that takes on too much debt will suffer a similar fate.”  He goes on to say the radio business is a healthy one that generates earnings and cash flow and he bemoans the “erroneous and misleading narrative” that challenges in the radio business are the reason for the bankruptcies.  “If radio has an issue, it isn’t the size of our audiences or the value of our product or the health of our business model.  No, our issue is that we are highly undervalued and receive far less than our fair share of total ad spending.  With Entercom’s newly enhanced scale, advocacy efforts, marketing capabilities and customer outreach, we intend to change that.  And with iHeart and Cumulus emerging from bankruptcy, the industry will be even healthier going forward and that’s good news for all of us…Let’s make sure we get the word out so that our advertisers, partners, and other key influencers understand the facts and don’t come away with any false perceptions.”

Bill Handel Health Scare.  As chronicled by LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel returned to the air yesterday (3/19) after more than a month off the station.  LARadio.com writes, “His time away from the radio went from a case of the flu to major pain to visits to the ER four times in six days.”  After his case of the flu, Handel began to experience extreme pain and made four visits to the emergency room in six days.  He was treated for a cyst on his spine and sepsis.  Read about it here.

McMahon: Four Steps to Creating Magic on the Radio.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the importance of creating “meaningful emotional experiences” for one’s listeners in order to build and hold a loyal audience.  McMahon says those experiences “make their lives more interesting, rewarding and fun” and they “challenge them to think, feel, and grow.”  Check out his column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Suburban Chicago hot AC WXLC, Waukegan adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” program for the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Haynes Johns is operations manager and program director at the Alpha Media station and he says, “We’re excited about the helpful advice she’ll be sharing with our audience every weeknight, plus the local connection with Chicagoland’s own Dr. Laura Berman!”…..In a piece published in Newsday, former WFAN, New York afternoon drive star Mike Francesa says he misses being on the radio more than he thought he would.  The Big Apple sports talk legend also says he expects to announce his plans to return to the media between April 1 and May 1.  Francesa tells Newsday’s Neil Best that he won’t be doing the 27 and ½ hours per week that he was doing on WFAN, though he expects to be doing “some traditional presentation and some new presentation.”…..Boston University‘s public news/talk station WBUR, Boston is taking ideas for a new radio program as it launches its “Next Great Show Contest.”  Submissions are being accepted now through April 20.  WBUR says it’s seeking “a creative, funny, and engaging person or group of people.  Participants are encouraged to submit an idea that no one has heard before, especially on public radio.  The only requirement is the show needs to be funny.”  Finalists will get to pitch their program to a panel of judges including WBUR producers and award-winning comedian Alonzo Bodden.  The grand prize winner will have a pilot episode produced by WBUR…..ESPN will begin presenting video simulcasts of its ESPN Radio programs “Golic and Wingo” and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPNews, beginning Monday, April 2.  Those two shows join the afternoon “Will Cain Show” on the channel.  “Golic and Wingo” has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6:00 am to 10 am ET.   “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Sports Announcers Report Card publisher David Halberstam is presenting a four-part series commemorating late sports media legend Howard Cosell on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Check it out here.

Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe, McCabe Firing/FBI Investigation Movement, Texas Package Bombings, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; President Trump’s announcement he’ll slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the first week of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago classic hits outlet WLS-FM has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Wade Linder to the position, taking over for Brian Thomas as he moves to Atlanta to program WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Linder moves there from defunct heritage rocker WLUP-FM where he was PD from June 2014 through the station’s recent LMA to Educational Media Foundation.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren states, “Having the luxury of replacing a premier program director like Brian Thomas with Wade Linder doesn’t happen often.  We are most fortunate to be able to move Wade from WLUP-FM to the program director’s role at WLS-FM.  This allows us the opportunity to continue growing upon the heritage and recent success of 94.7 and to keep one of the country’s most talented PD’s in our cluster.”…..Westwood One brings media pro Paul Joseph aboard to assume the newly created role of VP, program operations and content for its music and entertainment division.  The company says Joseph will “leverage his vast industry experience to coach, consult, and train Westwood One/Cumulus hosts and producers to better engage listenership, build their brands, and drive revenue within the company’s pop music programming arena.”  Joseph joins Westwood One from Cumulus Media, Los Angeles.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the amazing Westwood One team.  Our goal is to strengthen programming and content across the platforms by using all the tremendous assets of Westwood One and Cumulus Media, including Zach Sang, the brightest young star in radio.  Many thanks to Suzanne Grimes, Charles Steinhauer, Kirk Stirland, Susan Stephens, and, of course, Mike McVay for their confidence and support. Let’s rock!”…..Cumulus Media names “Lexi and Banks” (pictured at right) the new morning show on country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City RVP and market manager Patrick Reedy states, “With over five years of entertaining SLC under their belt we’re confident that ‘Lexi and Banks’ will hit the ground running with a fun, fast-paced, entertaining show that is sure to put a smile on listeners faces.”…..On-air pro Summer Stevens joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country KOMG, Springfield, Missouri “105.1 The Bull” to co-host morning drive with incumbent personality John Kimmons on the newly renamed “Biscuits & Gravy in the Morning” program.  She’d previously been with Scripps’ crosstown country KTTS.

Round One of February PPM Data Released. Information from the first of four rounds of Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TAKEAWAYS

1) New York City Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of five sweeps in a row without an increase, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” has lost nearly one-half (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #12 to #14. The last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). On the other hand, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (#22, 6+), halting three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS gains one-tenth and remains at #2. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM carries on at #13, registering a 2.8 (6+) for the third straight sweep. Despite the fact it is without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). Down or flat the past four ratings periods for a -.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regains half that loss with a +.2 (1.2, #23, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#24), whose last ten New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off two-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #11, 6+). It entered the January 2017 sweep within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the previous seven survey periods and notched a +1.0 to 3.4, reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 3.0. Co-owned WNYC-AM is -.1 (.7, #26, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A positive spike of one full-share by Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.0 – 6.0, fourth to second, 6+) takes “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” to its best 6+-showing since 6.1 in August. After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but “106.7 Lite FM” remains on top for the seventh straight sweep. Off by one-half share in February as well is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which drops out of the top twenty (2.1 – 1.6, #19 to #21, 6+).

2) Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – The largest plus or minus (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 move in the City of Angels is by iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640,” which returns the six-tenths it grabbed in January (3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Three other news/talkers in the country’s second-largest market combine for an overall 2.4 (6+), including KFI cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” locked on 1.0 for the sixth sweep in succession (#28, 6+); Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #31, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” (flat at .5, #37, 6+). Even though KNX “1070 News Radio” is +.1 to 3.3 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well) – the Entercom all-news outlet segues from a ninth-place tie to tenth. Right behind KNX and unchanged at #11 is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” ties KEIB at #28, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” is flat at .4 (#40, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). “K-Earth” crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Down two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” nonetheless repeats at #1. Prior to its +.6 in January, “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While Cumulus Media’s KLOS is without a loss for the fourth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” backslides from #11 to #13. Onetime all-news outlet (and later sports talk) KFWB is now a Lotus Communications-owned Spanish oldies facility “980 La Mera Mera” and is trending .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 (#35, 6+).

3) Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM elevates from fourth to second (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with its finest 6+-stat (5.3) since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well), Tribune Media news/talk WGN is -.2 to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. This marks the sixth straight up or flat ratings period for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (#23) which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR gained six-tenths in January, but is down two-tenths in February and exits the top twenty (2.7 – 2.5, #17 to #21, 6+); “670 The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Cross-town ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#25, 6+). At #22, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is down or flat for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Not only does Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP double the margin of its January +.6 (2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, 6+), “Me TV FM – Me Music” vaults from #21 all the way to #6. Making a huge leap as well is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (2.6 – 3.3, +.7, 6+), which rockets from #19 to a three-way tie at #8 and matches its September 3.3 (6+). Following a topline (6+) of 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” advances by one-half share to 3.2 (#17 to #11, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WVAZ (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, 6+) repeats at #1; “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had been on top from February through September. Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” is -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. Until about four and a half months ago (11/9/2017), Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston. Off by one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” shifts from second to third. An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” touched the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4).

4) San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to its +.5 in January (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. When Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM surrenders one-half share in February (6.2 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Off one-tenth, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO falls from #19 to #20 (2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, January 2018, and February 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Despite being flat at 2.2 (6+), KSFO climbs from #18 to a three-way logjam at #15. At the same time that KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, eighth to tenth, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths and enters the top twenty (1.7 – 2.1, #18, 6+) with its best 6+-stat (2.1) since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” ends a topline sequence of 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2 (6+) as the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet jumps from ninth to fourth. November 2017 through February 2018 (6+) trending for rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay Area’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6. In three straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” (seventh to sixth) has picked up six-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As a result of an eight-tenths loss (2.8 – 2.0, #12 to #19, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC records its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well).

5) Dallas Spoken-Word Formats –  Without a decrease for the seventh time in a row, Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (steady at #16) is a collective +.7 in that timeframe (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Even though posting its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” backslides from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Also in the news/talk format, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is flat at 1.2 (#30, 6+); Cumulus Media Group’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at .7 (#35, 6+); and North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA is up by one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, #20, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK registered a one-half share uptick in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” coughs up 60% of that increase in February (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, #11 to #12, 6+). The market’s two other sports talk outlets are down as well: Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” off one full-share in four straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, #22, 6+), and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” a collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #33, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (6+). While “Kiss” repeats at #1, it is tied for the lead with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (5.2 – 5.4, +.2, second to first, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (5.4, as well). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Consistent in registering a 3.4 six of the last seven ratings periods (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” hangs out a +.5 to 3.9 and enters the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #7). After improving by one full-share in January (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” forfeits one-half that increase (3.6, -.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11); January’s 4.1 was its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June 2017.

6) Houston Spoken-Word Formats – Back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.8 – 3.6, -.2, down from #13 in January, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1 – 3.5, +.4, up from #17 in January, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). There is no positive movement on any of the market’s three sports talk signals: Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – .8, -.1, #24, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” (flat at .7, #25, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .6, #27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Duplicating its +.5 in January (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” progresses from #15 to a three-way tie-up at #11. Before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017, “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.2 to 7.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the fourth time in a row; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Unchanged at #3, co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7 in four straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). On the heels of a +1.0 in January, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to ninth, 6+); January’s 5.1 is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Dropping by one-half share is Liberman’s KEYH “La Ranchera” (.7 – .2, #31, 6+).

7) Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 27th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM surrenders exactly one-half of January’s +1.6 (10.2 – 9.4, -.8, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Flat at 1.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” moves from a tie at #19 to a four-way logjam at #18. Three other Atlanta commercial news/talkers all check in at .1 (6+): Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer”; iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640”; and Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community.” With a December 2017 – February 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE carries on at #7, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, #25, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” sputters by -1.1 in February to 2.6 (#13 to #17, 6+). Via four successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up three-tenths and trails “The Game” by just over one-share.

Atlanta Music Formats – Within 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” busts out a +.7 to 4.2 (#14 to #12, 6+). Somewhat similarly, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV has recorded a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (5.5 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “97.1 The River” improves by six-tenths to 6.1, advancing from fourth to second. A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.0 in January and February (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot to fourth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Returning all of January’s half-share gain – and an extra one-tenth (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+) – Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” slips from #12 to #14. The market’s two mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2 #11 in January, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, 6+) are tied for tenth-place. By picking up one-tenth in January, “Q-100” ended four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); “Power” was +.5 in January.

8) Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for WIP. The flagship of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, but is -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom sports talk property repeats at #1. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Both Entercom all-news KYW as well as public news/talk WHYY improved by one full-share in January. Now, KYW is -.1 (5.2 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+), while WHYY regresses by three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+); WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Finishing at #18 and #19, respectively, after being tied at #18 (1.8, 6+) in January are Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (1.9, +.1, 6+) and – from outside the market – Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.8, flat, 6+). WPHT had been -.9 in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share, Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). This is the first time since September’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reaches the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. With its best 6+-stat since September’s 6.6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” has a positive spike of one full-share (5.3 – 6.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Owing to a +.9 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Immediately following an increase of six-tenths, urban AC cluster-mate WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” falters by -1.1 (6.6 – 5.5, 6+), sliding from third to sixth. Three-tenths behind aforementioned WIP is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-tenth to 8.4 (6+), after a January 2018 decrease of -8.7. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” had been a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

9) Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – Mirroring Atlanta’s WZGC, and Philadelphia’s WDAS-FM for largest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (see above), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” is -1.1 in the Long Island report (4.0 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #11). Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” checks in at #24. Tied with WFAN at #11 is its all-news cluster-mate WINS (down from #10 in January), which is without an increase in Long Island for the sixth time in succession for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM drops four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6, 6+), drifting from #11 to #16. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Improving for the third time in a row for an overall +.8 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #16 to #14. Following three consecutive modest losses for a -.5 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC picked up one-tenth in January and repeats its 1.2 in February (#25, 6+). At #23, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM records a 1.8 for the third straight ratings period (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share swells by +1.9, mainly fueled by a +1.4 from Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (4.0 – 5.4, 6+), which rises from a three-way tie at #6 to #2. Its +.6 in January ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). The other half-share of that +1.9 comes from iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” (5.2, flat at #3, 6+), which had been down the past four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WBZO is off three-tenths to 3.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Having slipped by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, “103.1 Max FM” answered with a +1.2 in January to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. In five straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” is +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” leaps from #20 to #14. Its January increase halted at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). There is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, which was up six-tenths in January as well, and tacks on one-half share in February (3.0 – 3.5, #11 to #9, 6+). Flat at 7.4 (6+), bouncing back from January’s -5.4, WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. The Connoisseur Media hot AC was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.7 in January and February (8.5 – 4.4 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 40th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by two-tenths, after adding four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and drops from #14 to #16 (2.6, 6+).

10) Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR returns that collective four-tenths in its entirety (.9, #13 to #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – February 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” inches up from #18 to #17.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of dialing up a January +1.8 (5.5 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA piles on a +1.1 to 8.4 and repeats at #1. January’s huge gain pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot just over two years ago with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Dusting itself off from a January -.5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” displays a +.7 (3.6 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. A no-show from July 2017 through November 2017, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 (#15 to #13, 6+) since then. Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KXSB, which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+), disappears from print. Nearly doubling its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” sputters by one-half share to 2.5 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0.

11) San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 8.5 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – repeats at #1. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. It has a 2.7-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which squanders eight-tenths in February (6.6 – 5.8, flat at #2, 6+). Up by a combined seven-tenths in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO progresses from #14 to #12. In a five-way scrum at #20 is co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Ping-ponging from 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” slips from #11 to #13. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January loses three-tenths (.6, #30 to #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains two-tenths to 1.2 (#29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – As the result of five increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9, fifth to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7. Owing to a gain of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” proceeds from eighth to sixth. After doubling its 6+-share in three successive up or flat trends from October through “Holiday” 2017 (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ relinquished one-half share in January but regains it all and another one-tenth (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+) as “93.3 La Raza” is part of that five-way tie at #20 (up from #27 in January). Returning in full the seven-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” segues from fifth to eighth (4.0, 6+).

12) Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – Although down three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Back-to-back are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.7, +.2, #22, 6+) and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #23, 6+). WOR was -.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is a cumulative +1.2 and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.9 in four successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). At #21, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+). This is the third consecutive downward move for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM for a -.6 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Conversely, all-news sibling WINS (#25) is up for the third straight time for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Although unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” posts a +1.1 5.9 (6+). A January loss of two-tenths halted three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Progressing by one-half share each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” (5.8 – 6.3, steady at #3, 6+); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (unchanged at #5, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (seventh to sixth, 6+); and co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#14 to #9, 6+). WBLS regains in its entirety the half-share it lost in January. “New York’s Greatest Hits” extends its successive string of up or flat moves to four for an overall +1.2 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), while in its fourth straight up or flat trend, “Z-100” is a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+). As the result of three positive or flat trends in succession, “Power 105.1” is a collective +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). An improvement of one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (#13 to #12) draws to a close four downward trends in a row for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2,  6+). In addition to slumping by seven-tenths (3.3 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom mainstream CHR-turned-alternative WBMP “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” exits the top ten (#10 to #15). Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” spirals by nine-tenths from 3.1 to 2.2 (#14 to #18, 6+). Declining by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary and classic rock siblings WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” (6.9, flat at #2, 6+) and WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.4 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Lite-FM” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but shifted to second in January. Its -4.1 in January ended six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Monday, March 19, 2018

| March 19, 2018

Mark Wainwright Returns to WSYR, Syracuse Morning Show.  Morning show personality Mark Wainwright is back on the air at iHeartMedia’s Syracuse news/talk WSYR after a 10-month absence while he battled throat cancer.  Wainwright says, “This thing hit me out of nowhere.  It was discovered last April, almost by accident, and it’s been an ongoing medical odyssey ever since.  It was eventually diagnosed as an aggressive form of throat cancer.  It was nasty and had already begun spreading to lymph nodes in my neck.  The recuperation period was long and frustrating.  Even when I started to feel a little better physically, my voice was still a train wreck.  It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that I started to sound better, and my doctors eventually cleared me to try hosting a daily show again.”  Wainwright says his voice is still not 100% and he’ll host from 6:00 to 9:00 to start and hopefully return to doing the full 5:00 to 9:00 show. Meanwhile, he says he’s thankful for his colleagues who filled in while he was out.  “Dave Allen, Ian Wheatley, Jim Donovan, and Nick Russo were put in a very tough spot for months, especially after the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Kevin Schenck.  They had to scramble, rearrange their lives, and pull double and even triple duty to keep the morning show running and cover all the vacant slots.  Thank you, gentlemen. Fine work, and very much appreciated.”

Bloomberg: iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Allows Lenders to Entertain New Offers.  According to the Bloomberg piece by Emma Orr, Eliza Ronalds-Hannon, and Steven Church, certain lenders can discuss any offers presented to them during iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy process.  The story says that creditors “fought hard for language in the restructuring support agreement that lets them continue to explore ‘consistent alternative proposals.’”  It also reports that this language was “heavily contested” in the discussions that led up to the Chapter 11 filing.  That means any prospective buyers, such as Liberty Media, could attempt to strike a deal with senior creditors.  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Yes, Alexa Is Laughing…But Not at You.  Consultant Holland Cooke says radio should smile about smart speakers.  Writing after the news about NuVoodoo’s recent research that reports one-third of its 3,000-plus, 14-54 survey respondents own a smart speaker, Cooke says, “we’re still early-on in the adoption curve, so this will only become more opportune for broadcasters.”  The data also indicates that almost half of likely PPM panelists own one.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

McCabe Fired from FBI, Threats to Robert Mueller Investigation, Putin ‘Re-Elected’/U.K.-Russia Diplomatic Tensions, Miami Bridge Collapse, Rihanna vs Snapchat, Facebook Data Misuse Allegations, First Weekend of March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and President Trump’s weekend Tweets; Trump attorney John Dowd calls for end to Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign-Russian agents matter; Russian president Vladimir Putin wins “re-election” for new six-year term and Putin’s crumbling diplomatic relations with the U.K. and the West; the deadly collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami; Rihanna’s criticism of a Snapchat ad for an app that makes light of domestic violence; investigations into allegations of Facebook’s misuse of user data; the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament; the beginning of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcast Engineer Eric Small Dead at 71.  An accident at a Publix store in Delray Beach, Florida took the life of Eric Small last Thursday (3/15).  Small was exiting the grocery store when an 80-year-old woman lost control of her car and hit Small before driving into the front of the store.  It’s believed the woman had a heart attack while driving.  Small’s accomplishments in radio engineering are numerous.  He’s famous for having co-invented the Orban Optimod FM processor that became ubiquitous in the industry.  He began his career in 1964 at WNCN, New York.  In 1969, he became a member of the technical department at A&R Recording under Phil Ramone.  He later served as chief engineer at WXLO-FM, New York.  In 1981 he founded Modulation Sciences that developed and manufactured innovative products for radio and TV.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WBAL and WCBM, Baltimore weekend talk show host Jimmy Mathis was dealt a blow by a judge who says Mathis cannot run for the Maryland State Senate representing the 42nd district because he is not a resident of the district.  According to the Maryland Daily Record, Mathis is saying he’ll appeal the ruling…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner announces that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and a number of other Wisconsin leaders will be speakers at the upcoming live “Jeff Wagner Insight 2018” on March 28 at Country Springs Hotel in nearby Pewaukee.  The annual conservative political event and live radio show will also include Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and a number of conservative candidates for statewide office…..The regionally syndicated Illinois talk program “The Michael Koolidge Show” is being added to the program schedule at Cromwell Radio Group’s WCRA, Effingham, Illinois in afternoon drive.  Koolidge’s program is now heard on 14 signals in the state.  WCRA program director Sheila Myers says, “We’re very excited to be adding the Michael Koolidge show to our lineup.  We heard he was doing great things in the afternoon on our sister station, WZUS “Talk 101FM” in Decatur, so we think he’ll be a great addition first thing in the early morning for our Greater Effingham audience on our three separate signals.”…..KIRO-FM, Seattle’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle” podcast has been announced as a nominee for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards.  “Your Last Meal” is an original podcast hosted by Rachel Belle, host of KIRO Radio’s “Ring My Belle,” and is produced by Aaron Mason.   James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards winners will be announced on April 27, 2018…..Pictured below are Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (center) with directors Andy Erwin (left) and Jon Erwin (right).  The duo scored the third-most-viewed film this past weekend as the faith-based film I Can Only Imagine generated $17 million behind weekend leaders The Black Panther and Tomb Raider.  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that this week SRN News is repeating a multi-part series it produced on the film that tells the back story behind MercyMe’s triple-platinum song, “I Can Only Imagine.”

More Than 50 Industry Leaders Scheduled to Speak TALKERS magazine Conference in NYC in June; Great Hotel Deal Arranged for Attendees. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – announce the Friday, June 8 program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers currently scheduled to appear here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – whichever comes first. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible. An early sellout is imminent! For the latest details about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please read the story below. To make hotel reservations, please click here.

Cool Job Opportunities. Entercom Charlotte is seeking on-air personalities for its three stations. “If you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person— you’ll love it here! We are looking for experienced on-air talent. Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player? Do you have a strong hand in social media? The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content. Experience is preferred. Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To be considered for these positions, please apply online at www.entercom.com and click on ‘Careers.’ No phone calls.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After parting ways with Scotty Lindy on Friday (3/16), Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing programmer Brian Thomas to Atlanta to serve as PD for WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Thomas has been program director for the company’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago as well as a member of the corporate programming team for the country format and is vice president, programming, classic hits.  Thomas says, “It was always my dream to program WLS-FM in Chicago, but I started in country and everyone knows I love it.  And although I am corporate program director for country at Cumulus, it’s not the same as having a country station down the hall.  I’m beyond thrilled that Sean Shannon, Mike McVay, and Charlie Cook have confidence in me to program ‘Kicks,’ one of America’s leading country stations.”…..Also from Cumulus Media, the company announces that Jim Kurdziel is being promoted to regional vice president, programming – rock, in which he is overseeing the rock and alternative formats for Cumulus’ stations in the Northeast.  Kurdziel continues to serve as program director and midday personality for alternative WEDG-FM, Buffalo “103.3 The Edge” and will now support stations in markets including: Buffalo; Syracuse; Harrisburg, PA; Wilkes Barre, PA; Saginaw, MI; New Orleans, LA; and Appleton, WI…..Pamal Broadcasting flips sports talk WINU, Albany “Win 104.9” to alternative as “ALT 104.9 Albany’s NEW Alternative.” Pamal’s Albany Broadcasting general manager A.J. Bodden states, “Broadcast radio remains the number one medium as it relates to new music discovery and Albany Broadcasting is thrilled to be in a position to now give that opportunity to alternative listeners in Albany.  My team and I, along with our local ownership, could not be more proud to be launching this new format and filling a void that has existed here for a long time.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Echo Robinson to director of marketing and promotions for its Chicago Region.  Robinson joined iHeartMedia Chicago in 1995 and rose from intern to senior promotions coordinator before her appointment to promotions director in 2001.  As director of marketing and promotions, Robinson is responsible for managing the planning and execution of marketing, promotion, sales partnerships and imaging campaigns for the region.  She reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region.

Friday, March 16, 2018

| March 16, 2018

Salem Media Group Q4 Broadcast Net Revenue Down 2.9%.  While Salem Media Group’s total revenue decreased from $70.7 million to $67.2 million – a decrease of 4.9% — the broadcast division’s revenue dipped from $52.2 million to $50.7 million – a decline of 2.9%.  For the entire year of 2017, Salem’s broadcast division net revenue was also down 2.9%, from $202 million to $196.2 million.  Salem Media Group breaks its operations into broadcast, digital and publishing.  In the fourth quarter of 2017, digital was down 12.8% and publishing was down 5.8%.  For the whole of 2017, digital decreased 7.9% and publishing dipped 4.3%.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says one of several factors impacting the fourth quarter decline in the broadcast segment was the lack of political advertising compared to the same period in 2016. Broadcast reported $500,000 less in that category from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017.

Neuhoff Media Debuts Sports Talker in Lafayette, Indiana.  The new FM translator is being branded “101.7 The Hammer” and is fed by Neuhoff Media’s WASK-AM, Lafayette.  The station airs programming from ESPN Radio but the Journal Courier reports that a local show called “The Hammer Down Show” will debut on Monday featuring former WLFI-TV Lafayette  sports anchor Clayton Duffy and Jared Jesulaitis.  Neuhoff VP of programming Mike Shamus is quoted saying the program will include local content plus talk about Indianapolis and Chicago sports teams.  “We are excited to enter the world of local sports.  We feel it is something our region has needed for a long time and we are happy to bring it to Greater Lafayette.”

iHeartMedia Moves to Sooth Inevitable Concerns During Chapter 11.  As with any company that’s entering Chapter 11 intending to exit a leaner, more agile company, iHeartMedia is working to ensure staff, vendors, agency partners, etc., that it is able to conduct business as usual within the framework of bankruptcy regulations.  In a FAQ sheet the company is distributing, it answers many of the questions usually asked during the bankruptcy process.  For venders who do business with iHeartMedia, it notes that “we intend to continue working closely with our vendors.  We can and will pay for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing (called the “postpetition” period) in the normal course.  In Chapter 11, amounts owed for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing are deemed “administrative priority claims.”  The company must pay these claims in full before it can pay any vendor/service provider expenses incurred before the Chapter 11 filing (called “prepetition” claims).”

TALKERS News Notes.  Longtime television news pro Shepard Smith is staying with FOX News.  He and the company are agreeing to a new multi-year deal.  FOX News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch comments, “Shepard Smith is an exemplary journalist whose skill in anchoring breaking news is unrivaled.  His powerful storytelling on both television and digital platforms has elevated our entire news gathering process.”  Smith says, “I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of journalists who helped build the FOX News division from scratch 22 years ago and am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to lead our breaking news coverage for years to come.”…..WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg gets some ink from Newsday as he and co-host Bernard McGuirk prepare to assume the morning drive program at the station after the final “Imus in the Morning” show on March 30.  He tells the paper it is “surreal” to be replacing Imus, whom he listened to as a youngster on the way to school.  Read the piece here…..At Radio Vermont’s full service WDEV in Waterbury-Warren, Vermont, Dana Jewell returns to the station after 10 years working in the sales field.  New owner Steve Cormier calls Jewell “a staple of WDEV for a number of years — greeting listeners each day with his friendly style.  We have many listeners who remember Dana and will be happy to hear him on WDEV again.”…..Former iHeartMedia Fort Collins sales pro Jen Parker is named executive director of public radio outlet, taking over for James Lopez…..Jewish News in Arizona reports that Seth Leibsohn — one half of the “Seth and Chris Show” that airs in afternoon drive on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” – is running for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District as a Republican.  Leibsohn co-hosts the show with Chris Buskirk.  Liebsohn is also an attorney and an author…..ESPN personality is launching a new podcast via ESPN Audio called “Marty Smith’s America…The Podcast.”  ESPN says Smith is known for his unique storytelling style and revealing, in-depth interviews with sports figures and newsmakers on SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.”  It debuts Monday (3/19) with country music superstar Jason Aldean as the first guest…..Pictured below is ABC Radio’s Matt Friedlander (right) posing for a photo with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons (left) after chatting about the band’s upcoming summer tour with John Fogerty.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 12-16.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration changes.  Coming in at #3 was the Inspector General’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails case and Andrew McCabe’s status, followed by the Stormy Daniels matter 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.

TALKERS magazine Presents the 2018 Edition of ‘The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.’ This is the sixth annual edition of “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” from the editors of TALKERS magazine. The list, also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk, ranks sports talk radio hosts – both national and local – from 1 to 100 based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, talent and others. To qualify for inclusion on the list, hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show at a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of its publication. See the 2018 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

Superstar Crooner Steve Tyrell Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the world’s leading purveyors of the Great American Songbook – and recent holder of the number one position on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart – Steve Tyrell is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Tyrell, who also hosts a daily three-hour program on KKJZ-FM (K-Jazz), Los Angeles discusses his colorful history that goes back to the early 1970s Brill Building era when he was a songwriter, producer and label A&R director, through his present-day career as a major star in the popular standards genre. This conversation, somewhat of a departure from the usual political fare, is a music-lover’s delight and not to be missed by aficionados of popular culture. Harrison says, “I loved speaking with this fascinating artist. It gave me a chance to revisit some of my old music radio chops and explore something that I have learned having been in this business for so many years – everything old is new again and nothing is inherently hip.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tallahassee radio pro Jeff Horn joins Adams Radio of Tallahassee as operations manager and program director for country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf,” taking over for Gregory “Big Moose” Juszczyk.  Adams Radio Tallahassee vice president and general manager Hank Kestenbaum says, “We are thrilled to have Jeff on our team.  Jeff has spent 30 years in Tallahassee radio and his prior experience in country radio and in similar positions made him the perfect candidate for us, not to mention we have a prior history together. I guess you could say we put the band back together!”…..Ashlee Sleek is appointed morning drive co-host at Bicoastal Media’s CHR KDUK, Eugene, Oregon.  She’ll also serve as promotions-social media director.  She takes over for Amanda McGraw, who recently exited to join KBEB, Sacramento…..In the Harrisburg market, Cumulus Media flips frequencies of two of its stations.  CHR WWKL-FM (formerly known as “HOT 93.5 FM”) moves to the more powerful 106.7 FM frequency and becomes “HOT 106.7.”  Accordingly, the company’s country WZCY moves to the 93.5 FM frequency and is now “93.5 NASH FM, Your Neighborhood Country.”  It will adopt a more gold-based country format with core artists including Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and George Strait.  Afternoon personality and program director Charles “Chachi” Angelo is now co-hosting the morning show with Jenna Clay.  Midday personality Alex Harley moves to afternoons, followed by “NASH Nights Live” in evenings and “The Blair Garner Show” in overnights.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

| March 15, 2018

iHeartMedia and Debt Holders Reach Agreement in Principle. The company announces that it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors that reflects widespread support across the capital structure for a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.  To implement the balance sheet restructuring contemplated by the agreement in principle, iHeartMedia and certain of its subsidiaries, including iHeartCommunications, Inc., have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries did not commence Chapter 11 proceedings.  The Company has filed with the Bankruptcy Court a series of customary motions seeking to maintain business-as-usual operations and uphold its commitments to its valued employees and other stakeholders during the process.  These “first day” motions, which the Company expects to be granted in short order, will help facilitate a smooth transition into Chapter 11.  The company says it believes that its cash on hand, together with cash generated from ongoing operations, will be sufficient to fund and support the business during the Chapter 11 proceedings.  In the press release, iHM chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia has created a highly successful operating business, generating year-over-year revenue growth in each of the last 18 consecutive quarters.  We have transformed a traditional broadcast radio company into a true 21st century multi-platform, data-driven, digitally focused media and entertainment powerhouse with unparalleled reach, products and services now available on more than 200 platforms, and the iHeartRadio master brand that ties together our almost 850 radio stations, our digital platform, our live events, and our 129 million social followers.  The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure.  Achieving a capital structure that finally matches our impressive operating business will further enhance iHeartMedia’s position as America’s #1 audio company.”

Deke Bellavia Exits WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Longtime sports talk personality Deke Bellavia – known as to many as “Big Chief” – has exited Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM in what appears to be a budget-related move.  NOLA.com reports that Entercom has made no public comment about Bellavia’s departure.  For the past 10 years, Bellavia has worked alongside Bobby Hebert on the daily “SportsTalk” program.  He was also part of the “Point After” Saints post-game program.  Since he exited, Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic has been working with Hebert.  See the NOLA.com story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Now that CNBC and Westwood One personality Larry Kudlow has joined the Trump Administration as economic adviser, what will happen to his weekend, syndicated radio show?  Westwood One has not issued a public statement about the future of the program, so its status is unclear.  On one hand, Kudlow may be too busy to continue hosting the Saturday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm call-in show that deals with “where money meets politics,” but the administration may also enjoy having a presidential adviser speaking to the talk radio audience about economic issues.  Stay tuned!…..Speaking of Westwood One, the radio network partners with Amazon and XAPPmedia to give listeners the ability to hear live audio coverage and post-game recaps of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship via Alexa.  In addition, Alexa users will also be able to hear Westwood One’s coverage of Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, the NIT semifinals and final from Madison Square Garden, and the regional finals, Final Four and National Championship Game from the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament…..CNN makes a talent move, shifting morning drive star Chris Cuomo to a new program airing at 9:00 pm ET called, “Cuomo Prime Time.”  The changes include current prime time personality Jon Berman moving to morning drive where he’ll work beside Alisyn Camerota on the “New Day” program.  CNN’s prime time ratings – both total viewing and 25-54 – have lagged behind MSNBC and FOX News Channel in recent ratings reports…..Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice will make on-air appearances on Entercom’s San Francisco sports talker KGMZ “95.7 The Game” this season as a contributor.  Rice will contribute to coverage throughout the 2018 NFL off-season, including breaking news, the NFL Draft, and free agency.  During the 2018 season, he’ll join “Mornings with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley” Monday mornings at 8:00.

Pennsylvania Special Election, Stormy Daniels Case, U.K.-Russia Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stephen Hawking Dies, Toys-R-Us Liquidation, Katy Perry ‘Idol’ Controversy, NFL Free Agency, the NCAA Men’s Tournament, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14).  The Pennsylvania special election won by Democrat Conor Lamb and speculation about the 2018 mid-term elections; the legal battle between porn star Stormy Daniels and President Trump; the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the U.K. and that country’s growing diplomatic tensions with Russia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies; toy giant Toys-R-Us announces it will sell or close all of its American stores; the controversy over “America Idol” judge delivering an unwanted kiss to a contestant; the NFL’s free agency activity; the NCAA’s Men’s basketball tournament; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Great Hotel Deal Arranged for Attendees of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! are pleased to announce a special deal has been arranged to provide attendees of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention with a conveniently located and affordable hotel at which to stay. The one-day, power-packed convention is set for Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan. The official convention hotel is the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York – right across the street from the convention venue. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – whichever comes first. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible. An early sellout is imminent! For the latest details about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please read the story below. To make hotel reservations, please click here.

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

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” adds Jack Freeman to “The Jeremiah Show” hosted by Jeremiah Widmer.  Freeman becomes co-host of the morning show on Monday (3/19).  Entercom Cleveland SVP and market manager Tom Herschel says, “We’re excited to have Jack come on board at ‘Q104’ and use his energy and sense of humor to wake up Cleveland.  Our goal is to keep our listeners engaged with premiere live content tailored to the local community and we’re sure that Jeremiah and Jack will deliver on that.”  Freeman was most recently with iHeartMedia Detroit as part of the “Mojo in the Morning” program on WKQI…..Midwest Communications promotes Trent “Moose” Pender to the newly created position rock format captain.  “Moose” hosts the morning drive show on Midwest’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM.”  The company says that in this new role, he’ll work closely with company rock brands WHBZ, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; WJXQ, Lansing, Michigan; KRRO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; WWVR, Terre Haute, Indiana; WABX, Evansville, Indiana; WIMZ, Knoxville; KQDS, Duluth; WZOX, Kalamazoo; and WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin.  Pender says, “It’s an honor to put additional focus on these rock brands and help them grow.  I can’t thank everyone at Midwest Communications enough for their unwavering support and this incredible opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia reports that, according to the recent Nielsen Social Content Ratings’ weekly top 10 list, the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards ranked first with 10.858 million social interactions – five times larger than “The Bachelor” season finale that finished second.  The Nielsen Social Content Ratings’ weekly top 10 list ranks series and specials by the total number of social TV interactions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

Monday, March 12, 201

| March 12, 2018

WABC Officially Names ‘Bernie & Sid’ New Morning Show.  On Friday (3/9), TALKERS magazine wrote that Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg will replace the “Imus in the Morning” show on WABC, New York on April 2.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “It is nearly impossible to replace a legend like Don Imus.  Bernie and Sid have been part of the Imus cast for decades and the new show represents an evolution more than a replacement.”  Sid Rosenberg says, “I used to joke with Bernard over a decade ago about possibly working together.  After all my trials and tribulations, that looked like a pipe dream not that long ago.  I love working with Bernard and appreciate his friendship even more.  Of course, none of this happens without Don Imus.  I’ll always appreciate what Imus did for me personally and professionally.  He’s a true legend and I’ve stolen as much as I can from him without being too obvious!”  McGuirk adds, “This is a dream come true for me and an honor for my longtime friend Sid and I to assume the morning slot on the legendary WABC Radio from the irreplaceable and legendary Don Imus.  We owe it all to Mr. Imus!  To quote the great Conor McGregor, ‘We’re not here to take part.  We’re here to take over!’ Brooklyn and the Bronx booming from your radio!!”

Kevin Barrett Exits Desert Broadcasters’ News/Talk KKGX, Palm Springs.  Talk programming pro Kevin Barrett exits Desert Broadcasters operations in Palm Springs, California where he was station manager/program director at news/talk KKGX “Real Talk” and adult standards KWXY.  Barrett says, “Both stations had gone dark in 2016 under the previous ownership, so it was very exciting to rebuild – literally – studios and brands from the ground up.  The stations are in a position for success.”  Barrett is available for his next opportunity.  He’s previously served as PD at KTRB, San Francisco; KTRS, St. Louis; KABZ-FM, Little Rock; and KEEL, Shreveport.  Reach him at: barrettkevin41@gmail.com or 415-283-9201.

Dave Ramsey Profiled in Politico. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is profiled in Politico.  The name of the piece is intriguing: “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America.”  The story draws the connection between Ramsey’s core listeners – those who likely voted for Donald Trumpand the numerous Americans who, according to Ramsey, believe that they are in financial dire straits and are not hopeful about being able to get out of the mess they are in.  Ramsey says he senses that there are more people who feel they are in over their heads and not hopeful of being able to get out that there were 25 years ago.  Ironically, given how many white Rust Belt Americans voted for Trump because of his job creation promises, Ramsey is dismissive of a president’s – any president’s – ability to create jobs.  “The office does not have that much power.”  Read the piece here.

Salem Adds FM Translator to Twin Cities News/Talker.  WWTC, Minneapolis adds an FM translator at 107.5 FM.  W263BS began simulcasting the programming of “1280 The Patriot” on March 1.  Salem Media Group Minneapolis general manager Nic Anderson says, “Our goal with adding the FM translator is to continue to give our loyal audience in the north and west metro an additional option to hear their favorite radio station.  We are now able to add FM radio to our heritage AM signal, along with listening through our mobile apps, website, and smart speakers.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new trial date has been set for former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Originally, the first court date was set for September of this year.  That now moves to October 29.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Carton – formerly paired up with Boomer Esiason on the WFAN morning show – was charged with fraud in connection with what the feds say was a Ponzi scheme involving the resale of concert tickets.  The feds’ case alleges that Carton’s motivation was to pay off gambling debts.  Carton has maintained his innocence while endeavoring to get a fresh start in media via a podcast and videocast…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive live coverage of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning tomorrow (3/13).  Action from all 67 games, including the First Four, eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One will broadcast live coverage of the Final Four on Saturday, March 31 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 2.  Kevin Kugler, Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, and Clark Kellogg will call the Final Four games…..Futuri Media announces that rock radio pro Michael Sharkey joins the company as product manager for #engage and Futuri Mobile.  Jim Roberts joins as national account manager.  He was most recently with Mid-West Family Broadcasting managing the South Bend market.  Also, Jim Tarantine becomes national account manager for Futuri.  He was most recently with Nielsen Audio as director, client solutions.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Tariffs-Trade War, Stormy Daniels Case, Putin’s NBC Interview, MIT Fake News Study, Trump PA Rally, New Florida Gun Law, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum and speculation about trade wars; the legal battle between Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels; Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly and his suggestion Russian Jews may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election; the MIT study showing fake news spreads through social media faster than real news; President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally; Florida’s new gun law in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: January’s Highs & Lows.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey and presents an in-depth, format-by-format look at the stations that went up or down by a full share or more from the Holiday 2017 to January 2018 survey.  It’s not unusual to see adult contemporary stations come back down to earth after the Holiday survey and to see other stations get listeners back after that period.  So, which stations stood at the tops of the gains and losses columns?  Country WCOL, Columbus led the gainers (6+) with a 3.1 share rise from Holiday to January and KSFI, Salt Lake City went from a 23.2 share to an 8.1 share – a difference of -15.1 shares.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Last week, we reported that Steve Dahl would host the final program on legendary Chicago rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” prior to the start of its LMA by Educational Media Foundation on Saturday when began airing the company’s K-Love Christian contemporary format.  (EMF is paying Merlin Media $21.5 million for the signal.) That happened on Friday night as the Dahl-hosted broadcast included numerous “Loop” personalities from its colorful history.  Absent, however, was Garry Meier.  As Chicago media write Robert Feder reports, Dahl tried to get Meier on board, to no avail.  Interestingly, Meier also backed out of a WGN-AM program honoring the rock station.  Read Feder’s column here…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay names AJ Malone has been named program director for WXTB, Tampa “98ROCK.”  Senior vice president of programming for Tampa bay Tommy Chuck says, “As assistant program director, AJ has played a key role in driving great ratings and revenue gains for ‘98ROCK.’  This upgrade in role and responsibilities is one she has certainly earned!” Prior to joining WXTB in August of 2017, Malone was program director at WXSR-FM, Tallahassee.

Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive.  After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2.  Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.

WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show.  A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram.  The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’  Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows.  He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area.  His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.”  Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”

Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies.  In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort!  His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”

Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup.  Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup.  Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community.  The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.”  “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland.  We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.”  The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show.  The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.”  Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters.  New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment.  New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future.  The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it.  Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9.  The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Stormy DanielsDonald Trump relationship and legal actions.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies 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.

Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview.   Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet.  Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews.  Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show.  His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show.  Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM.  Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield.  She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show.  She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

| March 7, 2018

Steele Named OM for Dick Broadcasting’s Myrtle Beach Cluster. The Myrtle Beach cluster of Dick Broadcasting announces Charlie Steele is named operations manager, effective March 21.  Dick’s Myrtle Beach group includes news/talk WRNN-FM “Hot Talk 99.5,” classic rock WYAV, CHR WYMB, and alt rock WKZQ.  Steele says of his new gig, “I am very excited to join market manager John Sheftic and his team at DBC/Myrtle Beach and look forward to being a part of these great brands.  Thanks to COO Dick Harlow and EVP/programming Jason Goodman for this opportunity.”

Talk Host, Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth Ready to Return to Radio.  After what he calls “four great years back on TV at NewsmaxTV,” former KFYI, Phoenix talk show host J.D. Hayworth says he’s “rarin’ to return to radio!”  Hayworth – a former U.S. Representative from Arizona – has been serving with NewsmaxTV as an anchor for the past four years (see his television reel here) but he’s ready to re-ignite his radio career either on a fill-in or permanent basis.  Hayworth just completed a fill-in assignment at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte, sitting in for the station’s Vince Coakley.  Reach Hayworth at 602-615-6956.

Edison Research: ESPN Audio Grabs ‘Nearly Half of Sports Radio Listenership.’  Citing data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study, ESPN Audio is promoting the result stating ESPN Audio’s content – that includes the ESPN Radio Network’s national talk shows and live events, affiliated local broadcast radio stations, and podcasting – accounts for nearly half (46%) of all sports radio listenership in the U.S.  According to the study, ESPN Audio listening breaks down this way: 71% listened on terrestrial AM/FM radio, 46% listened via streaming audio, 26% heard ESPN content on SiriusXM, and 25% listened to podcasts.  (Numbers add up to more than 100% as users could cite multiple choices.)

‘The Union Edge’ Radio Show Ceasing Operations.  The labor issues-focused talk radio program “The Union Edge” – hosted by Charles Showalter – is ending production after 10 years due to cash flow problems.  In a message to supporters, Showalter says, “In recent months, we have not been able to raise the necessary funds needed to continue operations of our daily radio program.  With that said, ‘The Union Edge’ has financial obligations to our union Brothers and Sisters and vendors such as back pay, severance pay, benefits, and bills that need to be settled.  These individuals are the same Brothers and Sisters that stood with us and continued to work, without pay, during financially difficult times.  They truly believe in labor’s message and cause and for the last decade have carried water for labor, fighting the good fight.”  Showalter is seeking donations from the program’s supporters to pay the overdue wages and past due bills.  He can be reached here.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at 2018 Golden Mike Award Event.  Pictured above at Monday evening’s 2018 Golden Mike Award ceremony in New York City are (from l-r): Nick Verbitsky, chairman and CEO, United Stations Radio Networks; Jim Thompson, president, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Pat McLaughlin, widow of Edward F. McLaughlin; and Dan Mason, chairman, BFoA.  As part of the evening’s program, Pat McLaughlin accepted the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband Ed, who launched the syndication career of Rush Limbaugh via his EFM Media Management company.  As part of the event, the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to assist broadcasters in need.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross.

Westwood One: Study Shows 12 to 1 ROI for Personal Care Brand.  That 12-to-1 return on investment for a radio campaign comes from the results of the first Nielsen Catalina Solutions sales effect study conducted for an AM/FM radio campaign in the personal care brand category.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One has been very vocal that AM/FM radio delivers an impressive return on investment for brand marketers.  Today, we back that statement up with an NCS study for a major personal care brand, which shows a $12 return on advertising spend for every dollar of AM/FM radio advertising.  NCS is the gold standard for CPG sales measurement, and these findings show that a personal care brand can use radio to realize impressive sales lift and a powerful return on ad spend.”  The press release explains, “NCS calibrates the largest shopper dataset of over 90 million unique households, from Catalina, with Nielsen’s retail sales and consumer panel data, to represent nearly 100% of total US all-outlet CPG spend.  Using an advanced methodology, NCS can connect Nielsen’s gold-standard radio ratings data with shopper data to understand what advertising households were exposed to and how it impacted their purchasing.”  See more from Westwood One here.

FOX News Radio Presents Five-Part College Debt Series.  This series – titled “Forever in Debt” – runs next week (3/12-3/16) and is available to FOX News Radio affiliates. FOX News Radio’s Eben Brown explores the fact that $1.34 billion in student loan debt is owed by Americans.  The network says, “Some estimates suggest more than half of those student loans are in default. Borrowers face garnishment of paychecks and even their parents’ social security benefits, and what’s worse, nobody can resolve these loans in Bankruptcy.”  The five-part series will be fed in two versions approximately :60 seconds in length, and approximately :40 seconds.  Each segment will post to the Newsfeed section of the affiliate website by 3:00 am ET.  Eben Brown will also be available for two-ways with affiliate stations.

WJFK-FM, Washington and MLB’s Nationals Renew. Baseball’s Washington Nationals and Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” ink a renewal to keep the club on the station for the next five seasons.  Play-by-play announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler continue their roles.  Post-game duties are being shared by Phil Wood and The Fan’s Nationals beat reporter, Craig Heist, with select post-game shows hosted by “106.7 The Fan” midday show hosts Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Economic Adviser Gary Cohn Exits, Trump Administration Sues California, Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Stormy Daniels Sues Trump, Sickened Russia Spy, North Korea-South Korea Talks, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Trump Administration economic adviser Gary Cohn announces his exit over differences on tariffs issue; the Trump Administration sues California over its sanctuary status hindering ICE deportation efforts; the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; porn star Stormy Daniels sues President Trump over “hush agreement”; the case of the Russian double agent and his daughter sickened in the U.K. in suspected poisoning; the diplomatic talks between North Korea and South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Sacramento, Jenna Rae moves from middays to afternoon drive at Entercom’s country KNCI, filling the daypart opened by the recent departure of Dan Cheatham.   Taking over the midday show is Pacey, who steps into a full-time position after serving with the station in a part-time capacity…..Milwaukee Radio Alliance re-brands oldies WZTI-AM/W262CJ/W297BY, Milwaukee from Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies” to “Fonz FM” – referencing Henry Winkler’s character in the Milwaukee-set 1970s sitcom…..PR and marketing pro Jennifer Quiroz announces she’s opening her own firm, Jennifer Quiroz Marketing Consulting.  She calls it a “boutique, full-service agency offering a wide range of traditional and digital marketing services to clients nationwide.”  Quiroz previously served with iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks handling marketing for talent including: Ryan Seacrest, Mario Lopez, Delilah, Nikki Sixx and Bobby Bones…..Alpha Media’s KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” announces that the Eli Young Band will headline its CountryFest 2018 on June 3 at the Portland Rose Festival.  Also performing at the festival will be: Parmalee, Russell Dickerson, Carly Pearce and Mitchell Tenpenny.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

| March 6, 2018

Will Tomorrow Be the Day iHeartMedia’s Future Becomes Clearer? On Sunday, iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders entered into a Forbearance Agreement that put off iHM’s defaut on an interest payment on 14% Senior Notes until midnight tomorrow (3/7).  That gives both sides more time to work out a solution to the company’s $20 billion in debt and avoid putting the matter into the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  Analysts watching this case are taking note of the fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media purchased $400 million of iHM’s debt last week and now becomes a creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.  Just how important Liberty’s involvement as a creditor becomes remains to be seen but, remember that Liberty came to the aid of SiriusXM when it needed cash and now controls a majority interest in that company.  A lot of the consumer press stories covering the iHeartMedia debt saga that TALKERS editors have seen imply the company is on the verge of “failure.”  But the reality – borne out by its quarterly financial reports – is that the company is making money.  It’s just not making enough to cover interest payments on the massive debt.  The latest term sheet from iHeartMedia summarizes a proposed restructuring of the company that would reduce its debt (in exchange for equity) to $5.75 billion.  As part of the proposed terms, it would spin off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

And ‘The Loop’ in Chicago Goes to…Educational Media Foundation!  At first, today’s FCC filing to transfer classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago from Merlin Media to non-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million seems surprising, but EMF did recently acquire KSWD, Los Angeles from Entercom and, unlike many secular, commercial broadcasting companies, it has money in the bank.  If approved, it’s expected that EMF will install its “K-Love” Christian contemporary format on the station.  Unfortunately, the deal means the current staff – including morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – will be out of work.  The other Merlin Media station still on the block in Chicago is alternative rock WKQX.

Salem Media Group LMAs KPAM, Portland.  In a press release issued Monday (3/5), Salem Media Group acknowledges that it is operating news/talk KPAM, Portland and adult standards KKOV “Sunny 1550” – both stations in the process of being sold by Pamplin Broadcasting to Intelli LLC.  The presser is titled, “KPAM is Alive and Well” and notes that KPAM airs “live and local drive-time programs – ‘First Edition’ from 6am to 10am and ‘Afternoon Northwest’ from 3pm to 6pm – and syndicated programs such as ‘The Clark Howard Show,’ ‘The Schnitt Show,’ ‘The Michael Medved Show,’ and ‘The Joe Pags Show.’  Hourly news, weather, and sports as well as drive-time traffic are also featured.”

WRKO, Boston Adds Joe Pags Show for Evenings.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo – is joining the program lineup of iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston.  The Joe Pags show – heard in more than 100 markets across the country – airs in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says “We are thrilled to have Joe join the WRKO weekday line up.  Joe does so much more than just political talk.  He entertains, makes you think, makes you laugh, heck he even sings.  This makes him the perfect addition to the WRKO family.”  Pagliarulo states, “When you hear the call letters WRKO, you hear heritage – and a station most hosts can only dream of being on.  I’m psyched beyond words that my show is coming to this amazing station.  It’s an opportunity I cherish and simply cannot wait to talk with the great people of Boston on a daily basis.  Thank you so much to the management team for the trust and support!”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 2.3%.  During 2017, Saga Communications executed the sale of its television stations and purchased radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Those transactions resulted in net income increasing $9.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and $36.5 million for the year.  Saga reports that net revenue increased 2.3% to $31.5 million during Q4.  For the entire year, net revenue decreased 0.7% to $118.2 million.  For the fourth quarter, operating income decreased $433,000 to $5.3 million when adjusted for the $1.5 million charge for impairment of intangible assets.  Station operating expense increased 5.4% to $23.2 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) primarily due to the acquisition of the Charleston and Hilton Head radio stations.  Free cash flow was $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million last year.  Same station net revenue decreased 4.2% to $29.5 million primarily due to a decrease in gross political revenue of $1 million and same station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $21.5 million for the quarter.

Urban One Reports Q4 2017 Net Revenue Down 4%.  The silver lining in this fourth quarter 2017 financial report from Urban One is that broadcast and digital operating income increased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2016.  But overall, net revenue was approximately $109 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period in 2016.  Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $38.7 million for the quarter, compared to $30.9 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of 25.6%.  Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall, we produced a strong quarter from an Adjusted EBITDA standpoint, and as a result we were able to show full year Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite the challenging market conditions.  Our core radio revenues were up slightly for the quarter, excluding the impact of political revenues.  Our TV advertising revenues suffered from weak ratings delivery, which was somewhat offset by growth in affiliate revenues.  Our digital business benefitted from the integration of our acquisition of the Bossip, Madame Noire and Hip Hop Wired brands, and was up significantly in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA compared to prior year.  We were able to control costs, most notably at TV One and Corporate.  During the quarter, we repurchased a further $20 million of our 9.25% notes at a discount, and we remain strongly committed to reducing net leverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports giant ESPN announces James Pitaro is the company’s new chief, taking over for John Skipper, who suddenly stepped down from his position in December in order to address what was termed a long-time substance abuse issue.  Pitaro has been serving the Walt Disney company in an executive capacity in the digital realm.  Pitaro will also serve as co-chair of Disney’s television segment…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio 103.9 FM” is presenting a “Spring Back to Business” event designed to be a “networking social get-together” on March 26 at its studio operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.  Station personality Frank MacKay will introduce FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade who will take part in a Q&A with attendees.

Bill Lally Dies After Battle with Cancer.  Family, friends and the Southern California radio community are mourning the loss of Bill Lally, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.  Lally was a longtime operations manager and APD at KFI, KLAC and KTLK in Los Angeles who exited the company in 2009 during the massive round of layoffs that took place at then-Clear Channel that year.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lally had also served with WABC, New York; Westwood One; WMCA; and CBS RADIO during his career.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Financial Reforms Rollback, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Trump Tariffs/Trade War, Senate School Safety Bill, Netanyahu-Trump Meeting, the Oscars, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposes rolling back reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean officials; President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to block them; the U.S. Senate proposes a school safety bill in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting; embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his meeting with President Trump; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The morning show at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia “Power 99” adds Roxy Romeo to the cast.  She’ll join the “Rise & Grind Morning Show” featuring Mikey Dredd and Mutha Knows, effective March 12.  iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “To be able to add a talent the likes of Roxy to our staff is phenomenal.  She’s an incredible personality who has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve known her for years upon first listen. We’re excited to be able to share her voice with the city of Philadelphia, and that she’s chosen to make ‘Power 99’ her new home.”  Romeo was most recently midday jock, APD and music director at the company’s “REAL 103.9” in Las Vegas…..Nate Bell is named program director at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3” in Detroit.  EVP of urban/hip hop programming Doc Wynter says, “We are so excited to have Nate back in our urban programming brain trust.  He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.  Things are about to heat up in Detroit!”…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Brooke Morrison afternoon personality for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1.”  Station PD A.J. says, “We are very excited about what Brooke will bring to Charlotte.  Her high level of engagement, work ethic and passion for music and entertainment make her a superstar on and off the air.  I look forward to her joining the team as we build the next chapter of ‘Channel 96.1.’”

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

| March 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Filing Likely This Weekend.  That’s what industry and financial business watchers are saying as the grace period on iHeartMedia’s February 1 non-payment of $103 million in interest runs out.  For example, Bloomberg’s Emma Orr says that advisers working with iHeartMedia senior creditors have been made privy to bankruptcy papers designed for the first day of bankruptcy court proceedings.  Orr writes, “Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn’t in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren’t in restricted talks with the company…Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.”  iHeartMedia and senior creditors have been unable – so it seems at this late hour – to come to terms on a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan making it likely that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy will take place that could, in Orr’s words, “turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.”

Entercom Flips CHR KEGY, San Diego Hot Talk/Sports Hybrid.  Or so it would seem as Entercom dropped the CHR format on KEGY, San Diego yesterday afternoon at 2:00 pm and began stunting with rock songs.  A website for the station indicates it’s being branded “97.3 The Machine, Talk That Rocks” and displays a program schedule that includes the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon drive show “The Men’s Room” (Miles Montgomery, Steve The Thrill Hill, Mike Hawk, and Thee Ted Smith) in both morning drive and afternoon drive.  Sandwiched between in middays is former crosstown sports XEPRS morning host Dan Sileo.  The site lists “music & comedy” to air from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Though the site doesn’t mention San Diego Padres baseball, a previous presser from the MLB club indicated games would air on 97.3 FM this season.  A number of industry watchers – including TALKERS magazine – expected the station to flip to sports talk.  Time will tell if this stunting is a bit of misdirection or if Entercom is really going go with a hot talk/sports hybrid.  Stay tuned!

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the January 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Historically, the format experiences a ratings dip during the Holiday survey period and rebounds in January and things are no different this year.  Kinosian writes that “more than eight of 10 of these news/talk panelists are up between Holiday 2017 – January 2018 (82%, 6+), while only one in 10 (10%) of the qualifiers listed here are down; the remaining 8% are flat.”  But, comparing January 2017 to January 2018, “roughly three of every five stations on our news/talk sample register a year-to-year decrease (61%, 6+), while approximately one in three (32%) improve; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  Two talk stations managed to rank #1 in their respective markets in the January survey – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Twelve other news/talk outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Gun Control Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 26 – March 2.  The debate over gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and the related televised White House meeting in which President Trump favored raising the minimum age for gun ownership was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the resignation of White House communications director Hope Hicks the day after her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the FISA abuse allegations, followed by the Trump-Russia probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

USA Radio Network Refutes Industry Scuttlebutt.  The radio syndication firm says rumors that it is canceling its “Daybreak USA” morning talk program are untrue.  USA Radio Network says the show is continuing with new hosts RoddWilliam Stowell and his wife Rachael Marie.  Company general manager Janet Bro states, “There are always rumors in this industry, but this one is unfounded and obviously unconfirmed with USA Radio Network.  We have made several changes in other shows and will soon be adding other programming opportunities for you.  Canceling Daybreak is not even a consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talker WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is adding ESPN Radio’s “Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz” to air in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, beginning Monday (3/5)…..CBS News Radio’s “WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP” celebrates 80 years on the air on March 13.  CBS notes that the program is America’s longest-running newscast program.  On March 13, special programming “will explore the first broadcast in 1938, its significance to the history of radio at the time, and how the ‘WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP’ has evolved to remain relevant today.”  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “People have lots of choices for news, so achieving 80 years on the air is an incredible landmark.  We are proud that millions of Americans rely on the reporting of CBS News every day.”…..SiriusXM is launching two news sports talk channels on Monday (3/5), one each dedicated to a college sports conference.  SiriusXM ACC Radio will super-serve fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference with programming including “ACC This Morning,” hosted by Mark Packer and Wes Durham.  The afternoon “ACC Today” show is hosted by Chris Spatola and Jac Collinsworth.  The SiriusXM Pac-12 channel focuses on Pac-12 Conference sports, including a morning drive show hosted by Guy Haberman and former Washington State quarterback and Pac-12 Player of the Year Ryan Leaf.  The afternoon “Pac-12 Today” is being hosted by Kate Scott, Utah alum Sean O’Connell, and former Oregon lineman Geoff Schwartz.

Christopher Nixon Cox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He is the son of Tricia Nixon Cox and New York State Republican Party chairman Edward F. Cox and the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon. Attorney, international businessman, and GOP strategist, Christopher Nixon Cox is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Cox discuss the state of politics in America, the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, his memories of growing up in a major American political family, and his involvement in talk radio in the US and abroad. Harrison describes Cox, who served as New York State executive director of U.S. Senator John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and is a former congressional candidate as “a bright and articulate young man with an extraordinarily colorful past and an extremely bright future.” Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College Students Reported from CPAC.  At last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, students from Hillsdale College conducted more than 50 interviews over two days.  WRFH, Hillsdale “Radio Free Hillsdale” general manager Scot Bertram guided students Ben Dietderich, Shad Strehle, and Ryan Murphy through interviews with an array of personalities, from conservative thinkers to celebrities to college alumni.  This was the first time the college hosted a booth on CPAC’s media row.  Above left is Strehle interviewing former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and at right, Murphy files a video report.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Entercom names Emily Raines co-host of the morning show on country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”  Raines joins “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” on Monday (3/5).  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are excited to welcome Emily to our ‘Morning Wolfpack’ show alongside Matt McAllister.  She is a very talented personality, compelling storyteller and has a competitive spirit that understands what it takes to play at the highest level of major market radio.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WSHE afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau’s last shift on the Hubbard Radio adult contemporary station is today.  In a statement, Carriveau  says, “I am so appreciative of all of the wonderful opportunities Hubbard Radio Chicago has given me.  To have hosted afternoons on WSHE after hosting middays on WTMX makes me extremely proud of the past decade in my career.  I will deeply miss the amazing people I have worked with for so many years.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones morning show re-ups with Adams Radio Group’s country WBTU, Fort Wayne “US99.3” through 2024.  Bobby Bones comments, “I am pumped to be staying with ‘US93.3.’  No station has been more supportive.  And in return I’ve tried to show my support back by going to Fort Wayne multiple times to do shows for my awesome listeners.  Shout out to everyone at Adams Radio Group and PD Randy Alomar for fiercely promoting the show every day.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership.  Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia.  This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy.  As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity.  The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix.  Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction.  Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted.  Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it.  Franklin is leading the senior creditors group.  One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.

Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host.  It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement.  Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program.  In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.  iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.”  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR.  He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades.  He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.”  Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman.  I loved working with him when he was guest hosting.  We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports.  Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”

The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage?  Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat?  The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience.  Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California.  Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though).  The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.

FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel.  The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.  FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me.  Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.

TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored.  WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience.  It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament.  Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments.  Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.

Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.”  Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program.  He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality.  He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.”  Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings.  Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix.  A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization.  A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany.  He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business.  Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations.  He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.

Monday, February 26, 2018

| February 26, 2018

Kemp Goes News/Talk on KMZQ, Las Vegas.  KMZQ-AM has been airing a sports talk format using programming from SB Nation Radio.  Beginning March 1, the station will flip to conservative talk, branded as “The Right Talk for Las Vegas.”  The station will air a slate of programming from Salem Radio Network – including Mike Gallagher in AM drive, followed by Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, and Larry ElderWestwood One’s Jim Bohannon airs in early evenings and SRN content – Hugh Hewitt, Joe Walsh and Eric Metaxas – air in the late nights and overnights.  Weekend programming includes “Our American Stories” with Lee Habeeb, “Meet the Press” and others.  At the same time, Kemp Broadcasting announces it is revealing its new corporate name after its merger with KCI billboards.  The new company is called Kemp Broadcasting & Digital Outdoor, and EVP/GM Marty Basch says, “With the integration of our radio and billboard divisions, advertisers will now have the opportunity to work with one company in the Las Vegas market that runs both radio and billboards cohesively with one staff to help simplify your advertising needs.”

WFLA-AM, Tampa Adds Local Early Evening Show. The station calls new early evening host Ryan Gorman a “politically independent millennial.”  Beginning March 5, Gorman starts his duties as host of the “PM Tampa Bay Show” on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  The show will air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and “will cover the day’s biggest news stories and hot topics impacting the Tampa Bay area…[Gorman] will bring a unique and fresh perspective to the airwaves, appealing to fans of all ages and all across the entire political spectrum.”  Gorman will continue to host “The Best of the Bay,” a program that airs each weekend across all iHeartMedia Tampa Bay radio stations.  Gorman says, “I’m looking forward to providing a platform that will help inform, educate and entertain listeners in a balanced way during their drive home.  It is an honor to be able to launch a new show in my hometown of Tampa, Florida!”

TALKERS News Notes. At Scripps in Milwaukee, Angie Kasal is promoted to the new position manager of sports network operations for news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The station serves as the flagship for Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play.  In a memo to staffers, Scripps Milwaukee GM Tom Langmyer says Kasal will be “responsible for management of affiliate relations, our broadcasts (in concert with Eric Brooks), day-to-day communication with our team partners, revenue tracking, expense management, assets and more.”…..iHeartMedia announces that legendary journalist Tom Brokaw – whose work appears on news/talk WOR, New York – is relaunching his “Now Hear This” podcast on iHeartRadio.  The company says the “new and improved podcast will post Friday mornings and feature Brokaw’s personal insight and perspectives on current events alongside the impact these events hold on the lives of Americans today.”…..Talking Stick Communicatons sells sports talk WFGA-FM, Hicksville, Ohio “ESPN Fort Wayne” to Swick Broadcasting for $300,000 cash.  Jason James of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker for the deal…..Cumulus Media and Boise State University athletics multi-media rights-holder, Learfield’s Bronco Sports Properties, announce a renewed agreement for flagship radio rights  through the 2024-25 season.  The inclusive coverage features live pre- and post-game coverage for all football and basketball games on the following affiliates. Football will air on KBOI-AM, KTIK-FM, and KTIK-AM; Men’s basketball on KBOI-AM; and Women’s basketball on KTIK-AM.

Lyle Kilgore Dies at 89.  Southern California radio news pro Lyle Kilgore has died at age 89.  During his career, he served as news director at such legendary Los Angeles stations as KHJ, KDAY, KLAC, and KFWB.  His wife Eva posted news of his passing on Facebook.  “My heart is broken.  Lyle passed away peacefully yesterday morning at 10:00 am.  He gently left this world…Lyle had a stellar career and was a quiet man with an incredible personality.”

Reorganization Eliminates Howard Price’s Position with ABC/Disney.  After more than 36 years with Disney/ABC, Howard B. Price is leaving the company and his role as senior manager of business continuity as the position is being eliminated.  Price says his last day with be March 9 and that he has no regrets, his time with the company has been “an extraordinary ride.”  Price can be reached at: HBPrice@aol.com or 917-414-1751.

BFoA Announces Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  The 2018 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards will be presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at the charity’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 11 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  This year’s recipients are: Marcellus Alexander, president, NAB Education Foundation; Joe Bilotta, president & CEO, JMB Solutions, LLC; Richard Bodorff, partner, Wiley Rein LLP; Steve Jones, vice president & general manager, ABC Radio; Patrick Maines, former president & CEO, The Media Institute; and Bill McElveen, executive vice president, Alpha Media.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Gun Control Debate, NRA Loses Business Partnerships, Feinstein Loses Cal Dems Endorsement, CPAC Speeches, U.S.-North Korea Relations, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Xi Jinping to Stay in Power, Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The debate over gun control issues in the wake of the deadly Parkland, Florida shooting; numerous businesses end their relationships with the NRA; Democrat Dianne Feinstein loses the endorsement of the California Democratic Party; the weekend’s speeches at CPAC, including Mona Charen’s getting booed for criticizing GOP’s support of Donald Trump and Roy Moore; North Korea announces it is open to talks with the U.S.; the status of the “Dreamers” act and U.S. immigration policy; Xi Jinping maneuvers to be Chinese president for life; the Winter Games in PyeongChang wrap; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Don LeBrecht Passes at 80.  Lifelong broadcasting pro Don LeBrecht died at the age of 80.  During his career he served with such stations as KFRE, Fresno; WSPA, Spartanburg, South Carolina; and WBT, Charlotte.  He also led the Broadcast Industry Council as executive director for 17 years.  He leaves behind his wife Thelma.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KIIS-FM, Los Angeles personality JoJo is named host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated program “iHeartRadio Countdown.”  The two-hour CHR weekend program is heard on some 100 affiliate stations.  He’ll host the new program in addition to his KIIS duties and his work hosting the syndicated “JoJo on the Radio” program…..Morning drive co-host Greg LeMega, a.k.a. Toast, exits Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” where he was co-hosting “The Big Mistake with Ashley & Toast.”  Ashley continues to host the program solo for now…..Tracy Villaume moves from news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany, where she’d been an anchor and a reporter, to iHeartMedia’s sister hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River” as co-host of the morning show with current morning personality Kevin Rush.   She takes over for Shanna, who most recently left the station to become an air personality at the company’s country WMIL, Milwaukee…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch reports that morning drive co-host Dude Walker and afternoon personality Aricka McCauley exit Jam Communications’ country WQHK, Fort Wayne “K-105.”  Also, GSM Suzee Leavell steps into an account executive role for “K-105” as general manager Jim Allgeier assumes sales manager duties on an interim basis…..Tampa Bay morning personality Mason Dixon celebrates 40 years on the radio tomorrow (2/27).  Dixon is morning host at Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WRBQ “Q105.”  Tomorrow morning, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will present him with an official proclamation proclaiming February 27 “Mason Dixon Day” in Tampa Bay!  Dixon says, “Forty years of doing what love, I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life.  My job, plus raising a family in the most beautiful area anywhere, makes me feel truly a lucky man and I’m still loving every minute of it.”

Round Four of January PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Following four downward trends in succession that generated a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM erases the deficit completely with a +1.3 to 4.1 (6+). “News Radio 590 AM” leaps from #13 to #8, where it is tied with co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin,” which improves by seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+), after faltering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017. Up seven-tenths as well (7.2, third to second, 6+) is University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT, which was -1.4 in three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Not only does Emmis adult hits KBPA transform its -1.7 from “Holiday” 2017 into a +1.7 in January 2018 (8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4, 6+), “Bob” moves from second to first. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Dropping from first to fourth is Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), which erodes by roughly 55%. Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. A gain of eight-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (#15 to #12, 6+) halts four straight declines that generated a -1.0 (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, iHeartMedia-owned KASE was an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), but “Austin’s #1 For New Country” responds with a +.7 to 4.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+). For the second time in a row, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is down by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, seventh to tenth, 6+). Conversely, co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 is without a loss for the fifth straight sweep nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+).

2) Raleigh – Roaring back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” records its strongest 6+-share in exactly four years (9.4, January 2014) and repeats at #3. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. As the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK was -1.4, but “106.1 Stay Connected” posts a +.9 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Meanwhile, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” regains the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1, 6+) and remains at #19. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+) and +.1 in “Holiday” 2017, racks up a whopping +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, fifth to second, 6+). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country – picks up nine-tenths (3.1 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. Trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+) September through December, classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” rebounds in January 2018 with a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.8, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). When iHeartMedia CHR WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); now, “G-105” adds seven-tenths (5.3 – 6.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Its 5.0 in November and December matched WDCG’s lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013. A combined +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL surrenders all but one-half share of that increase as “Mix 101.5” drops from a first-place tie to fourth (6.1, – 4.3, 6+). November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June. Now in sole possession of first-place is Radio One urban AC WFXC, which is on top for the ninth straight month. Moreover, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is an overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), registering its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Off by -1.3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK “K-97.5” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) ends an up/down pattern that began in August (6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2, 6+). Falling out of the top ten (#7 to #12), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” erodes by -1.3 as well (4.7 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – In four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC was a collective -1.8, but “93.1 Indy’s News Center” answers with a +1.1 to 4.5 and returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). Posting a +1.1 as well is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI (2.2 – 3.3, #16 to #14, 6+), which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017. WFYI had been in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 24 ratings periods. As a result of gaining one-half share to 2.0 (unchanged at #17, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” leaves the one-share level (6+) for the first time since September 2016. Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” bounces back with a +1.4 to 7.3, its best 6+-stat since July’s 7.7, to advance from a fourth-place tie to second. With an increase more than twice as much as its six-tenths decrease in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 5.5, +1.3, 6+), hot AC sibling WNTR “107.9 The Mix” moves from tenth to eighth. Erasing all but two-tenths of its -1.3 from “Holiday” 2017, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” jumps from ninth to sixth (4.8 – 5.9, +1.1, 6+); 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016. With a topline trend of 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since August, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” breaks out a +1.1 to 4.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regains nearly half the loss with a +.7 (6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Two-tenths ahead of “Hank” is Cumulus Media-owned and similarly-formatted WFMS (6.0 – 6.4, +.4, third to fourth, 6+), An overall +.8 in May and June, “95.5 The Country Station” was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Even though Emmis adult contemporary WYXB forfeits -5.5 of its collective +7.9 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (13.4, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” is #1 for the third time in a row. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), WICR lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), but the University of Indianapolis-owned jazz-classical property picks up four-tenths to 1.1 (6+), moving from #22 to #21. In six successive up or flat trends, Cumulus Media Indianapolis’ frequency at 93.9 was +2.5, virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+). That streak comes to in an end though in January 2018 as WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9” is -2.2 (2.9, #10 to 15, 6+). Approximately one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG.

4) Milwaukee – When iHeartMedia’s WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). “News/Talk 1130” bounces back though with a +1.0 in January 2018 to 8.4 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth sweep in a row. The last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). Flat at #5, cross-town rival, Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a -1.8 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since last February’s 5.0. Down in the each of the last three sweeps for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+) Saga Communications’ WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” regains all of that loss and another one-tenth (7.2, +1.4, 6+), jumping from sixth to third. After four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+), co-owned WKLH was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017, but “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” recaptures approximately half that deficit (6.7 – 7.2, +.5, 6+) and ties “The Hog” at #3. December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In five successive downward moves, iHeartMedia’s WMIL was a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), however, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” registers a +.9 to 4.5 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth successive survey period for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slips from #12 to #13. In advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” falters by -2.5 but is on top for the 35th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). It has been a rollercoaster ride lately for Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3,” which bounced back from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) with a +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+), but spirals by -2.6 in January 2018 (7.4 – 4.8, second to seventh, 6+). Having regained 60% of December’s full-share loss with a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” drops one-half share to 4.6 (6+) and is anchored at #8. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). In advance of the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” posts its third decrease in succession for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). Similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” is down or flat for the fifth straight ratings period (including its third straight time at 3.9) for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight sweeps without an increase in which it lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” picks up two-tenths to .8 (#21 to #20).

5) Nashville – Applying the brakes to three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” erases one-quarter of the loss with a +.5 to 3.5 and is unchanged at #13 (6+). Similarly, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” notches a +1.0 to 5.0 (steady at #10), as it curtails three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. The station’s “stream,” which had a .1 (6+) in December but disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017, returns with a .7 (#21). Transforming the six-tenths it dropped in “Holiday” 2017 to a +.9 in January 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” climbs from fifth to fourth (5.6 – 6.5, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Similarly-programmed/Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” improves by one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, #17 to #15, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since May’s 2.4. The country format boasts a three-for-three January 2018 showing and its representatives finish at #8, #9, and #10. For openers, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” rebounds from -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a +1.4 and is flat at #8 (5.6, 6+). Co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), progressing from #11 to #10, while – similar to “Nash FM” – iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is +1.1 from “Holiday” 2017 and ends three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, steady at #9, 6+). Powered by four gains in succession netting +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” progresses from third to first, registering its best 6+-stat since June (7.8, as well). Evicted from the penthouse after a three-sweep stay there is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which was an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Prior to this particular run, “Mix” (14.4 – 7.7, -6.7, first to second, 6+) last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to progressing from seventh to fifth, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” posts a +.8 to 6.1 (6+), suspending four consecutive dips for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+); 5.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since 5.3 in “Holiday” 2010. Stuck on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” is up one-half share to 4.2 and remains at #12 (6+). After experiencing a modest three-tenths December – “Holiday” 2017 dip (3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” virtually disappears from print with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” shifts from fourth to sixth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” segued to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well and departing the top twenty (#19 to #23) is Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” (1.1 – .5, 6+).

6) Providence – As the result of three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI is an overall +1.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Following four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is off by one-tenth to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” which was -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) picks up one-tenth to .4 and is unchanged at #16, while iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” loses three-tenths (1.7 – 1.4, #12 to #13, 6+). As it enters the top ten (#11 to #10), The Wheeler School’s public news/talk WELH improves by four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), (Boston) public news/talk WGBH slipped by three-tenths to 1.7 in “Holiday” 2017, but is +.2 in January (1.9, #12 to #11, 6+). Over and above regaining the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” marches from second to first with its best 6+stat (9.5) since September 2013’s 9.6. Further noteworthy is that it succeeds Cumulus Media’s WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (12.3 – 8.9, -3.4, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past 28 ratings periods. The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 basically doubles the 6+-share of Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB (1.4 – 2.1 – 2.7, tenth to ninth, 6+), which is back in print after a lengthy absence. In its June 2017 – January 2018 ratings history (nine reports since returning), “Latina 100.3” has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (5.8 – 5.3, flat at #5, 6+) and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106.3” (2.4 – 19, #9 to #11, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Following an August – September – October – November topline trending of 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR was an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+). “FM 99 Rocks” roars back in January 2018 with a +1.9 to 7.9, climbing from fourth to third. Its 6.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was the softest 6+-share for the station since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2016. In five successive sweeps without an increase, cluster-mate WAFX was a collective -1.8 (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” wipes out two-thirds of that deficit with a +1.2 to 5.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In yet another negative streak coming to an end in January 2018, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point,” down or flat the past sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), chalks up a +.8 to 3.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+). On the flipside, the +7.2 that co-owned adult contemporary WWDE amassed in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) evaporates in its entirety (4.3, -7.2, 6+), with “101.3 2WD” drifting from second to fifth. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE registered its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” logged a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Up four-tenths to 13.0 (6+), after eroding by a combined -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL remains at #1 for the 14th time in a row. In addition, it registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 22nd time in the last 23 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL in September. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, October through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” surrenders -3.4 to 1.6, skidding from fifth to tenth; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represented its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

8) Greensboro – An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” handed over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+) and remained at 4.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The iHeartMedia property though explodes in January with a +1.6 to 5.9, climbing from seventh to fifth. Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. According to the “Holiday” 2017 report, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+) but “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” picks up two-tenths in January (1.9, 6+) and is anchored at #11. Flat at .9 (6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC moves from a tie at #12 to #13. Not only does Entercom adult hits WSMW transform a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 to a +2.6 in January 2018 to advance from third to second, “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” now boasts the strongest 6+-share (11.6) in its PPM-history. “Simon” had been in double-digits (6+) from August through December, before falling to 9.0 in “Holiday” 2017. December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+). In four straight declines, iHeartMedia owned WTQR was a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” rebounds in January 2018 with a +.7 (5.6, 6+), yet backslides from sixth to seventh. Recording double-digits (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row (11.5 – 12.1, +.6, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” moves from second to first. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, the Entercom urban AC spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. Exiting the top spot after just a one-sweep visit there, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” surrenders all but two-tenths of its collective +10.2 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.1 – 6.1, -10.0, first to fourth, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Following December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since last July’s 9.6 – Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH is -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), yet “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” manages to inch up from fourth to third.

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by nine-tenths each are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (tenth to ninth, 6+), which continues an up/down pattern that began in September (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 3.2, 6+) and WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (4.4 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is now off by a combined seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, ninth to tenth, 6+). Similarly, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), sputters by a collective six-tenths in the last two reports (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- #10 to #12). Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains three-tenths (1.0 – 1.3, #15 to #14, 6+). Down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods, co-owned WRMF was a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). In addition to recapturing more than half that loss with a +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8, 6+), the hot AC moves from second to first. After 12 consecutive months on top, “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” which advanced from fourth to first in “Holiday” 2017, now shifts to fifth (9.1 – 4.9, – 4.2, 6+). By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” – was +.8 in December; -.6 in “Holiday” 2017; and now +.5 in January 2018 (4.9 – 5.4, fourth to third, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January 2017 (5.9). JVC Media’s WSWN “Sugar 900 – The Hottest Gospel on Your Radio,” a no-show in December and “Holiday” 2017 appears with a .5 (#17, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – Without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), public news/talk WJCT gains four-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and remains at #12. A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV bounces back with a +1.2 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Despite being -5.4 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” manages to move from second to first and leads WOKV by two-tenths. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The market’s (6+) CHR share expands by +1.7 as Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erases completely its -.7 from “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.8, – 5.5, +.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while with a +1.0 to 4.7 (tenth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” ends three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). In November, WAPE fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, WKSL’s gospel HD3 channel drops six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, #12 to #15, 6+). A +.7 by Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ (1.9 – 2.6, 6+) takes “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” from #15 to #13; WXXJ was -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, 6+), with 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. After freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” regains one-half share to 7.1 and remains at #4 (6+). There are more big ups/downs for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.9 – 5.1 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.6) is its best 6+-showing since July 2016’s 6.1. Two negative streaks conclude for iHeartMedia cluster-mates WSOL and WJBT. Specifically, a cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” is +.4 to 4.0 (flat at #11, 6+), while urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), is +.1 to 4.7 (eighth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” and Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WEZI “Easy 102.9” combined for a +5.1; however, WEJZ sputters by -4.3 (11.9 – 7.6, first to third, 6+), while “Easy” regresses by -1.3 (4.4, fifth to ninth, 6+) for a format combined -5.6. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In a somewhat similar scenario, “Easy” was +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+).

11) Memphis – Notwithstanding that it transforms “Holiday” 2017’s -.8 into a +.9 in January 2018 (2.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC remains at #11. That loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 by “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). This (3.5) is its best 6+-share since last February’s 3.6. Adding six-tenths each are Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” (3.1, #13 to #12, 6+) and Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR for the Mid-South” (1.2 – 1.8, #16 to #15, 6+). After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, aforementioned WREC finished with an identical (6+) profile (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) as co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Bouncing back with +1.4 to 4.0, “Rock 201.7 enters the top ten at #10. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Unchanged at #6, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is up two-tenths to 5.4 (6+), curtailing four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+). Albeit that is down six-tenths (10.0 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there, returns to #1 (from #2). Its consecutive string of achieving double-digits (6+) ends at five. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which was +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), but “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” falters by -5.3 and falls to fourth (7.6, 6+). The day after Christmas (12/26), “The River” officially encountered a direct challenger – Cumulus Media-owned WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (formerly “98.9 The Vibe”). After gaining six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, 6+), “The Bridge” surrenders a -2.0 to 2.1 and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14, 6+). November’s +.9 on that frequency halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Having posted five straight up or flat trends that produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” returns all but two-tenths of that increase (7.8, -1.2, 6+) but carries on at #3.

12) Hartford – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” recaptures half that loss with a +.7 to 5.1 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+), Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” ends three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). While steady at #6, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” posts a +.9 following December’s -1.3 (6.3 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+); 5.0 was its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the last 21 sweeps, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” improves by six tenths to 2.3 (6+) as the station that plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz continues at #11. Wiping out a “Holiday” 2017 loss of nine-tenths with a +1.5 (6.9 – 6.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” jumps from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat (7.5) in exactly one year (7.6, January’ 2017). After logging a 6+-share no higher than 6.8 and no lower than 6.2 in each of the past seven sweeps for a +.4 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), CHR sibling WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” hangs out a +.5 to 7.3 and remains at #3 (6+). By gaining two-tenths to 5.1 (flat at #7), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” pulls the plug on seven ratings period in succession without an increase for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+). Its 4.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ fell below a five-share (6+). Steady at #4, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” rebounds from -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and matches the +.7 of co-owned (aforementioned) news/talk WTIC-AM, (7.5 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+). Still on top for the 18th successive ratings period, adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” erodes by -4.9 to 13.4 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 15th time in the last 17 sweeps – and seventh in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). While its FM signal is off by nearly five full-shares, the station’s “stream,” a “no-show” in December and “Holiday” 2017, returns with a .6 (#14, 6+). Co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+), flounders by eight-tenths to 7.2, slipping from second to fifth. Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the fourth sweep in a row, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Friday, February 23, 2018

| February 23, 2018

Entercom Announces Final Agreement to Acquire Two Emmis St. Louis Stations; Names Becky Domyan Market Manager.  Last month, Emmis Communications announced agreements in principle to sell its St. Louis radio stations – news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom and rock KSHE and alternative KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio.  Now, Entercom announces the definitive agreement to buy the two stations for $15 million.  At the same time, Entercom removes John Sheehan as market manager and replaces him with Emmis director of sales Becky Domyan.  She’ll be SVP and market manager for news/talk KMOX, news/talk KFTK, adult contemporary KEZK, hot AC KYKY and CHR KNOU.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “This is an exciting move to complement our strong portfolio in St. Louis.  The transaction is part of our broader strategy to continue growing Entercom’s robust roster of brands across the country and to provide the best-in-class local marketing solutions at national scale that our advertising partners expect from us.”  Entercom begins operating the Emmis stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Entercom expects the deal to close by the second quarter of 2018.

Hubbard to Pay $45 million for KSHE and KPNT, St. Louis.  The second part of Emmis’ sale of its St. Louis properties is heritage rock outlet KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” and Emmis announces that Hubbard Radio will pay $45 million for the two stations.  Hubbard will also begin operating the stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “The St. Louis team has been an integral part of our Emmis family since 1984.  We love our people in St. Louis and the team’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable.  Hubbard and Entercom are both tremendous radio operators and they are adding great people and great brands to their St. Louis clusters.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds FM Translator to AM Signal.  Last July, Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee was all set to begin simulcasting its AM signal on FM translator W277CV at 103.3.  But talk WRRD, Waukesha owner Michael Crute petitioned the FCC, saying the construction permit to move the Frank McCoy-owned translator from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee market had been violated.  Crute says he had a deal with McCoy to simulcast WRRD on the translator but Scripps offered McCoy more money.  The petition was not successful, and Scripps begins using the 250-watt translator now licensed to Milwaukee.  Station VP and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “For 90 years, Milwaukee has depended upon WTMJ for news, local talk and sports.  It’s important to make our content easy to find and we’re excited to add an additional platform at 103.3 FM along with our digital distribution platforms.  Our play-by-play sports partners, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks will be heard on ‘WTMJ-FM’, as well.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is scheduled to make on-air appearances this season on Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York.  As part of the agreement, Boone will appear every Thursday at 5:00 pm beginning March 1 on the afternoon show with Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott to talk Yankees baseball.  Boone will also appear with Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman during all Yankees pre-game shows throughout the season.  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “As part of our commitment to delivering premiere live, New York-centric sports audio content, we are proud to continue the tradition of partnering with the Yankees manager.  It’s a tradition that goes back to Joe Torre and continued with Joe Girardi.  We are excited to welcome Aaron.”…..Westwood One News is producing a 20-part series for affiliate stations called, “Tax Tips,” anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Ann Cates.  The company says the series will feature advice on topics from where and how to prepare, identity theft, and phishing scams to taxpayers’ bill of rights, the impact of tax reform, and bitcoins.

Florida School Shooting Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 19-23.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 people – including discussions about gun control, mental illness, and the FBI’s role was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections, followed by the status of the DACA and the Trump administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

World Famous WWE Ring Announcer Lilian Garcia Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Interview.  One of the most popular personalities to emerge in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) during the past 20 years, Lilian Garcia, is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Garcia, who hosts the weekly PodcastOne series, “Chasing Glory,” in which she interviews other wrestling personalities and media figures about their personal life stories, is also an accomplished singer who is one of the most prolific and critically-acclaimed performers of the ‘Star Spangled Banner” in America – having performed the national anthem at numerous stadium-filled events for the NFLNBANHLMLBNASCAR, the US Open Tennis Tournament and the Summer Olympic Games.  Harrison and Garcia discuss her colorful career and delve into the personalities she has encountered during her 15-year run as a major WWE “diva.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two promotions to report from Cox Media Group’s Miami station group as programmer Jill Strada is upped to director of operations and sales pro Crystal Gans becomes as integrated sales manager.  CMG regional vice president Rob Babin states, “We are very happy when we have an opportunity to promote successful leaders from within our company.  Crystal and Jill are proven leaders who have demonstrated incredible success at Cox Media Group Miami.  Their success lies in commitment to their teams and the passion they each have as leaders.  I look forward to the impact Crystal and Jill will make in their new roles.”  Strada will oversee hip hop WEDR, CHR WFLC, adult contemporary WFEZ and urban contemporary WHQT.  She was previously director of branding and programming for WEDR and WFLC.  Gans will lead the cluster’s sales strategies across multiple platforms.  Prior to this role, she was digital sales manager…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad Show” – co-hosted by Ashley Paige and Brad Abell – is added to the programming schedule at Withers Broadcasting Company’s KBXB, Sikeston, Missouri “B97.9.”  Envision says the “Ashley & Brad Show” is a Los Angeles-based morning show that provides its talent to radio stations nationwide with daily produced segments.  The four hours of programmed content allow radio stations to “maintain their on-air quality without exceeding budget constraints.”  The duo are heard live daily on KWSV, Simi Valley, California “99.1 The Ranch.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new channel called Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat “Where Country Went Mod.”  The channel will be curated by Yoakam and will feature music from Yoakam’s extensive career as well as from his musical friends.  It will “celebrate the Bakersfield sound and those whom it has inspired” including: Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Collins, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, The Blasters, Lucinda Williams and more. The channel will launch in the spring.

Round Three of January PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Entering the September sweep, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1 in that sweep. It was a short stay there though as it plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. The past two ratings periods (December and “Holiday” 2017), KOPB has ranked second, but powered by a +1.1 (8.5 – 9.6, 6+), it is back on top. Recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); and now +1.1 in January 2018. The station it keeps chasing and replacing, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” surrenders all but two-tenths of its combined +8.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.9 – 8.5, -8.4, 6+) and (again) swaps places with KOPB. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, “K-103 is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. After being within 3.5 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” explodes with a +1.4 (3.6 – 5.0, 6+) to progress from eighth to fifth. The last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Similarly programmed/iHeartMedia owned KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” gains one-half share (1.2 – 1.7, #21 to #19, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well). Its CHR cluster-mate, KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is also up one-half share, after faltering by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 3.4, flat at #13, 6+). The -.9 ended its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). This time last month (“Holiday” 2017), the market’s (6+) country share diminished by -1.8, but it bounces back with a +2.6. Specifically, Alpha Media’s KUPL obliterates its -1.1 with a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges back into the top ten (#13 to #6) with its best 6+-share since July and August (4.9, as well). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” makes up all but one-tenth of its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017 with a January 2018 gain of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+), yet actually backslides from #11 to #12. Nevertheless, its +.6 pulls the plug on six straight months in which “The Wolf” was without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. By posting a +.8 to 5.8 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” rebounds from a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.0, 6+) as it inches up from fourth to third. While unchanged at #9, Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” gains seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, 6+). Immediately after notching a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” surrenders all but three-tenths of it (5.7, -1.3, third to fourth, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth time in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, seventh to tenth, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Progressing by eight-tenths (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT has its best 6+-stat since October (4.0, as well) and carries on at #13. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+) and hit the four-share mark (6+) in October 2017 for the first time since October 2016’s 4.1. A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” erases half that deficit with an uptick of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and remains at #15. WFAE was -.6 in October; +.5 in November; -1.1 in December; and now +.6 in January. One-half share separates Charlotte’s top four finishers in January 2018, with iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” – powered by a +1.9 – leaping from sixth to first (5.0 – 6.9, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since its 7.0 in May 2016 and the first time at #1 since August (2017), when it registered a 6.1. It was a quick one-sweep only stay at #1 for Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety,” which marched from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, but now drops to fifth (11.0 – 6.0, -5.0, 6+). Its 11.0 was the station’s strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Without a loss for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative +.8 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” goes from a three-way logjam at #2 to a conventional tie there. Following four down or flat reports in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” is up three-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. A “Holiday” 2017 loss of -1.1 by WRCM took Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4, but the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet bounces back with a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is up by triple that deficit to 4.8 (+.9, tenth to sixth, 6+). Six straight decreases by Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG resulted in a -2.1 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but “Power 98” makes up one-third of that loss with a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). It is a somewhat similar scenario for iHeartMedia’s WEND, which picks up seven-tenths as well to end three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), as “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” also enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Finishing first in December but then dropping to second in “Holiday” 2017, adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” plummets by -2.2 (6.5 – 4.3, 6+) to join cluster-mate WEND at #10. Just prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, “The Lake” was +2.9 in three straight gains (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 7.2, 6+) with December 2017’s 7.2 its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Co-owned contemporary Christian WRFX-HD2 is off one-half share (.9 – .4, #20 to #21, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Down nine-tenths as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI more than makes up for it with a +1.6 to 4.4 (6+), as “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” rockets from #16 to #9. This is its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #20). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPMhistory, but the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet forfeits that full-share and three-tenths more (3.4, -1.3, 6+), cratering from #4 to #13. Not only does Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM post a +1.8 to stifle three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+), “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; and January 2018’s +1.8. Classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+) soaring from sixth to third. Departing the San Antonio penthouse after residing there the past two sweeps, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” returns all but two-tenths of the combined +8.8 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+); 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Three straight declines by Cox Media Group-owned KCYY produced a cumulative -1.9 (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), but “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regains six-tenths of it (4.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Leapfrogging “Y-100” with a +1.1 (5.2, eighth to fourth, 6+) is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which concludes four down or flat sweeps for a collective -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. An overall +1.5 in six sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. Off by a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” picks up eight-tenths to 5.7, advancing from third to second (6+). Gaining eight-tenths as well are Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” (4.6, tenth to eighth, 6+), which pulls the plug on three decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.3 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), and Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are adult hits sibling KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (3.8 – 4.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (4.3 – 4.9, steady at #6, 6+). Checking in at #21, Texas Public Radio classical KPAC is up one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) knocks Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” out of the top ten (#5 to #11). In four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.3 (flat at #19, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Tacking on a January 2018 +.7 to its +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM continues in sixth-place. This (6.6) represents the best 6+-showing for “93.7 The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. On the strength of a +1.3 to 5.3 (6+), news/talk cluster-mate KDKA-AM (eighth to seventh) has its highest 6+-share since last April’s 5.7. Moreover, “News Radio 1020” halts four down or flat trends in succession that produced a -.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In a similar vein, a six-tenths gain by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” (2.7, #13 to #12, 6+) ends three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Yet another negative streak concludes as iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station,” which was a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), recaptures 70% of the loss (7.6, +1.4, fifth to third 6+). “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Steady at #8 and #10, respectively, Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (4.9, 6+) and co-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (3.2 – 4.1, 6+) are each on the rise by nine-tenths. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” was -1.0 to 4.0, its lowest 6+-share since 3.6 in “Holiday” 2016. A -.8 by WDSY in “Holiday” 2017 ended an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). Notwithstanding that it adds one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three negative trends in succession for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” backslides from #12 to #13. A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Regaining the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (9.2 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE moves from third to second. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). WDVE was +1.6 in October; -1.0 in November; and is now just two-tenths of a share behind classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (16.4 – 9.4, -7.0, 6+), which is on top for the 11th month in a row. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. On the heels of posting a 10.6 in “Holiday” 2017, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” erodes by -3.8 to 6.8 (6+), slipping from second to fifth. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4.

5) Sacramento – Entering the “Holiday” 2017 report, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was down or flat in October-November-December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and follows in January 2018 with a +.2 to 8.6 (6+). Not only is 8.6 its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7, KFBK progresses from second to first. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; surrendered all but one-tenth of it in “Holiday” 2017 (-.5); and is now +.6 in January (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) to advance from #15 to #13; this (2.7) is its highest 6+-share since last June’s 2.8. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ recoups roughly half that deficit with a +.5 to 4.7 and remains in fifth-place. Four-tenths behind pacesetting KFBK at #2 is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which boasts a +2.0 to 8.2 (6+), virtually erasing its -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, the last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). Its format challenger – iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River, The River City’s New Classic Rock” – flips its -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-share since last July’s 4.8. Improving by +1.1 as well is Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” which is +1.8 in three upticks in succession (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, steady at #4, 6+). Having finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by more than 50% from “Holiday” 2017 (-7.4) and segues to #3 (14.2 – 6.8, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “Mix” became the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. In the five most recent ratings periods, co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); -1.0 “Holiday” 2017; and now +.7 in January 2018 (3.5 – 4.2, flat at #8, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Without an increase the past four sweeps for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), yet moves from fifth to seventh. Entravision’s KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” regains the seven-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 plus one-tenth more (1.0 – 1.8, +.8, #24 to #19, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – Owing to three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2, but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with a +1.3 to 6.4 (6+) and continues in second place. Huge fluctuations are nothing new for KSL. Recent examples include +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.1 (September); +1.4 (October); -1.8 (November); -.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and +1.3 (January 2018). Trending 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS was +.8 in November, but a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Even though it recaptures 70% of that loss (3.3 – 4.0, +.7, 6+), “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” shifts from a four-way tie at #8 to #10. Locked on 3.3 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, University of Utah news/talk KUER notches a +.8 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Transforming “Holiday” 2017’s -1.4 into a +2.1 (4.0 – 6.1, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” progresses from fifth to third. Somewhat similarly, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but roars back with a +2.0 (3.3 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight sweeps for a collective -1.2 (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is up two-tenths to 1.0 (flat at #24, 6+). Gaining one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18). Four negative moves in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KZHT accounted for a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” posts a +1.9 to 6.0 (6+) and remains at #4. As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). An overall +1.9 in seven consecutive down or flat sweeps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KODJ was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 6+). In January, however, “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” racks up a +1.8 to 5.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+); November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, hot AC KJMY “My 99.5 – More Music, More Variety” rolls out a +.9 to 3.7 (#14 to #11, 6+), thus ending five straight down or flat trends that netted a -.7 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Even though it flips a -.8 from “Holiday” 2017 into a January 2018 +1.0 (4.3 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP “Utah’s Classic Rock – 103.5 The Arrow” actually slips from sixth to eighth. Regaining two-thirds of “Holiday” 2017’s -.9 (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” climbs from #14 to #13; 2.3 was its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Despite a bewildering -15.1 (23.2 – 8.1, 6+), similarly programmed/Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. Up or flat for the ninth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” stays at #22. Off by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks,” -1.1 in three straight dips (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.7, #8 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” (1.8 – 1.2, #19 to #23, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Displaying gains of six-tenths each are Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (1.3, #23, 6+) and Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR (1.9 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+). KDWN was without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (.9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 (#21, 6+). In three consecutive downward moves (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia country KWNR was a collective -2.5, but “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” dials up a +1.9 to 5.1 (6+), leaping from #13 to #4. This marks the fourth straight up or flat move for Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” for a +1.6 (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). Making a “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 +1.1 improvement as well is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ, which advances from second to first (6.5 – 7.6, 6+). In December, “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 in December. It succeeds iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (12.5 – 6.5, -6.0, 6+), which falls to second. The -6.0 halts three straight positive spikes that netted +7.7 (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017); and -6.0 (January 2018). Noteworthy ups/down continue for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which logged five successive improvements for a +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+); returned it all in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+); and is now +.9 (4.6 – 5.5, fourth to third, 6+). In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Flat at #15, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” is up four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of down or flat trends that yielded a -.4 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). After being without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” returns that gain in total (3.9, -.9, 6+) and slides from third to eighth; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. In six successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

8) Cincinnati – Following five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW recaptures nearly half the loss with a +1.6 (7.9, third to second, 6+). “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC is +.3 to 3.6, curtailing three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+); “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU improves by one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). In addition to rebounding from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5,