Category: Industry News

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, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.6 (6), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” shifts from second to first. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Exiting the top slot and drifting to fifth is its adult contemporary cluster-mate WRRM “Warm 98” (13.0 – 5.4, -7.6, 6+), which – in five improvements in a row – was an overall +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A +1.7 (5.7 – 7.4, fifth to fourth, 6+) by WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” enables the Hubbard hot AC to reach the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since November 2016’s 7.3. By posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” basically wipes out the -1.4 from its five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Staying in that Hubbard cluster, WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” plummeted by -1.4 in December; was +.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and now tacks on a +1.5 (6.3 – 7.8, 6+) to continue at #3. Surrendering six-tenths in December and another one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” recovers all but one-tenth of that -1.1 with a +1.0 to 5.1 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Stuck on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” reclaims the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, eighth to ninth, 6+). As Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” improves by one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #14 to #12, 6+), Radio One’s WOSL regresses by that margin (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Locked on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, “100.3 R&B + Old School” recorded six straight sweeps without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Dropping from #16 to #18, urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is off for the fourth sweep 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+).

9) Orlando – Over and above halting three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” breaks out a +1.7 to 3.9 (#15 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (4.0, January 2016). It is tied with Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which regains the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+). In four straight decreases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), but “News 96.5” regains roughly half that decrease with a +1.3 to 4.7 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10, 6+). In September, WDBO-FM registered a +2.0; immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, “News 96.5” was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last five reports for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gains seven-tenths to 1.9 (#20 to #16, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for co-owned 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 progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before relinquishing nearly half that gain (-.9) in “Holiday” 2017. It now adds a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.9, 6+) to climb from third to second with its best 6+-stat since last April’s 9.9. A January 2018 +1.3 by co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” (5.3, tenth to sixth, 6+) wipes out the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Flashing increases of +1.0 each are Entercom classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WOMX “Mix 105.1” (3.8 – 4.8, #11 to #9, 6+). In five consecutive decreases between August and “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” was a cumulative -2.3 (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). The “stream” of WOCL appears in print with a .7 (#22, 6+). In the Cox Media Group cluster, WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” gains seven-tenths after spiraling by a cumulative -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.2 – 5.9, flat at #4, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. With a +.4 to 9.3 though, “Rumba 100” is back on top and curtails four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. It displaces adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” (15.9 – 6.6, -9.2, first to third), which spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017, but falters by nine-tenths in January (4.1 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” A loss of six-tenths to 3.7 (#8 to #13, 6+) by Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” ends at three its consecutive string of increases that netted +1.2 (3.1 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

10) Cleveland – As the result of six straight positive spikes (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +3.2 and breaks into the top ten (#12 to #9). Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” gains one-half share to 5.5 (6+) and carries on at #8. Recapturing in its entirety “Holiday” 2017’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3 – 7.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” jumps from fifth to third. Following three straight (minor) declines for a -.4 (1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF notches a +.9 to 1.6 (#16 to #15, 6+). Nearly wiping out its -.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) with a one-half share increase to 4.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” actually backslides from the top ten (#10 to #11). Having reached #1 in December, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017, but the Radio One urban AC is back on top (8.6 – 9.1, +.5, 6+). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and made it to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (10.4 – 5.6, -4.9, 6+), which drifts to seventh. “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+). In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017 it became the fourth different Cleveland station in as many sweeps to occupy the top spot. Anchored at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) with a -1.9 to 8.4 (6+). It reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November.

11) Kansas City – This is the fifth upward trend in succession for Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM (ninth to eighth), which is +1.2 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). When Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4 in December, it halted at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 though with a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and inches up from #14 to #12. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” relinquished -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017, but gains it all back (+1.0) in January (6.1 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), progressing from fifth to third. After freefalling by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” recovers 45% of the loss with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to sixth, 6+). A November gain of seven-tenths halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+); “Mix” added eight-tenths in December. Adding eight-tenths each are Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (3.6, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (2.7 – 3.5, #16 to #15, 6+). A gain of one-half share to 3.8 (#12 to #13, 6+) by Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” pulls the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.7 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). All three of the market’s country FMs improve from “Holiday” 2017: Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” (5.2 – 6.0, +.8, flat at #4, 6+); Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, sixth to fifth, 6+); and Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (3.9 – 4.4, +.5, steady at #11, 6+). Four straight upticks by Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM yielded a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+), but “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns two full shares (8.4, -2.0, 6+). Even so, it repeats at #1. Having more than doubled its 6+-stat between September and “Holiday” 2017 (+4.1) in four upticks in a row (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+),      Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” forfeits -2.9 to 5.6 (6+), falling from third to sixth. Eroding by -1.7 (9.1 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” nonetheless carries on at #2. 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 the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+).

12) Columbus – Roaring back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” leaps from sixth to third. The last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was nearly 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+). Trending 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU gains six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August. After a six-month tenure at #1, iHeartMedia’s WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017, but the country outlet returns to the top spot with a whopping +3.1 (10.9 – 14.0, 6+) and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. It was +2.2 in January 2017; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; -.5 in December; and now +3.1 in January 2018. Departing the driver’s seat after just one sweep and dropping to fifth is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (11.0 – 5.2, -5.8, 6+), which surrenders more than half of its 6+-share. “Sunny” was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Having been without an increase for the past five sweeps for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” answers with a +1.2 to 9.2 (fourth to second). The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was March 2017 (8.9). Off eight-tenths in three successive (modest) downward trends (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” picks up one-half share to 2.7 and continues at #12 (6+). Forfeiting -2.9 (8.1 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC segues from third to fifth; “93.3 The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Regressing by four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to ninth, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO has its string of successive gains that netted +1.7 snapped at three (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

| February 22, 2018

Sports Talker KABZ-FM, Little Rock Changes Name of ‘Babe Bracket’ Contest.  “The times they are a changin’” and Signal Media’s decision to rename the “Babe Bracket” contest after pressure from the public is evidence of that.  The contest asks listeners to rate 16 local, female television personalities in a tournament fashion – hence the “bracket” part.  But now, KABZ-FM “103.7 The Buzz” has decided to call the promotion “The Bracket with No Name” a riff on the station’s “The Show with No Name” hosted by Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott and RJ Hawk.  The station says, “The goal of this event has always been to let ‘Buzz’ listeners get to know local TV journalists and celebrities better and allow the contestants to have an open forum to show their personality, share what they are passionate about, and talk to members of our great community. It is of the utmost importance to hosts Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott and RJ Hawk that the women who are part of the event are treated with respect and celebrated for all of the things that make them so popular with our listeners and their viewers.”  The winning TV personality gets a spa package and the station makes a $500 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.

With Clock Ticking, iHM Senior Lenders Try to Woo Junior Bondholders.  According to a report by Bloomberg, the Franklin Resources-led senior lenders are preparing to pitch a new term sheet to junior bondholders in order to get all creditors on board for a debt restructuring for iHeartMedia.  iHM skipped a $106 million interest payment on February 1, kicking in a 30-day grace period before default on the loan can be claimed.  It’s expected that iHeartMedia will declare bankruptcy before the 30-day grace period lapses and senior creditors hope a deal can be struck with all creditor groups to arrange a pre-packaged bankruptcy.  What’s the sticking point?  Bloomberg writes, “The senior group is betting that a shared desire to deny current equity owners any stake in a restructured company will get junior creditors on board with their latest proposal…Cleansing documents filed by the company on February 9 showed that iHeart’s insistence on retaining equity stakes for its current owners remains the main obstacle to a consensual deal.”

Kevin Rolston to Host Daily Sports Show on WMEN-AM, West Palm Beach.  West Palm Beach morning drive personality Kevin Rolston is adding an afternoon shift to his duties with Alpha Media.  Already a co-host on the “The KVJ Show” on the company’s hot AC WRMF, Rolston will launch a 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm daily show on sister sports talker WMEN-AM “The Hurricane,” beginning February 26.  Titled, “Kevin’s Other Show,” the program will feature “local topics as well as national sports conversations.”  Alpha Media Palm Beach SVP/market manager Elizabeth Hamma adds, “We’re excited to bring something unique, fresh and local to South Florida’s sports fans.  ‘640 The Hurricane’ has the largest sports signal in the Palm Beaches, so adding talent the caliber of Kevin Rolston, with his passion for sports and entertainment, make it a natural winner.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Tavis Smiley is suing PBS for breach of contract after the company fired him in December after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.  The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, DC, contends that Smiley’s firing by the public broadcaster was due in part to racial bias…..The NAB has announced the finalists for this year’s Crystal Radio Awards.  Spoken word stations that have made the finalists list include: all-news WINS-AM, New York; news/talk WOR, New York; all-news WWJ, Detroit; WSB-AM, Atlanta; WTMJ, Milwaukee; KFTK-FM, St. Louis; news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix; news/talk KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; KSRO, Santa Rosa, California; and WSOY-AM Decatur, Illinois…..Scripps news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting a special program to address school safety in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida massacre.  The one-hour special airs tomorrow (2/23) at 3:00 pm.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks states, “WTMJ is ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ and we’re honored to provide an on-air town hall for local leaders to discuss the importance of securing area schools.  It’s our duty to provide a forum on such an important subject which has taken on added urgency following the Parkland shootings.”

Florida School Massacre Aftermath/CNN Town Hall, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian Meddling in U.S. Elections; DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Billy Graham Dies at 99, Middle East Tensions/Syria Violence, Twitter Accounts Suspensions, CPAC, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21).  The gun control debate spurred by the deadly Florida school shooting and Wednesday evening’s CNN Town Hall addressing gun issues; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the intelligence information pointing to Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the 2018 mid-term elections; the status of the DACA and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99; tensions between Iran and Israel and the attacks on rebels and civilians in Syria’s eastern Ghouta; the suspension of numerous Twitter accounts as the company attempts to sweep out bots; this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference; and the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Broadcasting from CPAC. The 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference got underway yesterday at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland and Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher is broadcasting from the event.  Among the conservative leaders expected to speak at the conference are: President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and NRA president Wayne LaPierre.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Lexington, Kentucky country outlet WVLK flips to adult hits, using the JACK format.  Cumulus Media is position the new station as “101.5 JACK FM.”  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier says, “We are looking forward to introducing ‘JACK FM’ to Central Kentucky.  Jack is the #1-branded radio format in the country and the programming energizes listeners with its truly original brand and “we will play anything” attitude.”…..Programmer Dennis Martinez exits Entercom’s Orlando cluster where he’d been programming hot AC WOMX “MIX 101.5” and alternative rock WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Martinez joined the stations in 2015 when they were owned by CBS RADIO…..SiriusXM is celebrating the career Lynyrd Skynyrd as the band embarks on its farewell tour with a special invitation-only show for SiriusXM on Thursday, March 15 at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.  Also, SiriusXM will dedicate the month or March to Skynyrd with its own Southern Rock channel called, appropriately, “Freebird.”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Bon Jovi to the lineup of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles on March 11.  The band will be honored with the iHeartRadio Icon Award.

 

Round Two of January PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 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. Nielsen’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Each faction under the spoken-word umbrella claims a big January 2018 victory. Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP segued to second-place in “Holiday” 2017, but with a +1.3 (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), it reclaims the top spot with its best 6+-stat in nearly seven years (10.6, March 2011). Moreover, the Hubbard all-news operation applies the brakes to 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 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). An even larger sweep-to-sweep increase is notched by American University-owned news/talk WAMU (7.6 – 9.3, +1.7, third to second, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. Off by a cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Without an increase in each of the last three reports for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL recaptures all of it plus one-tenth more (4.8, +1.1, eighth to sixth, 6+) as it registers its strongest 6+-performance since March 2015 (4.8, as well). Down or flat the past four 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+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” bounces back with a +.6 to 2.4 (6+) and continues at #18. A gain of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) takes iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5 DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” to its highest 6+-performance since September’s 4.4, while a +.5 (3.3 – 3.8, tenth to ninth, 6+) enables Radio One urban contemporary WKYS to log its best 6+-stat since October 2016’s 3.9. Down or flat the past 11 sweeps for a combined -.8 (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” picks up one-tenth to .4 and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). After six straight increases (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH surrenders all but six-tenths of that collective +5.6 (4.7, -5.0, 6+) and tumbles from first to seventh; 9.7 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. A loss of one-tenth to 5.6 by Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic 102.3” (fifth to fourth, 6+) halts four straight up or flat moves that netted +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Similarly-formatted/Howard University-owned WHUR picks up three-tenths of the -1.1 from “Holiday” 2017, inching up from fourth to third (7.1, 6+). It recorded a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing but forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, WHUR was in third-place for each of the previous 12 ratings periods.

2) Boston – Rebounding from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 (6.4 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” progresses from second to first. “Kiss” 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 sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Surrendering the top spot after back-to-back stays there is Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (13.6 – 5.4, -8.2, first to fourth, 6+), which was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+). Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat since 5.1 in January 2011, the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. As the New England Patriots were marching toward another Super Bowl, The Hub’s January 2018 (6+) sports talk share bloats by +2.6, nearly equally divided between Entercom’s WEEI-FM (5.4, +1.4, ninth to fourth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.9 – 7.1, +1.2, third to second, 6+). The +1.4 by Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM curtails 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+). Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WWBX (formerly WBMX) was off by one full-share, but “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” picks up four-tenths to 3.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). Improving by seven-tenths each and displaying identical 4.2 – 4.9 steady at #7 (6+) profiles are fellow public news/talkers Boston University-owned WBUR and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH. 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+). In addition to “The Sports Hub,” classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” (5.5 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” (4.6, unchanged at #10, 6+) post gains of +1.2, as well. The latter ends 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+). An overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), WZLX urban AC cluster-mate, WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B,” regains all but one-tenth of that loss (2.6, +.8, #18 to #14, 6+), while Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Independent Boston Radio” adds one-half share to 2.1 (#20 to #17, 6+), erasing its -.5 from three straight down or flat moves (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). Even though it is +.2 to 2.1 (6+) thus curtailing five consecutive declines for an overall -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” backslides from #16 to #17. In advance of the aforementioned decline, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). After four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB is now a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #22, 6+). In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+).

3) Miami – In addition to climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WXTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits” registers its fourth increase in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7, 6+). A gain of one-half share takes Entercom-owned adult contemporary WLYF to its strongest 6+-stat (7.4) since September 2016’s 8.4. Moreover, “101.5 Lite FM” repeats at #1 and is a collective +1.8 in five successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+). Elevating by one-half share as well are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” (5.6, flat at #4, 6+) and Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (2.4, #20 to #19, 6+). Prior to January 2018, “Amor” was -1.1 in three straight down or flat moves (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), while WLRN was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Up a combined seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss, Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country” climbs from #17 to #16 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Following four increases in succession that yielded a +1.0 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WRTO “Mix 98.3” relinquishes six-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Off by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Miami’s Rhythm From the ‘80s to Now” (2.5 – 1.9, #18 to #20, 6+), which had been within 2.0 – 2.5 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods. Returning in its entirety the +.4 from “Holiday” 2017 plus one-tenth more (4.6 – 4.1, -.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” slips from seventh to eighth. Unchanged at #3, its urban AC cluster-mate, WHQT “Hot 105,” is -1.6 in four decreases in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WFLC “Hits 97.3” carries on at #11. Its format competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2017 (4.1 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). 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 – Two-tenths of a share (6+) separates the Motor City’s top three January 2018 finishers. Included in that trio is Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC, which improves by six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+) to progress from second to first. This is the best 6+-stat for “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2016’s 7.1. WOMC succeeds iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which plummets by -9.2 (15.8 – 6.6, first to second, 6+). Immediately prior to this drop, however, 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 pacesetter 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). Among the stations benefitting from its -9.2 are Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (5.1, +1.0, seventh to fifth, 6+); co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” (5.6 – 6.5, +.9, steady at #3, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (4.1, +.6, #12 to #11, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2, while WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). WWJ had been within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Led by Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (3.8 – 4.9, +1.1, tenth to sixth, 6+), the market’s (6+) country share improves by +1.7. 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. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” which was without an increase in eight consecutive sweeps for a -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), gains six-tenths (2.7, #18 to #15, 6+). Frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” regains 80% of its -1.0 from “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 4.8, 6+) and remains at #9. Leaping by eight-tenths as well is Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” (4.9, seventh to sixth, 6+), which ends three straight declines that accounted for a -1.0 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, Detroit Classical and Jazz Educational Radio-owned WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days – Jazzy Nights” explodes with a +1.0 to 2.4 (#21 to #18, 6+). Following three straight dips that accounted for a -1.2 (6.6 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 Detroit’s Classic Rock” gains one-half share to remain at #4 (5.9, 6+), while co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” bounces back from a -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, 6+) and stays at #6. An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picked up two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but drops six-tenths in January 2018 (2.0 – 1.4, #19 to #21, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – By dropping six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Northwest Public Radio’s 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+); however, the news/talk outlet roars back with a +1.5 (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) to advance from second to first. Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. After back-to-back stays at #1, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” returns all but two-tenths of its combined +6.5 from December and “Holiday” and falls to third (11.8 – 5.5, -6.3, 6+). The 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). It now has a new format opponent, Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound,” which is +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, 6+) and zooms from #17 to #11. Country KMPS became KSWD “The Sound” on December 4 (2017). Those are the same call letters and identity Entercom formerly used for its Los Angeles classic rocker, which is now Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Down or flat the past three reports 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 +1.0 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from fifth to second. Adding a +.9 to its +.7 from “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” proceeds from sixth to third with its best 6+-stat since 5.7 in August 2015. 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 roughly half that loss with a +.9 to 4.3 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). This represents the third increase 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) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) as well. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), co-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is +.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). Eroding by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) as a result of being down or flat the past five ratings periods (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), Hubbard’s KVRQ “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country” picks up one-half share to 1.5 (6+) and stays at #23. The station flipped from “Rock 98.9” on December 4 (2017). Immediately after rolling out a +2.3 in “Holiday” 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” forfeits all but two-tenths of that bounty (5.7 – 3.6, -2.1, 6+) and drifts from #3 to #12. In “Holiday” 2017 (5.7), “Star” reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016.

6) Phoenix – Owing to three straight increases, Entercom-owned KMLE is a cumulative +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in March. Even so, “Country @ 107.9” backslides from sixth to eighth. Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country and All Time Favorites” hauls out a +1.1 (4.1 – 5.2, 6+) to climb from fifth to third. More than quadrupling its 6+ AQH-share (+3.7) in four straight gains (1.0 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “88.3 Campesina Radio Network” enters the top ten (#11 to #6). 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 two-thirds of the loss with a +1.0 to 4.0 and is back in the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied at #9 with Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM, which erases its -.6 from “Holiday” 2017 with a +.8 (3.2 – 4.0, four-way tie at #11 to #9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and now +.9 in January 2018 (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). Having logged three straight decreases for a combined -1.2 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” regains half that loss with a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) yet drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11). Improving by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMXP “Mix 96.9” (up or flat for the fourth time in a row, 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, third to fourth, 6+); co-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” (1.6 – 2.1, #21 to #20, 6+); and Sierra urban-rhythmic oldies KAJM “Mega 104.3” (1.3 – 1.8, #22, 6+). Despite returning the bulk of its combined +10.2 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.4 – 7.3, -9.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is #1 for the third time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. In the runner-up slot – also for the third consecutive time – is Hubbard’s KSLX, which is up three-tenths to 5.8 (6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight decreases that generated a combined -2.4 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). “Classic Rock 100.7,” which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8, exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Without a loss in five successive sweeps for an overall +.9 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” is anchored at #19. Up one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders six-tenths to .9 (#24 to #28, 6+). As the result of four consecutive negative 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, #21 to #24, 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+).

7) Minneapolis – Answering a -.7 in “Holiday” 2017 with an increase more than double that margin (5.8 – 7.6, +1.8, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” catapults from fifth to first. 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+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/similarly formatted KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” advances from #14 to #12. The station “KS-95” replaces at #1 – “Cities 97” classic hits-oldies sibling KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” – returns in its entirety the combined +.7.8 it garnered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.2 – 6.4, -7.8, first to third, 6+). KQQL’s 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. While steady at #3, CHR sibling KDWB, a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+), gains four-tenths to 6.4 (6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Several news/talk outlets do well this sweep, including iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” (2.5 – 3.4, +.9, #15 to #14, 6+); Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW (5.9, +.7, sixth to fifth, 6+); and Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” (4.4 – 5.0, +.6, tenth to eighth, 6+). The September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending for KNOW was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” hangs out a +.9 to 5.9 (seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since 6.0 in August. This survey period proves to be a mixed bag for the two country FMs, as iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +1.1 (4.5, #12 to #10, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” is -.5 (4.0 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+). The +1.1 by “K-102” applies the brakes to six straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). When KMNB gained four-tenths to 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017, it halted three consecutive declines that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+).

8) San Diego – Following four straight upticks for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY relinquishes all but two-tenths (4.0, 4.0, -5.5, 6+) and sinks from first to tenth. KYXY’s 9.5 in “Holiday” 2017 exceeded by four-tenths its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. It is replaced by two stations at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which records its fourth straight gain for a net +1.4 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, third to first, 6+), and San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, actually off one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, second to first, 6+). 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+). By logging a +1.1 to 4.7 (6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” recaptures the full-share (plus one-tenth more) that it lost in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+) and leaps from tenth to fifth. Bouncing back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” posts a +1.0 (3.3 – 4.3, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). News/talk cluster-mate KOGO, which eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), responds with a +.8 to 5.0 (seventh to third, 6+). When KOGO “600 News Radio” 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. An overall -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.8 – 2.7, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM posts a +.7 to 3.4 (#14 to #13, 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. Up or flat four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT returned seven-tenths of that increase in “Holiday” 2017; however, “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” regains six-tenths to 2.5 and is in a five-way scrum at #16 (6+). After improving by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to halt three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.5 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” forfeits one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) and is part of that logjam at #16. In addition to being without an increase for the fifth time in a row 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” departs the top ten (#8 to #11).

9) Denver – Via its third improvement in succession for a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR marches from third to first. Dislodged from the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there is Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety,” which is -6.1 (11.5 – 5.4, first to second, 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. In addition to KCFR, KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” improves by +1.0 as well (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. When “KOOL” added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it stymied three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” posts a +.9 to 4.2, its best 6+-performance since 4.3 in December 2016. Classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” rebounds from a -.5 to a +.7 (3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, seventh to fourth, 6+) takes iHeartMedia classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” to its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 5.2, while a gain of one-half share by triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” (5.1, fifth to third, 6+) halts four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). Flat at #14, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is up four-tenths to 3.6 (6+), ending three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 (June through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ KWOF “92.5 The Wolf New Country Now” falters by nine-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #22). Meanwhile, Bonneville’s similarly-formatted KYGO is down or flat for the ninth month in a row for a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.5, second to sixth, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia news/talk KOA (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to ninth, 6+) with its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March, and Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.2 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+).

10) Tampa – The Cox Media Group Tampa adult contemporary that generally gets the most attention is WDUV, but in January 2018, that honor has to go to WWRM. Not only does “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” haul out a +1.8 to 5.7, rocketing from #12 to #4, it pulls the plug on three straight down or flat trends that generated a -1.2 (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+). Speaking of WDUV, albeit that is -3.1 (11.9 – 8.8, 6+), it is the market’s pacesetter for the 65th 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+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s adult contemporary arena, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+), surrenders all but one-half share of that increase (1.7, -2.3, 6+), freefalling from #9 to #19. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best-ever 6+-stat in the format. Meanwhile, in hot AC, iHeartMedia’s WMTX “Mix 100.7” improves by seven-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+), ending three straight (slightly) down or flat moves that resulted in a -.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a November – December – “Holiday” 2017 topline trend of 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 (6+), urban contemporary sibling WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a +.8 to 5.2 (seventh to fifth, 6+). An overall +1.0 in five successive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WSUN “97-X Your New Alternative” progresses from #19 to #16. It is tied there with news/talk cluster-mate WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio,” which gains three-tenths to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+), curtailing four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Picking up one-half share (in addition to WSUN) are Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” (5.3 – 5.8, unchanged at #3, 6+); co-owned rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1 The Bay’s Party Station” (4.0 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+); and iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA (2.7 – 3.2, #16 to 14, 6+). When “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” improved by four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Baltimore – Boasting the highest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” (4.6 – 7.1, +2.5, fourth to second, 6+). The iHeartMedia-owned property was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+) and was within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). In a bit of irony, this market is responsible for producing the loftiest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease by any PPM-market station to this point, as well. That dubious distinction goes to Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” (16.3 – 6.1, -10.2, first to third, 6+). It has been a wild ride lately for “Today’s 101.9,” which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and is now -10.2. Taking over for WLIF at #1 is Radio One urban AC WWIN (10.4 – 10.6, +.2, second to first, 6+). “Magic 95.9” occupied the top spot for four months in succession, before segueing to #2 in December. It is without a decrease for the seventh sweep in a row for a combined +2.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” 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+). An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, 6+), Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” answers with a +1.0 in January 2018 to 3.8 (#12 to #11, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Erasing its -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.8 in January 2018 (3.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from eighth to seventh. Up by eight-tenths as well (3.4, #13 to #12, 6+) is Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine FM,” which was -.7 in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). Improving by seven-tenths each are Entercom CHR WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” (4.2 – 4.9, steady at #5, 6+) with its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.0, and Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR (3.5 – 4.2, unchanged at #8, 6+). Having sputtered by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.2 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” recoups one-third of that loss (4.0, +.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well and remaining at #6 is Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (4.0 – 4.6, 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+). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU improves by one-half share in Baltimore (1.3, #17 to #16, 6+); WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). The 11 most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Jumping by +1.0 each are Entercom news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (6.4, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KYKY “Y-98 Today’s Best Music” (ninth to seventh, 6+). As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KMOX 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+). Meanwhile, “Y-98 continues a down/up pattern that began in August (4.3 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nearly wiping out its -1.1 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 to 4.2 (6+), Emmis’ KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” jumps from #12 to a tie at #8 with KYKY. When “The Point” lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+), is up seven-tenths to 3.3 (#17 to #16, 6+). In a similar context, by registering a half-share increase to 3.5 (steady at #13, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU ends three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). A combined -.7 since November (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” regains all of it and an extra one-tenth (4.0, +.8, #13 to #10, 6+). Simultaneous with WXOS cluster-mate WIL “New Country 92.3” picking up eight-tenths (5.4 – 6.2, steady at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which had been trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 (6+), improves by one-half share to 4.0 (#11 to #10, 6+), its best 6+-stat since July’s 4.2. The five most recent fluctuations for Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” are -.6 (October); +.8 (November); +.6 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2017); and now +.5 in January 2018 (6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+). December’s increase concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, Emmis CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” bounces back with a +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, #15 to #14, 6+). Up six full-shares via three successive positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (4.2, -5.9, 6+), drifting from first to eighth. The 10.1 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It is replaced at the top by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which actually falters by -1.6 (9.5 – 7.9, 6+), but nonetheless advances from #2. 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+). Setting the pace in January 2017, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. Via three negative moves in a row (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL is a combined -1.2 as “Hot 104.1” departs the top ten (#8 to #14). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted KATZ-FM “100.3 The Beat” (formerly KMJM) is off by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #17, 6+).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies 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. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 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’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). 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+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). 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” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being 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). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT 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+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “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+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker 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, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). 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” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. 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+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces 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 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending 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+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends 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+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. 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 -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles 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+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. 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. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails 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. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

| February 20, 2018

Brian Wilson New Morning Host at WWTN-FM, Nashville.  His exit from on-air work with Cumulus Media was short-lived as former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington personality Brian Wilson is named the host of the morning show on the company’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”   Wilson left his co-host role at WMAL in May of 2017.  WWTN program director Dan Mandis says, “Brian has spent decades telling stories, whether covering the White House in Washington, DC or local stories from America’s heartland and he’s seen it all.  As Brian has been covering ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ on WWTN, listeners have already been responding to his perspective and insights.  I’m thrilled that he’s committed to moving to Nashville and hosting ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ full time.  He’s a great addition to an already outstanding radio station.”  Wilson previously served as a senior correspondent and anchor for the FOX News Channel.  He also co-anchored the Emmy Award-winning “FOX 5 Morning News” on WTTG-TV, Washington.

Philly Radio Legend John DeBella Accused of Sexual Harassment.  Longtime Philadelphia morning radio personality John DeBella is being accused of sexual harassment and groping by former traffic reporter and show cast member Jennifer Neill.  Numerous Philadelphia media outlets are reporting the story. DeBella hosts the morning show at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  Neill filed a suit in federal court alleging that over the course of her employment with WMGK that started in 2002, DeBella engaged in approximately 30 acts of unwanted sexual advancements.  According to the complaint, those incidents include physical groping and verbal requests for oral sex.  The account in the PhillyVoice states that Neill filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on September 19, 2016.  “After filing the complaints, management told Neill she could continue working with DeBella or take a leave of absence, the lawsuit claims.  She returned to work for one day before taking a leave of absence.  Management also launched a six-week-long investigation into the situation, according to the lawsuit.  As part of that investigation, DeBella allegedly dismissed his conduct as ‘jokes’ and ‘mutual.’”

WECK, Buffalo Hires Local News Pro. The Radio One Buffalo-owned station is broadcasting a nostalgia/full service format and announces that it is bringing aboard native broadcaster and journalist Steve Cichon to serve as news director, effective February 26.  Cichon will be part of the morning drive “WECK Coffee Club” program with co-hosts Tom Donahue and Gail Ann Huber.  Cichon began his career at crosstown WBEN in 1993.  He’s also served with WIVB-TV/WNLO-TV and WNSA/Empire Sports Network.  Radio One Buffalo president and CEO Buddy Shula says, “We’re very fortunate to have a well-known and respected journalist like Steve at WECK.  He’s a true Buffalonian who is woven into the fabric of our community – and he’s an excellent broadcaster.”  The station simulcasts on WECK-AM and W275BB at 102.9 FM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk host Walter Sterling announces the launch of his new podcast called, “Old Dad Secrets.”  Sterling tells TALKERS magazine, “I have created an authentic, original podcast that is not an edit of my Westwood One network show.”  He says a new episode drops every Wednesday.  “I am in fact the oldest Dad in three different public schools.  My basic position with the schools is, ‘Screw you with your stupid rules.’  I get to live out my revenge fantasies against dumb school rules.  What are they going to do me?  I’m too old to mess with.  Plus, I reveal secrets from my decades in business.  I share the challenges and success of running a successful consulting business that has worked up-close in the C-suite at NBC, ABC, CBS, RKO, Sirius, Conde Nast, National Geographic, AMC Theatres and the top investment banks in the world.  The business books have it ALL wrong, let me tell you stories that will shock even you.”  It’s available at iTunes.  Check it out here…..CBS Sports Radio and SiriusXM have struck a deal to make the radio network’s lineup available on the satellite radio service on its own channel, beginning tomorrow (2/21).  The full CBS Sports Radio slate includes: Jim Rome, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, Scott Ferrall, Amy Lawrence, Damon Amendolara, Bill Reiter, Taz and Marc Malusis, among others…..Hillsdale College has a booth on media row at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland starting tomorrow (2/21).  During the conference, Hillsdale students will conduct two-to-three-minute interviews with the speakers, personalities, and other CPAC attendees and will make those available for stations to upload and use in their broadcasts.  The FTP site from which to get the audio is here.  It will be updated every two hours throughout the day…..PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz made the grade in the Los Angeles Times.  In the paper, he’s pictured wildly gesturing at Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James at the NBA All-Star game as he lobbies James from his courtside seats to join the Los Angeles Lakers.  At the game on Sunday, Pattiz spent time hanging out with PodcastOne Sportsnet podcasters and partners, including Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, sports personality and actor Rob Riggle, sportscasters Rich Eisen and Suzy Shuster, longtime NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.  See the LA Times story here.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, Trump-Russia Investigation, Israel-Iran Tensions, Syrian Civil War Heats Up, Black Panther Film, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  The aftermath of the Florida school massacre, including protests, gun control measures, and FBI failures; the mounting evidence that Russia has been and still is attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; tensions between Iran and Israel increase over evidence implicating Iran in providing weapons to the Palestinians; reports of a Syrian government attack on a Damascus suburb; the weekend success of the Black Panther film; and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Chatting it Up with the President.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) is pictured engaged in a conversation with President Trump (left) Sunday night (2/18) at a special Presidents Day Weekend dinner at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Harrison and his wife Bernadette Duncan were the guests of Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a personal friend of the Trump family.  Trump was joined at the dinner by First Lady Melania Trump and his children Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as well as select friends and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.  Harrison reported back to TALKERS, “Trump was basically in a solemn mood, the weight of the Parkland shooting was obviously on his mind and the breaking story about the Russian election meddling operation was swirling in the air.  However, a lot of the conversation was purely social.  It was interesting seeing the President – amazingly relaxed and informal – among personal friends, associates and family…away from the press.  Up close, he has a snarky sense of humor, like a Millennial, that rivals the best of his comedic media critics.”  Harrison added, “It is clear that Chris Ruddy and Newsmax are held in extremely high regard by this administration.  If you recall, Newsmax was one of the earliest supporters of Trump.  They even ran a cover story speculating on the prospect of a Trump GOP candidacy more than a year before he announced his intentions to run.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hartford, Connecticut radio personality David Fisch is named morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s adult hits WHCN “The River 105.9.”  Fisch is well known in the market for his work as morning drive co-host and APD at Red Wolf Broadcasting’s crosstown alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.”  iHeartMedia Hartford SVP of programming Dave Symonds states, “After a long national search to find the perfect host for ‘The River’ morning show, he’s right here in Hartford.  Fisch has years of experience entertaining the Hartford audience and being completely engaged in the local community.”  During his career Fisch has also served as the producer for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” when it was on ESPN Radio…..Programming pro Lee Cagle is the new operations manager for SummitMedia’s four-station Louisville cluster that includes country WQNU “Q-103.1,” classic country WRKA “The Hawk 103.9 FM,” adult contemporary WVEZ “Play 106.9 FM,” and classic rock WSFR “Eagle 107.7.”   SummitMedia Louisville president Todd Pitt comments, “We chose Lee due to his extensive experience in New Orleans; Redding, California; Memphis; and Atlanta.  He is the right person to guide our four stations to their fullest potential.”…..On-air pro Kristy Knight is being named the new midday personality and APD at Cox Media Group’s adult contemporary WWRM, Tampa “Magic 94.9.”  She makes the move from iHeartMedia’s crosstown hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” where she’s been hosting the evening show.  WWRM programmer John Larson says, “We are so thrilled to have Kristy join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience and well-known name in the Tampa Bay market, along with her stellar reputation, will be an incredible addition to our ‘Magic’ team.”…..Advanced Media Partners announces it has hired Noah Sherwood to assume the program director and morning drive co-host role at triple A WWCT, Peoria.  He’d most recently been operations manager at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFYR and CHR WZPW.  About his new gig, Sherwood says, “The timing for this opportunity is incredible, joining Advanced Media Partners and programing WWCT is a huge blessing!  My wife and I really enjoy living in Central Illinois and are very excited to continue raising our family here.”  He takes over for Marc Alghini, who exited the station last month.

Monday, February 19, 2018

| February 19, 2018

iHeartMedia Strikes Deal for UConn Athletics in Hartford. On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported that University of Connecticut sports play-by-play is leaving Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford at the end of this basketball season after a 26-year relationship.  The impression, based on Entercom Hartford market manager Phil Zachary’s comment that he “couldn’t justify what they [UConn] were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions” is that the two sides couldn’t come together on the cost of the rights from rights-holder IMG Radio Networks.  But, Zachary subsequently spoke with the Manchester Journal Inquirer and it appears money was not the primary issues.  He told the paper, “The school felt the conservative programming that WTIC airs is at odds with the best interest of the university.  WTIC has a successful programming recipe. We’re not going to change it just to have two hours of sports programming at night.”  To that end, the university has struck a new 10-year deal with iHeartMedia to air UConn Huskies games on sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN.”  This new deal provides for pre- and post-game shows as well as the “UConn Women’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Geno Auriemma,” the “UConn Men’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Kevin Ollie,” “UConn Football Coach’s Radio Show with Randy Edsall,” and the “UConn Hockey Coach’s Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.”  iHeartMedia region president Steve Honeycomb says, “This partnership joins three iconic brands.  Having UConn sports on iHeartMedia’s ‘97.9 ESPN’ has been our long-term goal.  This is the perfect partnership and offers even more entertaining programming for UConn Nation.”

Invite to Speak at Radio Week Africa Turns into Money-Losing Odyssey.  U.K. talk show host Graham Mack reports to TALKERS about his bizarre experience being “hired” to speak at last week’s Radio Week Africa conference that took place at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.  Well, Mack never went to Uganda to speak at the conference because, as he puts it, even though the invitation to be a paid speaker smacked of one of those emails from a Nigerian prince who wants to give his money away and, he responded to the inquiry and although he was hired to speak, the result was the same as the Nigerian prince email – he never saw a shilling.  In fact, he lost about £350 in medical bills for vaccinations etc.  Mack – who hosts the morning show on “BOB FM” that serves London’s “Home Counties” – learned that he’s not the only radio expert who was promised a fee and paid expenses only to find it hard to actually get paid.  American consultants Valerie Geller and Sean Ross found themselves in the same boat.  Mack tells TALKERS what the conference organizers are really up to.  “It looks like what this conference does is book radio people from all over the world to speak at their conference, agree to pay them a fee, provide flights and accommodation, and then, after they’ve sold tickets at $125 a piece they cancel the speakers (or in a lot of cases, including mine, they just stop returning phone calls and emails) but leave their names and picture on their website until after the conference has started.”  Read Mack’s blog about his travails here.

Herskovitz: Radio Language Changes Along with Advertisers. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz shares his thoughts about the changing nature of language on the radio and the evolving categories of advertisers using radio to sell their goods and services.  Read it here.

WGN, Chicago Lines Up White Sox Baseball Talent.  Now that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago has signed to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago White Sox baseball, the station announces that Andy Masur will host the pre-game shows and Mark Carman and Adam Hoge will split hosting duties for the post-game shows.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the station also hired Dave Zaslowsky as executive producer for the broadcasts.  He held the same position with Cumulus Media when the games aired on WLS-AM.  Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson remain in the booth for the play-by-play.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, New Manafort Problems, Trump on Oprah Presidential Run, Iran Nuke Deal Violation Allegations, Ingraham vs LeBron, Black Panther Film, Winter Olympics, and NBA All Star Game/Fergie’s National Anthem Rendition Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre, including gun control issues and failures at the FBI; the controversy over allegations Russian hackers have and are still attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is accused of bank fraud; President Trump’s tweet about Oprah Winfrey possibly challenging him in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech alleging proof Iran has violated its nuclear deal by selling weapons; talk host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” attack on LeBron James after his criticism of President Trump; the Black Panther film’s weekend success; the PyeongChang Winter Olympics; and the NBA All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, Meruelo Media makes air staff changes, moving midday KDAY personality Cece to hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as part of “The Cruz Show with J Cruz” morning program.  At the same time, Krystal Bee moves from the J Cruz show to her own program airing from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Assuming the midday show at classic hip hop and R&B simulcast KDAY, Los Angeles/KDEY, Ontario is former crosstown KISS-FM personality Bryhana…..iHeartmedia announces today that Quinn is named assistant program director and music director for country WMIL.  Quinn continues hosting the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia Milwaukee VP of programming Kerry Wolfe states, “I look forward to having Quinn take the reins as my right-hand person.  She always brings great energy to the team.  She also has great ears, impressive social skills, and can help keep me in line.”…..Hudson Valley radio personality Mark Bolger exits Townsquare Media’s hot AC WCZX, Poughkeepsie “Mix 97.7” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Taylor Dickson.  Bolger tells the Poughkeepsie Journal that he hopes to return to the air in the market saying he thinks he has many years left to broadcast…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is hosting its 11th annual Birthday Celebration concerts, presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers, taking place on June 17 and June 30 at the BB&T Pavilion.  The June 17 lineup will feature performances by Thirty Seconds To Mars, Portugal. The Man, Walk The Moon, CHVRCHES, Misterwives and The Neighbourhood.  The  June 30 lineup will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Judah & the Lion, AJR, Sir Sly and Missio.  WRFF program director John Allers states, “The ‘Radio 104.5’ Birthday Celebration is always a highlight of the year for many of our listeners along with our sponsors and staff.  We are very excited once again to host the biggest names in alternative rock on one stage for our amazing group of listeners.”…..Edison Research proudly announces that VP Megan Lazovick is being named one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital for 2018 in the “Rising Star” category. The award recognizes the most influential women in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content.

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

| February 9, 2018

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

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

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

Dow Correction Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 5-9.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s loss of more than 2,000 points in a week was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Congress passing a new, $400 billion spending plan.  Coming in at #3 was Nancy Pelosi’s marathon speech and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Thursday, February 8, 2018

| February 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

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

Monday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

FBI Memo Release, Trump-Russia Investigation, Friday’s Dow Dip, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, South Carolina Amtrak Crash, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The release of the secret FBI surveillance memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the Dow’s Friday plunge of 666 points; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the deadly crash of an Amtrak train in South Carolina; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and the Eagles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Wayne “Big D” Danielson is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  Danielson will report to regional SVP Tony Matteo, who says, “Big D has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Bull’ brand in Vegas in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he’ll now be leading the station as program director.  No one knows this station, this city and this audience better than Big D.”  Danielson became part of the KWNR staff in August of 2016 after serving with sister adult hits station KYMT “93.1 The Party.”…..Entercom names William “Will” Althoff afternoon drive host and music director for alterntive rock WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley comments, “Will is an exciting addition to our afternoon drive on the ‘Shark.’  His background and expertise in connecting with the audience makes him the perfect fit for our station.”  Althoff takes over the afternoon drive show from Zach McHugh, who recently moved to Richmond to become PD and afternoon jock at the company’s alternative WRXL…..On-air pro Mercedes Howard exits her role as morning personality on Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  She says, “I was honored for the opportunity to return to the station that helped mold my radio career and take the top spot on Denver’s number one station for todayʼs hottest music on the morning show…The people of Denver have helped me reach immense success and for that I will forever be grateful.  Now I look forward to the rest of this year with pride and turn to a new chapter in my career book.  I am enthusiastic about new opportunities in my radio career and the possibilities of expanding my talents, my name and my brand in other areas.”…..Stacey Proctor is promoted to director of sales for Entercom’s Phoenix cluster that includes CHR KALV “LIVE 101.5,” classic hits KOOL-FM, and country KMLE “@107.9.”  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “Stacey has been an incredible colleague for the past two years and I’m confident she is the perfect fit to lead our Phoenix cluster.  She’s earned this promotion through the performance and her leadership that she demonstrates every day.”…..In the Longview-Tyler, Texas market, Alpha Media names Brandon Young content director for country KYKX.

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Monday, January 29, 2018

| January 28, 2018

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

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

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

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