Category: Industry News

Tuesday, May 9, 2016

| May 9, 2017

Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.4%.  But this decrease was consistent with the guidance previously issued for the first quarter of 2017.  Townsquare Media reports its business in two segments – Local Marketing Solutions and Entertainment – with its radio stations included in the former category.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “2017 has started off well, with first quarter net revenue of $88.4 million, net loss of $3 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $10.1 million, in line with our expectations.  Our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which increased 1.2% over the prior year period, and 2.5% excluding the impact of political revenue, continues to show consistent, organic growth demonstrating the strength of our local products and services.  Our local digital offerings have been especially strong, and we believe we will see continued strength as we begin to utilize our first party data capabilities in combination with our digital platform.”  Townsquare also reports that it paid down $6.7 million against its long-term debt.

Radio One Officially Changes Company Name to Urban One.  On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the company’s initial public offering on May 5, Radio One, Inc. changes its name to Urban One, Inc.  In a press release, the company says, “Reflecting its longstanding, rich history as the most trusted source to inform, entertain and inspire the African-American community, Urban One will continue to provide culturally relevant integrated content through its iconic brands and platforms – TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.”  Chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III adds, “More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing Black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically.  Urban One’s mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country.”

TALKERS News Notes. WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Rich Stevens is off the air at the Alpha Media talk station as he battles a blood clot in his brain.  Stevens hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway has another triple shift today.  In addition to his regular WHO show and the morning drive program he hosts at iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk station WMT, Cedar Rapids, Conway is sitting in for San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on his nationally syndicated program…..The news/talk programming on United Broadcasting’s KTKK-AM and KBJA-AM – both licensed to Sandy, Utah (Salt Lake City market) – continues to be heard on KBJA and the company takes KTKK silent…..In the Chicago market, local media reporter Robert Feder writes that Memphis-based Pollack Broadcasting is buying Kovas Communications-owned WCGO, Evanston for $3 million.  Pollack purchased WRMN, Elgin and WBIG, Aurora last year.  Read Feder’s column here.

Vanity Fair and DGital Media Partner for Podcast Series.  A new podcast series is launching featuring Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton.  The program is a collaboration between Vanity Fair’s Hive and DGital Media.  Hive editor Jon Kelly says, “As we prepare to enter our second year at the Hive, the goal is all about expanding to new platforms and modes of storytelling.  So creating a podcast for Nick was an easy and obvious decision.  Audiences will appreciate his curiosity and cogent analysis of the bizarre, temple-scratching world in which we live.  And DGital Media was a no-brainer for a partner.  From Peter Kafka’s ‘Recode Media’ podcast to Crooked Media’s ‘Pod Save America,’ these guys are making some of the absolute best content anywhere.”

Yates’ Russia Testimony, GOP Health Care Plan, Kushner Family-China Investors Issue, North Korea Nuke Threats, French Presidential Election Aftermath, Trump Travel Ban Arguments, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  Former Attorney General Sally Yates’ Monday testimony about Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; the GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare and implement their own plan; controversy over the Kushner family’s business efforts to woo Chinese investors using the EB-5 visa program; North Korea’s nuclear program and the country’s threats against the U.S.; the aftermath of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election; the arguments in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over President Trump’s travel ban; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Brian Joyce Emcees ‘Scenic City Sing-Off.’  Pictured above with the contestants of the first annual “Scenic City Sing-Off” in Chattanooga is WGOW-FM midday talk host Brian Joyce (wearing vest), who emceed the event.  The competition benefits the Chattanooga Girls Choir which will be heading to New York City this summer to perform at Carnegie Hall.  The winning singer, Ivy Hall, won the grand prize of $1,000.  Joyce also hosts the afternoon drive program on Cumulus Media‘s WYAY-FM, Atlanta.

 

 

Emmis to Sell ‘Power 106’ in LA to Meruelo Group for $82.75 Million.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, as the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon, agreed to divest of $80 million of its radio assets.  That looks like it will be accomplished with the just-announced deal to sell stand-alone hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” to the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.  Meruelo will begin operating the station under an LMA following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.  Emmis chairman Jeff Smulyan states, “‘Power 106’ has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands.  The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.” Meruelo Media acquired KWHY-TV, Los Angeles in 2011 and radio station classic hip hop KDAY-FM, Los Angeles in 2014.  Meruelo Group chairman and CEO Alex Meruelo comments, “The acquisition of ‘Power 106’ is a game-changer for our group and our media division.  As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of ‘Power 106’ to this community.  We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.”  Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Phil Kukawinski is named program director at Times-Shamrock Communications’ alternative, taking over the recently departed Tom Ferguson.  Kukawinski was most recently midday personality, music director and APD at Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit…..At Max Broadcast Group’s rhythmic AC KJHM, Denver “Jammin’ 101.5,” Tracy Taylor is promoted to host of the midday show from her part-time/fill-in role…..Sales and management pro Josh Riley joins One Putt Broadcasting as general manager for the company’s six-station cluster that includes CHR KWDO “99.3 NOW FM,” triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5,” alternative KFRR “New Rock 104.1,” oldies KYNO, and sports talk KFIG. Riley previously served as director of sales for American General Media in Albuquerque…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting its Music Seminar – a music industry event that will “bring singers, songwirters, producers and record label executives to downtown Milwaukee to discuss how to succeed in the industry.”  The program will include two panel discussions: The New Way to Get in the Music Business, featuring Empire Distribution; and Music Marketing & Management.  A personal Listen & Critique session will be held for attendees to have music industry professionals listen to their music.  Industry professionals will provide feedback on ways to continuously improve their craft and insight on how to get the attention of labels as a professional artist.

Monday, May 8, 2017

| May 8, 2017

Entercom Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.4%.  Net revenue was $97.5 million – an increase of 1.4% over the same period in 2016 – for Entercom Communications for the first quarter of 2017.  The company reports that station expenses increased 5% to $75.4 million, and station operating income decreased 10% to $22.0 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says in a press release, “I am very pleased with our progress on all fronts as we continue to plan and prepare for our transformational merger with CBS Radio.  This will truly be a game-changing event for Entercom as we will achieve a number of scale-related benefits, including the ability to compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of advertising spending.  First quarter revenues increased 1.4%, down about 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. We experienced a highly unusual degree of large one-time only expenses during the quarter (including the return of a station license in Sacramento, CBS transaction costs and our CFO transition), that drove expenses significantly higher. Looking ahead to the completion of the merger with CBS, we expect synergies that will drive margin expansion.”

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Flat; Broadcast Revenue Dips 1.9%.  Both the broadcast revenue ($47.8 million, down 1.9%) and digital revenue ($10.7 million, down 2.9%) were in negative territory for Salem Media Group during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2016.  It was the publishing division – up 34.6% on revenue of $6.5 million – that prevented a companywide dip in total revenue for the quarter.  As it stands, total revenue for Salem’s 2017 Q1 was $65 million, an increase of 0.6%.  The company reports that total operating expenses increased 2.9% to $60.2 million from $58.5 million and net income increased to $1.1 million, or $0.04 net income per diluted share from $0.4 million, or $0.01 net income per diluted share.

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Buy Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion.  This deal is mostly about television stations, but it will include Tribune Media’s lone radio property as Sinclair Broadcast Group will acquire WGN-AM, Chicago in the deal.  Several years ago, Tribune split its newspaper and television divisions, with the former taking on the Tronc moniker and the broadcast division remaining under the Tribune Media banner.  Sinclair owns only four other radio stations.  They are all-news KOMO-AM/FM, talk KVI-AM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”

WKNR, Cleveland’s Premium Subscription Effort Creates Controversy.  As illustrated in the Crain’s Business Cleveland piece written by Kevin Kleps, sports fans in Cleveland seem to be split over station owner Good Karma’s decision to offer commercial-free podcasts of its regular programming to those willing to pay $8.50 per month (or $85 for a year) for the content.  WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” VP and general manager Keith Williams says, “We know the way fans are consuming media in an on-demand world.  They don’t have the time or resources they once had. We’re providing them what they asked for.”  Quoted throughout the piece is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Read the story here.

French Presidential Election, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, Russia-U.S. Election Investigation/Yates Testimony, Sanctuary Cities Issue, New Orleans Confederate Monuments Removal, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential election in France that saw Emmanuel Macron defeat Marine Le Pen; the GOP plan to replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act with its own health care system; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its threats against the U.S.; the investigation into allegations Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election and former Attorney General Sally Yates’ testimony on the matter; debate over the Trump Administration’s actions against sanctuary cities and the larger issue of immigration policy; the controversy over New Orleans’ removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ (and sister country outlet WKTI) were honored with 2017 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards over the weekend.  WTMJ was named Large Market Radio News & Talk Station of the Year and recognized as Best News Operation of the Year in the Large Market Radio News & Talk category.   Between the two stations, they took home 17 awards, including: Best News/Talk Morning Show: Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller; Best Spot News Reporting: Milwaukee Riots; and Best Newscast.  Scripps Milwaukee Radio Operations vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “We’re humbled to be honored by our peers in the industry.”…..According to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CBS RADIO has cut four staffers from news/talk KRLD-AM, Dallas.  Those ousted include: “Texas Overnight” host Charley Jones, air personality J.D. Ryan, sports anchor-reporter Roger Emrich, and reporter and assistant news director Matt Thomas…..At the Times-Shamrock Communications operations in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Tom Ferguson exits the brand manager role there where he was responsible for sports talk WEJL and alternative WFUZ “ALT 92.1.”…..San Diego State University and FOX Sports College Properties announce a multi-year agreement with iHeartMedia San Diego to broadcast SDSU football and men’s basketball games beginning with the 2017 football season.  Games will be broadcasts locally on classic rock KGB-FM, KLSD “XTRA 1360 AM” in San Diego and on KTDD, Riverside “Fox Sports 1350.”

Radio Talent Institute at University of Georgia Begins Today.  Today begins the fourth annual Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia.  Cumulus Media VP of programming John Dimick begins the 10-day institute with the opening session and, over the course of the Institute, some 40 broadcasters from companies including Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, CBS RADIO, Beasley Broadcast Group, Radio One, Entercom, Alpha Media, and others will conduct sessions.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton says, “I knew we needed this, but even then didn’t realize how special it is until going through the experience of the Institute.  Broadcasters from all over the state come and give their time and expertise.  These students will be the leaders in our business 10, 20, 30 years from now.  We have a great deal of pride in what we are accomplishing.”

WMAL, DC Afternoon Drive Host Larry O’ Connor Guests on Harrison Podcast. On the afternoon of Thursday, April 24 at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news sites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC. During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record. The next morning (4/25) Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president. The result was a fascinating conversation about the relationship between talk radio and politics that provides the basis for this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Harrison stated, “Larry O’ Connor is one of the most significant rising stars in talk radio today. He is intelligent, articulate, independent, funny and fair. I am delighted to have him as this week’s guest on the podcast.” O’ Connor will be delivering the welcoming remarks at the forthcoming TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York City. 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.

Todd Starnes at Liberty University Convocation. Pictured above is Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes addressing more than 14,000 students at convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Starnes – who produces a daily, short-form feature distributed by Fox News Radio – discussed current events during his speech.  He also led a seminar for students majoring in journalism.

 

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Oklahoma City market, iHeartMedia and evening radio personality Brad Boyington part ways. Boyington had been the night DJ at CHR KJYO “KJ 103” for the past three years…..KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” announces the lineup for its annual Summer Camp concert event.  The show – taking place at The Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on August 19, will feature: Foster The People, The Head and The Heart, HAIM, Bleachers, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Magic Giant, Youngr and Beth Ditto.

iHeartCountry Festival Rocks Austin’s Frank Erwin Center. On Saturday (5/6), the fourth annual iHeartCountry Festival took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas –hosted by syndicated personality Bobby Bones – and featuring performances from: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kip Moore.  Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bobby Bones Show” personality Lunchbox, singer Karen Fairchild, “Bobby Bones Show” personality Amy; and Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town. Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Friday, May 5, 2017

| May 5, 2017

CBS Corp. First Quarter Total Revenue Down 7%.  But that dip is not as much as analysts had predicted.  CBS Corp. reported total revenue of $3.34 billion for the first quarter of 2017.  Reuters notes that analysts – on average – had expected total revenue to be around $3.27 billion.  CBS is reporting the radio division – in the process of being merged with Entercom, a merger that is still expected to close in the second half of this year – as discontinued operations.  The radio division was down 4.6% on revenue of $250 million, down from $262 million in the first quarter of 2016.  CBS reports the assets of the radio division to be $3.57 billion, down from $4.29 billion in Q1 2016 due primarily to “a non-cash charge of $715 million to establish a valuation allowance to adjust the carrying value of CBS Radio to the value indicated by the stock valuation of Entercom.”

E.W. Scripps’ Q1 Total Revenue ‘Essentially Flat.’  The bulk of E.W. Scripps’ business is television and the revenue figures bear that out – TV revenue in the first quarter of 2017 was $180 million, radio was $14 million, and digital was $15.4 million.  The radio division was basically flat, down from 2016’s Q1 revenue of $14.6 million.  But the company is bullish on its digital division, especially podcast platform Midroll, which the company says “is making strides with owned-and-operated shows on our Stitcher podcast delivery service, including Katie Couric; “The Sporkful,” a show for eaters; “First Day Back,” a real-life show about coming back from something that changes you; the hit parenting show “The Longest Shortest Time”; and the chart-topper “Missing Richard Simmons.”  Our owned-and-operated shows are part of our 300-show national advertising network but allow us to keep more of the ad revenue.  Audience and revenue growth are off to a strong start this year at Midroll.”

GOP Health Care Bill Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 1-5.  The Thursday House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the challenges the move faces in the Senate was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the James Comey Congressional hearing on his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email case tied with Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.  Coming in at #3 was the ongoing tensions between North Korea and the U.S., followed by the Religious Freedom Order signed by President Trump at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former Fox News Radio Reporter Sues for Gender Discrimination.  The suit, filed in New York District Court in Manhattan, alleges that Fox News Radio reporter Jessica Golloher was dismissed shortly after contacting the company’s independent investigator to file a complaint against her two male superiors – FNR vice president Mitch Davis and director of radio news programming Hank Weinbloom.  Golloher’s termination from the company doesn’t take effect until August and she’s been told it’s for budgetary reasons.  Fox issued a statement to Bloomberg saying that Golloher’s claims are “without merit.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tony Lossano is the new executive producer of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s WLS-AM midday show.  Lossano has been with Cumulus Media in Chicago since 2011 at sister classic hits outlet WLS-FM producing programs hosted by Dick Biondi, John Records Landecker and Robert Murphy…..A new podcast from ESPN debuts today titled, “The Basketball Analogy.”  It will feature a rotating lineup of NBA insiders, writers, reporters and hosts covering the latest news and analysis.  Among those who will lend their voices to the program include: insider Amin Elhassan, reporter and senior writer Brian Windhorst, insider and analyst Tom Haberstroh, writer Kevin Arnovitz, insider Tim MacMahon, insider and analyst Kevin Pelton, sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth, Rachel Nichols (host of ESPN’s The Jump), Pablo Torre (senior writer) and Ohm Youngmisuk…..The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that 117 radio spots and campaigns have made it to the finals of the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards.  The annual awards honor outstanding radio created by advertising agencies, production companies, radio stations and students.  BBDO NY, DeVito/Verdi, and iHeartMedia Creative Services lead this year’s entries throughout multiple categories.  The Radio Marketer of the Year will be awarded to T-Mobile at the June 1 awards event in New York.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “This list of 117 agencies, production companies, radio stations and universities, has reached an exceptionally high level of creative excellence.  No matter the advertiser or market size, the ability to build brand awareness and drive ROI is truly unique to radio.  All of these finalists creatively succeed on delivering that promise.”

Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017.  Pictured above is the Class of 2017 of the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame at last night’s benefit for Special Olympics of Rhode Island at Twin River Casino.  From l-r are: Retired RAB VP Dick Rakovan, 1970s WPRO AM/FM GM, later head of Providence-based Outlet Broadcasting Radio Group; former JB105 DJ Johnny Dowd, now Jaybeau Jones on SiriusXM’s 70s-on-7 and WROR, Boston; iHeartMedia Providence market manager Rhonda Lapham, whose stations were recognized for public service; WNRI, Woonsocket partner Roger LaLiberte, who has hosted his French-language program for 50 years; retired WABC and everywhere-in-Boston DJ Frank Kingston Smith; and WPRO-AM operations manager Tony Mascaro; also inducted posthumously was longtime NBC Talknet and WPRO host Myrna Lamb.  Recognized as 2017 recipient of The Shepard Award for Rhode Island radio pioneers, the late Mowry Lowe, who became WEAN station manager in 1950.  He covered The Great Hurricane of 1938.  Remembered as 2017 Legacy Station of The Year, 60s/70s CHR icon WICE, call letters which saluted the Providence Reds hockey team whose games it broadcast.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  This from Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch – Emmis Communications is naming Cara Denis to the music director/PM drive position at its country WLHK, Indianapolis “97.1 Hank FM.”  She succeeds J.D. Cannon, who recently announced his retirement from the station.  Denis previously served with the station as producer for the Dave O’Brien morning show.  She also worked at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WMDH “NASH FM 102.5.”…..This summer, iHeartMedia Denver is presenting its very first “Broncos Block Party” featuring Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.  It’s an all-ages event that will take place on The Lawn at Mile High, adjacent to Sports Authority Field on Sunday, July 2…..The “Ninth Annual Alumni Takeover Week” at Montclair State University’s non-commercial WMSC-FM, Upper Montclair, New Jersey began yesterday (5/4).  Alumni radio people who are filling in for the student jocks so they can focus on spring term exams, include: WCBS-AM, New York’s Tom Kaminski – class of ’84, New Jersey 101.5’s Bob Williams, and Westwood One’s Jana Polsky Deneroff…..On Friday, June 2, WPLR, New Haven’s Chaz and AJ will take their morning show to Fantasia in North Haven to help raise money for disabled Army Specialist Ryan Dostie, from Hamden, Connecticut.  Army Specialist Dostie suffers from PTSD after spending four years in Iraq and three years in the National Guard.  Dostie has been unable to work for the past few years and her home needs serious repair.  Heart 9/11, a group made up of September 11th and Newtown first responders that renovates homes for veterans, brought her story to the attention of Chaz and AJ.  “Ryan gave up prime years of her life to volunteer for her country,” comments Chaz.”  The very least we can do as a community is help her live in a home that makes her feel that it was all worth it.”

Thursday, May 4, 2017

| May 4, 2017

iHeartMedia Posts Q1 Consolidated Revenue Dip of 2.4%.  In today’s release of 2017 first quarter financial data, iHeartMedia reports consolidated revenue was $1.32 billion – down 2.4% from the same period in 2016.  That figure includes the Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor segments, which both saw revenue decreases.  The iHeartMedia segment’s revenue was $757 million – up 2.5% from the first quarter of 2016.  The report also notes that the revenue increase was “driven primarily by increases in trade and barter, sponsorship and other revenues surrounding our live events, and digital, as well as our core radio business.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease in political advertising revenues and lower revenue from our traffic and weather business.”  Once again, the company includes language about its tenuous debt situation in a section that details its payments and coming obligations: “For the year ended December 31, 2016, we adopted a new accounting standard that requires us to evaluate on a quarterly basis whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017. At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 million and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018. Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the notes exchange offers and term loan offers, management has determined that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following May 4, 2017 as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending notes exchange offers and term loan offers.”

Radio Advertising Down 8.7% in First Quarter for Radio One; Company Name Change to Urban One Effective Tomorrow.  The radio advertising sector of Radio One, Inc’s first quarter of 2017 garnered $46.1 million – a decrease from the same period in 2016.  Net revenue for the entire company was $101.2 million – down 7.1% from Q1 in 2016.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “A combination of tough political comps in radio, and non-recurring major client spending at Reach Media, made for a weak start to the year in radio advertising.  TV One ratings held up well overall (+4% Household, and flat 24-54 total day), although we were down in the younger-end demographic. Despite this, we were able to post growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the division.  Our digital business will be bolstered by the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, which will be immediately accretive.  MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, and we have accrued approximately $1.5 million of income in the first quarter.  We remain committed to growing our cash flow in 2017, despite the slow start to the year.  Our name change to Urban One will become effective on May 5th, and will better reflect our diversified multimedia platform.”

Saga Communications Down 4.1% in First Quarter.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 for Saga Communications was $31.4 million, down 4.1% from the same period a year ago.  The company attributes that decline primarily to reduction in political revenue of $1.3 million from the same quarter in 2016.  For the quarter, station operating expense increased 1.5% to $25.1 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million to $3.5 million. Free cash flow for the quarter was $3.2 million.

GOP Health Care Bill, Comey Hearing, Hillary Clinton Interview, Colbert’s Anti-Trump Rant, North Korea Tensions, Cop Slays Texas Teen, French Presidential Race, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3).  The GOP’s plans to put its American Health Care Act to a vote today; the controversy over FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about notifying Congress about new emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation just days before the election; Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour; the flap over Stephen Colbert’s use of sexual language in his anti-Trump rant; North Korea’s jab at China and its threats against the U.S.; the slaying of a 15-year-old black boy by a Balch Springs, Texas cop; the French presidential race between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and moderate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Former “Saturday Night Live” star and current WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” morning personality Joe Piscopo announces he will not be running for Governor of New Jersey, after all.  Piscopo had been entertaining running as a Republican but now says he’ll back current Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno…..Anthem Broadcasting LLC, the parent of USA Radio Networks, announces a “$1.25 million investment” in the company by Florida based Innerself Marketing.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC was formed by Liftable Media Inc in 2015 to acquire the assets of USA Radio.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “We have experienced and amazing turnaround at USA Radio since the fall of 2015.  But it is about to get better.  Innerself Marketing is the perfect partner to strengthen and build USA Radio Networks.  Innerself is a marketing dynamo, and the combination of an outstanding radio platform and an advertising powerhouse will lead to even greater success.”…..NPR sports commentator Frank Deford announces that he’s retiring from his gig on the “Morning Edition” program.  Deford was working for Sports Illustrated when he began doing commentaries for NPR back in 1980…..The real-life couple Kate Fagan and Kathryn Budig are launching a new podcast called “Free Cookies” from espnW and ESPN Audio.  Fagan writes for espnW and makes appearances on “SportsCenter.”  Budig is a best-selling author and yoga expert.  In the premiere episode, the two speak to soccer star Abby Wambach…..The “America Outdoors Radio” program that focuses on fishing, hunting and shooting sports, announces it signs up new affiliate stations  KBRV, Soda Springs, Idaho; KNYN, Evanston, Wyoming; and KELA, Centralia, Washington.  “America Outdoors Radio” is hosted and produced by John Kruse and is sponsored by Media Index Publishing…..This Saturday is the 143rd running of the Kenturcky Derby and Westwood One is presenting national radio and audio streaming coverage of the race in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna is serving as anchor.  Derby coverage is also being presented on SiriusXM.

Dave Ramsey Celebrating 25th Anniversary of Radio Show. This year, Dave Ramsey is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio program.  He begins today by including special anniversary segments on the show.  Ramsey’s show launched in 1992 and the Ramsey Solutions company says that “no one could have predicted the show’s longevity or its continued growth.”  Dave Ramsey says, “The radio show happened by accident.  I lost everything because I was stupid and borrowed too much money.  When I discovered and applied common-sense financial principles in my own life and began teaching them, a friend invited me on a little brokered radio station to help people with their money problems.  I’m sure our delivery was horrendous, but we offered truth, instruction and hope.  We’ve refined that over the years, because that’s what people need.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit morning show Dave & Chuck – Dave Hunter and Chuck “The Freak” Urquhart with co-host Lisa Way – are re-upped for four years by Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their program on rock WRIF.   The show launched at WRIF in 2013 and has since added co-host Andy Green, producer James Campbell and video editor Jason Watson. Beasley Detroit market manager Mac Edwards says, “Of course, we extended their contracts!  Dave and Chuck have crushed the competition and dominated Detroit’s morning radio for men and women, ranking #1 in every key demo including 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54!  We value their amazing talent and are fortunate to work with them.”…..Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV, Chicago “The Drive” announces it has hired Chicago media pro Jill Egan to serve as producer for the “Sherman & Tingle” morning show, featuring Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle.  Egan says, “Producing a radio show is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding, position I’ve held in my broadcast career.  Sherman and Tingle are both extraordinarily talented, hilarious, hard-working, and genuine guys.  I share the same drive to succeed as they do.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kathy Hart – one half of the WTMX morning show team with Eric Ferguson – has been off the show since April 27 with little explanation from management.  Feder writes that Hubbard Radio Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England is simply saying, “Kathy is taking some time off.”  Co-host Ferguson is apparently also in the dark as to what’s going on.  Read Feder’s column here.

CBS RADIO Creates MusicTown Venue in Detroit. A new multi-use space called MusicTown is being constructed by CBS RADIO Detroit, in association with Olympia Entertainment.  It’s designed to “host and celebrate music, culture and entertainment in the city of Detroit.”  It will be located inside Hockeytown Café, within the 50-block, mixed-use sports and entertainment development known as The District Detroit.  MusicTown will consist of a new broadcast studio, recording studio and performance space.  CBS says it will “support artists, educate children of all ages and celebrate the Detroit community and its visitors through lifestyle, collaboration and entertainment.”  CBS RADIO Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are strongly committed to continuing Detroit’s tradition as a great ‘Music City.’  By identifying new talent and sharing the many music stories that Detroit has inspired, this initiative will help celebrate a once-booming industry in our great city, stimulating significant economic growth in the region along the way.”

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

| May 3, 2017

WIBC, Indy Lays Out New Programming Lineup. Recently, Indianapolis talk personality Greg Garrison announced he’s stepping down from his daily midday show on Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, the station announces the complete programming changes – effective June 12 – that come with filling his role.  Morning drive host Tony Katz adds a two-hour, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show to his duties; the station moves “Chicks on the Right” to the mid-morning 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot and moves the “Hammer & Nigel” show from evenings to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  WIBC program director David Woods states, “There is no replacing an icon like Greg.  “You ask, ‘what is the best way to serve, inform and entertain our growing audience?’ What we arrived at is a lineup that offers familiar personalities with the addition of energetic voices that will continue to engage listeners in spirited conversation and conservative viewpoints…Tony Katz coming back on from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm will allow us to syndicate his show via Network Indiana and possibly other outlets.  And ‘Hammer & Nigel,’ the newcomers to our daytime lineup, have become popular voices on WIBC, as frequent guest hosts for the Chicks and the nationally syndicated Chad Benson show.”  Woods says that in other programming news, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz “has decided to step away from his daily show to spend more time on his expanding website, indypolitics.org and other business interests.  He will continue to host a weekend show and be a regular contributor to wibc.com.”

Tomi Lahren and TheBlaze Settle.  Conservative media figure Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze have reached a settlement, ending their legal tussle over Lahren’s employment.  The case was set in motion by Lahren’s appearance on “The View” in which she revealed she’s pro-choice.  That move apparently rankled Beck and TheBlaze management.  She claimed that as a result, she was fired and kept from her Facebook page.  TheBlaze countersued, claiming Lahren was not fired but actually suspended with pay and that Lahren was in violation of her employment agreement.  Now, both sides agree to a settlement in which she gains control of her Facebook page and she agrees to return video she shot for TheBlaze to the organization.  The rest of the settlement terms are confidential.

Free Speech, the Law, and Alex Jones. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones’ recent legal matters.  While battling his ex-wife for primary custody of their three children, Jones was sued by yogurt maker Chobani for statements he’s made about the company and its operations in Idaho that Chobani says were made with reckless regard for the truth.  See Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Feature: Sky’s the Limit.  In today’s feature story, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that, “within the professional and collegiate sports worlds, Skyview Networks is vastly well-known, but the company is seeking to float its nameplate wider in hopes of achieving a higher profile.”  He quotes Skyview founder and president Ken Thiele, who says, “We want to get a message out there to content creators, whether it be national syndication or focusing on content, that we provide a distribution platform and a sales force to help monetize what they create.”  Even more, Thiele tells TALKERS that Skyview is a “turnkey experience” for clients that has more to offer than its competitors.  “They do not have the software and systems that we can provide to create the efficiencies…Skyview is the only one that can deliver a custom-form experience to its clients.”  Thiele defines his company as one that’s heavily involved in satellite distribution, network automation, affiliate relations, inventory management systems, and national audio sales – a full-service company to advertisers, syndicators, and broadcast networks.  Read more here.

Hugh Hewitt to Host 2017 Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk host and conservative media commentator Hugh Hewitt will serve as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on Tuesday, June 27.  The Foundation, formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto, is working to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats.  Hewitt’s Salem Radio Network show airs on Bold Gold’s WTRW-FM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and WPSN-AM, Honesdale, Pennsylvania in morning drive.  At the event, the Bold Gold Foundation will honor local NEPA business leader Brandon Igdalsky, president & CEO of Pocono Raceway, with a special citizenship award.

TALKERS News Notes. A shakeup takes place at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC as the board of trustees, by a unanimous vote, asks for and receives the resignation of president and CEO Jim DeMint.  The board then elected founder Ed Feulner president and CEO while it searches for a permanent successor.  This change comes after a “comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization” in which the board “determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation.  While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.”…..More big numbers for FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd.  The network reports that total podcast listens for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” grew to a new record high of 6.8 million across all platforms for the month of April, as measured by ART19.  FSRN says this number is the result of more than a million additional podcast listens since last month and comes as the AM/FM broadcast hits the 150-affiliate mark…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago afternoon host Steve Dahl is off the air due to yesterday’s surgery for diverticulitis.  Dahl hopes to be back on the radio next week…..Alpha Media announces its news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB won a total of 11 awards in the Small Market Division of the 2016 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest.  KGLO news director Bob Fisher picked up 10 awards, including three 1st place honors.  KGLO and/or KRIB have won 89 awards over the past 13 years.  Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Our Mason City news and sports team have again been recognized as some of the best news professionals in the state.  Bob Fisher, Tim Fleming and Jesse Stewart earned 11 awards…it’s an honor to work alongside broadcasters of this caliber!”…..KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita adds “Take Your Health To Heart,” featuring nationally recognized cardiologist Dr. Joseph Galichia, to its Saturday program schedule…..During the last month Compass Media Networks reports adding new affiliates for nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, who picks up KZNG-AM, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KIUL-AM/KYUL-AM, Garden City, Kansas; and KSIS-AM, Sedalia, Missouri.  The nationally syndicated Lars Larson show also is added to the program lineup at KSIS-AM.

Hillary Clinton Interview, GOP Health Care Proposal, North Korea Threats, Colbert’s Trump Attack, Jimmy Kimmel Health Care Rant, Fenway Racism Incident, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and President Donald Trump’s reaction; the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear program and Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S.; Stephen Colbert takes heat for anti-Trump rant; the controversy over Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about health care and his son’s emergency surgery; the case of racist taunts leveled against the Orioles’ Adam Jones at Fenway Park; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Fresno, Steve Pleshe leaves the record promotion business to return to Cumulus Media’s country KSKS “KISS Country” to serve as program director.  Pleshe started at “KISS Country” in the early 1990s as a part-timer and worked his way up to PD in the summer of 2004.  He’s been in record promotions for the past nine years.  Cumulus Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I am thrilled to welcome Steve back to ‘KISS Country!’  Having worked with him in the past, I consider him one of the brightest and most creative program directors in the business.  He will elevate KISS Country’s programming with his unique perspective and create some of America’s best Country radio!”…..WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter is reporting that iHeartMedia Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick is a victim of the staff cuts ongoing at the company.  Yesterday, we reported that SVP of programming and rock WEBN and CHR WKFS programmer Bo Matthews had been let go…..Chicago media write Robert Feder reports that at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago, the station will be filling the evening shift by rotating jocks Tom O’Toole and Danny LakeJeff Davis had been in the slot since John Records Landecker’s 2015 exit, but he’s moving back to weekends and fill-ins.  Read Feder’s column here…..Twenty-year media sales pro Della Berning is joining Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge four-station cluster to serve as sales manager.  Previously, she served with Baton Rouge’s Velocity Agency.  She’s also worked in radio, serving as LSM and NSM for WBRZ, Baton Rouge…..Entercom is putting the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon show “The Men’s Room” into syndication via a deal with Westwood One.  The program features Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith, as well as producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk.  WW1 president Suzanne Grimes comments, “For 51 consecutive books, ‘The Men’s Room’ has been No. 1.  Our partnership will extend this impressive performance coast to coast. We are excited to welcome The Men’s Room to our national audience of listeners and advertisers.”…..Reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town is hosting Westwood One’s annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program will feature band members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.

Monday, May 1, 2017

| May 1, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces Bill Shine’s Exit.  After a weekend of escalating rumors that Fox News Channel would soon replace Bill Shine as co-president of the cable news channel, that came true today as parent company 21st Century Fox, via a statement by executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, accepted Bill Shine’s resignation, although he clearly was asked to resign.  He’s been accused by some of the women involved in recent sexual harassment allegations against FNC management and talent, of enabling Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.  Earlier today, TALKERS reported that Rupert Murdoch and co-chairmen James and Lachlan Murdoch wanted to fill Shine’s position with a woman.  Today, Fox announces a number of promotions including the elevation of Suzanne Scott to president of programming, Jay Wallace as president of news, and Brian Jones to president Fox Business Network.  Rupert Murdoch is quoted saying, “This is a significant day for all at Fox News.  Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry.  His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”  Shine, like Scott and Wallace, have been with FNC since its launch in 1996.  Jack Abernethy, who served with Shine as co-president, remains in his position.  The company says it intends to fill Shine’s co-president position.

Ryan Seacrest to Join Kelly Ripa as Co-Host on ABC’s ‘Live.’  One of the busiest people in show business gets even busier as Ryan Seacrest will add co-host of ABC’s morning talk TV franchise ‘Live’ with Kelly Ripa.  According to a CNN report, Seacrest will not give up any of his other on-air gigs, including his KIIS, Los Angeles and Premiere Networks-syndicated morning radio show.  The story indicates Seacrest will re-locate from LA to New York and will host his radio show from there.  The decision to bring Seacrest aboard comes after about a year of live auditions of guest hosts to replace Michael Strahan.  Seacrest co-hosted with Ripa five times.  The show will now be called, “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”  CNN’s story is here.

Report: Cumulus Reduces Staff in Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has cut a number of positions in the Chicago cluster, including four on-air traffic reporters.  Feder reports that traffic reporters Jen DeSalvo, Christina Filiaggi, JoAnn Genette and Marti Jones have all been let go.  He notes that most of them served as contributing personalities on the shows in which they appeared.   Other cuts at the cluster include: WLS-AM sports reporter Rachel Brady and WLUP-FM evening host Jeremy Peterson, a.k.a. Pyke, and production Scott Dirks, who’d been with WLS-AM for almost 20 years.  Read Feder’s account here.

Is Hugh Hewitt Going to Get a TV Show on MSNBC?  According to a report in New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer column, the Salem Radio Network star and NBC correspondent is in talks with NBC to do a weekend evening program on MSNBC.  The bulk of the NYmag piece addresses how the possibility of Hewitt getting a show, the arrival of Greta Van Susteren from Fox News Channel, and the exit of African American personality Tamron Hall from “Today” is affecting morale among the liberal staff at MSNBC.  Read it here.

Entercom Charlotte Extends Bo Thompson.  Morning show host Bo Thompson and Entercom Charlotte agree to terms on a new contract for him to continue serving as host of the “Charlotte’s Morning News” program on news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Bo builds on the incredible reputation of WBT as we take our news content to the next level.  He represents the next generation of great broadcasters and we’re happy to continue to work with him as we move WBT into an audio everywhere, multi-platform experience for our listeners.”  Thompson began his career at WBT in 1990 and worked in a variety of roles in radio before returning to WBT as the morning host in 2012.  He comments, “Five years in, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with WBT’s ‘Morning News’ and I’m excited about where we are going.  I started my career here and look forward to building the reputation of this iconic institution.”

TALKERS News Notes. The WADK, Newport, Rhode Island-based John DePetro show adds a new affiliate for the daily 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm broadcast as WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island begins airing the program.  DePetro says, “WNRI is a perfect match since WADK covers southern Rhode Island and into parts of Connecticut, and WNRI covers Northern Rhode Island and into parts of Massachusetts.  The show is three months old and we have our first affiliate, so we are moving in the right direction.”…..Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose daily talk show is heard on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “News 95.5 and AM750 WSB” is taking his show on the road on May 11 to Woodstock, Georgia where he’ll tape the program before a live audience by the Gazebo at The Park at City Center.  The event is free to attend and will include Cain’s popular “Rapid Fire” segment in which he takes questions and comments from the audience and says, “You get a minute…I get a minute.”…..WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is pictured at right in a screen shot from his phone while broadcasting his show from Berkeley, California while covering the controversial issue of whether conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter should be allowed to speak at UC Berkeley.  Coulter appeared on Zeoli’s program and suggested he cover the issue from Berkeley, so Zeoli hosted his show from sister station KCBS-AM, San Francisco all last week.  Zeoli says he attended protests and grabbed audio cuts from protesters on both sides of the issue for the show.  He also kept his social media followers updated on his coverage via live video on Facebook and Twitter.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Conference Rolls into Phoenix.  On Saturday (4/29), nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted his Smart Conference before a packed crowd at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.  The day-long conference included appearances by Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker, Dr. Henry Cloud, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Anthony Oneal providing attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Local affiliate KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” helped promote the event.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “We’re always thrilled when Dave and his team bring their world class events to Phoenix.  Not only does Dave’s radio show continue to draw large audiences on KTAR, his popularity in Phoenix is also evidenced by this year’s Smart Conference selling out in record time.  The Ramsey team is fantastic to work with and we’re proud to call them partners and friends.”  Ramsey is pictured here with some of the KTAR staff: (front row, l-r): Jim Sharpe, Ashley Mannion, Ilene Thompson, (back row): Steve Giunta, Becky Kaiser, Ele Heubner, Ramsey, Gennifer Cartwright, and Linda Black.

KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Government Shutdown Threat, North Korean Threats, Trump Spending Bill, Deadly Tornadoes, French Election, and MLB, MBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Assessing the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; the threat of a government shutdown and the passage of a temporary spending bill; the threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the American Naval presence in the region; President Donald Trump’s proposed spending bill; the deadly tornadoes that tore through parts of the South; the French presidential race between National Front party leader Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former WBEN-AM/FM, Buffalo Owner Larry Levite Dies at 77.  Longtime Buffalo station owner Larry Levite has died at the age of 77.  Levite owned Algonquin Broadcasting, the company that owned and operated WBEN-AM/FM in Buffalo in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Levite is credited with turning around the ratings of WBEN-AM when it was a music outlet and it was during his ownership that the station transitioned into a news/talk outlet.  Levite sold the stations to Keymarket Communications in 1994.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning show host Chadd Thomas is promoted to program director for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa hot AC WPBB “b98.7”  He will continue in his role as co-host of the “Chadd & Kristi Morning Show.”  He states, “I’m thrilled to serve as program director for our family-fun morning show and our entirely new ‘b98.7!’  I’m looking forward to continue co-hosting with Kristi, my wife and morning show partner.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that music director and midday personality JD Cannon exits Emmis country WLHK, Indianapolis “Hank.”  Prior to joining WLHK, Cannon had spent 32 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFMS.  Cannon will remain with the station emceeing some “Hank” events and is serving as a fill-in…..At Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit, after a recent exodus of station personalities comes news that 10-year staffer Mark McKenzie is named music director and morning host for the station.  The rest of the on-air staff includes J Stevens in middays, Phat Matt in PM drive and Zak for evenings…..Air personality Lola Montgomery exits Bend Radio Group’s country KSJJ, Bend, Oregon, wrapping a 29-year career in radio.  Montgomery says she and her husband have a number of projects lined up to keep them busy…..At Cox Media Group’s classic rock KHPT, Houston “The Eagle,” morning show team – Dean Myers and Roger Beaty – were honored on Friday, April 28 as it was declared “Dean & Rog Day” in Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner.  CMG Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen comments, “Looking around the country, there are only a handful of major market morning shows with a 20-year track record in the same city.  What Dean and Rog have accomplished today is quite remarkable.”…..Gwendolyn Records country artist Trisha Yearwood appeared at the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen in Chicago to do a cooking demonstration.  Yearwood is also a Food Network star.  The event was hosted by WUSN “US99” midday personality Drew Walker and took place in front of a live studio audience of approximately 30 guests who won tickets listening to Walker’s program.   From her new line of Williams Sonoma products, Yearwood made “unfried chicken” with her Unfried Chicken Season Kit and her family’s signature cocktail with the Summer in a Cup cocktail mix.  Yearwood and Walker are pictured here on the set of the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits/Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of classic hits and oldies-formatted stations based on 6+ data from the March 2017 PPM survey by Nielsen Audio.  Although less than half of the qualifying stations saw their 6+ numbers go up from February to March, iHeartMedia’s WRIT, Milwaukee “95.7 BIG FM” bucks the trend with a whopping 2.5 share jump to an 11.2 share.  “Just about half the stations (49%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+) while 42.5% improve; the remaining 8.5% of the panel is flat (6+).”  WRIT also was ranked #1 in the market in the March survey, as were seven other classic hits/oldies stations.  See which ones they were in the full report here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

| April 28, 2017

Dr. Daliah Wachs Named 2017 TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board announces the selection of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) syndicated radio talk host, Dr. Daliah Wachs as the 2017 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by A Radio Talk Show Host (also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award).  Wachs, a board certified family physician, practiced in Las Vegas where she began her radio career giving medical advice on the air in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, GCN.  In Nevada, she had owned a private practice for 16 years.  In March of 2016, she was chosen to serve as faculty at Touro University.  She was recently awarded the UNLV Honors College Alumni of the Year and her extensive work with charities include Opportunity Village, Children’s Miracle Network, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, FAST 4 Kids, Good Will and, as she puts it, “just about any great cause that includes children, animals, or people.”  In 2014, in an effort to help replenish hospital’s blood supplies, Dr. Daliah worked with United Blood Services and the American Red Cross to create a state Blood Donation Day in Nevada.  In 2016, this effort was taken national to create state Blood Donation Days in the majority of states as well as National Blood Donation Week.  Upon making the announcement of the board’s selection, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Dr. Daliah Wachs is a dynamo!  She operates on so many levels – she is talented, funny and consummately entertaining.  She is also informative and charitable on a level that makes her stand tall as a role model for our radio industry.  And that’s what this very special award is all about!”  Dr. Daliah Wachs will be presented the award at the forthcoming national media industry convention, TALKERS 2017: A New Era, on Friday, June 2 in New York City.  For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City.  Media consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  In today’s report, Cooke sifts through his voluminous notes from the mega-convention and presents some of the most important takeaway sound bites from the media professionals he heard speak.  They’re all here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian today turns his attention to news/talk radio for this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  In general terms, the news/talk format avoided the immediate drop-off in ratings after the 2016 election that often follows a presidential election.  But it appears there’s some erosion happening as Kinosian reports that, when comparing February (6+) numbers to March numbers, “  Only one of four stations (25%) on our news/talk sample improves between February 2017 – March 2017; roughly six of 10 (61%) are down; and the remaining 14% of the panel is unchanged.”  When comparing data from March of 2016 to March of this year, “Not quite half the stations on this news/talk panel improve year-to-year (46%) and 39% decline; 14% are flat.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the March survey – WSB-AM, Atlanta; KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; and WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” but 13 other news/talkers ranked in the top five in their markets.  See all the data here.

Austin Jury Awards Alex Jones’ Ex-Wife Joint Custody.  Child custody cases are not usually part of the TALKERS magazine beat, but the contentious one that just wrapped in Austin between Infowars chief Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly Jones made news – and the pages of TALKERS – because of reports that Alex Jones’ lawyer said his client’s on-air persona is an “act” and his capability as a parent can’t be judged by that.  In the end, the jury deliberated for nine hours before awarding Kelly Jones joint custody of the three children with her home being their primary residence.  Alex Jones will have visitation rights.  The Austin America- Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove reports that Kelly Jones argued that her ex-husband has been purposely trying to turn her children against her, a phenomenon peculiar to divorce situations called parental alienation.  Read the story here.

Entercom Names Michael De Amicis Director of Sales in Charlotte.  Radio sales pro Michael De Amicis is the new director of sales for Entercom’s Charlotte properties news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ, and hot AC WLNK.  He was most recently with Radio One as general sales manager for that company’s Atlanta stations.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “We are excited to welcome Mike to the Entercom Charlotte team.  His experience and success in radio along with his commitment to making a difference in the community make him a great fit for our team and our stations in this city.”  De Amicis has previously served on the board of directors for the Rickey Smiley Foundation, The Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club and the Atlanta Marketing Association.

SiriusXM Reports First Quarter Financials: Revenue Up 8%.  In announcing its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2017, SiriusXM reports record revenue of $1.3 billion, up 8% compared to the same period a year ago.  Net income totaled $207 million, an increase of 20% from $172 million in the first quarter of 2016. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says,, “The year is off to a very solid start for our business and we are on track to achieve our guidance for 2017.  I’m particularly proud of the record adjusted EBITDA of more than half a billion dollars and record adjusted EBITDA margin of 38.7% we recorded in the first quarter.”  The satcaster reports that its subscriber total is now at 31.6 million.  During the quarter it added 259,000 net new self-pay subscribers to end with more than  26.2 million self-pay subscribers.  At the same time as the company released the Q1 figure, it announces the acquisition of Automatic Labs Inc.  Meyer calls it “an exciting company focused on innovative products that broaden our array of connected vehicle services.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOC-AM, Quad Cities, morning drive personality Dan Deibert is leaving his position with the station to join the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based PR firm Edge Messaging LLC where he’ll be the new director of creative services and innovation…..The 2017 NFL Draft got underway last night in Philadelphia where CBS RADIO stations news/talk WPHT and sports talk WIP-FM have been broadcasting live from along the Ben Franklin Parkway.  Pictured here are WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) and WIP-FM morning host Angelo Cataldi (left) during Thursday’s broadcasts.  The NFL has brought its interactive theme park – the NFL Fan Experience – to Philly for the draft to attract fans to the four-day event…..MediaDC announces it is joining forces with Ricochet to “bring the best conservative podcasts together on one platform.”  Under the terms of this collaboration, conservative journalists and pundits, including Steve Hayes, Byron York, Bill Kristol, and Salena Zito will be available on the same Ricochet platform as Peter Robinson, Rob Long, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Jay Nordlinger, John Podhoretz, and many more.  Beginning May 1, The Weekly Standard’s “The Daily Standard” podcast and the Washington Examiner’s “Examining Politics Daily” will be available on the Ricochet Superfeed and on Ricochet.com, along with the pop-culture podcast, “The Sub-Standard.”  Ricochet co-founder Rob Long says, “We’re excited to add to the outstanding team at Ricochet the fresh reporting and keen insights of MediaDC journalists…we couldn’t be more proud and honored to carry MediaDC’s shows.

Trump’s First 100 Days Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 24-28.  Assessing the achievements of the Trump Administration during its first 100 days was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump tax cuts proposal.  Coming in at #3 was the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, followed by President Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber and his promise to renegotiate NAFTA at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Commonwealth Broadcasting’s country WUSH, Norfolk “US 106.1,” Dave Parker is promoted to program director for the station.  Parker – a talent at the station since it launched in 2007 – takes over for Brandon O’Brien, who exits the radio business.  Parker is handling the midday air shift…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that air personality Joe Breezy is taking over the hosting duties for its nationally syndicated “Celebrity Top Ten Countdown.”  Breezy assumes the role from Jackson Blue, whose new duties as a morning personality on WKLB, Boston are forcing him to give up the “Celebrity Top Ten” gig.  Also, in addition to Joe Breezy taking over the show, the radio station where he is based, Midwest Communications’ WNFN, Nashville “i106.7,”becomes the new flagship affiliate of the program.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

| April 27, 2017

2017 NAB Show: So WHAT IS ‘The M.E.T. Effect?’ Media consultant Holland Cooke files this report from Las Vegas where he’s covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  The M.E.T. effect comes from the merger of “media,” “entertainment,” and “technology,” and Cooke writes up his notes from sessions that focused on that coming together as it applies to radio professionals.  Read his piece here to see what experts are saying about putting content online, the use of smartphone video, and more.

Sean Hannity’s ‘Renaissance’ Detailed in Bloomberg Feature Piece. Cable news and talk radio superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a feature story by Felix Gillette, published by Bloomberg, that paints a picture of the Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks personality as a man who’s “experiencing a renaissance.”  That quote comes from University of Pennsylvania media historian Brian Rosenwald.  He says of Hannity at Fox, “It’s his network now.”  The comments come in the context of the recent departures of Roger Ailes, Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren, and Bill O’Reilly from Fox.  While the story provides a history of Hannity’s rise from an unpaid talk show gig on college station KCSB-FM, Santa Barbara, in the present, it portrays him as a media talent at the top of his game in terms of opportunity at the “new” Fox News Channel.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece saying, “Hannity is more important than he’s ever been in his career.  He’s neck and neck with Rush Limbaugh at the top of the talk radio mountain.”  Read the Bloomberg story here.

WMAY, Springfield Welcomes Ray Lytle Back to the Airwaves. Longtime Springfield, Illinois radio personality Ray Lytle returns to Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois to host the morning drive show.  In the past, Lytle hosted a midday program on WMAY.  He also served as morning host on the company’s sister rock station WQLZ for many years.  About his new gig, Lytle comments, “I am really excited to return to mornings in Springfield.  It’s going to be great to re-connect with my old friends and making a whole bunch of new ones.  While we’ve all grown up some since the last time I was on morning radio, my show is still going to be a lot of fun while we reflect what the people of Springfield will be talking about as they face the new day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 PPM survey.  WWJ, Detroit leads the pack of stations that saw an increase (6+) from February to March.  Kinosian notes that “roughly four of 10 stations on the news panel are up February 2017 – March 2017 (41%); just over one in three (35%) are down and the remaining 24% remain flat (6+).”  Comparing performances to the same period in 2016, “Approximately six of 10 stations on our eligible sample improves year-to-year (59%, 6+) while 41% show a decrease.”  In the March 2017 survey, just one all-news station ranked #1 in its market – CBS RADIO’s WWJ, Detroit – but seven others ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See the entire report here.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump Tax Cuts Proposal, North Korea Military Threats, Trump vs NAFTA, Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Ivanka in Berlin, Ann Coulter Berkeley Case, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26).  The review of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days in office; President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts for large and small businesses; ongoing concern over North Korea’s military threats; President Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber and his desire to renegotiate NAFTA; the recent judicial block of Trump’s sanctuary cities order; Ivanka Trump appears in Berlin to jeers in first official White House role; Ann Coulter’s on-again-off-again speaking engagement at UC Berkeley; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ESPN Layoffs Affect Radio Personalities.  The official word about the parting of ways by sports media giant ESPN with some 100 of its personalities, reporters and play-by-play announcers came yesterday and slowly the names of those affected began to trickle out.  The “Rusillo and Kanell” show on ESPN Radio ends with the departure of former NFL quarterback Danny KanellThe Hollywood Reporter says that Ryen Rusillo will remain with ESPN Radio in a diminished capacity.  Robin Lundberg, who’d been co-hosting the early morning “First and Last” program on ESPN Radio, also tweeted that he’s exited the network.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s another winner of a regional Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association to announce.  Cumulus Media reports that its Dallas news/talk radio station, WBAP News/Talk 820 AM, has been awarded a 2017 regional Murrow award for Breaking News, Large Market Radio, for its coverage of the July 7, 2016, Police Ambush in Dallas…..The Society of Broadcast Engineers announces it has elevated three members to the membership rank of Fellow, including Frank Giardina, director of engineering/IT, Cumulus Media Birmingham. The SBE board of directors elected Frank Giardina, CPBE; Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB; and Robert Hoffman, CPBE; at its meeting on Sunday, April 23, in Las Vegas.  The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE.

Covering Trump’s First 100 Days.  Pictured above is ABC News correspondent Karen Travers (left) interviewing Kellyanne Conway (right), Counselor to the President, about the president’s first 100 days in office.

KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Z100” New York-based personality Elvis Duran is staying with iHeartMedia for the foreseeable future after the company and Duran agreed to a five-year contract extension.  Duran will continue his current role as host of the “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on WHTZ, which is also syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks and is available on the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartMedia says that in addition to hosting the show, Duran will collaborate with iHeartMedia on a variety of joint ventures and events which includes hosting the events such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in New York City, as well as continue to work with iHeartMedia’s talent and programming divisions, serve as a spokesperson for the company, and also consult on new creative ideas and projects……Cumulus Media announces it signs Bobby Novosad to a contract extension that keeps him in his brand manager/morning show host positions at CHR KSMB, Lafayette, Louisiana.  Novosad joined 94.5 KSMB in November 1984 and has served the station and community for more than 32 years.  Cumulus Media Lafayette VP and market manager Scott Chiasson states, “I am very excited that we are able to retain Bobby for the long term.  I’ve listened to KSMB for decades.  The station and Bobby have been a generational staple in the Lafayette metro area and will be for years to come.  This is great for Bobby, Cumulus, our loyal listeners and the community we serve.”…..iHeartMedia Fresno is presenting the third annual Central Valley Taco Festival on Saturday June 4.  Appearing at the event will be KBOS “B95” personality Carmen, KFSO “La Preciosa 92.9” hosts Velia and Pepe, and KFBT “103.7 The Beat” jock J. Cortez.  They will also judge the “Central Valley’s Best Taco” contest.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Arte Americas: Casa De La Cultura, an organization dedicated to making Central California a flourishing place for Latino arts.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

| April 26, 2017

2017 NAB Show: Cars, Congrats, and Commish #1. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  In today’s report, Cooke covers yesterday’s Radio Luncheon where attendees heard Ford Motor Company’s Scott Burnell speak and witnessed Premiere NetworksDelilah inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame.  Also yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered the keynote address and reassured attendees that he remains “‘fundamentally optimistic about the future of broadcasting’ because of the ‘localism, diversity, and public service’ that distinguishes diligent broadcasters.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

Hannity Plans Legal Action Against Debbie Schlussel. On his Fox News Channel program last night (4/25), Sean Hannity led off the program by addressing the allegations being directed against him by attorney and conservative media figure Debbie Schlussel.  Detroit-based Schlussel stated during an interview on KFAQ, Tulsa’s Pat Campbell program that Hannity propositioned her after a book signing event in Detroit about a decade ago and that, after she rebuffed his advances, she was blacklisted from being a guest on Fox News Channel.  Last night, Hannity said, “I have to start tonight by addressing a well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country that is designed to silence every conservative voice and by any means necessary.  Now, I’m speaking out tonight so that you, our audience, will understand what is really happening and what is at stake when it comes to freedom of speech in this country.”  He said in a prepared statement that he is planning legal action against Schlussel.  “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade.  The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation.  The individual has not just slandered me over the years, but many people who this individual disagrees with.”  Schlussel told NBC News she doesn’t believe Hannity will sue because, “If he did, it could spur other people to come forward and he wouldn’t want that.”  NBC News notes that Schlussel is a polarizing media figure, having suggested that President Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that death camps in occupied Poland during World War II were run by Poles and not Germans.  Read the NBC News piece here.

Emmis to Sell $80 Million in Assets. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications will be a different company in July of 2018.  The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that under pressure from lenders, the company will shed $80 million worth of its radio assets in order to pay down debt.  This is the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon.  Emmis CFO Ryan Hornaday tells the IBJ, “We’re confident that we can achieve the $80 million [divestiture] without selling a substantial portion of the portfolio.  We do still have some very desirable assets.”  The company owns 19 radio stations in five markets: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin, and Indianapolis.  The IBJ reports that Emmis’ total debt was $221 million as of February 28, 2017.  Read the story here.

Nielsen Explores All-News, News/Talk Listening Trends Over Seven Years. There’s been a lot of scrutiny of the audiences for all-news, news/talk, and talk oriented public radio leading up to and since the 2016 election.  Over all, according to ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys of radio listening, the three formats have realized increased listenership of late.  Now, Nielsen shows how listening to the all-news and news/talk formats has changed over the past seven years, based on PPM data. (Remember, Nielsen includes public talkers in the larger news/talk category.)  The result is that listening to all-news has remained fairly steady during that time across the three demos cited – persons 6+, 18-34, and 25-54.  For news/talk, the format scored a 10.6 share in March of 2011 (6+), and a 10.2 share in March of 2017.  In the 25-54 demo, 2011 saw an 8 share compared to this year’s 7.6 share.  And probably buoyed by younger public radio listeners, the 18-34 demo rose from a 4.2 share in 2011 to a 4.6 share this year.  See the whole report here.

ESPN Layoffs Coming Today.  The names of those who are exiting sports media giant ESPN will begin to trickle out as time passes, but for now only a few of the estimated 100 ESPN staffers – mostly television and radio personalities – are known, with reporter Ed Werder tweeting that he’s been let go.  It’s unclear how many of the cuts are from the radio and the television sides of the operation, but ESPN chief John Skipper says in a memo to staff, “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions…we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands.  We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.  A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”

TALKERS News Notes. We now know the trial date for the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge suit in Florida.  U.S. District Court Judge James D. Whittemore has scheduled the case to start on January 2, 2018, with a pre-trial conference on December 8, 2017.  Judge Whittemore also ruled on Bubba’s motion to exclude Nielsen Audio expert witness David Haas, denying it…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WGN, Chicago director of marketing and digital innovation Jackie Paulus will exit the station and join Jimmy deCastro’s new sports marketing and rep firm After The Whistle as a partner…..Public radio icon Robert Siegel announces he’s retiring as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” in January of 2018.  Siegel assumed that position in 1987.  He’s been with NPR since 1976…..Here are some more winners of 2017 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards:  In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO “News 1000/FM97.7” is honored with the award for Overall Excellence.  The station also took first place for Breaking News for its coverage of the Seattle May Day protests.  CBS RADIO’s WCBS-AM, New York; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; WBZ-AM, Boston; WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and five other stations amassed 25 awards with the four mentioned being honored for Overall Excellence.  Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix picked up three Murrows, including Overall Excellence.

U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Mexican Wall, Trump’s Proposed Tax Cuts, Michael Flynn Case, Ivanka in Berlin, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). The military tensions between North Korea and the United States and concerns about a full-blown war starting; the judging of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days; a California judge blocks part of President Trump’s sanctuary cities order; talk about the effects of Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber; debate over whether President Trump’s Mexican wall will actually get funded and built; the tax cuts being proposed by the Trump Administration; comments from House members that it appears Michael Flynn broke the law in accepting payments from Russia; Ivanka Trump attends European conference with Angela Merkel and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Former WJMN, Boston personality Bobby Blaze is joining Beasley Media Group’s crosstown rhythmic AC WBQT “HOT 96.9 FM” to host the afternoon drive show, effective tomorrow (4/27).  Blaze says, “I’m so excited to be back on Boston radio and being surrounded by the most talented on-air team in Boston.  You only become great when you’re surrounded by great people and that’s what ‘HOT 96.9’ represents.”…..Morning personality Fitz exits Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and the “Fitz in the Morning” program.  Entercom states, “‘Fitz in the Morning’ will no longer be on air on 100.7-FM The Wolf in Seattle as of Monday, April 24.  Fitz has been an important part of the station for nearly 12 years, but we have decided to part ways.  We wish him well, and we will be conducting a nationwide search for the station’s next morning show.”  In the interim, morning personalities Ellen Tailor and Randy The Biscuit will host the program…..The afternoon drive Zepp & Terri show – featuring Brian Zepp and Terri Traen – exits Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis.  The two had been partnered on the show for the past year.  Traen was formerly part of the Tom Barnard morning show.  As a result of the move, Ray Erick is now hosting the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot…..With the departure of Brett Hall from the stations – and the radio biz – Saga Communications names Tom Scott morning drive host at hot AC KJBX, Jonesboro, Arkansas and to voice track the night show at sister country KDXY.

Karaoke for a Cause.  Pictured above at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City are members of the band Ocean Park Standoff and staffers from Voss Foundation.  The band performed for an intimate group of listeners on Monday (4/17).  Afterward, WPLJ personality Ralphie Aversa sang karaoke to the group’s new single “Good News” competing against a winning listener.  “Karaoke for a Cause” is raising awareness of Voss Foundation and VOSS Water’s annual #31Days to Make a Difference initiative.  Voss Foundation is dedicated to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of the ongoing need in the region.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

| April 25, 2017

TALKERS AUDIO EXCLUSIVE:  WMAL’s Larry O’ Connor Tells Michael Harrison About His Experience at President Trump’s Meeting Yesterday with Conservative Media Reps.  Yesterday afternoon (4/24) at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.  The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news websites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC.  During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record.  Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview this morning (4/25), discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president.  To listen to the entire interview, please click here.  O’Connor (left) is pictured here with Red Alert Politics editor Ron Meyer (right).

CBS Announces Launch of ‘Airtime Analytics.’ The company worked with AnalyticOwl to develop what it is calling “a new and exciting measurement tool that illustrates the ROI and effectiveness” of marketing campaigns.  CBS RADIO says that Airtime Analytics “measures the impact of audience delivery and engagement to show proven results.  An exclusive tool offered only by CBS RADIO in the markets in which it operates, Airtime Analytics evaluates the volume of audience delivered from an over-the-air radio campaign to an advertiser’s website.  Those valuable insights are then used to optimize creative content and placement throughout the flight of a campaign to maximize results.”  CBS RADIO chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Radio has long been one of the most effective mediums in reaching a targeted demographic and Airtime Analytics is the next step in delivering even greater value to our clients.  This exclusive new tool allows us to finally measure an advertiser’s lift in website traffic following a radio spot. Armed with an analysis of consumer movement, we are then able to give our clients a clear understanding of their most successful creative and daypart executions.”

Yogurt Maker Chobani Sues Alex Jones. The nationally known yogurt maker is suing Infowars chief Alex Jones for at least $10,000, claiming that Jones published false information connecting the company to a sexual assault in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Chobani filed the suit in District Court in Twin Falls.  According to the suit, Chobani claims that Jones has fabricated stories that wrongly suggested a connection between the company and its practice of hiring refugees to the case of three Twin Falls boys – children of refugees – who admitted to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl.  Chobani says the video report was spread via social media and caused a boycott of its yogurt.

TALKERS News Notes. After reporting last week’s news that Radio One is buying two signals from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra – WWXT-FM, Washington and WXGI-AM Richmond – we learn that the price for the pair is $2 million.  Radio One will simulcast urban AC WMMJ on WWXT and retain the sports talk format on WXGI…..For broadcast this weekend, ABC News Radio is offering a one-hour special titled, “The 100 with Brad Mielke,” in which the ABC News correspondent is joined by the ABC News team for an in-depth look at the beginning of President Trump’s term.  Correspondent Karen Travers reports from the White House.  The special will be available for affiliate use beginning April 28…..AdLarge Media restructures its digital team with new positions and expanded roles for four key team members: Ilwira Marciszek rises to vice president of digital sales strategy from her previous director of ad operations post; Stephanie Vance is promoted to vice president of digital content from her director of revenue planning & development position; Donelle Brown is elevated to vice president of marketing and client solutions from her old director of marketing solutions role; and Rebecca Lam becomes manager of digital ad operations after serving as digital operations coordinator…..SiriusXM is covering this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft, providing live coverage of every selection from every round, plus four days of special programming, live from Philadelphia.  The on-site broadcast team will feature: Gil Brandt, former longtime player personnel executive for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; Jim Miller, former veteran NFL quarterback; Phil Savage, former college coach and NFL general manager.

Commenting on Trump’s First 100 Days. Yesterday morning (4/24), WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” morning host Joe Kelley appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with host George Stephanopoulos to speak about President Trump’s first 100 days and his promise to build a Mexico border wall.  WDBO is an ABC News Radio affiliate.

NAB Show: Cast Broader.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith spoke yesterday and, with the ‘change is inevitable’ theme running through his speech, addressed the FM chip issue, the connected car and more.  Read Cooke’s notes here.

North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days/Approval Polls, Government Shutdown, French Presidential Race, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Trump Tax Cuts, NOLA Confederate Monument Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). North Korea’s ongoing weapons tests and its threats against the U.S.; judging President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office and his approval ratings; the threat of a shutdown of the U.S. government; the French presidential race between National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; President Trump seeks a tariff on Canadian lumber; the proposed tax cuts by the Trump administration; controversy over the removal of some Confederate statues by the city of New Orleans; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Derek Madden inks a contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles with the company.  Madden serves as program director for Twin Cities rock outlet KXXR “93X” and as corporate programmer, rock & alternative.  Madden’s been with “93X” since March of 2015, arriving from KLOS, Los Angeles where he was also PD.  Cumulus Minneapolis VP and market manager Shelly Wilkes comments, “Derek is a great rock PD and a terrific guy to work with.  Looking forward to years of continued success with Derek at the helm of ‘93X.’”…..In Worcester, Massachusetts, morning personality Jen Carter of Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is named “Best Radio Personality” in Worcester Magazine’s Best of Worcester 2017 special issue.  Carter has been co-host of the “XLO Morning Show” since 2000.  WoMag’s “Best of Worcester Awards” are determined by readers who vote for their local favorites…..Alpha Media launches a new classic hip hop and R&B station in San Antonio on the HD-2 channel of CHR KTFM and simulcast on translator K277CX at 103.3 FM.  Core artists on “G103.3” will be The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Destiny’s Child and many more.  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “As the other San Antonio operators show their lack of commitment to classic hip hop, Alpha Media sees this as an opportunity to super serve those who truly love the format.  To put it simply, Yo! We got all the HOT throwbacks now!”…..Traffic woes in already commuter-challenged Atlanta have gotten worse since part of I-85 has been shut down due to the recent fire that caused a portion of the road to collapse.  But, WNNX “Rock 100.5 FM” morning personalities Bailey and Southside are coming to the rescue of some lucky listeners via their “Free Ride Fridays” promotion.  Each week, Bailey and Southside will qualify listeners via their website for a chance to get a free ride to and from work in a premium black sedan every Friday until the interstate is fixed…..Last Thursday (4/20), Westwood One – with the assistance of Home Depot – helped spruce up Patriot Place in Madison, Tennessee.  Patriot Place is a 34-unit apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans. The Home Depot Foundation provided a grant to help build the facility and volunteers were there to make it feel more like home.  Westwood One executives Steve Shaw, Jim Daunais, Ron Russo, and Pierre Bouvard, plus “NASH Nights Live” personalities Elaina Smith and Shawn Parr, and “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” host Ty Bentli, joined more than 250 volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation and its vendor partners to paint, landscape, install fencing, and improve recreation spaces at the Patriot Place facility.

John Fogerty Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Rock ‘n’ roll legend John Fogerty (center) poses for a pic with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) as the show broadcast live from the Country Music Hall of Fame in support of Brad Paisley’s new album, Love and War (Arista Nashville). Fogerty worked on Paisley’s album along with Timbaland, who also appeared on last night’s program, as did Paisley himself.  They also discussed Paisley’s new partnership with Sarah Cannon’s Band Against Cancer.

Monday, April 24, 2017

| April 23, 2017

2017 NAB Show: The M.E.T. Effect.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting to TALKERS magazine from the 2017 NAB Show.  He writes:

While industry lords in expensive suits swap radio stations like baseball cards at the opulent Wynn and Encore twin towers, your correspondent is among 103,000 from around the world swarming the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center.  It’s the National Association of Broadcasters’ big show, themed “The M.E.T. Effect,” as in Media, Entertainment, Technology.

Unlike NAB’s smaller September Radio Show, the massive April event isn’t just about radio.  Although, as corporate barks for more-more-more digital revenue, stations know darn well that radio isn’t just about transmitters any more.  “These once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts,” the conference program offers, “redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play, from content creation to consumption.”  So I’m impressed by how many radio people I see here.

There’s a Facebook Video Boot Camp, an Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, and lots about virtual and augmented reality.  Radio sessions include strategies for mobile, video, texting, apps, web, and podcasting.

Speakers include executives from Adobe and Amazon and Roku and TMZ.  In addition to the inevitable surprise walk-ons, celebs speaking here include Al Roker, actors Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet and America Ferrera, and various TV reality show stars.  Larry King and Jane Pauley are among moderators.

At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, Ford’s Scott Burnell will discuss radio’s future in the car, Delilah will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and NAB Crystal Radio Award winners will take a bow for community service.

The Show will broadcast online at nabshow.com and broadcastbeat.com and feature live streaming of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors.  And look for my daily updates this week here, and follow my real-time convention Tweets @HollandCooke.

WIBC, Indianapolis’ Greg Garrison to Retire from Daily Talk Show.  Indiana talk radio legend Greg Garrison is retiring from his daily, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm talk show on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, effective June 9.  Garrison – who gained international fame for successfully prosecuting boxer Mike Tyson on rape charges – will remain involved at WIBC by writing a weekly column for www.wibc.com, doing regular commentary on air, and by serving as a contributing legal expert for WIBC news and programs.  WIBC-FM program director David Wood states, “Greg’s unique style, sharp wit, deep understanding of the law and conservative values have attracted a loyal, devoted audience.  He’s their friend, advocate and conscience – and he will be sorely missed.”  The station will announce Garrison’s replacement at a later time.   Garrison began his program on WIBC in June of 1997.  He expanded his reach across Network Indiana in 2000.  In addition to numerous media appearances over the years, Garrison served as CBS News’ legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials.

Cumulus Appoints Merenda Topeka Market Manager.  Radio sales and management pro Nicola Merenda joins Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Topeka cluster that includes: news/talk KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker,” sports talk KTOP-AM, classic country KTOP-FM “NASH Icon,” classic hits KWIC “99.3 The Eagle,” rock KDW “V100,” and adult contemporary KMAJ-FM “Majic 107.7.”  Merenda was most recently with Pandora’s San Antonio offices.  Cumulus regional vice president Donna Baker states, “Nic brings a wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for our industry.  We are excited to welcome him ‘home’ as he joins the Midwest Region to lead our outstanding Topeka team.”

Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour Visits Madison.  The 2017 Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour – featuring talk show host Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang – kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Fugelsang, Washington correspondent for The  Nation and associate editor for The Capital Times John Nichols, Miller, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).

‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ Reunion a Possibility.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa spoke very positively about considering a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Friday (4/21).  The ESPN 30 for 30 “Mike and the Mad Dog” premiered at the festival and, taking the stage together after the screening, the two chatted with Francesa saying he’d consider working with Russo again, something he previously said wouldn’t happen – mostly due to how much it would cost to pay both of them.  Francesa is leaving WFAN when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Russo hosts his own show on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio channel.  Read the Daily News story here.

Dave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Atlanta and San Antonio.  In the photo above, nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured addressing the packed audience at his Smart Conference at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.  Last week, Ramsey visited Atlanta as well as San Antonio.  He presented his Smart Money event there on Tuesday (4/18) and his Business Boutique 1-Day event on Wednesday (4/19).  To promote those events, Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia’s Talk Radio 640 WGST.  In San Antonio, the Business Boutique 1-Day event happened on Friday (4/21) with the Smart Conference taking place on Saturday (4/22).  Alpha Media news/talk KTSA helped promote the San Antonio events.  KTSA sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “Dave has made a tremendous impact on our lives, in our businesses and our families.  The Smart Conference was another terrific event filled with world class speakers and life changing information.  We couldn’t be more proud to team up with Ramsey Solutions.”

Norman Lear to Host Show on PodcastOne.  Legendary television producer, writer, and director Norman Lear launches a weekly podcast on the PodcastOne platform beginning May 1.  Lear – known for creating such revered television programs as “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and others – “brings his progressive and boundary-moving voice” to the microphone with an intimate weekly podcast.  A press release says that “while topics will cover any and everything you can think of, the show will always feature the unique perspectives of celebrities, politicians and everyday folk.  Lear is joined each week by great friend, actor, composer and sidekick, Paul Hipp.  Early celebrity guests include Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerrod Carmichael and America Ferrera. PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I have known and admired Norman for a very long time. Having his podcast on our PodcastOne network is gigantic, not to mention totally cool.  From one Norman to another, ‘Welcome aboard.’”

TALKERS News Notes. When this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft begins.  FOX Sports Radio will provide multi-platform coverage of the first round, live from the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia, beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday (4/27).   FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer will lead the coverage, joined by Joel Klatt and Chris Spielman.  Additionally, WPEN-FM, Philadelphia morning host and FSR weekend personality Anthony Gargano will host a two-hour pre-Draft show live from Philadelphia beginning at 6:00 pm ET…..Envision Networks announces it adds Entercom’s newly acquired stations in Charlotte – news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM, and hot AC WLNK-FM – to Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli networks.”  The three Charlotte stations join Entercom’s recently extended agreement for Focus 360 ad sales representation on Jelli’s platform…..KMG Networks is partnering with Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group to make the FNTSY Sports Radio Network available to terrestrial radio station networks and groups.  The network’s focus is on fantasy sports, breaking sports and fantasy sports news updates, scheduled sports and fantasy sports news, season-long fantasy strategy and advice, daily fantasy sports advice, general sports talk, call-in segments, celebrity guests, fan trivia, entertainment and pop culture programming…..CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM Newsradio won five awards this past weekend from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including Best Spot News, Best Newscast, and Outstanding News Operation.  Individually WBBM’s Lisa Fielding won Best Series “Generation Heroin” and WBBM’s Rick Gregg won for Best Sports Report “The Ballad of James Shields.”

U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Russia Patrols U.S. Coast, French Election, Looming Government Shutdown, American Airlines Incident, Actress Erin Moran Dies, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s threats against the U.S. and China’s attempts to diffuse the situation; Russian fighters continue to patrol the U.S. coast; the first round of France’s elections and the results that pit far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off; concerns about the looming U.S. government shutdown; American Airlines in the headlines after a flight attendant scuffles with a mother over her child’s stroller; “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran dies at age 56; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jules Riley is named program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull.”  She has been programming sister classic hits KLOU and continues in that role.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. comments, “Jules has done amazing things with 103.3 KLOU over the past six months.  I am very excited to see her utilize her wealth of market knowledge and experience as well as her innovative style in leading ‘93.7 The Bull.’”…..A coup of sorts takes place among the two top syndicated urban radio morning shows as longtime Tom Joyner show cast member J. Anthony Brown joins Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a daily contributor.  Harvey says, “I’ve known J since my very first comedy gig outside of Cleveland, and it’s my joy to be reunited with the man who taught me real comedy.  Get ready folks, we’re ‘bout to turn the funny meter up 10 notches.  Having J join Shirley, Nephew Tommy, Carla, Junior and myself is going to create bend over, stop the car, spit on your computer, spray your drink, gut-busting laughter.”

 

 

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – In addition to notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.0 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” logs its highest 6+-share since July 2015 (6.4, as well) and marches from fifth to third. Following February’s +.6, KKMJ “Majic 95.5” erodes in excess of three times as much (7.4 – 8.0, 6.1, -1.9, 6+), tumbling from second to fourth; “Majic 95.5” was down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, the Entercom adult contemporary facility nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM-stat (previously 11.4). On top for the third successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” posts a gain of six-tenths (8.5 – 9.1, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by KKMJ. With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Improving by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which bounces back from February’s -.9 (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and climbs from #13 to #12. In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely, format rival – Emmis’ KLZT – is experiencing a yoyo effect with a -.5 in January; +1.0 in February; and now a -.5 in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” slipping from fourth to fifth. Its HD2 channel gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+) to enter the top twenty at #20. Still in that Emmis cluster, it is a mixed bag for the KLBJ calls as news/talk KLBJ-AM registers a one-half share gain, while KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” is down by that same margin (to 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), KLBJ-AM cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “The Rock of Austin” was +.7 in February.

2) Raleigh – Trending 6.0 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” explodes with a +1.3 to 8.0 (6+), inching up from a fourth-place tie to third. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Today’s Best Country” since its 8.0 in October 2015. One-half share ahead of WQDR – and locked in a first-place tie – are Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (8.8 – 8.5, -.3, #1 in February) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (flat at 8.5, second to first, 6+). Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest March -.3 isn’t exactly typical, considering that WRAL’s recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC “Sports Radio 99.9 – The Fan” breaks out a +.7 to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April, but remains at #12. A one-half share gain from February’s 3.7 (6+) enables Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” to match October’s 4.2 (6+); “Kix” carries on at #11. The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WDCG drops one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – After dropping one-half share in February, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” answers with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+) and remains in eighth-place. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Climbing from seventh to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its third successive increase that accounts for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #17, sibling WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Following three successive sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regressed by nine-tenths in February and slips six-tenths further (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), moving from sixth to seventh. Seven-tenths of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three March 2017 finishers. Not only does WZPL have its third straight upward move for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), the Entercom CHR makes it three consecutive months at #1. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Off by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” slides from second to third. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods, University of Indianapolis-owned WICR (#20 to #21) is down or flat for the seventh straight time (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Unlisted for the third successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

4) Milwaukee – This is the only PPM market to have a station register a February 2017 to March 2017 (6+) gain of at least two full-shares as well as an outlet declining by at least two full-shares (February 2017 – March 2017, 6+). On the positive side, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 24th consecutive sweep and does so in grand fashion with a +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its 6+-share in “Holiday” 2016. “Big” month-to-month moves are practically to be expected for WRIT as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and now +2.5 (March). On the flipside, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” has its string of four successive increases that netted two full-shares since November (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) end rather emphatically with a -2.3 to 4.0 (6+). The Saga Communications urban AC plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ recoups just over one-half of that loss (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8, +.8, 6+), zooming from ninth to fifth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. Off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” hangs out a +.7 to 5.0 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This is the third successive sweep that Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (steady at #6) is frozen on 5.7 (6+), while CHR sibling WXSS “Kiss 103.7” (unchanged at #10) records its third consecutive (albeit modest) increase (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Three consecutive increases by WUWM produced a +.9 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4), but the string ends as the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet stumbles by one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). Talk about consistency: The line for public triple A WYMS (#17 to #18) between March 2016 and March 2017 (14 total sweeps) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.2 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

5) Nashville –The market’s (6+) CHR share balloons by +1.3, with iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7 (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “Nashville’s New Hit Music” picking up six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+). The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Prior to gaining one-tenth in February, “Nashville’s New Hit Music” was down the previous three sweeps for a cumulative -1.0 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+). In the country tussle, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” enjoys a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), but co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” sputters by one-half share (5.5 – 4.8, seventh to tenth, 6+); meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” is steady at #7 (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, 6+). This is the 11th successive sweep that “Nash FM” has been within 3.3 – 3.9 (6+). “The Big 98” returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One share separates March 2017’s top five. Steady at 7.4 (6+) – after a combined December- “Holiday” 2016 – January – February +1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” repeats at #1. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Off in three straight previous ratings periods for a combined -.5 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM posted a +.6 in February, but “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” forfeits one-half share in March (2.3 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Locked on 1.6 (6+) in January and February, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” drops one-half share to 1.1 (#19 to #21, 6+). As the result of five straight decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#11 to #12) is a combined -3.8 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).     Although flat at #18, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” drops by one-tenth to 1.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close at seven its string of up or flat trends that more than tripled its 6+-share since September (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

6) Providence – A genuine statistical oddity occurs here: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, the March 2017 rankers are a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 is up or down by more than four-tenths. Boasting the best month-to-month gain (+.4, #11) is The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective +1.0 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Albeit the net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nevertheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Gaining three-tenths and up or flat for the third straight time is Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, #7, 6+). Public news/talk WGBH-FM is also +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #10, 6+). Trending 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 (+.2, 6+) and finishing fifth is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3.” Up by one-tenth each are Cumulus Media CHR WPRO “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6, #2, 6+) and Bryant University classical WJMF (.5, #13, 6+). Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) but is #1 for the 18th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Flat from February are iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.2, #3, 6+); Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (7.8, #4, 6+); and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR and news/talk siblings WWKX “Hot 106” (2.7, #8, 6+) and WPRV (.4, #14, 6+).

7) Norfolk – In the span of just two sweeps (January and February), WWDE “101.3 2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary regains eight-tenths to 5.8, moving from fifth to fourth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Following a massive +1.2 in February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI tacks on another half-share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths to 11.6 (6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is at #1 for the third straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, adult contemporary sibling “2WD” bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been on top the previous 55 ratings periods. The two swapped places in January 2017 as WVKL registered a +.7. This is the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range – it has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. Owing to a -.7 to 5.5 (6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) ends at three its consecutive string of uptrends that produced a +2.1(4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.2 it notched in February was its best 6+-share (in print) since a 6.6 in July 2010. Cluster-mate WNOR “99 Rocks” is in a similar situation, given that a -.6 to 6.7 (6+) stymies four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), but “99 Rocks” continues in third-place.

8) Greensboro – Via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (unchanged at #10) is a combined +.7. After being up or flat the last four ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG surrenders half that gain (10.3, -.6, 6+). On the plus side though, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fourth straight sweep and has been #1 since January. Country-formatted sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), erodes by seven-tenths in March to 5.6, sliding from fifth to sixth. In February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Leapfrogging “The Wolf” is its rival, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (sixth to fifth, 6+), which is up or flat for the third straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon,” whose last four moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and another -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+) with “Simon” flat at #3. January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Although steady at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” posts its fourth straight gain (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+); “La Ley 101.1” is +1.7 since November. After five successive times of logging a .4 (6+), co-owned news/talk WSJS drops to .3 but stays at #13.

9) West Palm Beach – The top four finishers are Alpha Media properties, followed by three in a row owned by iHeartMedia. By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+), the drought is finally over for WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which hadn’t had an increase since last May. In that stretch of ten down or flat reports, the iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary outlet was a combined -1.5 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+); “Mia 92.1” moves from #16 to #14. In only two back-to-back declines, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -1.5, 6+) lost half as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell, but “Sunny” bounces back with a one-half share increase (6.6, 6+) to advance from third to second. Roughly three shares (6+) ahead of “Sunny” is co-owned hot AC WRMF, which despite a loss of seven-tenths (to 9.5, 6+), is #1 for the third consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off by seven-tenths as well is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (unchanged at #8), which in the last four survey periods, is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; and now in March -.7 (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Without a decrease for the seventh straight time for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” has its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, but backslides from second to third. Steady at #6, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – Powered by an impressive +1.7, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” posts an 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since last September’s 9.3 and cruises from fourth to second. A combined +1.1 in three straight sweeps (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” regains one-tenth of the one-half share it lost in February (12.8 – 12.3 – 12.4, 6+) and is #1 for the third time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Wild ups and downs continue for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety,” whose last four (6+) moves are +5.8 (“Holiday” 2016); -6.6 (January); +.7 (February); and now -1.2 in March (8.9 – 14.7 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 7.6, 6+) for a net loss of -1.3. With a 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016, “Lite” returned to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Even though Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” is without a decrease for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and segues from #14 to #13, it does not appear to be a benefactor of WEJZ’s -1.2. Unchanged at #6, WEZI’s CHR sibling WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers its sixth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) that has resulted in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares. Frozen on .6 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (flat at #17) has followed with a 6+-line of .3 – .4 – .3 – .4.  For the third consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

11) Memphis – Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop” gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #12 to #11. In its third straight up or flat sweep producing a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM elevates from fifth to fourth. Adding three-tenths (9.0 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” repeats at #1. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February, and now -1.0 in March (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6, 6+). A net +1.3 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” slides from fifth to sixth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). As a result of dropping nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC has its softest 6+-share since last June (2.7, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Dating back to December, the 6+-trends for Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR For the Mid-South” are 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 (steady at #15, 6+). Right behind it and unchanged at #16 is iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits,” down for the fourth straight time (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+) for a -.8.

12) Hartford – Although unchanged in the runner-up slot, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” lengthens its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to six for a cumulative +1.7 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), with its best 6+-performance since October 2014’s 8.9. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” add six-tenths to February’s +.3 (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, +.3, 6+), “Lite” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Gaining six-tenths as well (4.9 – 5.5, 6+) is Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock,” which was without an increase the past seven sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). The improvement of six-tenths pushes “The Whale” from ninth to eighth. Co-owned news/talk WDRC-AM though (unchanged at #13) is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6, 6+). Ever since October, it has been an up/down pattern for iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” including a +.5 in March. Overall in that period though, “Country 92.5” is -2.1 (9.2 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). While it remains at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), thus stymying at three its string of progressive trends that netted at +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).

Friday, April 21, 2017

| April 21, 2017

iHeartMedia Reports Preliminary Q1 Results Expressing ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future Given Current Debt Obligations.  This report (filed yesterday, 4/20) to the SEC is designed to help the company achieve success with its debt exchange offer that expires for lenders today and for bondholders next Friday (4/28).  But the language is very strong as iHeartMedia preliminarily reports that consolidated revenue is down 2.4% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  The company explains in this filing that it is analyzing, on a quarterly basis, “whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.  Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017.  At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018.  Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers, management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended March 31, 2017 will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results, and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Terry Foster Retires.  The Detroit sports talk host – one half of the Valenti & Foster show with co-host Mike Valenti – had missed much of the second half of 2016 after suffering a stroke.  But now, after returning to the show in January, Terry Foster announces he’ll retire from the station to focus on his “health and his family.”  Foster says, “I am retiring from sports radio but I am not retiring from life.  It is time for me to move on to a more low-key career.  I want to thank Deb Kenyon and James Powers for helping me get through a difficult time of my life and for the support during my 13-year career with ‘97.1 The Ticket.’  I also want to thank the most talented man in radio, Mike Valenti, for showing me the ropes, and thank the men behind the glass and my main crew David ‘The Hatchet Man’ Hull and Mike Sullivan.  We were a great team.  I just could no longer keep up the brisk pace of talk radio after my illness.  I appreciate the love and show of support from the fans during my most trying days and through my career in radio and newspaper.  And I would love one last hug from my CBS Radio family in Southfield.  I found out over the past few months that health and family are the most important things in life.  I will see you at the next game.”  Mike Valenti comments, “It’s been a great run for Terry Foster and me on ‘97.1 The Ticket’ for more than a decade.  Working with Terry has provided some memorable on-air moments.  I want to wish Terry the same success in retirement that we have enjoyed together as a team.”

Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Sells Two Stations to Radio One. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder sells two of his five sports talk-formatted Red Zebra radio stations to Radio One for an undisclosed sum.  Radio One will assume control of both stations under an LMA beginning on May 1.  WWXT-FM, Washington (a Class A signal licensed to Prince Frederick, Maryland) will begin simulcasting Radio One’s urban AC WMMJ, Washington “Majic 102.3 FM.”  The other station is WXGI-AM, Richmond “ESPN 950” and Radio One plans to continue airing the sports format.  In fact, it will simulcast the station on its own WTPS-AM – bumping the urban talk format from the station – as well as on Petersburg-licensed translator W274BX at 102.7 FM.  WXGI-AM carries Redskins football, Nationals baseball and Richmond Spiders play-by-play in the Richmond market.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins is quoted saying, “I still believe in the power of terrestrial radio and am excited about this deal with Red Zebra.  I’m always willing to evaluate an opportunity that allows us to grow our radio assets and continue to diversify our radio group, not just through syndication and digital, but good programming that serves our listeners.”

Report: CBS RADIO Names New Sales Leader. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, CBS RADIO Chicago has promoted Chad Feldman to vice president and director of sales for the cluster that includes all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and sports talk WSCR.  Feldman has most recently been sales manager for those two stations.  Feder says this is the third change in 16 months for this position and “insiders say [market manager Tim] Pohlman is under increasing pressure to boost revenue as CBS RADIO is poised to merge with Entercom Communications.”  Read Feder’s story here.

Entercom and CBS Receive Requests for More Information from the DOJ.  This could slow the EntercomCBS RADIO merger down a bit, but Entercom says it still expects the deal to close in the second half of this year.  Here’s what Entercom says, in part: “On April 19, 2017, Entercom Communications Corp. received a request for additional information and documentary material, often referred to as a ‘second request,’ from the United States Department of Justice in connection with the Company’s previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into with CBS to combine with CBS’ radio business in a two-step, all stock ‘Reverse Morris Trust’ transaction…Consummation of the Transactions is conditioned on expiration of the waiting period applicable under the HSR Act, among other conditions.  Issuance of the second request extends the waiting period under the HSR Act until 30 days after all parties to the Merger Agreement have substantially complied with the second request, unless the waiting period is terminated earlier by the DOJ or the parties voluntarily extend the time for closing.”

North Korea’s Nuclear Threats and ‘Trump Armada’ Tie Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of April 17-21.  The nuclear weapons threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the controversy over the whereabouts of U.S. Navy ships tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was tensions between the U.S. and Russia and the latter’s jet fighter patrols off the coast of Alaska.  Coming in at #3 was Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News Channel, followed by the close race for Georgia’s open U.S. House seat 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.

Lawrence Pintak to Host Weekend Show on KXL, Portland.  Beginning Sunday (4/23), founding dean of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication will host a one-hour, Sunday program (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm) on Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL, Portland.  The station says “the deep political and social fissures that divide American society are the focus of a new weekly current affairs radio show, ‘American Fault/Lines,’” hosted by Lawrence Pintak.  He comments, “America is more divided than at any time in modern history.  The election of President Donald Trump brought these divisions into sharp relief.  It is also fundamentally altering America’s relationship with the world.”  Pintak is an award-winning journalist who covered the Middle East for years.  He has covered wars, coups, and revolutions on three continents for many of the world’s leading news organizations, and reported on the first suicide attacks against Americans in Beirut in the 1980s.  He is the author of four books on Middle East policy, Islam, and international journalism.  Pintak adds, “The goal for the program is to be syndicated nationally and to bring a perspective that breaks free of both the New York-Washington corridor media narrative and the dominant ethos of conservative talk radio, through fact-based interviews with guests who are not ‘the usual suspects.’”

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Welcomes Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes. The Emmis Communications news/talk station carries Todd Starnes’ daily, one-minute commentaries from Fox News Radio and Starnes was part of the recent, sold-out live event featuring the “Allman in the Morning” show hosted by Jamie Allman.  Hundreds of KFTK-FM “Newstalk 97.1” fans turned out to greet Starnes, who’s pictured above at the event with KFTK-FM staffers.  They are (from l-r): program director Jeff Allen, Tricia Siekmann, Denys Schaefer, Starnes, Jamie Allman and Katie Bailey.

Talk Host Wes Minter Dies at 63. Longtime talk show host Wes Minter had been working full time in sales with Waste Management in Pittsburgh, but he had also been doing some fill-in work for CBS RADIO’s KDKA-AM over the past few years.  Minter was a successful talk host during the 1990s and early 2000s, working at such stations as KRMG, Tulsa; WSB-AM, Atlanta; KCMO, Kansas City; WHIO, Dayton; and WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Minter suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday (4/18) at the age of 63.

KGO, San Francisco Afternoon Drive Host Chip Franklin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  For the past two decades, multi-talented Chip Franklin has performed top quality talk radio at leading stations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Diego, and now San Francisco, where he presides over afternoon drive (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm) on the revamped incarnation of the Cumulus Media heritage outlet, KGO.  He has also performed outstanding work as a comedian, writer, musician, video producer and television talking head along the way.  In a candid, in-depth conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program “Up Close and Far Out,” Franklin discusses his dramatic transition during the past several years from libertarian/conservative to progressive/liberal.  He also talks about his deftly produced, rapid-fire website videos critically targeting the day-to-day adventures of President Donald Trump.  In announcing Franklin as this week’s guest, Harrison states, “Not only is Chip a remarkable veteran talent still moving the ‘pertinence needle,’ but there are some exciting things developing at the ‘new’ KGO in terms of its talent diversity and market specificity that are worthy of industry attention.  This episode is sure to tickle the fancy of talk radio professionals and media freaks around the world.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning personality Heather Gersten is adding assistant program director to her title as Cumulus Media promotes the WWLI “Lite Rock 105” staffer.  In addition to co-host of the “Heather & Steve” show on the adult contemporary signal, Gersten is part of Lite Rock’s “2 Lite Chicks” with midday personality Amy Pontes.  The duo also hosts the “Wicked Awesome 80’s Show” Saturday nights at 8:00.  Cumulus corporate vice president-AC and ‘Lite Rock 105’ program director Emily Boldon says, “With her considerable talents, dedication and drive, Heather has repeatedly proven herself to be the perfect candidate.  She lives, breathes and loves this radio station with a passion I wish I could replicate.”…..At Radio One’s Houston operations, Madd Hatta adds assistant program director duties for urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.”  He continues to host the “Madd Hatta Morning Show” on sister rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box.”…..Galaxy Communications’ rock duo “KROCK” – WKRL, Syracuse and WKLL, Utica – adds local DJ Big Smoothie to the weekend program schedule.

 

 

Round Three of March PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of March 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View 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) Portland – It has been quite a turnaround for KGON, which registered a +.8 in February to apply the brakes to eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). That February increase pushed the Entercom classic rocker from #14 to #11, but it apparently was only warming up, as KGON tacks on more than a full-share (4.0 – 5.1, +1.1, 6+) to cruise into the top ten at #6. This is the first time that KGON has crossed the five-share threshold (6+) since March 2015 (5.5). As was the case in February, eight-tenths of a share continues to be the distance between Portland’s two frontrunners as both iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” (7.7 – 8.6, #1 for the 34th time in the last 36 ratings periods, 6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB (6.9 – 7.8, 6+) chalk up impressive increases of nine-tenths. This time last month, “K-103” was off by nine-tenths; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February (following a 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.5 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Having registered four straight gains for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” coughs up roughly half that gain (5.5, -.9, 6+), sliding from third to fifth. Notching a 4.2 (6+) for the third straight month, Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” repeats at #9. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February, 6+), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC drops seven-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

2) Charlotte – See if you can spot a dominant theme in this particular market recap. The third straight increase by WHQC “Channel 96.1” is by a robust +1.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+), elevating the iHeartMedia CHR into the top 10 (#12 to #8). Not only that, “Channel 96.1” overtakes (by one-tenth) its format rival, Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to ninth), which is actually up or flat for the third consecutive sweep (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), netting a full-share. In addition to posting its third successive positive trend that has accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” is #1 for the third month in a row. A +8 (6+) by “The Fox” in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Regressing for … you guessed it … the third successive time and falling from third to fifth is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). A cumulative -1.8 since the “Holiday” 2016 report, WSOC has the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. After a -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and a +1.7 in January, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – has gained (in February) and then lost (in March) two-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). “The Kat” carries on in the runner-up slot. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) but now has a one-half share advantage. As is the case with WSOC, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-Love” is down by six-tenths as well (2.2 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Owing to a -.1 in February, “K-Love” had its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Powered by a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” posts its best 6+-stat since May 2016’s 3.9 and rises from #15 to #12. Ultra-consistent in its trending since October (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” busts loose with a gain of six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#20). Recapturing exactly half of February’s full-share loss (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” progresses from tenth to sixth. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #14, as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the sixth straight time netting a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, #12, to #14, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” drops two-tenths (3.3, #13 to #14, 6+), thus curtailing four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Repeating at #1 is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. KONO-FM departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. In back-to-back months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” erodes by a full-share (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4, 6+), dropping from first (January) to second (February) to third (March). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). After having recorded (modest) consecutive gains (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regresses by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+), moving from fourth to fifth. Six-tenths behind “Y-100” is iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (4.4 – 4.6, +.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). “KJ-97” was -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+). After trending .9 – 1.5 – 1.9 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air1 – Positive Hits” is off by one-half share to 1.4 and exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

4) Pittsburgh – Even though each registers a healthy gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9, 6+) and CBS Radio news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” continue at #2 and #6, respectively. In three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), KDKA-AM is +1.4; “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Flat at #8, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” is without a decrease for the third consecutive sweep for a +.8 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” (unchanged at #10) is a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the seventh consecutive sweep in which Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) is either up or flat for a +.6 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Improving by one-tenth (10.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (+1.6 in January) is #1 for the third successive time, matching December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but it returned to #1 in January. Flat at 3.3 (6+), alternative cluster-mate WXDX “The X at 105.9” is at #11 for the tenth straight ratings period. Following three successive uptrends that yielded a +1.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), CHR sibling WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by two-tenths to 8.1 (6+), but remains in third-place. February was the first time that “Kiss” reached the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). It is tied at #3 with Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob,” which has an identical 8.3 – 8.1, -.2 (6+) profile. A combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH has its third downward move in a row. Flat at #5, “Wish 99.7” has lost nearly half its 6+-stat (-6.0) in that stretch (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Trending 7.2 – 7.7 – 7.5 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Entercom-owned KSEG “Eagle 96.9 – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” registers a gain of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+), inching up from third to second. All three of the market’s FM country facilities improve from February and they combine for a +.8. Specifically, CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (steady at #4) picks up one-tenth (5.2 – 5.3, 6+), while Entravision’s KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” (+.3, #16 in February, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, #17 in February, 6+) are tied at #15. As the result of four successive increases (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), “The Wolf” is a collective +.8. Although it backslides from #15 to #17, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-Love” is without a decrease for the fifth successive time (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), more than doubling its 6+-share in that timeframe. Not only does KYMX “Mix 96” shake off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) to return to #1, the CBS Radio adult contemporary property repeats in the top spot (9.0, -.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, it was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Huge month-to-month swings continue for iHeartMedia news-talk KFBK, which drops from second to third (8.2 – 6.7, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September); +1.2 (October); -.7 (November) +.7 (December); +.8 (January 2017); -.5 (February); and now a massive -1.5 in March. KFBK finished in the runner-up slot six straight times before reaching #1 in January. Also in the news/talk arena, co-owned KSTE “650 – Sacramento’s Talk Station” sputters by six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the fifth successive ratings period for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is flat at #7.

6) Salt Lake City – On the strength of three straight increases (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by more than two full-shares and climbs from eighth in February to sixth. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Displaying gains of one-half share each are Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” (4.0, #11 to #10, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” (2.3 – 2.8, #18 to #15). Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, “My 99.5” rebounded with a +.6 in January, but returned all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+). Massive month-to-month movements are typical for KSL but the Bonneville news/talk station advances from second to first even though it is down three-tenths (6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Just before its March stats, KSL was +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Displaced from the penthouse is adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which dubiously suffers the loftiest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 decline of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (8.0 – 6.3, -1.7, 6+). It trades places with KSL in the runner-up slot. Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. Taking advantage of KSFI’s (March) -1.7 is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7,” which improves for the third consecutive sweep for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+), bumping up from #14 to #13. Unchanged at #17, co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), ending at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Several similarities exist in the profiles of the market’s two classic hits-oldies outlets. For example, Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 – The Arrow” (4.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 – Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (4.1, 6+) are down in March by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, after both were up two-tenths in February. This ends back-to-back progressive trends for “Arrow” (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), as well as for “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (3.3 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+). Ranked fifth and seventh in February, KRSP and KODJ finish seventh and ninth, respectively, in March. Off by one-half share to 1.0 (6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KDUT (#22 to #24) curtails three consecutive upward moves (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Over and above being #1 for the fifth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” puts an exclamation point on it by boasting the highest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (6.8 – 8.6, +1.8, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. It has a 3.1-share advantage over CBS Radio-owned KLUC (third to second), which is up for the third successive ratings period (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). An increase of seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.4, 6+) enables hot AC cluster-mate KMXB “Mix 94.1” to jump from fifth to third. It is the best 6+-showing for “Mix” since last June (5.4, as well). Commencing in August 2016 and ending in January 2017 with a 2.5, sibling KXNT strung together five straight increases that netted a +1.7 (1.4 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). As a result of a -1.1 in March (2.8 – 1.7, 6+) though, the news/talk facility departs the top twenty (#17 to #21). Flat at #13, iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drops three-tenths to 2.9 (6+), thus ending at six a string of consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF rolled out a +1.2 in January; relinquished -1.6 in February; and is now -.6 in March (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), drifting from #11 to #14.

8) Cincinnati – When Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” lost three tenths in February, it concluded one of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease – ten in a row. That impressive streak started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+). With a +.6 to 2.0 (6+), “Soul 101.5” wastes no time in launching another such series and inches up from #18 to #16. As a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEBN was a collective -2.2, but the rocker applies the brakes with a one-half share increase to 4.1 and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The order-of-finish of the top eight stations in February and March is virtually identical, although #1, #2, and #3 experience significant month-to-month erosion. Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first and has been there ever since; WGRR, however, is down seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+). It was once practically automatic to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+). The iHeartMedia news/talk outlet (flat at #2) hasn’t been on top since August though and it falters by nine-tenths in March to 7.2, the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard country outlet WUBE “B-105” (unchanged at #3) answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrenders six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+).

9) Orlando – On top for the third consecutive month, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” not only rebounds from February’s -.8 with a +.9 (12.5 – 11.7 – 12.6, 6+), it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.6 eclipses by one-tenth the previous record (12.5, 6+) set just two months ago. Prior to January, “Rumba” was at #1 in October, November, and December. Meanwhile, it remains a steady climb for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (#15 to #14), progressing for the fourth straight time – with each gain being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). “Rumba” has a nearly three-share advantage over its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the third consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7, 6+). In that stretch, it is a collective +2.5, more than wiping out the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is the strongest 6+-share for “XL-106” since September’s 10.4. A gain of three-tenths takes format rival – CBS Radio’s WQMP “101.9 Amp – Orlando’s #1 Source for New Music” – to 3.4 (6+), its best 6+-showing since November’s 3.5; “Amp” segues from #13 to #12. Without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” nonetheless drops from fifth to sixth. Unchanged at #19, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to four its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). While it sputters by six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 30th straight time and carries on at #14.

10) Cleveland – By picking up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX not only climbs from fifth to fourth, “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its best 6+-stat in more than four years (7.5, 6+, January 2013). Even though it is down for the third straight month for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI remains at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Slumping by six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+), rock sibling WMMS drops from ninth to tenth. At #13 for the 12th successive sweep, Ideastream’s WCPN regresses by one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Before February’s -.2, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+). Meanwhile, CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” picks up four-tenths (4.0 – 4.4, 6+) but refuses to budge from #12, where it has been the past 15 sweeps.

11) Kansas City – Logging increases of seven-tenths each are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (2.9 – 3.6, #16 to #15, 6+) and the HD2 channel of Cumulus Media’s KCMO (1.1 – 1.8, #20, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” gained seven-tenths in January as well, before forfeiting one-half share in February. Advancing by six-tenths are Carter Broadcast urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” (5.1 – 5.7, fourth to third, 6+) and Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix” posts its third straight improvement (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) for a combined +1.4, while “Hot 103” was up four-tenths in February. This time last month, Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” held a one-share lead over co-owned classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits.” The two cluster-mates are now tied at #1, with “The Fox” (third week at #1) dropping eight-tenths, while “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths (7.3 – 7.5, 6+). This marks the third consecutive decline for “The Fox” (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was off by one-half share in February. Before a loss of three-tenths in November, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. Slipping from fourth to sixth, Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM forfeits three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Owing to three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” is a collective +2.1 and is steady at #3. KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). The market’s other two country outlets though are each down three-tenths after being up three-tenths in February: “Country 94.1” sibling KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” is 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+) and Entercom-owned WDAF-FM is 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (#12 to #15, 6+).

12) Columbus – By registering a +.3 to 4.2 (6+), Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (ninth to eighth) pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that produced a combined -3.8 (7.7 – 7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Immediately prior to those declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). It is another rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL, which is +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). In the process, WCOL regains the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music,” which sputters by nine-tenths (9.8 – 8.9, 6+) and assumes the runner-up position vacated by WCOL. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February; however, prior to January, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. In addition to WNCI, Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” spirals by nine-tenths as well and slips from fourth to fifth. It is the third successive spike for “Sunny,” which is -2.6 in that timeframe (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after its benchmark 11.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” followed with a 5.4 (January, 6+) and 5.6 (February, 6+). The iHeartMedia adult hits outlet now regresses by one-half share to 5.1 (6+), but continues at #6. Unlisted for the third straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Thursday, April 20, 2017

| April 20, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces New Prime Time Lineup.  In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement that 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel has parted company with embattled personality Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year relationship, the cable news leader reveals its new prime-time lineup.  Taking over the 8:00 pm ET slot will be Tucker Carlson, who recently joined FNC after Megyn Kelly‘s departure.  Sean Hannity remains in his 10:00 pm time slot and moving into the 9:00 pm hour is the panel discussion program “The Five,” co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.  Martha McCallum stays in the 7:00 pm hour but her show is re-named “The Story.”  Beginning May 1, Eric Bolling – regular O’Reilly fill-in anchor and “The Five” contributor – will launch his own program at 5:00 pm.

Clive Davis Chats with WABC at Stage 17.  Recording industry legend Clive Davis (right), talks with 77WABC entertainment reporter Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman (left) at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City yesterday (4/19).  Davis was in town promoting the premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which opened at the TriBeCa Film Festival last night.  During the interview, Davis discussed his early days in the industry as well as his years working with the legendary Whitney Houston and other iconic artists, including Simon & Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen.  Davis also told Gunzelman he believes in the vitality of radio, calling it “vital” to creating hits.

No Charges Filed in the Michael Savage Kerfuffle.  According to a report in the East Bay Times, the Marin County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against Westwood One talk host Michael Savage or John Spreckles Rosekrans, the man Savage accused of assaulting him outside a Tiburon, California restaurant.  Savage and Rosekrans placed each other under citizen’s arrest after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical conflict.  Neither man required medical treatment nor appeared visibly injured, according to police.  The paper quotes Marin County assistant DA Barry Borden saying, “After a thorough review of all the police reports and communications with attorneys representing each of the two individuals involved with this incident, a decision has been made that charges will not be filed against either individual.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Southern California broadcaster Fred Lundgren’s website for KCAA, Loma Linda was hacked and directed to a porn site last week.  Lundgren details the arduous journey to recovering control of his station’s website in a piece published at Huffington Post.  Check it out here…..iHeartMedia and SpokenLayer announce a new relationship that will put nearly 40 SpokenEditions onto the iHeartRadio platform.  SpokenEditions are human-read versions of written content from premium publishers and the collaboration will bring the audio version of hundreds of news stories to iHeartRadio listeners each week.  Some of the publishers involved include: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Slate, Time, Reuters, Wired, and more…..Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk “FM News 101” KXL is named the 2016 Radio Station of the Year from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.  In addition to that, KXL was also honored with Best Newscast, Best Coverage of Breaking News, and Best Feature awards.  Alpha Media Portland market manager Lisa Decker comments, “These awards are great recognition and honor for an outstanding product that the KXL staff produces every day.”…..Football great AJ Hawk is joining Radiohio’s sports talk WBNS, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” beginning May 8 for a summer program titled “Off-Season with AJ Hawk,” that’ll also feature co-host Anthony Rothman.  The show will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the NFL, as well as other hot sports topics.  During the NFL season, the former Green Bay Packers linebacker will join the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show for “Football Fridays.”…..CBS RADIO inks a deal with TrafficLand – one of the largest authorized aggregators of live traffic video in the U.S. – for CBS to use the company’s video management technology (VMC).  The TrafficLand VMC service provides integrated access to real-time video from more than 20,000 state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. through a specialized interface that was built by TrafficLand for traffic reporters and first responders to improve situational awareness…..Total Traffic & Weather Network announces it inks an exclusive, nationwide agreement with TrafficCast, a provider of digital traffic information and technology.  In the multi-year partnership, TTWN will serve as the exclusive U.S. radio and television distributor and marketing partner for TrafficCast’s new smartphone app, TrafficCarma…..Red Rock Radio enters into an agreement to sell Duluth market sports talk duo WWAX-FM, “92.1 The Fan” and KQDS-AM to Twin Ports Radio, LLC. for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. represented Red Rock and Steve Moravec of Phoenix Media Group, LLC assisted Twin Ports Radio.

WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan’ Visits the White House. Pictured above is the WEEI, Boston morning show cast posing for a photo with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during yesterday’s visit by the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots.  The morning show was invited to the event by Spicer.  The Patriots were officially congratulated on their victory in a ceremony with President Donald Trump.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Gerry Callahan, Spicer, Kirk Minihane, WEEI program director Joe Zarbano, Kirk & Callahan senior producer Chris Curtis.

Hangin’ with Rusty Wallace. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace poses for a photo with (from l-r): Chris McKee of the Motor Racing Network, AdLarge Co-CEO Cathy Csukas; Wallace; and AdLarge Co-CEO Gary Schonfeld.  Wallace serves as an analyst for MRN.  AdLarge is the exclusive national ad sales partner for MRN: The Voice of NASCAR.

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly Part Company, North Korea Nukes/‘Trump Armada,’ Russian Saber-Rattling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Aaron Hernandez Suicide, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Fox News Channel’s announcement that personality Bill O’Reilly will not return to the cable channel in the wake of sexual harassment allegations; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the controversy over misleading Trump Administration information about where in the region U.S. Navy ships actually were; reports of Russian fighters patrolling near Alaska; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s promise of a “comprehensive review” of the Iran nuclear deal; the apparent suicide of fallen NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Washington and Baltimore markets, iHeartMedia announces two promotions.  First, Tommy Chuck is named program director for adult contemporary WASH-FM.  He’s been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for two-plus years programming CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5” and country WPOC, Baltimore.  He’ll continue to program WIHT in addition to WASH-FM.  He says, “I am honored to now lead the two most-listened-to radio stations in Washington, DC.  Like ‘HOT 99.5,’ 97.1 WASH-FM is a blue-chip brand with an incredible history and even brighter future.”  At the same time, the company announces that Jeff Wyatt moves up from his vice president of programming for the company’s Virginia-Carolina region to become SVP of programming for the Baltimore market and program director for WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”…..In the Savannah market, Cumulus Media names Mike “Big Mike” Bell program director for its hip hop outlet WEAS “FM/E93.”  Bell moves to Savannah from his most recent position with the company at its Florence, South Carolina operations where he’s been PD for hip hop WYNN.  Cumulus Media Savannah VP and market manager Eric Mastel says, “Mike’s creativity, positive energy and experience programming successful urban-formatted stations make him a tremendous addition to the ‘E93’ team.  Our listeners are going to love what they hear.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio flips KZEP from urban contemporary to Spanish pop as “104.5 Latino Hits,” the new home of Spanish contemporary hit radio.  The station is kicking off today with 10,000 commercial-free songs.  Core artists include: Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Shakira, and Mana.  Effective May 1, Enrique Santos hosts wake-up show “Tu Manana con Enrique Santos.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is celebrating the life of Prince all day tomorrow – the one-year anniversary of his death – dubbed “Purple Friday.”  “106.5 The Arch” will be airing special features throughout the day as well playing one of Prince’s hits every hour, on the hour.  WARH music director and afternoon personality Robert Fithen states, “As Prince broke through lyrical and musical boundaries, fans broke through with him.  His music taught me to challenge the rules and not be content with labels and confines.  Go ahead.  Try to categorize ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ a song that starts with a sermon, builds to a keyboard hook and ends with a blistering hard rock guitar solo.  Is it R&B?  Rock?  Pop?  It’s Prince!”

 

 

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Baseball “experts” are predicting great things this year for the Washington Nationals. The National League East team’s flagship – CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM – rebounds from February’s one-half share loss with a gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+) as “106.7 The Fan” inches up from #18 to #17. Unlisted for the third straight month is its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). Despite declining by one-half share (11.5 – 11.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finishes first for the third straight time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+); February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. When WPRS “Praise 104.1” lost one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016, it ended five successive improvements that produced a collective +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). The Radio One-owned gospel outlet faltered by another eight-tenths in January; regained six-tenths in February; but in March, “Praise” sputters by -1.3 (5.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 3.5, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. Up a combined +1.2 in January and February (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) but carries on in eighth-place. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak, however, concludes as “Majic 102.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (+.3 and unchanged at #3) – posted a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a -.3 to .8 (6+), Alpha Media-owned WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” (flat at #20) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – end at five (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+).

2) Boston – Over and above registering a strong +.8 to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, Beasley Media Group-owned WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is #1 for the third successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; and now +.8 in March. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” CBS Radio’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” picks up eight-tenths as well, adding it to February’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9, 6+), leaping from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2014’s 5.2. By gaining four-tenths in January, WZLX pulled the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Both of Beantown’s mainstream CHR facilities increase by one tenth. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 5.6 – 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned WODS “Amp 103.3” (unchanged at #13) is up or flat for the third successive time (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s typically robust FM sports facilities though erode by a combined -1.3, with “Amp” sibling/Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” -.7 (5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom owned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is off by six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January and February (3.4 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), talk-oriented public outlet WGBH-FM forfeits nine-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, WGBH-FM had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Miami – By notching a +.7 (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR WPOW not only recaptures what it lost in four straight declines starting in November (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). The game of musical chairs at the top continues as Univision Radio’s WAMR picks up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, second to first, 6+) and is back at #1 – as it was in January. “Amor 107.5” has recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the last seven ratings periods. One-tenth behind it and dropping from first to second is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which is actually up three-tenths (6.9 – 7.2, 6+). In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Sputtering by a full-share (6.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s WLYF “Lite FM” slips from third to fourth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled “Lite FM” to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); WLYF was #1 from July 2016 through October. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) has its fifth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) for a combined -1.1, directly after a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. Although it only slips from fifth to sixth, there is another major fluctuation for urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz.” When WEDR declined by -.5 in December, its string of consecutive trends without a loss that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Rolling out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “99 Jamz” floundered by -1.5 in January; posted a +.8 in February; but regresses by -.7 in March (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Declining by seven-tenths as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), which plummets from #7 to #14. At the same time, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WRTO “Mix 98.3” is off by one-half share to 2.7 (6+), sliding from #13 to #16. Entering the March sweep, “Mix” was trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). Tied at #10 in February and at #12 in “Holiday” 2016, the market’s two mainstream CHR outlets continue to be nearly inseparable as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 3.8 (#10 to #11, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is one-tenth behind at 3.7 (-.1, #10 to #12, 6+).

4) Detroit – A robust +.9 by WWJ – #1 for the third successive sweep – takes the CBS Radio all-news operation to 7.4, the first time it has crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Slightly less than two shares behind WWJ are three stations tied in the runner-up slot. All with a 5.6 (6+), they are classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOMC (-.1, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (also -.1, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WJR (+.1, 6+). The country share in Motown swells by six-tenths, with WWJ sibling WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” up four-tenths (5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” gaining two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “Detroit’s Country” was locked on 4.9 (6+) in January and February. After registering three straight gains for a collective +2.2 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “The Bounce” surrenders exactly one-half of that gain all at once (4.1, -1.1, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#7 to #11). It would be an understatement to note “The Bounce” has had its share of sharp ups and downs since transitioning from sports last July 1. It quickly posted back-to-back gains totaling a combined +7.3, vaulting from #23 (June 2016, .7, 6+) to #15 (July 2016, 3.1, 6+) all the way to #1 (August 2016, 8.0, 6+). Not only was it just a one-month stay at #1, “The Bounce” sputtered by -2.7 in September; -1.2 in October; and -.8 in November (8.0 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+). Down by more than 50% since August 2016, “Bounce” quickly plummeted from #1 (August) to #5 (September) to #12 (October) to #13 (November). Following four consecutive positive trends that generated a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” is off two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from #11 to #12. By picking up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WMXD “Mix 92.3” (#11 to #10) overtakes “Kiss” and ends three straight ratings periods without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) that accounted for a -.7.

5) Seattle – On the strength of a +.9 to 4.5 (6+), Entercom’s KISW “Rock 99.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). “Rock 99.9” had posted a 3.6 in four of the last five sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). While flat at #18, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is without a decrease for the fourth consecutive ratings period (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Not only does co-owned KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” hang out a +.6 (7.2 – 7.8, 6+) the mainstream CHR ranks first for the third consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. After progressing by nine-tenths in February, University of Washington-owned KUOW falters by -1.1 (5.8 – 6.7 – 5.6, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. In the four most recent ratings periods, KUOW is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); and now -1.1 (March) for a net gain of three-tenths. Having improved by one-half share in back-to-back survey periods (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” returns 80% of that combined gain (4.8, -.8, 6+) and drifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” (#28 to #25) rings up a +.3 to 1.2 (6+), thus curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a collective -1.4 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – .9, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” (#12 to #15) have yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” drops four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), slipping out of the top ten (#10 to #12). In four of the last five sweeps, “Kiss” posted a 3.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).

6) Phoenix – In 3.2 – 3.9 range (6+) since December, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” busts out a +.8 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). This time last month, adult contemporary sibling KESZ – which had been #1 for 30 successive ratings periods – held a nine-tenths advantage over its runner-up, Hubbard classic rocker KSLX. With KSLX gaining seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and KESZ faltering by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), however, that impressive KESZ streak comes to an end with the two outlets swapping places. Improving by one-half share and six-tenths, respectively, are KSLX cluster-mate KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock,” which has its third straight gain netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” (.9 – 1.5, #26, 6+). Four consecutive (modest) increases give Hubbard’s KDKB a combined +.8 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) as “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” climbs from #14 to #12. Following six consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#23 to #20). As Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-LOVE” gains one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, #18, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted KLVA (also) “K-LOVE” is off by six-tenths (1.2, #23 to #28, 6+). KLVA was a combined +1.2 in January and February (.6 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). In a three-way tie at #14 in February, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” freefalls to #25 as a result of a massive -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+). Logging its fifth straight decline for a combined -1.7 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” drifts from #21 to #26. Up a cumulative +1.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (2.1 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ surrenders one-half share (to 2.8, 6+) and dips from #11 to #15.

7) Minneapolis – Improving by seven-tenths each are American Public Media Group’s news/talk KNOW (5.8 – 6.5, fifth to third, 6+) and triple A sibling KCMP (2.3 – 3.0, #14, 6+), with the latter having its highest 6+-share since September 2015 (3.0 as well). Unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB displays a one-half share increase (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” is #1 for the third straight time. In January 2017, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – follows up January’s +1.3 by stumbling one-half share (each) in back-to-back sweeps (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from #11 to #12. “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). After being up a combined +1.2 (2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KTLK returns more than half that gain (2.5, -.7, 6+) as it skids from #14 to #16. It is tied there with American Public Media Group’s KSJN “Classical MPR,” which is down three-tenths (2.5, 6+), halting at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, a two-tenths drop to 5.4 (6+) marks the end of three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (sixth to eighth). February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” since September’s 5.8. In the Twin Cities’ country contest, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” adds three-tenths to February’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #6, while CBS Radio-owned KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” (+.5 in February) drops two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and is steady at #13.   

8) San Diego – Nearly identical to what we witnessed this time last month when the ten best finishers were separated by one share, the margin now dividing the first ten rankers is 1.1 shares. Moreover, the distance between the top five is a mere three-tenths. By adding just one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS breaks out of February’s three-way tie at #2 and grabs the lead. After one month at #1, “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Displaced from the top spot and falling to third is KPBS (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+). A collective +.8 in January and February (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+) was enough to lift the San Diego State University outlet from third to first. February’s 5.4 was the strongest 6+-stat for KPBS in just over two years (5.5, 6+, January 2015). In three straight declines, iHeartMedia’s KGB was a cumulative -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), but “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” recaptures three-quarters of that loss (3.6, +.6, 6+) and zooms from #16 to #12. This is the 17th straight time KGB is within three-share range (6+). Registering an improvement of six-tenths as well and jumping from eighth to fifth is XHTZ “Today’s Hit Music – Z-90.3,” which regains what was lost in its mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). While steady at #22, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” triples its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Following a January boost of six-tenths, Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet XLTN (#12 to #14) is a combined -1.3 in February and March (3.6 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

9) Denver – Seven-tenths of a share separates the market’s top four March 2017 finishers. Having floundered by seven-tenths in February, Bonneville‘s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” recoups all but one-tenth (4.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, +.6, 6+) and leaps from #16 to #11. “The Fan” was -.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and +1.1 in January 2017. A loss of six-tenths in November 2016 halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+); October 2016’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Albeit down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), country cluster-mate KYGO repeats at #1. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. A full-share negative fluctuation in February sent iHeartMedia’s KTCL (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) from first to third; now, “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” falters by another six-tenths (5.4, 6+) to dip to fourth. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Channel 93-3” was +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). As a result of its fourth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” cruises from ninth to sixth and has its best 6+-performance since last June’s 4.8. Steady at 3.5 (6+), co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (#15 to #14) is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 16th successive sweep. Flat or down (modestly) in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) going into the February ratings period, KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” dialed up a +.7 to 4.4, its best 6+-showing since last April (4.4 as well). The KSE Radio Ventures hot AC relinquishes that increase in its entirety though (4.4 – 3.7, -.7, 6+) and spirals out of the top ten (#6 to #12). It is tied there with its format rival, Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9,” which is up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and climbs from #14 in February.

10) Tampa – Pulling the plug on four successive declines that yielded a collective -1.8 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and carries on in fifth-place. Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which had been confined to 3.3 – 3.6 territory (6+) the past seven sweeps (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Not only does “Mix” reach the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since last June’s 4.3, it leaps from #15 to a three-way tie at #10. Off two-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK bounces back with an increase of one-half share to 4.7 (6+) as the country facility advances from ninth to sixth. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” remains at #3. This is the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Ahead of it and again at #2 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which (like “Q-105”) has its third straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) but for a cumulative +1.1. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last soared to the seven-share level (6+) more than four years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. While co-owned WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for a remarkable 54th successive ratings period, the adult contemporary property falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the third straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (#18 to #19). Down the past four sweeps for a collective -.8 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” picks up two-tenths to 4.5 and remains at #7 (6+). Similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” departs the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+); the iHeartMedia-owned outlet is without an increase for the third straight sweep (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Dropping from #15 to #16, news/talk sibling WFLA regresses by one-half share to 2.9, its weakest 6+-share since September’s 2.5.

11) Baltimore – Boasting impressive back-to-back increases of +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC tacks on another three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+) for its third consecutive progressive trend, with “Baltimore’s New Country” continuing in third-place. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. On top in the Washington, D.C. report (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is without a decrease in Baltimore for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #15. Inching up from #17 to #16, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS more than doubles its 6+-share in Baltimore with its fifth successive up or flat trend (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Without an increase since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” picks up four-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and holds the runner-up slot for the fourth straight ratings period. February’s 7.3 was the lowest 6+-share for WERQ since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Even though it is down (slightly) in consecutive sweeps (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is on top for the third straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic 95.9” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” (#9 to #12) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.2, its lowest 6+-stat since August (3.0, 6+). Doubling its 6+-share via back-to-back gains (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Music Station” falters though by one-half share to .9 (#15 to #18, 6+).

12) St. Louis – The third straight increase (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) by CBS Radio heritage news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is by +1.1 and it represents the only (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase by at least one full-share in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday. With its finest 6+-stat since October’s 6.8, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship progresses from seventh to fifth. Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive sweeps without a decrease (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” moves from #15 to #12 and matches September’s 4.2 (6+). Unchanged at #17, co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its best 6+-showing since June (2.6, as well). This marks the third straight time at #1 for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (7.4 – 7.6, +.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. It is three-tenths ahead of Emmis rocker KSHE, which is steady at #2 and without a decrease for the fourth successive ratings period netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). A full-share loss (4.8 – 3.8, its lowest 6+-share since March 2016’s 3.8) causes University of Missouri’s KWMU to drift from #9 to #14. More ups and downs for Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which squandered seven-tenths in January; recaptured it in February, but regresses by one-half share in March (5.1 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+) to dip from seventh to eighth. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio’s KEZK has had three straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative -6.8 (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), but the adult contemporary property actually climbs back into the top ten (#11 to #10). Ironically, prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the third consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

| April 19, 2017

FOX Confirms: Bill O’Reilly Leaves FNC.  It’s been confirmed in an internal memo to staff that Fox News Channel parent company 21st Century Fox and Bill O’Reilly have agreed to part company.  21st Century Fox co-chairmen Lachlan and James Murdoch and News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch wrote in the memo, in part, “After a thoughtful and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.  This follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.  By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news.  In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable.  Fox has demonstrated again and again the strength of its bench.  We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news.  Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”

WTIC, Hartford Names Todd Feinburg PM Drive Host. Hartford news/talker WTIC returns to issues talk in the afternoons as CBS RADIO announces “the next era of afternoon drive on WTIC-AM NewsTalk1080” with the launch of “Afternoons with Todd Feinburg,” beginning April 24.  The 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show had been a sports talk program for the past two years featuring Joe D’Ambrosio and Andy Gresh.  CBS RADIO Hartford operations manager Steve Salhany states, “Todd is a familiar voice on ‘NewsTalk 1080,’ having filled in on the station across the schedule, so we are excited to officially welcome him to the WTIC family.  Our listeners enjoyed Todd’s fresh perspective and energizing personality and now they will get to tune-in to him every weekday afternoon.”  Feinburg’s talk host career has led him to gigs in Boston, Providence, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  For five years, he co-hosted the morning show on WRKO, Boston.  Feinburg states, “Filling in for Jim [Vicevich] and Ray [Dunaway], I have had a chance to learn for myself what a special station WTIC is, what a wonderful audience it has, and what a central role it plays in the political culture of the state.  I can’t wait to get started!”

TALKERS News Notes.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio play-by-play will continue to be based at iHeartMedia Tampa Bay as the two sides agree to a multi-year renewal.  iHeartMedia says that this year, the team’s games will be heard over the air on rock WXTB “98Rock” as well as online at Buccaneers.com and on the Buccaneers mobile app…..At this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas (4/22-27), Wheatstone will be featuring on-air radio pro Kaden experimenting with its new VoxPro 7 recorder/editor for live radio.  Wheatstone says Kaden will “demonstrate the latest VoxPro features and his rapid editing abilities.”  Kaden comments, “If you do this for a while, you get very fast.  When I’m on-air, my eyes are on the screen and my fingers do all the work, making the call as tight and entertaining as possible.  In my opinion, it’s the easiest and fastest editor, anywhere.  I wouldn’t be able to do a full show without a VoxPro.”  Wheatstone will also have booth at the TALKERS 2017: A New Era conference in New York City on Friday, June 2.  See more about the TALKERS conference here…..E.W. Scripps and Milwaukee Business Journal expand their multi-media partnership to include Scripps’ television outlet WTMJ-TV “TODAY’S TMJ4.”  The Milwaukee Business Journal has an existing content partnership with WTMJ Radio, on which the publication’s reporters can be heard regularly.  WTMJ and WKTI VP and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “This partnership demonstrates the unique power of Scripps in Milwaukee.  The opportunity to feature content on radio, TV, digital and print better serves and informs the community.”…..Public news/talk station WBUR announces that its “On Point with Tom Ashbrook” program has been added to the programming schedule at NPR member stations WHYY, Philadelphia and KALW, San Francisco.  On a related note, the program is on a national tour called “Listening to America” and is broadcasting from Wisconsin Public Radio tomorrow (4/20).

Trump ‘Armada’ Controversy/North Korea Threats, Georgia House Race, Deadly Fresno Shootings, Erdogan Power Increases in Turkey, FOX News Channel’s O’Reilly Situation, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18). Ongoing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program and the controversy over the misinformation about the whereabouts of U.S. Navy ships; the hotly contested race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat; police suggest a hate crime in the shooting deaths of three white men by a black man in Fresno; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s contested national vote that gives him much more power and questions about President Donald Trump’s call to congratulate him; speculation about the fate of FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly in the wake of exploding sexual harassment allegations; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio programmer John Shomby adds program director duties for Cumulus Media’s WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” to his responsibilities.  Shomby also serves as NASH director of programming, a position he’s held for the past year-and-a-half.  Charlie Cook is the VP/country music for Cumulus and he comments, “John has done a superb job of managing the launch of morning show ‘Ty, Kelly and Chuck’ on the NASH brand, as well as overseeing the nationally syndicated shows ‘NASH Nights Live’ and ‘The Blair Garner Show.’  This new position is a logical next step as we continue to grow our country platform.”…..iHeartMedia announces the promotion of Russell Rush to program director for CHR KXXM, San Antonio “Mix 96.1.”  Rush continues hosting his afternoon air shift.  iHeartMedia Central Texas Region president Matt Martin says, “Russell embodies the CHR lifestyle and is tuned into the San Antonio market.  It’s hard to imagine anyone more passionate about this station and its listeners!”…..Hubbard Radio Seattle adds the USRN-syndicated Billy Madison show to its morning drive daypart on rock KVRQ “ROCK 98.9.”   Hubbard Radio VP/market manager Marc Kaye says, “The first time I met Billy, Derek and Nard, I knew the Billy Madison show was going to be a part of ‘Rock 98.9’ and a huge part indeed.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Brittany Tully program director for country WYNK, Baton Rouge.  Regional SVP for programming Bob Murphy states, “Brittany is a South Louisiana native who understands the community, its listeners, the media market and the uniqueness of the brand.  I’m excited to bring her leadership and passion to our team.”…..CBS RADIO’s “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) event has expanded to two music-filled nights with Linkin Park kicking off the festivities on Friday, May 19 at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  The following night, the party moves poolside when DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone perform at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan.

 

 

Round One of March PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 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 March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” climbs from third to a second-place tie. It is locked there with CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -.2, 6+). Up seven-tenths in February (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), WCBS-FM advanced from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the previous seven sweeps prior to February, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasted its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. As for “Z-100,” its competitor, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” is again at #19 and without an increase for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). The rhythmic CHR format in the top market picks up one-half share as iHeartMedia’s WKTU regains the two-tenths it lost in February (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.1, unchanged at #8, 6+), while Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” adds three-tenths to February’s +.4 (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). Off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. In the intramural all-news contest, WINS (unchanged at #4) registers its third straight gain for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is up or flat for the third consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), but backslides from #13 to #14. Flat at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” is frozen on 3.6 for the third successive sweep. Although #1 for the ninth straight time, co-owned adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” drops nine-tenths (7.1 – 6.2, 6+). This is the weakest 6+-performance for “Lite” since a 6.1 last August. Down three-tenths to 2.9 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (flat at #11) has its consecutive string of up or flat monthlies (which produced a +.9) end at four (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WPLJ drops one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, #16 to #17). After three straight uptrends resulting in a +1.3 (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths in back-to-back monthlies (5.1 – 4.4, 6+) and slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – For the second time in the last three ratings periods, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV (up seven-tenths from February) crosses the five-share threshold (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), progressing from a third-place tie to second. “The Wave” is just two-tenths behind the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which improves by one-half share (5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s one-tenth gain (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was sufficient for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, dislodging its adult contemporary sibling KOST, which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Off by nearly 60% since the “Holiday” report, “Coast 103.5” – which carries on at #5 – has its third straight decline (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight gains accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Increasing by three-tenths is the market’s (6+) CHR share, with KOST sibling KIIS “Kiss FM” up one-tenth (4.8 – 4.9, steady at #3, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KAMP “Amp” +.2 (2.6, #16 to #14, 6+). The gain of two-tenths by “Amp” curtails six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). There is virtually zero (6+) February – March movement in the alternative format in the City of Angels, as iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” drops one-tenth (3.2 – 3.1, 6+) but actually moves from #11 to #10. At the same time, CBS Radio-owned KROQ (#20 to #19) is up or flat for the third consecutive monthly for a +.3 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1). Unlisted in January, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA returned in February by logging a 3.4 (6+), but “Zona Mx 101.9” regresses by six-tenths to 2.8 and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Flat at #11, Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has been the model of consistency over the last ten ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+).

3) Chicago – The steady climb continues for Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE, which is up for the third straight time for a combined +.8 (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+) to bump up from ninth to eighth. At this time last year, WSHE was at #15 (2.6, 6+). When WSHE added three-tenths in February to 3.1 (6+), it ended 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Carrying on at #4, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” making it three consecutive sweeps with a gain for a cumulative +.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). Conversely, after four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” is off by three-tenths to 3.2 (6+), slipping from seventh to eighth. In a three-way tie at #12, WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) for a collective +.4, while co-owned WKQX is up or flat for the fifth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), yet actually falls from #17 to #19. While flat at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is nonetheless up or flat for the seventh consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Albeit down four-tenths to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” repeats at #1. Fifteen (15) Chicago outlets from #10 through #24 are separated by just one-share. Within that congestion are the market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” (2.7 – 2.6, -.1, flat at #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5,” unchanged at #21 with a 2.2 (6+) for the third successive sweep. Both made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. In the Windy City’s hot AC contest, Hubbard’s WTMX “Mix 101.9” drops one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WLIT “93.9 My-FM” picks up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+); “Mix” and “My-FM” remain at #3 and #6, respectively. For the third straight month, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

4) San Francisco – Similar genres happen to be clumped together at the top of March’s Bay Area ratings board, as Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM (7.7 – 7.3, -.4, 6+) and CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM (6.8 – 6.2, -.6, 6+) repeat at #1 and #2, respectively. Adult contemporary facilities then take over, with Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths (4.9 – 5.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” down one-tenth (4.5 – 4.4, 6+), maintaining their #3 and #4 slots. They are followed by two hot AC rivals – iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.7 – 4.1, +.4, seventh to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.8 – 3.9, +.1, fifth to sixth). A pair of contemporary hit radio facilities round out the top eight: CBS Radio-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” (flat at 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, unchanged at #8, 6+). Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” enters the top twenty in a three-way tie at #19. Meanwhile, flat at #9, Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off by two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus ending its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern (6+). Co-owned news/talk KGO (steady at #14) has its third straight increase for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco,” which posts its third consecutive gain as well (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Even though the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nevertheless is without a gain for the fifth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but stays at #18. After four straight up or flat sweeps (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), CBS Radio’s KITS “Live 105 – The Bay Area’s Alternative” slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #22).

5) Dallas – Locked on 2.8 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” improves by one-half share to 3.3 (6+), jumping from #16 to #10. The station jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016, rocketing from tenth all the way to first. As recently as November 2016, KDGE was at #21. This marks the fifth successive ratings period in which Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a combined +.8 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+); “K-104” inches up from #12 to #11. In a similar vein, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (flat at #13) is without a decline for the fourth straight time for a net gain of one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). The combination of a two-tenths loss by February’s frontrunner – Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) – and a four-tenths pickup by iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (5.6 – 6.0, second in February, 6+) results in a first-place tie. KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” is without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+) for a collective +1.1 and remains in fifth-place. After five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” adds one-tenth to 1.5 (6+), climbing from #28 to #27. Long an adult contemporary powerhouse, co-owned KVIL “Amp 103.7” has transitioned in recent years to hot AC and most recently to CHR. Down six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), “Amp” skids from #13 to #18, while its former format foe – iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” – drops three-tenths (4.1 – 3.8, 6+) to slip from seventh to eighth. In three consecutive decreases (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV is -2.1 as it drops from third to fourth. Meanwhile, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (unchanged at #6) is -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Having posted a 0.5 (6+) in January and February, Southwestern Adventist University contemporary Christian KJRN “88.3 The Journey” disappears from print.

6) Houston – Not only does Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ boast top honors for loftiest 6+ February 2017 to March 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Tuesday (4.2 – 5.8, +1.6, 6+), “The New 93-Q” rockets ten rankers (#12 to #2). It is the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” repeats at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Despite being up or flat for the sixth straight time for a net gain of +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), CBS Radio’s adult hits “95.7 The Spot” actually backslides from sixth to seventh. KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay in the penthouse though for the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet, which surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. Now, KLTN drops one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4, and slides to fifth. Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+) and drops another half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. In addition to KLTN and KSBJ, iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” (4.5 – 4.0, #7 to #11, 6+) and news/talk sibling KTRH (4.4 – 3.9, #9 to #12, 6+) sputter by one-half share as well. Owing to a +.3 to 3.1 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE (unchanged at #16) applies the brakes to three straight downward trends that accounted for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+).

7) Atlanta – Registering its ninth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from seventh to sixth. Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+) and the news/talk outlet registers a +.8 in March to 3.8 (#12, 6+). In addition to WABE, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV “97.1 The River” improves by eight-tenths as well and posts its third straight increase for a collective +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) to advance from fifth to third. Notching half-share increases are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#16 to #14, 6+), up for the third consecutive time for a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). Notwithstanding being a combined -1.2 in consecutive sweeps (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the fifteenth straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. After improving by one-half share in February (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” forfeits all of it plus two-tenths (4.6, -.7, 6+) to slip from fourth to seventh. In advance of February’s +.5, WSB-FM was consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the previous 12 ratings periods; “B-98.5” had its best 6+-showing in one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Off by a collective one-half share as a result of three straight negative trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (steady at #3) picks up four-tenths to 6.9 (6+). At the same time, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” drops three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+), but stays at #13. Over the course of the last seven ratings periods, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” (#9 to a three-way tie at #8) has been the definition of steadiness (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). In print in only the last four sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “K-LOVE” dials up a +.6 to 3.0, climbing from #17 to #16. Recapturing all but one-tenth of February’ -.6, Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+) climbs from #20 to #18. “The Fanatic” added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, cross-town format rival – CBS Radio’s WIP – picks up two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), thus halting at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); WIP moves from #12 back to the top ten (a three-way tie at #8). On the heels of registering a +1.3 in January and a one-half share gain in February, classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL is flat (5.5 – 6.8 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), yet manages to push forward from second to first. There, it displaces Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” (7.9 – 7.0, -.9, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past seven sweeps. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The culprit for one-third of WBEB’s -.9 would appear to be CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” (#15 to #16, 6+), which picks up three-tenths and notches its third straight (modest) gain for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). It flipped to adult contemporary from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Up a combined +1.1 since the “Holiday” report (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WPHT regresses by one-half share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

9) Long Island – Nowhere nearly as pronounced as the situation in San Francisco (see above), there are several Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) instances of tight format races. For example, finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are CBS Radio news siblings WINS (flat at 3.9, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, 6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January. Separated by two-tenths are two news/talk outlets – Cumulus Media’s WABC (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #14 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WOR (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #10 to #13, 6+). WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied at 2.2 (#20, 6+) meanwhile are hot AC rivals, CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (-.1, #21 in February, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ (-.4, #15 in February, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1; repeated at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9; and remains at #1 with a +.2 to 6.1 (6+). A full-share loss (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) causes Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” to spiral from fourth to seventh. After posting four straight Long Island increases for a collective +1.5 (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (steady in the runner-up slot) falters by four-tenths to 4.9 (6+). This marks the 28th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#15 to #16) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.6 – 2.5, -.1, 6+).

10) Riverside – While Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA dips by six-tenths in Los Angeles (see above), “Zona Mx 101.9” ironically improves by that exact margin (4.6 – 5.2, +.6, 6+) in the Inland Empire of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario to advance from fourth to second. Having lost one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptured six-tenths in February and tacks on an additional one-half share in March (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. This is the strongest 6+-performance for “Old School 104.7” since last June (also 3.3, 6+). Although unchanged at #13, KATY picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+), the first time the All-Pro adult contemporary has crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” lost two-tenths in February (6+) and now sputters by an additional six-tenths (9.2 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the seventeenth consecutive ratings period. Logging a 5.7 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI slumps by eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.6, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. In the runner-up slot is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA (5.6 – 5.2, -.4, 6+). The -.4 is more than slightly noteworthy, in that, it ends at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. At #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA is at #2 for the third successive sweep. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ piles on nine-tenths more to 4.1 as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults into the top ten (#14 to #8, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1. The Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeated in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+) in February, and while off by one-tenth in March (7.5, 6+), it continues to stay on top. A combined +1.9 in January and February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders -1.2 to 3.6, plummeting from fourth to tenth. Its -1.2 is the largest 6+ February 2017 to March 2017 decline by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Tuesday. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; February’s 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). Although steady at #3, this represents the third straight drop for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+) for a collective -.9 and first time it has been under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). With a -.2 to 2.1 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ not only has its consecutive streak of upward moves – which netted a +1.3 – stop at three (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), “93.3 La Raza” departs the top twenty (#17 to #21). Having been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) the past 19 sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, 6+), falling from #15 to #17.

12) Middlesex – The rollercoaster ride continues for Univision Radio’s Spanish tropical WXNY. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), “X-96.3” was -.9 in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; slipped by -.6 in February; and is +.5 in March (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+); WXNY moves from a five-way logjam at #13 to #10. Via three straight gains (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 and elevates from eighth to seventh. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#18 – #17) – is up or flat for the fourth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) in that period. Despite a loss of one-half share (7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third straight sweep. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (when it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Just as it did in January, WHTZ “Z-100” registered a one-half share gain in February (4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but the iHeartMedia New York City CHR relinquishes nine-tenths (4.5, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Flat at #10, CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the seventh straight time and has lost one full-share in that stretch (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

| April 18, 2017

Glenn Beck and TheBlaze Countersue Tomi Lahren. TALKERS magazine recently reported that conservative media figure Tomi Lahren filed suit against Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze in which she stated that she’d been fired for espousing a pro-choice opinion during an appearance on television’s “The View,” that she’d been told to “go dark” on social media and had been shut off from her Facebook account.  Yesterday (4/17), Beck and TheBlaze filed a counterclaim in District Court in Dallas that paints a very different picture of the problems between the two sides.  TheBlaze states that Lahren has not been fired and is still an employee (is being paid) and therefore is bound by her employment contract to certain things that includes not making public statements or appearances that relate to her employment by TheBlaze or about its officers or staffers.  It also says that, contrary to her claim, she has control over her Blaze-owned Facebook page.  Further, TheBlaze claims that Lahren “quickly made herself into one of the most divisive people in media both to the general public and within TheBlaze organization.”  It goes on to claim Lahren was difficult with fellow employees, had to be corrected for her choices of words that “repeatedly bordered on the profane,” “turned down a number of advertisers on TheBlaze for unexplained reasons, limiting any chance for TheBlaze to recoup its investment into her and her show,” and more.  TheBlaze states that the employee agreement also requires Lahren’s public appearances be cleared by TheBlaze and Lahren is not complying with that.  TheBlaze does admit that the appearance on “The View” was problematic but claims it had decided before the appearance not to renew her contract – it expires in September of this year – for the reasons listed above, among others.  It went before a judge late yesterday afternoon seeking a temporary restraining order to force Lahren to comply with the contract.  Additionally, TheBlaze is seeking unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and more.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new esports show is being put into syndication by Westwood One.  The show, “Checkpoint Radio,” is touted as “the first, nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of esports.”  A press release states that hosts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan are lifelong, passionate gamers that connect with this loyal, younger-skewing fanbase.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “Westwood One is synonymous with best-in-class sports audio programming with over 62 million weekly listeners tuning in for live sports game coverage and expert commentary, and these passionate sports fans are also front-and-center with the emerging esports movement.”…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York adds the “House Smarts with Lou Manfredini” program to its Saturday morning lineup.  Manfredini also serves as an “NBC Today Show” home improvement contributor…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Dick Penn, who died on April 15 at age 75.  Penn was a former NBC Radio, Shadow Traffic and Navteq executive.

Julian Lennon Visits Cumulus’ Stage 17.  Last Friday (4/14), Julian Lennon sat down with WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby for an interview before a live audience at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 performance space.  Lennon discussed the music of his father’s band The Beatles, his own music, and his new kid’s book, Touch the Earth (Sky Pony Press 2017).  Pictured above are (from l-r): WABC program director Craig Schwalb, Lennon, and Rita Cosby.

Hunt for Facebook Killer, Arkansas Executions Controversy, North Korea Nuke Threats, Georgia House Race, French Presidential Race, Prince Opioids Stashes, and NBA & NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The search for Steve Stephens, the Cleveland man suspected of killing a 74-year-old man and posting the video to Facebook; the SCOTUS’ denial of permission to Arkansas to begin a schedule of eight executions; the North Korea’s continuing tests of missiles and the U.S.’s concerns about Kim Jong Un’s developing nuclear program; the intense scrutiny of the Georgia U.S. House race for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s seat as money and support from Democrats outside the district support Jon Ossoff; the build-up to France’s June presidential elections and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s notoriety; reports of numerous stashes of various opioids found at late pop star Prince’s home; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sterling Chats with ‘Hizonner.’  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (right) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (left) during their 50-minute, exclusive conversation for Sterling’s program.  Kenney is holding and reading aloud a Midnight Misfit Membership card offered to Sterling listeners.  During the conversation, Mayor Kenney gave considerable background on the controversial soda tax, plus answered tough questions such as: What is the best pizza?  Are there really ancient artifacts in Philadelphia like in the movie National Treasure?  And what station did you listen to growing up – WIFI, WFIL or WIBG?

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Portland triple A KINK announces Corey Foley and Mitch Elliott are the new hosts of the morning drive show on the Alpha Media station, effective May 2.  Foley was most recently with CBS RADIO’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”  Mitch Elliott was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.”  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “We are elated to have found our soulmates to pair with Portland’s iconic KINK brand for mornings.  Corey and Mitch are two uniquely talented, entertaining hosts with huge passion for the music, Northwest lifestyle and a love for the arts.”…..At Entercom’s Rochester classic rock WCMF, Michael “Mud” Gross joins as the new program director, effective May 15.  He replaces Chris Crowley, who is moving to Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland.  Gross was most recently with iHeartMedia at classic rockers WBGG, Miami “BIG 105.9” and WNRQ, Nashville “105.9 The Rock.”…..Matty Staudt is appointed to the new digital program director position at iHeartMedia’s San Francisco operations.  In this role, Staudt will oversee digital strategy for iHeartMedia’s six San Francisco radio station brands, “working closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”…..The syndicated country morning duo “Wilhite and Wall” add another station to their roster of affiliates – KMTB, Nashville, Arkansas “B99.5.”  Tim Wall states, “We still have room to grow, but want to keep our station roster low so we can maintain the local content we give each market.”…..United Stations Radio Networks names Danny Ocean affiliate relations rep in which he’ll take over the management of affiliate acquisition and maintenance in the Northeast Region of the U.S.  He’ll also specialize in guiding the affiliate marketing efforts for the company’s CHR and hot AC programs…..Entravision reports that the “El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata” adds two Texas affiliates: LBI Media’s Regional Mexican “La Raza” simulcast on KTJM and KJOJ in Houston and KNOR, Dallas “La Raza.”…..Cumulus Media debuts the new hot AC format (and new call letters) on WQPD, Florence, South Carolina.  “Q100.5” features the “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive.  The station flipped from Cumulus’ country “NASH FM” format.

Monday, April 17, 2017

| April 17, 2017

Alex Jones’ Radio Persona At Issue in Child Custody Case.  In a story in the Austin Statesman by Jonathan Tilove, the child custody case between Infowars founder Alex Jones and his ex-wife could involve asking the jury to decide whether Alex Jones is a capable father whose radio persona is not the same as his everyday persona or if he’s – as his ex-wife claims – “an unstable person.”  According to the report, Kelly Jones is asking District Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo to allow jurors to see video of Jones doing his radio show and creating videos as evidence.  But Jones’ attorney, Randal Wilhite, told the judge during a recent pretrial hearing that Jones’ on-air persona is an act, like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “Batman.”  Judge Naranjo has made it clear the case is about the welfare of the Jones’ three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and not about Infowars.  Alex and Kelly Jones divorced in 2013.  Read the Statesman story here.

McGill and WVON, Chicago Part.  Chicago urban news/talk WVON and morning drive personality Matt McGill are parting ways.  Midway Broadcasting Company says that McGill “arrived at WVON 13 years ago as a radio neophyte, but rose to become a recognized local talk show host.”  Midway recently added Maze Jackson to the morning show and it’s clear from both the company’s and McGill’s perspective that the addition of Jackson to the show is the reason McGill is leaving.  Midway chairwoman Melody Spann Cooper says, “Matt is a tremendous talent and will be missed.  Change is inevitable in this business.  Our listeners can be assured that we will continue our reputation of delivering top-notch talent, news and information that will empower the communities we serve. That has always been and remains our priority.”

WNIS, Norfolk Adds ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ to Lineup.  The FOX News Radio show starring Brian Kilmeade will air live from 10:0 am to 12:00 noon on Sinclair Communications’ WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia, beginning today (4/17).  “Kilmeade & Friends” is also carried on the company’s KLBJ-AM, Austin.  Kilmeade says, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the morning programming at KLBJ 590 AM in Austin, Texas and we are thrilled to be the newest addition to their sister station’s schedule.  For the past eight years, ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ has been dedicated to providing our audience with fresh perspective on the most important news stories.  I am heartened to know many of our listeners in the Norfolk area will be military families.”

TALKERS News Notes. WSKO, Syracuse afternoon personality Mike Lindsley is honored by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Sportscast (medium market).  Lindsley hosts “In the Cell with ML” on the Cumulus Media-owned station.  Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “In addition to being The Score 1260’s brand ambassador, Mike truly has his finger on the pulse of the Central New York sports fan.  Whether it’s a good or bad day in Syracuse sports, our listeners count on hearing Mike’s well-informed take.  We’re proud that his talent is recognized by his fellow broadcasters!”…..The nationally syndicated Sean Salisbury sports talk show is now being simulcast on TV via program producer Gow Media and the beIN Sports television network.  Gow CEO David Gow says, “We are really excited about the partnership and the opportunity to give Sean’s radio show a national TV platform.  This is a significant step for our company, as we can now offer our advertising partners radio, digital media and television – and we can do so on a local, regional or national basis.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliate stations: KKGX-AM/FM, Palm Springs, California; KYAH-AM, Delta, Utah; and KTRC-AM, Santa Fe…..Last week, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano interviewed FOX News Channel correspondent Jesse Watters during a sold-out event at the National Constitution Center.

North Korea Threats/Pence Visit, U.S.-Russia Relations, Kushner-Bannon Power Struggle, Berkeley Trump Rally Violence, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Cleveland Facebook Killing, Easter/Passover Holidays, Celtics Star Plays After Sister’s Death, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The development of nuclear missiles by North Korea, its threats against the U.S., and Vice President Mike Pence’s weekend visit to the Korean DMZ; the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria; reports of the power struggle between President Trump’s advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner; the violence between Trump supporters and protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California; Saturday’s “SNL” sketches poking fun at Trump Administration staffers; the manhunt for a Cleveland man suspected of posting the murder of his elderly victim on Facebook; the Easter and Passover holidays; Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas plays the day after his sister is killed in a car accident, and the NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Mary Berner Named Recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award.  The TALKERS editorial board has selected Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner as the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”).  Mary Berner assumed leadership of Cumulus in October 2015.  As the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus owns and operates 447 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), and provides content to more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network, as well as numerous digital channels.  For over three decades, Berner has led some of the world’s top media companies and brands, building and directing them to increase productivity and financial performance.  Before joining Cumulus, Berner served as president/CEO of MPA -The Association of Magazine Media, where she leveraged her deep understanding of media to aggressively champion and advocate for that industry.  Berner also previously served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, where she developed and executed a successful turnaround strategy, oversaw the restructuring of the company’s acquisition-related debt and the subsequent doubling of the company’s stock price and optimized its brands and assets.  Upon making the announcement of Berner being selected as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is no secret that the biggest radio companies – Cumulus, iHeart and others – are being smothered under the burden of crippling debt accrued over many years following deregulation and the runaway growth of consolidation.  Since assuming her extremely challenging role as the head of Cumulus, there have been measurable improvements in the company in terms of programming, infrastructure and employee morale – developments that offer reasonable hope that its financial situation will begin to improve.  Hope is something that the good people who work in the radio business can use more of as we head into what has the potential to be an exciting new era bursting with opportunity.”  The annual TALKERS “Woman of the Year” award goes back to 2001, named after its first recipient the late Judy Jarvis, an independently syndicated host who helped pave the way for women to make progress as players in the male-dominated talk radio field. Jarvis, a non-smoker, received it posthumously after succumbing to lung cancer at a young age during the peak of her career.  Recent recipients include Ginny Morris, Robin Quivers, Julie Talbott, Heather Cohen, Robin Bertolucci, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Stephanie Miller, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Adriane Gaines and Kim Komando, among others.  The award will be presented on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Air personality Mo Lightning is the new morning host on Mid-West Family Broadcasting-owned rock outlet WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois.  It’s part of a number of changes at the station including Kyle Hutchinson’s move from afternoon  drive to midday and program director Wes Styles’ move to the afternoon program.  Lou Brutus is hosting the evening “Harddrive XL” show…..At SummitMedia’s urban contemporary WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina, Tone Hollywood takes over the midday show, moving over from his previous role hosting in morning drive at sister rhythmic CHR WHZT “HOT 98.1.”…..iHeartMedia wins a Shorty Award for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in the Best in Live Events category.  The 9th annual Shorty Awards recognize “the most influential, popular, and culturally relevant brands and influencers across social media.”…..Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is launching an all-Milwaukee music platform in its HD-2 channel branded “414Music.fm.”  The channel and stream will debut on June 20 and the station is inviting Milwaukee musicians to submit their music, recently recorded or from past years, to Radio Milwaukee for possible inclusion on “414Music.fm.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

| April 13, 2017

Entercom CEO David Field Issues Companywide Memo Regarding Merger.  In a memo that was also filed with the SEC under rule 425, Entercom president and CEO David Field encourages staffers to stay focused on their programming and sales goals as the company and CBS RADIO move toward the merger, scheduled to close in the second half of this year.  Field writes, in part, “We are creating a truly preeminent radio company with an extraordinary platform of the industry’s best local brands, personalities, content and marketing solutions covering virtually all of the nation’s top 50 markets.  The new Entercom will be a leading local media and entertainment company with strong positions in radio, digital, events, news, sports, music and entertainment.  With close to $2 billion in annual sales, a value of over $4 billion, and a very strong financial position, we will have the scale and resources to compete aggressively with other media for a significantly larger share of advertising dollars…Until the transaction closes, Entercom and CBS RADIO will continue to operate as separate and independent companies and it is business as usual.  We ask that you stay focused on delivering great content to our listeners and providing the best media and marketing solutions to our advertisers.  With every passing day, I become even more excited about this combination and the opportunities it will create for our listeners, customers, shareholders, the radio industry, and most importantly, our outstanding team. As this process continues, we will do our best to keep you informed, providing you with periodic updates when we are able to do so. As always, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication and leadership.”

iHeartMedia Names Pickett EVP Marketing, Digital Products. Marketing pro Donna Pickett comes to iHeartMedia’s New York offices from her most recent role as VP of performance based media at Cannella Response Television.  She also worked at Time Life for more than 20 years, including as senior vice president.  At iHeartMedia, she’ll be EVP of marketing, digital products and report to Darren Davis.  The company says Pickett will work closely with iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams to “align all marketing and product/programming efforts.”

Only Three Slots Remaining for FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row in Washington.  Broadcasters wishing to take part in the annual Washington, DC radio row event “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” – produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform – should contact event manager Cassie Williams at cawilliams@fairus.org today!  FAIR executive director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “FAIR’s 11th annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ radio row is one for the record books.  Over 60 hosts are confirmed to attend this year’s special ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ broadcast which will evaluate the progress the new administration is making toward securing the border and enforcing immigration laws.  Radio row is staged at the Phoenix Park hotel on Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday June 28 and 29.  Morning drive is now full, but one midday and two afternoon booths are still available.  FAIR covers most expenses, hotel accommodations, all equipment and coordinates guests from Capitol Hill and across the country.”

Crawford to Buy WCHB-AM, Detroit for $2 million.  Motor City news/talk and jazz hybrid WCHB-AM will be sold by Radio One to Crawford Broadcasting for $2 million.  According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show will remain with Radio One, airing on translator W260CB at 99.9 FM.  Current WCHB-AM personality Mildred Gaddis will move to Radio One’s Gospel WPZR.  At this time, it’s unclear if Crawford intends to continue airing talk programming on WCHB.

TALKERS News Notes.  Philadelphia’s Crossing Broad is reporting that sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” morning sports update anchor and sidekick to Anthony Gargano, Maureen Williams, a.k.a. MCW, has left the station – possibly in a cost-saving move.  It also appears that Gargano is not pleased with management’s actions…..Operations manager John Blake leaves the Cumulus Media Albany, Georgia six-station cluster for a position outside the radio business.  Blake’s position included handling operations at news/talk WALG-AM in addition to its five music-formatted sister stations…..The Kevin Jackson show joins the Genesis Communications Network for national syndication, effective Monday (4/17).   The program – which originally launched as “The Black Sphere Radio Show” on BlogTalk Radio in 2009 – will air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” was honored with three awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association in the large market radio division.  The sports talk station won for: Best On-Air Broadcast Personality/Team – “Hahn, Humpty & Canty”; Best Station Sponsored Event – for the Michael Kay show’s “The Great Sports Debate” live at Fordham University; and Outstanding Commercial for a campaign for client New York Sports Clubs.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Trump-Bannon Relationship, Sean Spicer Apology, United Airlines Passenger Removal Scandal, Daily Mail-Melania Trump Settlement, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Tensions between Russia and the U.S. over the two nations’ Syria policies, and the aftermath of Syria’s alleged use of sarin gas on its citizens; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and reports of an imminent bomb test; speculation about the future of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s apology for his remarks about Hitler’s use of gas on Jews; the backlash against United Airlines over its rough removal of a passenger; First Lady Melania Trump’s libel settlement with the Daily Mail; the NBA playoff teams are set; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Alan Taylor on ‘LIVE with Kelly!’  Nationally syndicated auto talk host Alan Taylor (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Ripa (left) – host of “LIVE with Kelly!” – after appearing on the program this week during Auto Show Week.  Taylor is appearing all week to show off the top automobiles in all categories.  Earlier this week he showcased new vehicles with Ripa and celebrity guest hosts Morris Chestnut, Vin Diesel, and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Dan Mason to Speak at TALKERS 2017: A New Era. One of the most respected broadcasters in the radio business, Dan Mason, has joined the stellar roster of speakers at the forthcoming 20th annual installment of the longest-running and most important annual convention in the talk media industry – TALKERS 2017: A New Era. The convention takes place on Friday, June 2 in New York City. Mason, who retired from his long standing position as CEO of CBS RADIO in 2015, currently serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America as well as senior adviser of broadcast relations for iHeartMedia. In addition, Mason has been pursuing his passion for sportscasting as a commentator on women’s college basketball for the CBS Sports Network and a horse racing analyst for NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mason will participate in one of the exciting series of “fireside chats” that will mark the updated format of this year’s conference. He will be interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City’s popular morning host Harry Hurley – the recipient of last year’s TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award. Hurley will also present Mason with a check in the amount of $1,000 for the BFoA from his Hurley in the Morning Charity. For more information about TALKERS 2017: A New Era please click here.

TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda. The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – continues to grow and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.

The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.

Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”

New Brisk Format

The speaking sessions will feature a newly developed format consisting largely of keynote fireside chats, solo addresses and intimate one-one-one conversations.

There will be specially curated exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order): Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.

The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.

Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return

Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike Francesa. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention. Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important players in the game.”

Jeff Smulyan to Keynote

Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.

Pattiz on Podcasting

Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.

A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr

Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.

Heavyweights and Star Power

In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, DGital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Chris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore. More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.

The complete agenda will be posted in the coming days and weeks. As is customary, TALKERS 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For hotel information please click here.

Tommy Hilfiger Visits WABC, New York.  Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger appears on this weekend’s edition of the WABC, New York show “Always in Fashion” with host Mark Weber.  The program was recorded live during Hilfiger’s appearance at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz, Mark Weber, Tommy Hilfiger, and 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Albany Broadcasting’s CHR WFLY, Albany “FLY 92.3,” the new morning team of Jake Allen and Ashley Marie will begin hosting mornings on Monday (4/17).  Allen moves to WFLY from the company’s sister country station WKLI “100.9 The Cat,” and Marie heads north from her most recent gig at Delmarva’s hot AC WAFL, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Magic Broadcasting announces that David “No Sleep” Sebastian is the new afternoon drive host at its CHR WILN, Panama City, Florida “Island 106.”  Sebastian’s previous stops include on-air gigs at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz,” MacDonald Broadcasting’s hip hop WQHH, Lansing “POWER 96.5,” and CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.”…..Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” announces the addition of “promotions guru” and radio personality Matt Cruz to the staff as promotion & marketing director and assistant program director under Mike Kennedy, effective April 24…..Radio One debuts a new Saturday program on WOSF, Charlotte “Old School 105.3” hosted by former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon called, “At The Table With Cannon.”  Cannon just wrapped a year of house arrest after serving almost two years in federal prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents while service as mayor…..Adult hits WHCN, Hartford “105.9 The River” morning personality Joseph Aguiar is facing charges of third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace after being identified as the man on a March 9 security video tape seen attacking another man from behind at a gas station, knocking the victim unconscious.  Aguiar is free on $75,000 bond and has a court appearance set for April 25.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

| April 12, 2017

KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Jack Swanson Agree to Part Ways.  San Francisco news and talk radio programming legend Jack Swanson announces he will exit the news director role at CBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM, effective May 1.  In a social media post, Swanson writes, “Gosh I thought I’d have some news to share with all of you this afternoon.  But it seems Social Media waits for no man.  Or woman.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m leaving the News Director’s chair at KCBS on May 1.  When I came off the beach for this assignment I agreed to stay a few years and my bosses agreed to give me enough rope for me to have fun.  Mission accomplished.  Both sides got what we expected from the bargain. And we part in a way that is rare in the broadcasting business.  Feeling great about each other.  I will miss my newly-made friends at CBS terribly.  But life is calling.” Swanson programmed crosstown heritage news/talk outlets KGO and KSFO during his many years at the now-Cumulus-owned station group.

TALKERS News Notes.  Some of this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games are being aired on the radio in a deal with NBC Sports, NBC Sports Radio, and Westwood One.  Beginning this Saturday (4/15), WW1 will present live, play-by-play audio coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinals game two.  Westwood One will broadcast a Playoff Game of the Week on each of the next four Saturdays and will broadcast every game of the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals…..CBS RADIO launches a new podcast hosted by Olivia Caridi, a Season 20 contestant on the popular reality dating show, “The Bachelor.”  On each episode of “Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi,” she’ll welcome actors, friends and fellow reality TV and internet stars to dish about love, relationships and navigating the ups and downs of being single and dating.  A new 45-to-60-minute episode will be available on Play.it every Tuesday…..Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media is reporting that Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco is adding Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory for the overnight slot.

U.S.-Russian Animosity Over Syria Attack, FBI Monitored Trump Adviser, U.S. Response to North Korea Threats, United Airlines’ PR Crisis, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The Russians’ warning to the U.S. about attacking Syria and the U.S.’s contention that Syria used Russian-made sarin gas on its citizens; the FBI acknowledges that it obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page; the U.S. responds to North Korea’s threats with naval operations; United Airlines deals with a PR nightmare over the forced removal of passenger; the ongoing scrutiny of FOX News Channel and host Bill O’Reilly in response to allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro James Steele adds some programming duties to his work with Alpha Media.  Steele is the afternoon drive host on the company’s CHR WXYK, Biloxi-Gulfport “107.1 The Monkey.”  Now, he’s adding program director responsibilities for alternative rock K277CX, San Antonio “103.3 The APP” (KTFM-HD2).  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, James is that fun-spirited guy at the party you want to be around.  His creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for the alternative format is contagious, and we are happy to advance talent from within Alpha.”…..In Pittsburgh, Forever Media launches a classic country outlet on WOGH – taking one of the stations off its simulcast of the country “FROGGY” format still heard on sister stations WOGI and WOGG.  Dubbed “Willie 103.5,” WOGH features country hits primarily from the 80s and 90s…..Envision Networks announces that Johnny Stone is the new host of the live country music weekend show, “The Live Ride.”  Envision says that Stone – a Nashville insider – will “provide up-to-date country news, concert information and artist interviews.”  Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein comments, “Johnny Stone’s boundless energy and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for ‘The Live Ride.’  The winning mix of live country hits with Johnny’s love for all things country will bring listeners back week after week.”…..KIIS, Los Angeles – and nationally syndicated personality Ryan Seacrest – announces that Backstreet Boys have been added to the lineup for the station’s Wango Tango concert on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

| April 11, 2017

O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster.  The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.”  Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events.  iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others.  Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.”  He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.

Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim.  In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.”  Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages.  Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame.  Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality.  He joined the station in 1990.  WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.”  Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte.  He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.”  He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years.  Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte.  His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996.  Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.

‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room.  Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6.  The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.

KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly.  Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles.  She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.”  She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room.  Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX.  After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended.  FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings.  Read the Washington Post account here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.”  The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey.  Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships.  These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before.  I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel.  Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others.  Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.”  WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.”  This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com.  Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college.  Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach.  Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about.  We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.”  See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida.  The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country.  Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats.  The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha.  The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000.  St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.

Monday, April 10, 2017

| April 10, 2017

Mike Hartel Promoted to VP Mid-Atlantic Region for Alpha Media.  Company exec Mike Hartel will continue to serve as Alpha Media’s senior vice president and market manager position for its Columbia, South Carolina station group.  But, he’s adding supervision of its clusters in Savannah-Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Fredericksburg, and Bluefield as he rises to vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region.  Alpha president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Mike Hartel has shown an incredible leadership style in form, function and results since he joined Alpha three years ago.  We are excited for Mike to share his considerable talent beyond Columbia to some of our other Southern markets.  Alpha loves to promote from within and this is not only deserved, but will be incredibly well received by our markets.”

Andy Gresh to Host Evening Sports Talk Show at WPRO-AM, Providence. Radio pro Andy Gresh exits his co-host gig at CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford to return to Providence to host his own evening sports talk show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM.  Gresh started his on-air career at WPRO-AM’s sister station WPRV (then sports talker “790 The Score”).  Gresh went on to work at WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM, WBZ-FM, Boston; and the New England Patriots Radio Network.  Gresh is a journalism grad from the University of Rhode Island where he was a starting offensive lineman on the URI football team.  About his new gig Gresh states, “I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago.  It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk.”  WPRO program director Tony Mascaro adds, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves.  I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home.  The combination of our heritage talk team and ‘The Gresh Show’ with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”

Conservative Media Figure Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck and TheBlaze; Seeks TRO to Regain Administrative Control of Social Media.  Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is taking her battle against TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck to court in Texas.  In a suit filed last Friday in District Court in Dallas County, Lahren is challenging the legality of the actions of former employer TheBlaze after she was ousted from the Glenn Beck-founded media firm, according to the complaint, because she espoused a pro-choice opinion on the television show “The View.”  In addition to seeking rescission of her employment contract, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and other costs, Lahren is asking for a temporary restraining order and temporary and injunctive relief regarding her access to administrative control of her social media.  In the complaint, Lahren says that after being fired by TheBlaze, “Plaintiff was told that she was to remain silent, she was directed to stay away from her Facebook page and other social media, and she was prohibited from making any public comments.  Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff ‘go dark’ on social media.  Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract.  Meanwhile, as Plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere.  Beck and others associated with TBI have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show.”

Black Organizations Putting Pressure on iHeartMedia Over Michael Berry Bit.  A story in the Chicago Tribune by Kim Janssen indicates that a number of black advocacy organizations, led by the Chicago Urban League, are promising not to give up on seeking satisfaction from iHeartMedia regarding concerns about talk show host Michael Berry’s radio bits they say mock the victims of violence in Chicago.  The story notes that a recent conference call with iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock resulted in Ashlock saying that Berry is a “good man” and that “they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow.”  The protests arose after Berry was named the company’s “talk personality of the year.”  Urban activists say their protests over the “repeated jokes about Chicago murder victims” have been largely ignored.  Now, the Urban League and other organizations are threatening to start calling iHeartMedia advertisers if CEO Bob Pittman doesn’t meet with them, the company rescind Berry’s award, and the company publicly address the controversy and “take ownership of it.”  See Janssen’s Tribune piece here.

Report: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Signs Extension.  According to a report in Philly.com by Rob Tornoe, ESPN Radio morning personality Mike Golic recently inked a new deal with the sports entertainment giant.  It’s been widely reported for some time that ESPN is breaking up the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic-hosted “Mike & Mike” show.  Greenberg has reportedly signed a new deal that pays him $6.5 million per year to move to the television side of the company.  Tornoe cites a Men’s Journal interview in which Golic says he’ll continue hosting the morning radio show but under what format or with whom remains unsettled.  See the Philly.com piece here.

PodcastOne’s ‘Geffen Playhouse Unscripted’ Debuts.  The new podcast from PodcastOne featuring “today’s most interesting creative voices” debuts with inaugural guest actor Rainn Wilson (pictured).  PodcastOne partners with GeffenPlayhouse.org to present “Geffen Playhouse Unscripted” – a series presents new episodes every Wednesday, hosted by veteran arts reporter John Horn.  Future guests will include: actor Jeffrey Tambor, actress and musician Rita Wilson, playwright Neil LaBute, and actress Beth Behrs.

James Andrew Miller and DGital Media Team for Podcast Series.  Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew MillerThose Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (Back Bay Books 2011), Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown & Company, 2014) – and content creator DGital Media are partnering on an original audio series called “Origins.”  DGital says the “podcast will explore beginnings – whether from the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, business, or even human relationships – to explain how greatness starts and how critical happenings come to be.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “I’ve read every book Jim has written, in addition to his work for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I am a fan first, both of his incredible journalism and of his dedication to premium level storytelling and access.  Considering the credentials, reputation, access, trust of his peers and the storytelling ability that come with the name James Andrew Miller, a podcast is an unbelievably perfect medium with which to share a new phase of his reporting.”

Syrian Chemical Weapons Use-Russian Influence, Russian Nicaragua Outpost, Egypt Church Bombings, Stockholm Terror Attack, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Bannon-Kushner Power Struggle, FOX News and O’Reilly Accusations, Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, and Sergio Garcia Wins the Masters Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debate over responsibility for the deadly gas attack against Syrian civilians and questions about Russia’s alliance with Bashar al-Assad; report of a Russian outpost in Nicaragua of which U.S. intelligence is suspicious; the deadly Palm Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Egypt; the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Stockholm; North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities and its threats against the U.S.; reports of the power struggle between presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; the allegations of sexual harassment against FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly; Neil Gorsuch is named to the Supreme Court after Mitch McConnell changes Senate rules; and Sergio Garcia wins the Masters golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno Helps Harry Hurley Raise Money for Charities.  Pictured above are WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (right) and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at Hurley’s 9th Annual Dinner at Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort).  The event helped raise more than $9,000 on Friday (4/7).  Lt Governor Guadagno is running for Governor of New Jersey and faces her first test in the June 6 Republican primary election.  Hurley’s major fundraiser for the Hurley in the Morning Charity is Friday, June 16 when his 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club takes place.  The Hurley in the Morning Charity has raised more than $700,000 over the past 10 years.  Hurley has awarded grants to more than 150 not-for-profit organizations, including establishing along with TALKERS magazine founder and publisher Michael Harrison, an annual $1,000 grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Stephanie Miller Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform, independently syndicated (WYM Media Management), progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Miller, a 30-year radio veteran, who stands as one of the leading anti-Donald Trump voices in talk media, has achieved top-tier radio success as a talker by early on expanding her daily morning show’s platforms of delivery beyond terrestrial radio to include online digital (streaming and podcasts), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and cable TV modes of distribution, such as Free Speech TV. She has also broken exciting new ground during the past several years with her comedy touring road show, “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour,” – an organic, troupe-style production that sold out legitimate theaters in market after market. The election of Trump has given the show yet another chapter of life as it is being prepared to play a dozen dates across America in 2017 as “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.” Michael Harrison says, “Stephanie Miller stands as an inspiration for any talk show host, left or right, who wants to maximize both their exposure and revenue streams in the digital era. Her stunning success in the theatrical touring arena alone is worthy of every radio broadcaster’s attention.” Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of her media empire and the general impact the Trump presidency is having on the renewed potential of progressive talk broadcasting in America. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, 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. Los Angeles radio personality Rita Wilde renews her contract with Entercom Los Angeles to remain host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Entercom Los Angeles VP/general manager Peter Burton comments, “Classic rock fans and artists have been listening to Rita since this music was new.  We’re proud to have her at ‘The Sound.’”…..Tampa adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” names Danielle McBroom the new morning drive host.  Cox Media Group Tampa director of branding and programming for WWRM, WXGL, and WDUV, John Larson, says, “We are so excited to have Danielle join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience, creativity, social media expertise and infectious attitude bring a fresh, new sound to a huge brand like ‘Magic.’”  McBroom moves to the “Magic Mornings” program from sister alternative WSUN where she’s been on air for the past 10 years…..In the Pacific Northwest, iHeartMedia adds program director duties at alternative rock K272EL, Portland “Radio 102.3” to the responsibilities of KFOO, Centralia, Washington “ALT 102.9” (Olympia and Seattle/Tacoma markets) PD Ben Marcotte…..Also in the Seattle market, hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” afternoon personality, music director and APD Hunter Quinn accepts the additional role of assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s sister CHR KPWK “Power 93.3.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

| April 7, 2017

KKOB, Albuquerque Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  On Tuesday evening (4/5), Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM celebrated 95 years on air with a birthday bash at the New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque that drew some 800 people, including listeners, clients and past on-air talent.  The photo above is the station’s first studio at the original transmitter site in Las Cruces, where it signed on on April 5, 1922.  The station moved to Albuquerque in 1932, and in July 1941 upped its power to 50,000 watts.  Cumulus Media added the 94.5 FM simulcast on translator K233CG, Sandia in August of 2016.

Jeff Lyon to Lead Cumulus Media Abilene.  Radio management pro Jeff Lyon joins Cumulus Media to serve as VP/market manager for the Abilene, Texas cluster that includes sports talk KTLT-FM, “The Ticket,” classic rock KHXS “The Bear,” country KBCY, and CHR KCDD “Power 103.”  Lyon was most recently with Townsquare Media’s Victoria, Texas four-station cluster as president/chief revenue officer.  Cumulus Media regional vice president Mark Sullivan comments, “We’re thrilled to have a manager of Jeff’s caliber joining our team in Abilene.  Jeff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that provides him with a strong foundation for success.”

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 3-7.  The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign personnel was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination battle.  Coming in at #3 was the deaths by chemical weapons of civilians in the Syrian conflict, and following at #4 was President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Cox Launches COMET Programmatic Platform.  The company says the launch of this programmatic platform – dubbed COMET (Cox Media Technology) – brings together data from Cox’s dozens of companies to connect buyers and sellers across all advertising channels, including desktop, mobile, video, and TV.  Cox Enterprises EVP and COO Alex Taylor says, “Our company’s investment in COMET is an example of our commitment to drive innovation and enhance the customer experience.  COMET’s technology will use customized data to establish meaningful connections to better serve the needs of the constantly evolving advertising ecosystem.”  Cox Enterprises SVP and general manager of corporate strategy and investments Duncan O’Brien adds, “The world of advertising is transforming before our eyes, and the necessity to support this evolving marketplace is expanding.  Cox is fusing technology with data, access and expertise to better serve the needs of the advertising ecosystem.  We have a long, proud history in the media industry, and with COMET, we’re using this experience and knowledge to best prepare for the future of the advertising business.”

TALKERS News Notes.  This weekend, Westwood One is presenting exclusive radio coverage of the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, WW1 will be broadcasting hourly updates, and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club along with WW1 broadcast crew members Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Maureen Madill, Kevin Kugler, Whit Watson, and Ted Emrich…..CBS RADIO announces its plans for the Chicago Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field.  On Monday (4/10), CBS RADIO Chicago will broadcast live from the ballpark with on-air personalities on site and present a series of live events for fans.  All day (starting at 5:00 am!) and leading up to the first pitch, WSCR “670 The Score,” WBBM-FM “B96,” WXRT, WUSN “US99,” and WJMK “104.3 K-HITS” personalities will be entertaining game attendees and fans at Wrigley.  Additionally, The Score’s Ron Coomer will be reporting on-field during the opening ceremonies and for the raising of the 2016 World Series Championship Banner.

Emmis Head Jeff Smulyan to Receive 2017 TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board has announced today (4/5) the recipient of the publication’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious honor is going to Emmis Communications chairman, CEO and founder, Jeff Smulyan. Smulyan has contributed to radio in a wide variety of ways and on a number of fronts as one of the industry’s most visionary leaders. Among his many achievements, Smulyan is the father of the all-sports talk format which he boldly launched as then-owner of WFAN, New York in 1987. He built Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications into one of the 10 largest radio corporations in America with an ongoing reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly radio companies in the business. Today, Emmis owns and operates 16 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, St. Louis and Indianapolis, as well as its hometown Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Emmis owns the two top hip hop brands in the world, KPWR “Power 106” in Los Angeles and “HOT 97” in New York City. On the news/talk front, the company owns and operates heritage station WIBC, Indianapolis. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. Upon making the announcement of Smulyan’s selection to receive this award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Having the guts and foresight to launch all-sports talk radio is reason enough for this wonderful member of our industry to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. But that is only the tip of an iceberg of accomplishments attributable to his stellar career and it is but a small token of our appreciation for his continuing body of work when stacked up against all the many industry awards and honors he has received over the years.” Past recipients of the award include: Don Imus, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, and Don Barrett among others. Harrison will personally present the award to Smulyan during their “Fireside Chat” scheduled to take place at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York City on Friday, June 2. For more information about the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning drive personality Teri Ann Schlesser re-ups with iHeartMedia Fresno’s adult contemporary KSOF “Soft Rock 98.9” to continue co-hosting the “Jason & Teri Ann Morning Show” (with partner Jason Hurst).   Schlesser comments, “I’m so excited to continue my journey with ‘Soft Rock 98.9’ and iHeartMedia.  The past eight years have been wonderful and challenging and I’ve never had so much fun doing what I love!”…..Across the hall at iHeartMedia Fresno’s hip hop KBOS “B95,” Monisha Mann returns to the station where she once interned to host the evening show from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The 15-year radio pro says, “I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at ‘B95.’  I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”.…..Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” is offering a local couple the chance to be married on stage during the station’s 10th Annual Birthday Celebration Presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers at the BB&T Pavilion on Sunday, June 11.  The wedding ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Mike Jones and the winning bride and groom will be serenaded by Andrew McMahon during their first dance.  The couple will also be showered with gifts including a five-star, all-inclusive honeymoon at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau.  The promotion is in conjunction with WRFF’s 10th Birthday Celebration concerts, taking place on May 13 and June 11.  The June 11 lineup features: The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo, Marian Hill and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of “On the Move with Enrique Santos,” the company’s hallmark English-language, Hispanic-targeted content initiative.  The company says that in 2017, 53% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are primarily Spanish-language first households and 43% are primary English-language households and its goal is to deliver to both at scale across broadcast and digital platforms.  “On the Move with Enrique Santos” is the first English-language radio program to feature Hispanic broadcast powerhouse Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform.  “The new, two-hour music-intensive CHR weekend program features what’s hot and moving in music, entertainment, lifestyle and current events targeted to the Hispanic community.”  It will originate from Miami and debut the weekend of April 15 on more than 100 iHeartMedia stations nationwide…..KTJJ, Farmington, Missouri morning personality Mark Toti was recently honored by the Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  The country radio personality spends a lot of time at various charity events in the community.  The Alpha Media station notes that the Lifetime Achievement Award is not an annual one, but an honor that is only given out when an individual stands out above the rest.  Toti comments, “I am quite honored to receive this award.  It is very humbling.  Farmington has a number of people who give their time to the community and they deserve this award as much as me.  I don’t do what I do so people will say ‘Good job!’  I do it because it’s the right thing to do.  Having said that, I’m very grateful for the recognition.”

Envision Broadcast Network Merges with Rocking M Media.  The Envision here is not the Danno Wolkoff-led syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks.  This Envision – the Envision Broadcast Network – owns hot AC KKGQ, Newton, Kansas “Q92” (Wichita market) and its mission is to “grow and expand employment opportunities in the radio industry for people who are blind or visually impaired.”  Manhattan, Kansas-based Rocking M Media owns stations across the state of Kansas.  Envision SVP of foundation and mission services Heather Hogan states, “Having already employed individuals with vision loss at some of its existing stations, Rocking M Media shares Envision’s belief that people with all abilities should have access to meaningful career paths.  We’re proud of our successes with the Envision Broadcast Network and ‘Q92.’ The fact that we found a radio group with the capacity to carry out our objectives on a much wider scale will propel our mission forward.”  Q92’s current on-air personalities who are blind or visually impaired will be brought into the Rocking M Media family.  In addition, Rocking M Media will collaborate with Envision to take the Envision Broadcast Academy model to its entire multi-state listening area.  The Envision Broadcast Academy is a hands-on training program intended to equip youth and adults with vision loss with the skills and encouragement they need to explore high-tech careers in the radio industry.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

| April 6, 2017

Shelley Rises to Executive Director of RTDNA/F.  Longtime association member, former chairman of the board and current foundation secretary/treasurer Dan Shelley is named incoming executive director of the RTDNA and the RTDNF.   He’ll begin his new position in September.  Shelley is a veteran Edward. R. Murrow Award-winning radio, television and digital media executive.  He’s served in key news positions with iHeartMedia, Radio One, CBS Television Stations and Journal Broadcast Group.  He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri. RTDNA/F board chairman Vincent Duffy states, “Dan’s unique blend of experience, energy and deep understanding of our mission will position us for growth and continued success.  His passion and dedication make him an ideal leader for our organization.”  Shelley comments on his new position, “I am honored to take on this exciting new challenge at a critical time for our profession.  More than ever, RTDNA plays an essential role in defending the rights of electronic journalists.  I am looking forward to serving our members and advocating on their behalf.”  This spring and summer, Shelley will oversee the development of RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Current executive director Mike Cavender, who previously announced his intention to retire, will provide transition assistance to the organizations through the end of the year.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago Media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl’s disappearance from his afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM for more than a week.  Feder writes that “an upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday (4/5) more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. ‘I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,’ Dahl, 62, told listeners. ‘I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain.  They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating.  I can live with it.’”  Read Feder’s column here…..WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli afternoon drive program is honored with an excellence in broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters in the category of Outstanding Local Personality or Team for large market stations.  In a memo to staffers, program executive producer Greg Stocker writes, “Host Rich Zeoli and news anchor Dawn Stensland were recognized for their outstanding broadcast abilities and the Rich Zeoli show has brought home WPHT’s first award for this category.  A very big congrats to Rich and the whole PM drive team.  These awards are never won alone, with lots of tireless work off the air helping make all of our shows successful.”…..The team of Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey exits Union Broadcasting Louisville’s sports talk WLCL-FM, Louisville “93.9 The Ville.”  In a post on SB Nation Card Chronicle, Rutherford shares his reasons for leaving the station’s afternoon show.  He writes, in part, that “Working multiple jobs that I really and truly love is an unbelievable blessing, but all of them reaching their maximum level of demand at the same time is taxing.”…..Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Elvira Salazar enters into a multi-year deal with Creative Talent Inc. for representation encompassing her work in television, radio, blogging and digital media.  Salazar is a nightly news anchor with Mega TV and serves as a columnist with Newsmax Insider.  Creative Talent president and CEO Steve Gallagher states, “Elvira has covered every major breaking news event in the past 25 years and regularly speaks out on immigration issues across the country on media outlets such as FOX News and FOX Business and she is a popular guest on radio talk shows nationwide.  We are thrilled to be working with Elvira Salazar in getting her message out on every platform.”…..The central division of the Kroger grocery chain is honoring Neuhoff Communications’ WSOY, Decatur, Illinois “News/Talk 1340AM 103.3 FM” with its “Community Partner of the Year” award.  WSOY was nominated and chosen for this prestigious honor for the impact of the WSOY Community Food Drive, an event that has raised more than 7.9 million pounds of food for local food pantries in its 15-year history.  WSOY was chosen based on several key performance criteria, as well as general cooperation and enthusiasm toward achieving mutual goals.  Previous honorees of the Community Partner of the Year Award include the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Lottery.  Vendors honored at the awards this year included Red Bull, The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Hershey Company…..Salem Media Group announces that Heath Garlutzo will move from the company’s Phoenix station group where he’s been general sales manager to Colorado Springs to assume the general manager role there…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Neil Sargent, who passed recently from complications from lung cancer at age 85.  Sargent was a much-loved broadcast executive whose last gig before retirement was CEO of TM Century.  He’d also served with syndicators Unistar, Transtar.  During his long career, he also managed radio stations.

New Categories, Broad Scope of Esteemed Jury Panel Mark 2017 New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs’ Awards.  This year marks the 35th annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” awards presented by New York FestivalsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian speaks with New York Festivals International Radio Program competition executive director Rose Anderson, who tells him the competition is unique because virtually everything is covered from news programs; news features; documentaries; entertainment; drama; talk; promos; audio books; podcasts; and student work.  Anderson says “It really is all things audio.  It is most important to us that we make New York Festivals Radio Program awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality…This year, we have added four pretty interesting categories.  They are ‘Best Live News Special,’ ‘Music Podcast,’ ‘Personalized Podcast,’ and ‘Heroes Documentary,’ with the latter a bit more than a biography profile documentary.  ‘Heroes’ would be ordinary people whose extraordinary acts have influenced others.” Read more about the New York Festivals International Radio Program competition here.

Gorsuch Nomination, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Bannon Exits NSC, Trump and Xi Jinping Meeting, North Korea Missile Threats, Syrian Gas Attack, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5).  The status of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents and Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking them; presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon exits the National Security Council; President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting at Mar-a-Lago; concerns about North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program; the deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians and the political blame game; and the first games of the Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hanging with the GOAT.  WQAM, Miami afternoon show personalities (from l-r) Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, and Marc Hochman – of the “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show – chatted with all-time victories records-holder and Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula (seated) at a recent remote broadcast at Shula’s Steakhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Twenty-seven year radio pro Lori Tournay Liggett is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media Nashville’s music stations country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” and WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon,” and urban contemporary WQQK “92Q.”  Liggett joined Cumulus Nashville in 2015 as general sales manager for WQQK.  Prior to that, she was with CBS RADIO Detroit.  She states, “I am honored to lead the WQQK, WSM-FM and WKDF sales team.  Broadcast and digital media is constantly evolving and Cumulus Nashville puts local client solutions, employee development and our communities at the forefront of everything we do.  I look forward to continuing these efforts.”…..Rock KFMB, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM” afternoon personality Mike Vasquez is promoted to program director for the Midwest Television station.  He takes over for Garett Michaels, who exited the PD post in January…..Danny Hill is back with Alpha Media’s CHR KLLY, Bakersfield “Energy 95.3” as program director.  Hill posts on Facebook that he’s psyched to be back at the station.  He exited KLLY two years ago to take a management gig at Hawaii Media’s Kauai station group…..iHeartRadio’s “Artist Stories,” presented by State Farm, was honored for the Best Film & Video – Unscripted (Branded) category in the 21st Annual Webby Awards – an international award that honors excellence on the Internet…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of a number of acts to its Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.  New artists added to the bill include: Halsey, Little Mix, Bleachers, Niall Horan, Bebe Rexha, and Cheat Codes.

Bi-Partisan PROMOTE Act Would Let Copyright Owners Opt Out of Uncompensated Radio Airplay for Their Songs.  Radio station owners – as well as the National Association of Broadcasters – are no happier with this new bill (fully titled the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act) sponsored by U.S. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) than they were with the recently filed Fair Play Fair Pay Act that would force payments to AM/FM stations for playing copyrighted material.  This PROMOTE Act would allow copyright holders of electronic performances – in most cases the record companies themselves – to not allow their material to be aired by AM/FM stations if they don’t believe they’re being compensated fairly.  Issa says this proposal hits both sides of the free-play-in-exchange-for-promotion argument where they live.  Issa says, “Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated.  This is a win-win that helps solve this decades-long problem in a way that’s fair to both parties.”  Radio station owners hate the idea almost as much as being forced to pay the copyright fees.  But TALKERS editors wonder how many labels would really remove their music from AM/FM playlists unless they are paid.  This could also adversely affect certain radio stations and not others.  Remember that iHeartMedia and Cumulus have negotiated deals (the details of which are private) with a number of major labels and label groups that include compensation for AM/FM airplay.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

| April 5, 2017

Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater.  Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.”  Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event.   WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia.  His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see.  We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.

USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show.  Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio.  Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”

FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million.  FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark.  FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff.  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand.  The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia.  The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research.  WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.

Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.”  iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio.  We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10).  Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.”  Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.”  Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles.  Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie.  Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more.  Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks.  Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues.  We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22.  This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event.  Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

| April 4, 2017

KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup.  San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00.  Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program.  He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold.  Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals.  It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station.  Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”

Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report.  This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016.  Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year.  Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks.  For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital.  Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5.  As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016.  See the Nielsen report here.

CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights.  Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.”   Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around.  His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.”  The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”

Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville.  Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman.  She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte.  In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events.  She also will focus on new business and growing account managers.  In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN).  CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team.  Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”

Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast.  Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX.  Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015.  He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”

Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media StationTALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media.  Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.”  He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year.  To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June.  Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station.  WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio.  In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.”  Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative.  He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.

Opening Day at Citi Field.  The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.

Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte.  The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK.  For information about the position and to apply, click here.

 

 

Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro.  Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.”  In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events.  Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’  She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building.  I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.”  Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland  “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.”  She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”  Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years.  She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth!  I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley.  But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10.  VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple.  We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.