Tag: "2019"

Monday, March 16, 2020

| March 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS PERSEPCTIVE:  RAB President/CEO Encourages Radio Sellers to Proactively Draw Upon Relationships with Clients and Take Leadership Role.  In an exclusive conversation conducted early this afternoon (3/16), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison tapped into the perspective of Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber about the challenges facing radio sales during the current crisis. She tells TALKERS, “This crisis shows just how important relationships are in radio sales.”  Farber advises radio sales reps to take a proactive role in reaching out to clients before they contact the stations and enquire as to their well-being and current business practices during this time when it is no longer business as usual.  Farber also encourages stations to revamp existing production and copy not just to add new messaging but to update the tone of commercials, both live and produced, to reflect the current environment.  She points out that radio has an advantage over TV in this regard because “entire spots don’t have to be re-shot… just re-written which people can do working from home.”  To listen to the entire conversation between Harrison and Farber, please click 

      here
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Monday Memo: Coronavirus, Mental Health Crisis. Because the pandemic story is nearer the beginning than the end, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “‘Wash your hands’ now sounds old and condescending and remaining political talk media deniers validate a tired caricature.  At this stage, news-your-listeners-can-use most is coping advice.”  HC recommends interviewing a local mental health professional; and in this week’s column, he recommends questions and talking points.  Read it here.

Coronavirus Hits the U.S., Fed Slashes Interest Rates, Trump Flight Ban Effects, Biden-Sanders Debate, Turkish and Russian Action in Syria, and Israeli Government Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The coronavirus pandemic causes states across the nation to limit social contact, closing schools and shutting down bars and restaurants; the Fed cuts interest rates to almost zero to counter the panic selling caused by the coronavirus; President Trump’s ban on flights into the U.S. from Europe and the logjam at airports as incoming international travelers require virus screenings; Sunday night’s debate between Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders; the coordinated Turkish and Russian military strikes in Syria; and Benny Gantz’s attempt to form a coalition government in Israel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Townsquare Media Q4 2019 Net Revenue Up 2.9%, Full Year Up 5.7%; CEO Wilson Addresses Coronavirus.  The company reports its 2019 fourth quarter and 2019 full-year financial data and in addition to providing data for the entire company, it also breaks its data into three segments: Advertising, that includes broadcast and digital advertising products and solutions; Townsquare Interactive, the digital marketing solutions business; and Live Events, the company’s live events, including concerts, expositions and other experiential events.  For the company as a whole, Townsquare Media’s Q4 2019 net revenue was $112.1 million, up 2.9% over the same period in 2018.  For the full year of 2019, net revenue was $431.4 million, up 5.7% over all of 2018.  Looking at just the Advertising net revenue, it was $93.9 million, up 0.9% from the same period in 2018.  However, excluding political advertising from the mix, advertising net revenue was up 5.6%.  For the full year of 2019, Townsquare’s advertising net revenue was $352.8 million, up 4% over the full year of 2018.  Ex political, advertising net revenue was up 6.2% over 2018.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “As we look forward, we are excited about the future of our company.  We believe that our talented teams, broad multi-platform marketing and advertising product suite and in particular, our robust digital solutions, led by Townsquare Interactive and Townsquare Ignite, our proprietary digital programmatic advertising platform, will continue to differentiate us in the marketplace. We are proud of our broadcast performance, but our overall financial results clearly demonstrate what I have been stating for quite some time: Townsquare has transitioned from being a traditional broadcaster to being a premier local media and digital marketing solutions company with fast growing, profitable digital products and solutions.  We continue to be heavily focused on super-serving our local clients, local listeners and local communities while helping local businesses grow through our ‘Local First’ strategy, while simultaneously delivering results for our stakeholders.  While the specific impact of the coronavirus pandemic to our business is unknown at this time, we know that there will be a negative impact.  However, we are confident and optimistic about the long-term customer demand for our multi-platform products and marketing solutions.  Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our employees, their families, our partners and our local communities across the country, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected around the world.  We are constantly monitoring the evolving environment in each of our 67 local markets.  As the preeminent local media company in each of our local markets, Townsquare has the additional responsibility, obligation and civic duty to lead from the front, continue to inform accurately and provide comfort.  I could not be prouder of our Townsquare Team and how each day they are serving their listeners, their clients and their local communities during this important time.  Our future remains bright and I am confident that together we will emerge from this challenge stronger than ever before.”

Beasley Issues Statement on Company Coronavirus Policy. On Friday (3/13), Beasley Media Group issued the following public statement about its policy for doing business during the coronavirus pandemic.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley said, “After careful deliberation, we have taken precautionary measures that are currently being implemented across all of our markets.  The challenges we face are extraordinary, but the moment is not unique.  At our core, our company exists to serve our employees, advertisers and our communities and keep them safe and informed during times exactly like this.  Broadcasters are at our best during uncertain times.  We will continue to strive to be at our very best in the coming days, weeks and months.”  Through March 31, the company is enacting the following: Over the next two weeks, most full-time employees will be asked to telework.  While some full-time employees will be needed in the office, they will be expected to follow CDC guidelines (attached) in an effort to maintain a safe and clean work environment. In addition, the company has instituted a “no work-related travel” policy.  To limit public traffic at the radio stations, the stations will not be allowing listeners to pick up contest prize awards.  Market managers will have the discretion to make limited exception instances where prizes are time limited.  Beasley Media Group will be cancelling and/or postponing events and appearances for the next two weeks to ensure not only the safety of its employees but the communities they serve.  The company will continue to evaluate and update policies as circumstances dictate.

Adams Radio Implements Coronavirus Policy. Broadcaster Adams Radio Group is putting its coronavirus work plan into effect and is mandating that all personnel that can work from home do so starting immediately.  Adams CEO Ron Stone says, “I want to thank my general managers, engineers and others within our company for being very proactive in guiding the planning for our company.  Incredible talent always steps up when faced with a crisis and our management has done just that.  We are committed to supporting our workforce family and their families as well as the communities we serve.  The time for us to act is now.  In taking these actions, our priorities are to ensure the well-being of our work family and clients and to continue delivering the messages of our clients to help minimize as much as possible the disruption of their businesses, and ours, by providing the communities we serve with up to date information on the virus.  We have taken appropriate steps to provide our employees with the assets required to work from home without disruption to the excellent broadcast products we deliver to our listeners and communities.  Sales, programming, administrators and engineers will all be following this guidance as implemented by local management.  This policy is effective immediately and will continue until it is safe for our employees to return to normal activities.  We have not received notice that anyone employed by Adams Radio has been in contact with the virus and we are doing our part to keep it that way.”

Skyview Networks Reports 95% Ad Retention Rate in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic. In a public release issued on Friday (3/13) in the aftermath of the NBA, NHL, MLB and other sports leagues announcing they were postponing or cancelling their games and related activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Skyview Networks said it “continues to serve its many sports partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Skyview EVP and general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Skyview Networks has been able to retain 95% of its sports dollars.  This has been a remarkable 24 hours, at a time of caution, advertisers one after the other stood strong either building new campaigns with Skyview or choosing to keep the revenue in place for when the leagues commence.  It was a tribute to the power of on-air radio and how it delivers for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. In San Diego, KOGO-AM afternoon drive personality Carl DeMaio is back on the air on the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after losing in the Republican primary for California’s 50th Congressional District seat.  DeMaio came up short in a three-way race that was won by Carl Issa, who will face Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar for the seat vacated by Duncan Hunter, who resigned after being convicted of misusing campaign funds. DeMaio hosts “The DeMaio Report” along with co-host and political consultant Lou Penrose…..Cox Media Group agrees to set aside its contractual retransmission dispute with DISH Network in 10 markets in order to allow the local news, as well as network content from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX that has been blacked out by DISH since mid-January to air so citizens can get news and information about the coronavirus.  CMG’s Kim Guthrie says, “We are pleased to be able to restore these channels on DISH so that our viewers in these communities can be informed and able to make the right decisions for the safety of their families.  We appreciate DISH’s cooperation in agreeing to suspend our dispute so that we can help our viewers navigate through this uncertain time.”…..The nationally syndicated “America’s First News with Matt Ray” is added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFXR, Dallas in morning drive…..According to surveys of local radio buyers by BIA Advisory Services, if local radio could offer an over-the-air, zoned advertising product like local TV stations can, 54.6% say they would be “very interested.”  BIA and Advertiser Perceptions will present that data and more during a webinar being held on March 24 at 2:00 pm ET.  It’s titled, “Main Street Versus Madison Avenue on Geotargeted Advertising and Local Radio” and will feature BIA’s Rick Ducey and Advertiser Perceptions’ Justin Fromm, who will highlight the Main Street and Madison Avenue research.  They are joined by Kathy Doyle, EVP local investment from MAGNA Global and George Leon, chief strategy officer at Hawthorne Advertising, who will explain why they think zoned radio ads would be valuable to their clients.  You can register here.

Former, Longtime TRN Exec Greg Doyle Dies.  Family and friends are mourning the death of Greg Doyle, who died Sunday (3/15) after a long battle with liver disease.  His wife of 39 years, Lynn Finley Doyle, posted news of his passing on social media.  Doyle was a longtime executive with the Oregon-based radio syndicated firm Talk Radio Network.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Baltimore radio personality Matt Davis joins Times-Shamrock’s classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” as midday host.  Davis previously served with Hearst’s crosstown rock WIYY-FM; WXRK, New York; and WYSP, Philadelphia.  Station general manager Jefferson Ward says, “In a world of increasingly nationalized radio, being local matters more than ever. Matt has been a part of Baltimore radio for many years and is passionate about our town, music, and creating great content on all platforms.  He is the perfect fit for our team.”…..As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Academy of Country Music has decided to postpone “The 55th Annual ACM Awards,” originally scheduled for April 5 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena.  The show, set to air on CBS Television, is being rescheduled for September.

Friday, March 13, 2020

| March 13, 2020

Craig Schwalb Joins WTOP, Washington as Director of Content Integration and Operations. Programming pro Craig Schwalb is named director of content integration and operations for Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington.  At the same time, Hubbard announces that Sarah Beth Hensley is assuming the digital news director position for WTOP.  That position opened after Julia Ziegler was promoted to director of news and programming.  Hensley is returning from maternity leave from her previous position as digital news manager.  Ziegler says, “The addition of our new director of content integration and operations was incredibly important to me in terms of being able to serve the newsroom most effectively.  An additional member on the leadership team helps ensure we meet our content evolution and quality control goals, as well as our goals for team training, development and growth.”  Schwalb was most recently program director for WABC, New York.  Prior to that, he was program director at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence.  He says, “For news and content, D.C. is the epicenter.  And if you are in D.C. you are listening to ‘TOP.  Joining this great station at this fascinating time is an absolute honor and a dream come true.  Thanks to Joel Oxley, Julia Ziegler, and Greg Strassell for this incredible opportunity.”  Ziegler says of Hensley, “In our roles as digital news director and digital news manager, respectively, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with Sarah Beth and am constantly reminded of her commitment to excellence and dedication to the WTOP mission and vision.”  Schwalb starts his new position Monday (3/16), and Hensley’s new role begins on April 14.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “The Panic Is the Cure!” looks back at this past week of March 9-13, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSSid Rosenberg, talk show host, 77WABC, New York; Charles Freedman, talk show host, KSCO, Santa Cruz; Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist, Psychcast MDEdge; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University / webmaster, Scamicide.com; William O’ Shaughnessy, chairman, Whitney Global Media; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Salem Media Group Q4 Revenue Dips 3.8%; Broadcast Down 1.2%.  In addition to reporting consolidated earnings, Salem Media Group breaks its operations into three segments: broadcasting, digital, and publishing.  For the fourth quarter of 2019, Salem’s broadcast segment reported net revenue of $50.5 million, down 1.2% from the same period in 2018.  Station Operating Income decreased 0.8% to $12.5 million; Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 1.2% to $49.4 million; and Same Station SOI decreased 0.5% to $12.8 million from $12.9 million.  For the quarter, digital and publishing were down 15% and 5.1%, respectively.  For the full year of 2019, total revenue was $253.9 million, down 3.4% from the full year of 2018.  For all of 2019, the broadcast segment’s net revenue was $193.3 million – a decline of 2.6%.  Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 1.2% and Same Station SOI was off 12.1% to $44.8 million from $51.0 million.

CBS News Turns 82 Today. It was on March 13, 1938 at 8:00 pm ET that “World News Roundup” aired as a one-time special in response to growing tensions in Europe and specifically the Anschluss, during World War II when Adolf Hitler invaded Austria.”  CBS News was founded with the debut of that program that was thrown together with Edward R. Murrow in Austria and anchored by Robert Trout in New York.  In a note to his team (currently relocated in the Washington, DC bureau due to coronavirus cases in the New York studio building), CBS News Radio vice president and general manager Craig Swagler says, “Today we should all be extremely proud of the work we are doing with our outstanding journalists around the globe.  We at CBS News Radio continue the legacy of providing the best in news and information to our affiliated stations as it is needed now more than ever!  Good night and good luck to us all.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel Calling for Action Related to COVID-19. Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel is calling on the FCC to take aggressive action in response to COVID-19.  Her statement reads: “The coronavirus is already exposing hard truths about the digital divide, but the Federal Communications Commission has the power to help.  Nationwide this crisis means that we are going to explore the expansion of telework, telehealth, and tele-education.  The FCC should immediately convene the country’s broadband providers to discuss what they are doing right now to provide service for Americans. We need to explore how we can facilitate public-private partnerships and consumer education campaigns to expand the reach of connectivity as quickly as possible at little or no-cost to Americans who are impacted by the coronavirus.  Where data caps are in place, we need to explore how those limitations can be eliminated.  We also need to understand how broadband providers will keep workers safe and keep their services running for Americans who will increasingly rely on broadband connectivity for work, healthcare, and education.  At the same time, the FCC should get to work to harness its universal service powers to meet this challenge. The FCC should work with health care providers to ensure connectivity for telehealth services are available for hospitals, doctors, and nurses treating coronavirus patients and those who are quarantined.  In addition, as classrooms move online, the FCC should identify how it can use its authority to provide wi-fi hotspots for loan for students whose schools have closed their doors.  We have an opportunity to confront this challenge head-on and we need to act with urgency.”

TALKERS News Notes. In an effort to assist broadcasters working from home or remote locations, AdLarge Media is offering QGoLive for free over the next two weeks.  QGoLive is an app that allows talent to broadcast remotely with studio-quality audio on iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, or Mac.  AdLarge VP of affiliate marketing Jessica Sherman says, “We know that broadcasters need to continue to provide information and entertainment to their communities, especially during times of crisis or disaster.  AdLarge wants to help keep every radio on-air talent as safe as possible while still broadcasting to their local market.  That’s why we’re offering QGoLive for free for the next two weeks.”  Broadcasters can get the free two-week trial of QGoLive here…..Westwood One and TM Studios are offering a free coronavirus sung music package for radio stations worldwide.  TM Studios GM/vice president of creative Greg Clancy states, “In times of crisis, people turn to local radio.  Radio provides valuable information during these rare, critical events.  This music package was created for stations to provide a focused, cohesive identity around the constant flow of reactions and responses to COVID-19 that are now being communicated to radio listeners.”  Stations can download the package for free, unlimited use here…..ABC Audio says that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to unfold many may be experiencing a wide range of emotions including: anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.  For that reason, ABC Audio’s “Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris” podcast is posting a bonus episode today (3/13).  In it, Harris speaks with experts Dr. Luana Marques, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the senior clinical psychologist at the MGH Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders program, and Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast columnist and teacher and editor at Ten Percent Happier.  Ten Percent Happier is available for free on all podcast platforms…..The syndicated talk show “The Art of Living and Science of Life with Danielle Lin” is joining the program schedule at SNJ Today’s WSNJ, Bridgeton, New Jersey.  The station – owned by Ken Pustizzi – promotes itself as “Positive Talk” for the community…..Beasley Esports announces that Nathan Bender (left) and Ric ‘Weirdbeard’ Hogerheide (right) are hosts of CheckpointXP’s newest show, “All of Esports.”  Beasley says, “Nate and Weirdbeard have an opinion on everything and they’ll give it to you in two minutes or less!  When the bell sounds, it’s on to the next topic.  These two rarely agree on anything, but one thing they do agree on is their commitment to keeping fans in the know and engaged on everything esports!”

Coronavirus Pandemic Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 9-13, 2020. For the first time since TALKERS began tracking the stories discussed on news/talk radio in the early 1990s, aspects of a single news event occupy the top seven positions on the Talkers TenTM chart.  This week, the coronavirus pandemic as it’s affecting the human psyche, our health care system, the world economy, politics and the presidential race, the media, U.S-China relations, and our sports and entertainment industries were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  See the entire Talkers TenTM chart for this week, here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show co-host at Entercom’s classic hits WOMC, Detroit is Jim “JJ” Johnson.  He moves from middays to join JoAnne Purtan for the “JJ and JoAnne” show, taking over for Stephen Clark, who exited to pursue his country music career.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Jim Johnson is one of the most well-known radio personalities in Detroit, with over 40 years of experience exclusively in the market.  Jim and JoAnne have great chemistry on air together and I look forward to Jim bringing his humor and passion for music to mornings on 104.3 WOMC.”…..In Monroe, Louisiana, Stephens Media Group names Doug Daniels, a.k.a. Doug Holzmeier, operations manager for the stations including adult contemporary KZRZ “Sunny 98.3,” rock KXRR, country KMYY “92.3 The Wolf,” and rhythmic CHR KNNW “Now 103.1.”  Daniels says, “I love these people!  I’ve had more fun in two weeks doing local radio than I’ve had in the previous decade.”  He was most recently with Big Horn Media’s nostalgia-formatted KUEZ, Reno “Easy 104.1.”…..Cumulus Media announces that CHR WPRO-FM, Providence program director Davey Morris is scheduled to be inducted into the Rhode Island Radio and Television Hall of Fame at the 2020 Rhode Island Radio and Television Hall of Fame Annual Induction Dinner on April 30.  Morris began his broadcasting career in 1990 at WPRO-FM as a college intern and was hired full time in March 1991 to host overnights.  Since that time, he has been heard in all dayparts on WPRO-FM and is the longest-running afternoon drive host in the history of the station.”

Friday, February 28, 2020

| February 28, 2020

iHeartMedia Posts Flat 2019 Q4 Revenue Figure; Full Year Revenue Up 2%. The financial data for iHeartMedia is a bit complex as the result of the company exiting bankruptcy protection in May of 2019.  But revenue of $1.03 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, while flat compared to Q4 2018, was up 4.3% excluding political ad dollars.  For the full year of 2019, revenue was $3.7 billion, up 2.0% year-over-year and up 4.2%, excluding political revenue.  The company reports that digital revenue in the fourth quarter was $112.5 million – up 33.6% from the fourth quarter of 2018.  For the full year, digital revenue was $376 million, an increase of 32.2% over the full year of 2018.  iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “Our financial performance in 2019 was underpinned by the reach and resilience of our traditional business, profitable growth in our other platforms – including our digital businesses and proactive improvement of our capital structure.  Through our innovation and thought leadership in areas like podcasting and our SmartAudio suite of targeting, analysis and attribution services for advertisers, we are at the forefront of driving the audio revolution.  We will continue to work to build long-term shareholder value by maximizing our free cash flow and de-leveraging our balance sheet.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Coming off the Holiday 2019 survey 88% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up.  Top performers here included Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+1.4) and KCBS-AM, San Francisco (+0.7).  However, comparing January 2019 to January 2020, 70% of all-news stations were down, with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading that group and absorbing a hit of -3.2 shares and dropping from the #1 rank in the market in January 2019 to #11 this year.  On the positive side, the company’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco was up 1.4 shares to post an 8.4 share and regain the #1 rank in the market.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston was 0.7 shares better than the year before and rose to claim the #3 rank in January.  KCBS-AM, San Francisco was the only all-news station to rank #1 in January.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington ranked #2 in the January 2020 survey, despite falling three full shares from January 2019.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “Brother, Can You Spare a Face Mask?” looks back at this past week of February 24-28, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tom Sullivan; talk show host, KFBK, Sacramento/Talk Media NetworkKen Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; Lee Abrams, consultant, MediaVisionDeborah Norville, anchor, “Inside Edition;” Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/webmaster, Scamicide.com; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. See the full story below.

‘The Michael Harrison Wrap’ Now Available in Syndication via Talk Media Network.  TALKERS is pleased to announce it has entered a strategic partnership with independent broadcasting firm Talk Media Network for the syndication and distribution of its weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap.”  The show, hosted by Michael Harrison, was launched in May 2019 on iHeartRadio’s WONK-FM in Washington, DC where it airs Fridays at 6:00 pm.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is a fast-paced roundup of the hottest news/talk media stories tracked by TALKERS and is described as “a weekly overview of the national conversation.”  Each installment features Harrison in conversation with several talk media hosts, pundits and experts from around the country representing a variety of popular ideologies. The show opens with a riveting countdown of the week’s most-discussed items with TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey.  Since its launch, several proactive radio stations around the country inquired about the show’s availability to which TALKERS complied – as best it could – on a market exclusive basis. According to Harrison, “We’re delighted that, in addition to our flagship WONK, excellent facilities such as WRKO, KSCO, WVOX, KFNX, KBDT, KQSP, KBKW, WIQO, WGMN, and the Virginia Talk Radio Network among others showed enough interest in the program during its developmental phase to request it for their rosters before it was even officially available for national distribution.”  Harrison continues, “However, we are not a syndication company, nor have any intention of becoming one, and it just became too unwieldy to service more stations efficiently, so we began looking for an appropriate network partner. Talk Media Network is a perfect fit.  TMN is moderately sized, independent, and run by one of the brightest young executives in the network business, Josh Leng.”  Leng states, “We’re honored TALKERS has entrusted the syndication and growth of ‘The Michael Harrison Wrap’ with Talk Media Network.  It is a pleasure to be working with a professional of Michael’s stature who has dedicated so much of his career to the betterment of the radio industry.”  Leng continues, “What program directors will notice immediately when they listen to ‘The Michael Harrison Wrap,’ is the amount of preparation that goes into each and every episode.  It is amazing how much compelling content is packed into one hour!  Combine that with the ‘best in the business’ talk radio hosts who contribute to Michael’s timely and topical news discussions, and you have an on-air product that features a great group of broadcasters who bring their ‘A’ game for the audience to enjoy.”  Stations interested in affiliating with “The Michael Harrison Wrap” should visit talkmedianetwork.com for more information, and can call Talk Media Network at (616) 884-8616.

TALKERS News Notes. On Super Tuesday (3/4), FOX News Radio is offering affiliates live national network coverage beginning at 7:00 pm ET anchored by national correspondent Jared Halpern, with key insights from FNR political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR reporters around the country.  FNR is also offering hourly “Democracy 2020” updates on Amazon’s smart speaker.  FOX News Podcasts is presenting special editions of the daily morning podcast “FOX News Rundown,” as well as new episodes of Bret Baier’s “The Campaign” and “I’ll Tell You What” with Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt.  Additionally, FOXNews.com will carry multiple livestreams from candidate headquarters across the country…..iHeartMedia’s NBC News Radio brings talk and news radio pro Michael Castner aboard to serve as national news anchor.  Castner was most recently morning drive personality at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas…..iHeartMedia announces it is presenting a new companion podcast for the three-part Hulu series “Your Attention Please” that celebrates the achievements and creativity of Black visionaries.  The “Your Attention Please” podcast is using this medium to continue the conversation past Black History Month, diving deeper into the stories that were highlighted in the show.  The first guests in the series are Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, founders of MAI (Movement Art Is).

The Coronavirus, the Stock Market, and the Economy Top News/Talk Stories for the Week of February 24-28. The status of the coronavirus epidemic, its effect on the world’s financial markets and the global economy came together to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race and this week’s Democratic debate in Charleston, SC.  Coming in at #3 was healthcare reform, climate change, and race relations, followed by the deadly Milwaukee brewery shooting and gun control 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Happy Retirement to Pete Spriggs. Current and former Cox Media Group Atlanta staffers gathered last night (2/27) for a retirement bash for WSB-AM/WSBB-FM program director Pete Spriggs who is leaving the company after 27 years with Cox and 19 years at WSB.  Above right is a group shot that includes such guests as Cox Media Group CEO Kim Guthrie, WSB VP/market manager Rob Babin, WSB legend Neal Boortz, syndicated star Clark Howard, and Cox DC bureau reporter Jamie Dupree.  Above left is (from l-r) Spriggs, consultant and former WSB PD Greg Moceri, and incoming program director Drew Anderssen.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A surprise move in national syndication as Ty Bentli leaves his eponymous, Westwood One morning country radio show for an unnamed gig outside of the radio biz.  For now, co-hosts Chuck Wicks and Tricia “TJ” Jenkins will handle hosting duties.  The Nashville-based show has undergone numerous changes over the past few years.  Blair Garner was the original host when it was called “America’s Morning Show.”  Then it was “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” with Kelly Ford in the mix and, after her departure in late 2018 (she’s now hosting AMs on Entercom‘s WNSH, New York), was renamed the “Ty Bentli Show.”  TJ joined the program last spring…..A big shakeup at Entercom’s Los Angeles cluster as longtime alternative KROQ program director (and SVP of programming) Kevin Weatherly exits.  Taking over at KROQ is Mike Kaplan, who adds brand manager duties at the station in addition to his alternative format captain position and brand manager post at WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”  At the same time, Ralph Stewart is handed the brand manager keys for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  He’s been operations manager for the station in addition to his brand manager role at urban contemporary KTWV “94.7 The Wave.”  Finally, KRTH “K-Earth 101” brand manager Chris Ebbott and CHR KAMP-FM music director and afternoon host Yesi Ortiz will serve as interim programming leaders for “97.1 AMP Radio” while a national search is conducted.  Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “Mike’s name is synonymous with alternative music and I’m delighted to welcome him back to Los Angeles.  Along with Ralph, Chris, and Yesi, this dynamic team will usher in the future of our brands in this important music market.  I’d like to thank Kevin for his years of dedicated contributions to our premier collection of brands and our company.  He has certainly made his mark here and we wish him the absolute best in his new role.”…..Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo has entered into a strategic alliance with Burlington, Ontario-based Byrnes Communications “to serve radio listeners in Buffalo and Southern Ontario.”  Shula says, “I am very excited to add ‘MORE 101.1FM’ (adult hits CFLZ, Fort Erie) and ‘105.1FM THE RIVER’ (hot AC CJED, Niagara Falls) to our radio station portfolio. ‘MORE 101.1FM’ has a very large 50,000-watt regional signal that barrels though Buffalo and Southern Ontario.  The music on the station are the ‘biggest hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s’ which target listeners in the 35-64-year-old age group.  ‘105.1FM THE RIVER’ plays ‘Todays Best Hits.’ aiming to please women 25-54 years old… With this cluster of radio stations, it increases our potential to reach listeners of every age group and attract more advertisers who can pick and choose which station is appropriate for their advertising needs.”…..Pictured below is the new “Nikki and Laura” morning show at NRG Media’s hot AC KQKQ, Omaha “Sweet 98.5” on its first live remote at Le Peep restaurant.  From left to right are: Nikki Oswald, station program director Jay Michaels, and Laura Blenkush.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

| February 25, 2020

Entercom Q4 2019 Net Revenue Up 1%; Full Year 2019 Up 1.9%. Releasing its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year financial data, Entercom Communications reports 2019 Q4 net revenue was $414.1 million, an increase of 1% over the same period in 2018.  For the full year of 2019, Entercom reports net revenue of $1.49 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report that Entercom achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, completing a year in which the company delivered strong financial performance as net revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted net income per share grew 2% (3% ex-political), 10%, and 19%, respectively.  Our significant investments in podcasting, digital, and data and analytics, along with the expansion of our sports, networks and events businesses, are beginning to reshape our company and position us for sustained growth as we enhance our integrated, multi-platform offerings to advertisers increasingly interested in the undervalued and emerging audio space.”

ABC Audio Names Eric Johnson Director and Executive Producer of Podcast Programming.  News and broadcast producer Eric Johnson is named to the director and executive producer of podcast programming for ABC Audio, effective in mid-March.  ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says Johnson – who most recently served as senior broadcast producer at “Good Morning America” – “is an award-winning producer with a knack for storytelling who’s touched nearly every part of ABC News over his 13-year career here.  His strong relationships throughout the news division, coupled with his impressive experience in long-form and news programming, will make him a great asset to our flourishing podcast division.  In his new role Eric will build on the success of our existing podcasts and help design a fresh powerhouse podcast network.  He will strategically gather and organize podcast ideas and harness the talent, resources, and storytelling ability available across ABC News and Walt Disney Television.”  Johnson was honored with a duPont Award as co-producer of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner and has won multiple Emmy Awards for projects including his role as senior producer of ABC News’ Town Hall “The President and the People: Race in America.”

Calendar Boy.  WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning star Dom Giordano (above) is the creator and “host” of a 2020 wall calendar geared specifically to fans of the station, news/talk radio listeners and the local business community.  The idea started several years ago, when Giordano, a former educator, noticed that important events in American history such as the invasion of Pearl Harbor were left off most commercially produced calendars.  He then designed a calendar that not only includes a variety of such events but recognizes talk radio hosts and other items of specific interest to the listening audience.  Giordano appears on a number of pages dressed in period costumes further adding color to the collectable piece. The calendar, monetized by local sponsors who are also featured in its pages, is distributed free to listeners as a highly sought premium at WPHT events.

Newsmax TV Appoints Jason Villar VP of Research and Analysis. Marketing pro Jason Villar joins Newsmax TV as vice president of research and analysis.  In this position, Villar will head up data, market, and ratings analysis, and work closely with the company’s advertising and programming departments.  Villar had been serving as vice president of media and market research for FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, and FOX Digital for the last 10-plus years.  Newsmax CRO and EVP of national advertising Sam Moser says, “Jason was responsible for much of FOX’s forward-thinking research approach and we’re delighted he’s joined Newsmax TV to help make us America’s No. 1 choice for news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Topeka’s KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker” adds the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty Show” to its program schedule for the 8:00 am to 11:00 am daypart.  The show says this move “continues the homecoming tour for Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  They were each born in the Midwest and they met when working separately in radio in Salina, Kansas.  They became a team when hired in Wichita and began their conservative talk show when they moved to KSTE-AM.”  KMAJ-AM is a Cumulus Media station…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway will also be heard on iHeartMedia’s WOC, Quad Cities beginning tomorrow (2/26).  Conway’s program is also heard on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Conway says, “What an honor it is for me to now be live on both of President Ronald Reagan’s first radio stations.  I’m excited to hear from the WOC audience in Iowa and Illinois.”…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS-FM, St. Louis is bringing St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play personality Dan McLaughlin aboard as lead Cardinals contributor.  In this role he’ll offer daily reports, interviews, and a one-hour weekly show, as well as filling in on other shows year-round.  Station operations manager and brand content director Tommy Mattern says, “I am extremely excited that Dan has joined the staff at ‘101 ESPN.’  It’s so important to increase our coverage of St. Louis Cardinals baseball and having the voice of the team contribute on multi-platforms is invaluable.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Prologue Projects are producing a new podcast titled, “5-4,” presenting “an irreverent take on the U.S. Supreme Court’s past.”  Each episode focuses on a pivotal case in which the justices make one of the most important decisions in recent memory – dissecting it from every angle and tearing it apart.  The first episode tackles Bush v. Gore. Future episodes take on the Supreme Court’s decisions on campaign finance, affirmative action, voting rights, and stop and frisk…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin is the new co-host of the Saturday morning golf show “Scorecard” in Entercom’s WSCR “The Score.”  He’ll work alongside WSCR reporter and update anchor David Schuster.  The duo take over for Ed Sherman and Steve Olken, who resigned from the program after a 10-year run…..SB Nation Radio announces that in addition to having reporters at all NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites, it is adding Pat Kennedy and Daniel Ewing as analysts.  They will both make appearances on all network programs throughout the tournament.  Also, “SB Nation Tonight” host John Michaels will originate his show from the Final Four in Atlanta.

Presidential Race, Weinstein Verdict, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Tumble, Trump in India, Kobe Byrant Memorial/Lawsuit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November; the guilty verdicts in the sexual assault trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; the status of the coronavirus epidemic and concerns about the ability to avert a pandemic; the world’s financial markets dive as China’s productivity is affected by Covid-19; President Trump’s visit to India amidst adulation and protests; and Monday’s memorial for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in Los Angeles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Learning the Sports Talk Radio Biz! Pictured above (from l-r) are: WAXY-AM and WQAM, Miami sports talk host Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins center/long snapper Taybor Pepper, Dolphins quarterback Jake Rudock, Dolphins linebacker Terrill Hanks, and WAXY-AM and WQAM host Marc Hochman.  Hochman tells TALKERS that while the NFL Combine is going on in Indianapolis, the Miami Dolphins offer their current players the chance to participate in a “Business Combine” where they can learn real estate, investing, and even broadcasting as players prepare for a life after football.  Hence the three Dolphins above were at the Entercom South Florida studios getting an afternoon of broadcast instruction from former Dolphins LB Channing Crowder and Hochman.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Preston is named program director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country stations KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3.”  Preston most recently served as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Baltimore and PD for country WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”  Cumulus Dallas-Houston RVP Dan Bennett says, “These two country brands, each in their own distinctive way, have captured the hearts of DFW country music fans.  We believe Mike Preston is the right person to lead our talented teams into the future.  Mike has had big success in his career as a creative PD who knows how to coach big time talent.  We can’t wait to have him in Dallas to further ignite two of the most-listened-to country stations in America.”…..Programmer Jamillah Muhammad exits Taxi License Corp’s urban AC KJLH, Los Angeles “Radio Free 102.3” where she was operations manager…..Air personality Jenna Owens is leaving her daily role with the YEA Networks-syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to focus on her Fitish skin care business.  Owens will continue her weekly “That’s What I Like” segment that airs each Friday and will become a correspondent for the show, doing press junkets in New York and Los Angeles, reporting live from events like SXSW, Coachella, and more.  In addition to the correspondent role, she’ll team with her “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host, J-Si Chavez, to launch a weekly podcast, also called “Fitish,” that will be produced and distributed by YEA…..Public radio triple A personality Cindy Howes is joining WUNC, Raleigh to host the 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm daypart on the public media company’s triple A streaming station WUNC Music.  Howes was previously with triple A WYEP, Pittsburgh as morning personality and host of the “Folk Alley and the Basic Folk” podcast…..Rachel Hubbard is promoted to executive director at Oklahoma State University’s news/talk/adult alternative KOSU, Oklahoma City.  She most recently served as news director at the station.  Hubbard comments, “I want to fight for public media in Oklahoma.  Oftentimes, people look at news outlets that are outside of Oklahoma and talk about the things they’re doing well, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t own that right here in Oklahoma and have a media resource that is ours – it’s made by us and it’s made for us.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

| February 5, 2020

Trump Honors Rush Limbaugh with Presidential Medal of Freedom.  During Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address, President Trump surprised Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Rush Limbaugh by announcing him as the recipient of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  This came the day after Limbaugh announced to his radio audience that he’s battling advanced lung cancer and would be missing some time on his radio show for treatment.  First Lady Melania Trump placed the medal around Limbaugh’s neck.  The president said, “Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis.  This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.  Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country.  And, Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Buck Sexton to Host Evening Show on WOR, New York. Nationally syndicated talk host – and former CIA officer and NYPD counter-terrorism expert – Buck Sexton is joining the “710 WOR, The Voice of New York” program schedule as host of a new, local show airing from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, beginning February 10.  He hosts a daily Premiere Networks program that feeds live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Sexton says, “I’m thrilled at this opportunity to speak to my fellow New Yorkers in drive time on the airwaves of the legendary WOR.  I grew up in this city and worked to defend it as part of NYPD Intelligence.  I love this town, it’s my true home – and that’s the passion and experience I’ll bring on air every night to WOR.”  Sexton also appears frequently on FOX News Channel and other outlets as a political commentator and national security analyst.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WOR APD Scott Lakefield, Sexton, and WOR PD Tom Cuddy.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the commercial news/talk format.  This survey period, when listening shifts to Christmas music for so many people, is always tough for news/talk and this year was no different.  About 60% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2019 survey to the Holiday survey.  However, iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston led the 16% pack that went up with a five-tenths increase for a 4.6 share.  Comparing Holiday 2018 to Holiday 2019, 46% of news/talk stations in PPM markets were up, with iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis up 1.8 shares for a 4.4 share and both KTRH, Houston and WOAI, San Antonio up 1.7 shares for a 4.6 share and 5.3 share, respectively.  Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was the lone news/talk station ranking #1 in its market during the Holiday 2019 survey.  See all the data here.

RAB and Borrell: Radio Breaks $1 Billion Digital Ad Threshold. According to the latest research released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates, the radio industry’s digital ad revenue passed the $1 billion mark in 2019 and now accounts for 10% of total advertising revenue.  The report indicates local radio stations grew revenue by 25% in 2019 and are forecast to see growth of 29% this year and that digital revenue is now growing faster for the radio industry than it is for any other media segment that is also selling digital advertising.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “As radio continues to gain renewed interest by advertisers and the media buying community, they are recognizing radio’s assets beyond broadcast.  This report underscores the importance of being a well-trained and knowledgeable radio professional and the RAB continues to deliver the digital training and professional development required for radio sellers to best serve their clients.”  The annual report showed that the average station made $299,213 in digital revenue in 2019, and the average market cluster made $1.3 million.  The average revenue for the top five performers ranged from $664,651 for top performing clusters in the smallest of markets to $17.1 million in the largest. The findings are a part of the RAB and Borrell’s 8th annual report, “Digital Sales Skyrocket, Hitting $1 Billion.”  It is being released today to RAB members.  It analyzes online ad revenue from 3,488 radio stations, as well as survey responses from 1,006 local radio buyers and a survey of 208 radio managers.

SiriusXM Pro Forma Q4 Revenue Up 6%. That figure is for SiriusXM Holdings Inc – the company that includes SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Pandora Media.  The company also provides figures from the fourth quarter of 2019 and 2019 full-year data in its filing.  Fourth quarter revenue was $2.1 billion – up 38% from Q4 2018.  2019 full-year revenue was $7.8 billion, an increase of 35% over 2018.  Revenue was boosted by the acquisition of Pandora Media on February 1, 2019.  The Company’s net income declined 3% to $243 million in the fourth quarter, while full-year net income totaled $914 million, down from $1.2 billion in 2018 due to higher acquisition, refinancing, and depreciation and amortization expenses in 2019.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter revenue grew 6% from $1.9 billion and full-year revenue climbed 8% from $7.3 billion in the prior year periods.  Pro forma figures assume the Pandora acquisition closed on January 1, 2018.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “I am so proud of SiriusXM’s milestone performance last year.  Not only did we achieve our 10th consecutive year of one million-plus self-pay net additions, but we successfully completed the acquisition of Pandora Media and drove each business to record-high financial performance.  Looking forward to 2020, we’re excited about a new decade of opportunity before us and confident in reiterating our guidance for the year.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Correspondent and teen influencer for Radio Disney Sammy Jaye – is the star of the new iHeartMedia podcast titled, “Let’s Be Real with Sammy Jaye.”  iHeartMedia says the podcast addresses “a range of topics from mental health, political activism and the pressures of social media to lighter topics like friendships, dating and pop culture.”  It’ll feature interviews with celebs including Meghan Trainor, Kesha, FINNEAS, Julia Michaels, Liza Koshy, activist Nadya Okamoto, and many more…..Cadence13 unveils a new podcast available on the RADIO.COM platform starring Dell and Sonya Curry, parents of NBA star Steph Curry.  The show is titled, “Raising Fame: Sports Edition,” and features “the raw and unfiltered stories, unique perspectives, and personal memories from those who raised icons” in the sports sphere…..The Piscataquis Observer reports that Dale Duff exits Townsquare Media’s sports talk WEBQ-FM, Bangor, Maine “The Ticket” where he was brand manager to return to his hometown of Houlton, Maine and Northern Maine Media’s WHOU-FM.  Duff will work on the company’s WHOU.live video streaming service headlining its sports coverage…..Earlier today (2/5), listeners tuning in to Westwood One’s “First Light” morning program heard program host Michael Toscano (pictured below) interview astronaut Christina Koch from the International Space Station.  The interview was recorded yesterday (2/4) while Koch was in orbit, just 48 hours before she returns to earth after 328 days in space.  Koch talked about her 139 million miles of orbit, her six spacewalks that took her outside the orbiting laboratory for more than 42 hours, and the experiments she was involved with.

Impeachment Trial, Iowa Caucus Snafu, State of the Union, Coronavirus, Financial Markets Activity, and Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; the technical problems dogging the Iowa Democratic Caucuses; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; concerns about a global pandemic of the coronavirus; the financial markets activity in response to the coronavirus; and this Sunday evening’s Academy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twin Cities radio star Tom Barnard signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting mornings on KQRS, Minneapolis where he’s been a fixture since 1986.  In 2017, Barnard was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and in 2018 entered the Pavek Museum, honoring Minnesota broadcasters.  Barnard says, “I’m so grateful to the listeners and advertisers for supporting the ‘KQ Morning Show’ for the past 34 years.  Thanks to them, all my years as a morning host will be spent at the legendary KQRS. Thanks to Shelly for the support system she provides me.  I’m so honored to continue to do what I love in my hometown.  I can’t ask for anything more.”…..Entercom announces the addition of AJ Gibson to the morning show for CHANNEL Q on RADIO.COM’s LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network.  Gibson will join co-host Mikalah Gordon on “The Morning Beat” airing weekdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET, effective immediately.  Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “AJ is a talented on-air personality with a great work ethic and commitment to excellence.  We’re excited to welcome him to ‘The Morning Beat’ alongside Mikalah.  AJ is a fixture on Hollywood red carpets and top-selling author who inspires audiences with his story and perspective on a myriad of topics.  We’re looking forward to waking up with him on CHANNEL Q.”…..Portland, Maine salsa maker Kelly Towle is joining morning host Blake Hayes on Saga Communications’ hot AC WMGX, Portland “Coast 93.1” after winning the auditions to take over for co-host Eva Matteson, who is leaving morning radio after 15 years on the WMGX AM show.  Towle works marketing and selling for her Plucked Fresh Foods company and sings in a local funk band…..WHTS-FM, Grand Rapids “105.3 HOT FM” morning program “The Gray and Green Show” – starring Rachael Gray and Jackie Green – is honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters with two MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards in the Commercial & Network Radio category: Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality or Team and Best Feature/Use of Medium.  MAB’s Broadcast Excellence Awards will be presented on March 4, 2020, at the conclusion of the Great Lakes Media Show at the Lansing Center in Lansing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

| January 28, 2020

Talk Radio Plays Role in Build-Up to Jersey Shore Trump Rally. Local talk radio has been front and center during the two days leading up to President Trump’s rally tonight (1/28) in Wildwood, New Jersey.  Pictured above is WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning drive personality Chris Stigall – who broadcast his Tuesday morning show from Wildwood – posing for a selfie with some members of the large crowd gathered near the convention center hoping to get tickets to attend tonight’s event.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley hosted Lara Trump – wife of Eric Trump – on Monday’s program to talk about the president’s rally and the intense demand for tickets.  Hurley also had the opportunity to interview “Duke” – the man with the unique designation of being the first person in line at the convention center to get a ticket.  Hear that interview here.  WPHT, Philadelphia late morning talk host Dom Giordano says, “Due to Wildwood being a small resort town, this became Trumpstock.  This became a town taken over by Trump supporters.  On air, there was a feeling that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event that resulted in huge crowds in Wildwood.”

Senator Sherrod Brown Seeks Answers About iHeartMedia Layoffs. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned a letter to iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman last week asking for information about the recent “employee dislocation.”  In the letter, Brown tells Pittman – after pointing to Pittman’s $9 million bonus in 2017 and $9.3 million incentive bonus in 2018 – “It is difficult enough to understand the decision to continue the hollowing out of local media outlets by laying off disc jockeys in smaller communities.  But it is particularly difficult to make sense of this decision given that it came after a significant increase in the company’s executive compensation over the last few years.”  Pittman is not bound by law to answer Brown’s questions, but TALKERS suspects he’ll do Brown the courtesy of a reply of some sort.  Here are the four questions he’d like answered by February 14:  1) How many workers were affected by iHeartMedia’s recent layoff announcement?  Of those workers, how many are in Ohio?  2) The company is reportedly giving severance to the affected workers.  Please provide details about the severance provided, including whether it includes severance pay and if so, how much and whether it includes health care benefits, and if so for how long.  3) Is the company giving affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any currently open positions in the company?  Is the company going to give affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any positions that become open in the future?  If so, for how long will affected workers be given hiring preference?  4) Is the company offering or paying for any training affected workers might seek to help them find new employment? If so, please provide details about the training offered or paid for, including the type of training, the length of time a worker can pursue such training, and, in the case of training paid for by iHeartMedia, the amount the company will pay for the worker to obtain such training.

FCC Close to Dismissing Renewal Applications for Entertainment Media Trust’s St. Louis Market Stations. An FCC administrative law judge is giving Entertainment Media Trust’s Dennis J. Watkins, trustee, until February 18 to comply with a request for information and an order to show cause why the applications for license renewal for four AM stations and an FM translator construction permit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.  In an Order to Show Cause, Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin outlines the numerous failures to comply with FCC requests on the part of Trustee Watkins – including not showing up for a December 5, 2019 prehearing conference.  This comes almost eight years after petitioner Mark Kern challenged the license renewals of KFTK-AM, East St. Louis; WQQW, Highland, Illinois; KZQZ, St. Louis; and KQQZ, DeSoto, Missouri alleging that Robert Romanik – a convicted felon – is illegally controlling the stations.  Kern alleges that Romanik – who operates the stations d/b/a Insane Broadcasting Company – helped fund the Trust’s acquisition of the stations although he’s not part of any FCC applications.  Romanik hosts a daily show on KQQZ from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The website says of his show, “‘The Grim Reaper of Radio’ is not politically correct or politically incorrect, he’s politically insane!!”

Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  Perhaps on the strength of the Green Bay Packers playoff run and the performance of the first-place Milwaukee Bucks, flagship WTMJ – owned by Good Karma Brands – adds two-tenths to its 6+ weekly AQH share for a 5.9 share and the #4 rank.  Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville halts a three-survey slide with a two-tenths increase to finish the Holiday survey at an 8.3 share and the #2 rank.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Pompeo-NPR Spat, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant Death, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, and Grammy Awards/Race Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and the manuscript penned by former national security adviser John Bolton; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s anger with NPR over Ukraine line of questioning; concerns over the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus; the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash; the Supreme Court overrules a lower court’s stay on the Trump Administration’s “public charge” rule for low income immigrants; and Sunday’s Grammy Awards and allegations of bias against black artists 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 Jayn is promoted to the role of music supervisor for Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” and alternative KITS “ALT 105.3.”  She continues as afternoon drive personality and APD for KLLC.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “Besides being the musical muse behind ‘Alice’ for the past 16 years, Jayn has been an integral part of the ‘ALT 105.3’ music team alongside APD and music director Aaron Axelsen.  Jayn and Aaron together are an unstoppable force and will continue to make these two stations leaders in this market.”  Jayn joined “Alice @ 97.3” in 2004 as assistant program director and music director.  She expanded her role to midday host in 2006 before transitioning to afternoon drive in 2014…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces six new affiliate stations for the nationally syndicated urban AC show “Rick and Sasha.”  They include: WGNU-AM/FM, St. Louis; WMXU-FM, Columbus/Starkville, Mississippi; WKZJ-FM, Columbus, Georgia; KVMA-FM, Shreveport; WQVE-FM, Albany, Georgia; and WBXB-FM, Edenton, North Carolina…..On-air pro Kathy Vogel is moving from Rubber City Radio’s classic rock WONE-FM, Akron where she hosted middays to the company’s new adult contemporary WNWV, Cleveland “107.3 JenY FM” as morning drive personality…..Air personality Tim Burger announces via a Facebook post that he’s exited SummitMedia’s country KFDI-FM, Wichita after three years as part of the morning show.  He says, “I am so grateful I was able to be part of a heritage radio station that the people in Wichita have turned to for over 50 years.”…..In the Scranton/Wilkes Barre market, Mark Hoover is promoted to program director for Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WEZX “Rock 107.”  Hoover has been serving as afternoon host and promotions coordinator.  He’ll continue to handle the afternoon shift and manage the promotions department.

Monday, June 3, 2019

| June 3, 2019

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published Today.  The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published.  This is the 25thedition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERSmagazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important.  That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.”  See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

Cumulus Makes PD Changes in New York; Craig Schwalb Exits WABC. TALKERS magazine hears from several sources that program director Craig Schwalb has exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC.  The change was made on Friday and our sources tell us that programmer Dave LaBrozzi – until Friday the program director for hot AC WPLJ – will program WABC and sister urban contemporary WNBM.  Cumulus also let WNBM PD and VP/urban programming Ken Johnson go on Friday.  Prior to joining WABC, Schwalb served as program director with Cumulus at Providence news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM.

FAIR Announces Dates for 2019 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces today that the 13th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25-26 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. DC.  As in years past, this event brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  FAIR says the event has evolved greatly since the first one in 2006.  “F2F now hosts 70 stations and has become the largest annual radio row and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media.  Unfortunately, several things have not changed – a stagnant status quo of lax enforcement and open borders, obstructionist Democratic positions, hostile courts and a complicit mainstream media.  So, in September, radio hosts are back at it discussing, debating, sorting truth from fiction, hearing first-hand accounts and considering reasonable solutions.  At a minimum, barriers have to be built, asylum loopholes closed, more resources brought to bear, and the rule of law enforced.  Most importantly, Americans – not special interests – will be heard from.”  Talk hosts and programmers wishing to take part should know that reservations are required, and hosts/producers should call FAIR now to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Contact Matthew Tragesser, event manager, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org.

Monday Memo: Camera Tips for Radio.  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke presents the first in a three-part series of tips from digital professionals.  With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which they share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), HC begins with advice from photo pros for taking and presenting quality pictures. Read the column here.

WGDJ, Albany Suspends Host After Controversial Social Media Post. “Talk 1300” general manager Paul Vandenburgh announced on the website of news/talk WGDJ, Albany that afternoon drive talk host Kevin McCashion is suspended from his program after issuing a social media post that some are calling insensitive.  McCashion’s tweet attacked the Albany Times Union for its coverage of the Memorial Day death of a former local female high school basketball star. Twenty-one-year-old Ayanna Hunter died after being shot at a cookout.  McCashion’s tweet showed two images, one of Hunter posing with a stack of money, with the text, “another.@timesunion W H I T E W A S H just an innocent basketball player ha ha.”  Vandenburgh stated, “Ayanna Hunter was shot and killed in Niskayuna and Kevin posted an untimely, unwanted and unnecessary Twitter comment and rightfully so, many people were upset.”  He says he’ll address the situation with McCashion today (6/3).  See the Times-Union story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch adds new affiliate stations.  Syndicator Radio America announces: KXRA-AM Alexandria, Minnesota, KONA-AM, Tri-Cities, Washington, KGYN-AM, Guymon, Oklahoma; KMPT-AM/FM, East Missoula, Montana; WMJD-FM Grundy, Virginia; WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, New Haven; WSNG-AM, Torrington, Connecticut; WJML-AM, Petoskey, Michigan; WJNL-AM, Kingsley, Michigan; WHAK-AM, Rogers City, Michigan; WWMN-FM, Thompsonville, Michigan; and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan all add “The Dana Show” to their program lineups…..The Westwood One-syndicated “Mark Levin Show” joins the program schedule at Entercom’s news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD.”  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Mark Levin is a seasoned radio host and has one of the biggest shows in talk radio.  His program is topical and drives passion. This addition delivers on our commitment to continuously provide the best and most relevant content to our listeners.”…..Former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane – who recently cut a deal with Entercom to get out of his contract with the company – is joining Barstool Sports.  The sports media personality said during a Periscope video that he’ll be doing a daily podcast “live to tape” starting June 15…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-distributed program is adding WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana to its roster of affiliate stations…..iHeartMedia Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and its multimedia rightsholder, Gopher Sports Properties, announce an extension of the broadcast agreement for KFXN “KFAN-FM 100.3,” KTLK-AM/K278BP, and “KFAN Plus 96.7 FM” (K244FE) to continue to serve as the Gophers’ flagship radio stations through the 2022-2023 athletic season…..Shep Rose, star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Southern Charm,” launches a new podcast on PodcastOne titled, “Enough About Me.”  The program will also feature interviews with athletes, teachers, soldiers, stunt men, and even himself in this “weird, wild, funny and dramatic,” weekly show.

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Mueller News Conference/Impeachment Talk, Trump Visits UK, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, Middle East Peace Plan, and Rocketman Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center that took the lives of 12; the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference and Democrats’ talk of impeachment; President Trump embarks on an official visit to the UK; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the tariff wars and the tense relations between the U.S. and China; Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calling it “unexecutable”; and the Elton John biopic, Rocketman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Health Media Personality Asa to Executive Produce and Co-Host Discovery Life TV Show. Radio host, author, television personality and medical doctor Asa Andrew will serve as executive producer and co-host for the second season of the Discovery Life series, “Reversed.”  Co-hosting the show with Asa will be celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The first season of the show was designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  This new season will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of individuals living with cancer as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  Asa says, “This season is personal.  Cancer took my father’s life at age 68, now I’m on a mission to help others before it’s too late.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with cancer. Asa and Mattocks are producing the show via their company, WellTent Media Group LLC.

13thAnnual Kellar Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 13th annual Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina begins today.  Twenty-four students from three universities have been accepted into this year’s 10-day institute during which more than 40 broadcast pros from Beasley Media Group, Entercom, iHeartMediaRadio One, Capitol Broadcasting, Dick Broadcasting, along with Doug Rice, president and voice of Performance Racing NetworkMick Mixon, play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, Don Anthony from Talk Show and Morning Show Bootcamp, Warren Kurtzman president of Coleman Research, and others, will lead sessions for the students.  This summer, National Radio Talent System Institutes are taking place across the country. They include the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; GAB Radio Talent Institute, University of Georgia; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP for the Virginia-Carolina region Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “DZL’s unique insight on the market, coupled with his talent, creativity and innovative style of thinking will ensure that the station continues to do great things in Charlotte.  Because of his vision and passion, I’m thrilled to have DZL lead our team at ‘96.9 The Kat.’”…..On-air pro Shelby Sos is named evening personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”  She comes to Baltimore from the company’s WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” where she was an assistant producer for “The Kane Show.”   iHM Baltimore SVP of programming Mike Preston says, “Shelby brings so much experience from ‘The Kane Show’ to her new position at ‘Z104.3.’  Shelby is immensely talented and really knows how to engage an audience.  We can’t wait to have her on the air in her hometown to shake things up!”…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated “Woody & Wilcox Show” adds new affiliate stations.  Now airing the show are: WCYY, Portland; WQRR, Tuscaloosa; and WVWB, Clarksville, Tennessee…..Programming pro Brian Thomas joins Townsquare Media where he’ll serve as operations manager for the company’s Grand Rapids stations as well as the company’s 17 classic hits-formatted stations.  Thomas was most recently with Cumulus Media Atlanta as PD for country WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

| May 15, 2019

Atlanta Talker WYAY-FM’s Last Day Is May 31.  Like its hot AC sister in New York – WPLJ-FM – news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta will end its talk format on May 31 as the station will change hands, leaving the Cumulus Media fold and becoming carrier of Educational Media Foundation’s Christian music format “K-Love.”  The station’s talk personalities have been operating in a sort of limbo since the sale of the stations was announced in February. Talk hosts looking for new gigs include: Atlanta talk icon Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson, Shelley Wynter, Shannon Burke, and Mike Brooks.

Panama City Radio Stations to Broadcast Trump Speeches Daily Through 2020 Election. The trio of Panama City, Florida radio stations that Gulf Coast Media Inc. bought from Powell Broadcasting – classic rock WRBA-FM, country WKNK-FM, and adult hits WASJ-FM – will broadcast portions of speeches by President Trump each hour through the 2020 election, owner Samuel Rogatinsky says.  Powell sold the stations after Hurricane Michael damaged the facilities, knocking them off the air.  The president has promised to provide federal aid to the region and Rogatinsky says the company wants to thank him.  A statement from Gulf Coast Media explains, “Gulf Coast Media, Inc. senior management acknowledged that broadcasting the president’s speeches may not be consistent with conventional commercial FM radio, but we have taken this approach to show the community’s sincere appreciation for President Donald Trump’s work in Panama City and Bay County.”  The company says it will honor requests from other candidates to air time in order to comply with the FCC’s equal access rules.  Rogatinsky tells the Orlando Sentinel, “Really, we just want to have inspirational type things because the community is so down.  Nobody else is really promising or doing anything.  They want to hear what he has to say.”

TALKERS News NotesFOX News Radio is launching a new, weekly podcast featuring FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman, titled, “Everyone Talks to Liz Claman.”  The program debuts today (5/15) with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.  The program features “interviews with motivational figures and entrepreneurs and provides an inspirational look into the key factors that drive today’s business elite.”…..Chicago urban talk station WVON-AM announces that former Cook County Board president Todd Stroger is joining the Maze Jackson-hosted morning show.  The new program is called “The Maze Jackson Morning Show with Todd Stroger” and airs from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Midway Broadcasting chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “Todd joining the team is a no-brainer in a town where politics is a second sport.” Stroger had been guest hosting the program prior to being offered a full-time position…..Bubba the Love Sponge has filed an amended complaint against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning drive personality Mike Calta, stating that the company and Calta conspired to destroy his radio career by: falsely claiming Bubba’s ratings on then-WBRN-FM, Tampa were improving because of tampering; releasing the Hulk Hogan sex tape; pressuring Nielsen to remove PPM panelists with heavy Bubba listening; and more.  Bubba is requesting a jury trial and seeks damages to be determined at trial…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka (left) in the Oval Office with President Trump (right).  Gorka served as national security strategist for Trump’s 2016 campaign and was a White House adviser prior to launching his SRN show, “America First,” in January.  Photo: Tia Dufour.

Skyview Networks Unveils Summer Agency-Focused Events. Saying that this summer’s “star-studded, agency-focused, pre-upfronts events calendar” features big names in news and entertainment, including CBS Audio’s Jane Pauley and Jill Schlesinger, as well as one of the hottest events of the summer, ABC’s GMA Concert Series, Skyview Networks reveals its schedule “designed to give agencies access to premiere talent and high-profile brand opportunities that can drive future integration development.”  These events include: the GMA Concert Series (May-Sept); the Radio Disney Music Awards, June 6, Los Angeles; Carla Hall Dinner, June 12, New York; Jane Pauley Luncheon, June 13, New York; and CBS Television/CBS Audio, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Taping, TBD.

U.S.-China Trade War, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Anti-Abortion Legislation, Southern Border Migrant Issues, S.F. Facial Recognition Ban, U.S. Birthrate Hits 30-Year Low, and NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/14). The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats against U.S. interests; the recent anti-abortion legislation passed in Alabama and other states and the threat to Roe v Wade; the state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border; the city of San Francisco makes use of facial recognition technology illegal; the birth rate in the U.S. hits a 30-year low; 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.

Traffic Reporter Opportunity. This gig is in Miami where iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network is seeking a traffic reporter to work on WIOD “NewsRadio 610.” TTWN says, “We are looking for an energetic on-air talent, that can deliver a conversational sound. Previous traffic reporting isn’t required. If you have a natural sound, previous audio experience, and are willing to put in the work and effort, we’ll show you the ropes!” For information and to apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Orlando alternative outlet WQMP “FM 101.9” has a new program director as Entercom names Matthew Malone to the position.  Malone previously served with Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X105.1” as APD and music director.  He comments, “I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Entercom Orlando team and to be working with [SVP and market manager] Claudia [Menegus].  Being a part of a company that is actively embracing the alternative format, helping it grow, and under the guidance of a programmer that I have long respected – [SVP of programming] Mike Kaplan – I know that we can accomplish great things in Central Florida.”…..WDVE, Pittsburgh afternoon drive personality Sean McDowell announces he’s retiring from rock WDVE and the radio biz after 41 years in radio and 26 with WDVE.  McDowell broke the news on Randy Baumann’s morning drive program on the iHeartMedia station…..Twin Cities afternoon drive personality Moon, a.k.a. Larry Thompson, is leaving Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95” after 45 years in the radio business to focus on his health.  Moon, who co-hosts the afternoon show with Staci Matthews, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005.  Station PD Leighton Peck says, “We will all miss Moon’s incredible sense of humor and the fun he brings to the air and in the hallways.”…..Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters names Angie Fitzsimmons morning drive host at country KKGO, Los Angeles, “Go Country 105.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the April 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third successive month, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR surrenders one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+); even so, “710 The Voice of New York” continues at #22. Off one-tenth as well is Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC (1.3 -1.2, flat at #23, 6+). It is tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which has dropped a collective four-tenths in five straight down or flat sweeps (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

Obliterating its combined February/March loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) with an April spike of +1.2 to 4.2 (6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees’ flagship WFAN rockets from #12 to #6. Conversely, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Knicks, is off four-tenths (2.2 -1.8, #18 to #20, 6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS is unchanged from March in both 6+-share (3.7) and market rank (ninth), co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM forfeits one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). WINS was a combined -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), while WCBS-AM gained three-tenths in March (3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Part of the three-way tie at #13 (which includes WCBS-AM) is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which gains three-tenths to 2.9 (#14 to #13, 6+), curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Having seen its 6+ share sliced in half (-.3) in February/March (.6 – .4 – .3, 6+), co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM picks up one-tenth to .4 (#33 to #31, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – With a January – February – March topline of 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 (6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” busts out a gain of one-half share to 3.1 (#14 to #11, 6+). Although flat at #17, Cumulus Media’s similarly formatted WPLJ is without a loss for the fourth straight sweep (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a cumulative gain of one-half share. WPLJ is soon to become contemporary Christian when its sale to Educational Media Foundation is finalized. On the heels of posting a one-half share increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW forfeits seven-tenths (7.7 – 7.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. A January/February -5.3 (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It holds a one-half share lead over Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B,” which is down four-tenths to 6.5 (steady at #2, 6+). The loss suspends three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). For the eighth time in a row, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” (unchanged at #11) is within 3.1 – 3.6 range ( 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Its format rival – Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97” – loses three-tenths (3.8 – 3.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to tenth. Before gaining one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) in March, “Hot” notched a 3.7 (6+) in five of the previous six sweeps (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+); WKTU logged a 3.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. Despite having recorded four consecutive ratings periods without a loss for an overall net of eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” backslides from a three-way tie at #14 to #16.

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January/February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” has lost three-tenths in March/April (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but carries on in seventh-place. Its internet stream debuted in February with a .6 (6+); repeated it in March; and adds one-tenth in April (.7, #37 to #36, 6+). Tied at #33 are Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot.” KRLA is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9 – .8, #30 to #3, 6+), while “The Patriot” notches a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, flat at #3, 6+). Down or flat the past four times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” picks up one-tenth to .6 (#40 to #39, 6+).

Nearly doubling March’s 6+-stat (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk – and flagship of the 2018 National League champion Dodgers – KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” leaps from #34 to #27. As a result of three down or flat moves in a row, Disney-owned/Lakers key station KSPN “710 ESPN” is off one-half share (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) but remains at #29.

Without an increase the third time in a row as well is Entercom’s KNX, which not only falters by nine-tenths in that timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), “1070 News Radio” exits the top ten (#9 to #12).

Erasing one-third of March’s loss of six-tenths with a gain of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” returns to the top twenty (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18).

Los Angeles Music Formats – In addition to extending its consecutive string of increases to four for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” progresses from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.2, as well). Likewise, smooth AC sibling KTWV “94-7 The Wave” is a collective +1.4 as a result of its fourth uptick in succession (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and continues in third-place. In five consecutive up or flat moves, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” is a collective +1.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, ninth to eighth, 6+). Not only does Meruelo Media Holdings rhythmic CHR KPWR continue its repetitive sequence (3.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), “Power 106” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Soon-to-be sibling KLOS records its fourth straight up or flat move for a net gain of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+) and advances from #14 to #12. Meruelo Media Holdings is acquiring KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and has already begun programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). After logging a 13.0 (“Holiday” 2018, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST has followed with a 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 (6+) as “Coast 103.5” is the market leader for the seventh straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is a cumulative +1.1 through five straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Up two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, January – February – March, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” forfeits six-tenths to 3.0 (eighth to tenth, 6+). While it remains in fifth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” has lost nine-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). In four consecutive upticks, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #17. After both of the market’s mainstream CHRs dropped one tenth in March, they are down in April, as well. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom-owned KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” has lost one-half share in the same stretch (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, #12 to #18, 6+). “Kiss” was a combined +.9 in January/February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+); “Amp” – which is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 23rd time in a row – gained four-tenths in February. There are certain parallels in the alternative battle, as iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is down one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3, #17 to #18, 6+), while Entercom-owned KROQ has lost a collective four-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #22, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Following February’s one-half share gain, Tribune Media news/talk and White Sox flagship WGN has surrendered six-tenths (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). In each of the last three sweeps, WLS-AM notched a 1.7 (6+) but the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet improves by one-tenth in April to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+).  

Down a combined half-share in February/March (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Cubs key station WSCR “670 The Score” answers with an increase of nine-tenths to 3.7 (6+), rocketing from #16 to #8 with its best 6+-showing (3.7) since October 2018’s 4.2. Up one-tenth in consecutive ratings periods (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” advances from #27 to #24.

On top the past three sweeps, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM has lost a collective nine-tenths in three successive declines (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) and segues to fourth-place.

A combined +.8 as a result of three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #15).

Chicago Music Formats – Over and above chalking up a one-half share gain to register its highest 6+-stat (5.9) since November 2017’s 6.3, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” marches from second to first. Steady at #3, co-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is a collective +1.5 in its fourth successive increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing (5.4) since 5.5 in August 2018. At the same time, adult contemporary sibling WSHE “100.3 SHE” scores eight-tenths via four consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, tenth to ninth, 6+). Proceeding from third to second, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” nets nine-tenths in March/April (4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), on the heels of being a cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). By gaining three-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” overtakes Entercom CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, flat at #13, 6+). Prior to April, “Kiss” displayed five consecutive 2.9 showings (6+), after dialing up a November 2018 3.3 (6+); “B-96” gained eight-tenths in March. Albeit flat at #23, iHeartMedia-owned WEBG is up or flat for the sixth time in a row; “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is up three-tenths in that stretch (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Despite picking up one-tenth (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), its format foe – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” – backslides from #17 to #18. In three straight improvements, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM was an overall +.9 (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” forfeits six-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and is unchanged in fifth-place. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams” relinquishes three-tenths to 3.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). In three successive declines (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO is -1.6, yet “Que Buena 105.1” advances from sixth to fifth. Its January increase of nine-tenths halted a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Tied in fifth-place with WOJO is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT, which is an overall -9.4 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, seventh to fifth, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – The December 2018 through April 2019 topline of Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is: 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 (#15 to #16, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has lost a collective eight-tenths via seven successive down or flat sweeps (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, #24 to #26, 6+). This marks the fourth straight month that iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” has logged a .2 (#34, 6+).

Off three-tenths in February/March (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk/Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” roars back with a +1.0 to 3.6 (6+), vaulting into the top ten (#13 to #7). Having recorded a 1.8 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is up one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19).

While it remains in the runner-up slot, all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM is off a collective seven-tenths in three straight dips (7.0 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), directly after three consecutive gains for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+).

On top for the fourth straight month, KQED is nonetheless down one-half share (7.3 – 6.8, 6+); the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet lost nine-tenths in February. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is now off a combined three-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #28, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the tenth time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” has its highest 6+-stat (3.7) since October 2018’s 3.9 and leaps from eighth to fifth. A combined +1.2 via three straight gains (3./8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary KISQ erases half that increase with a loss of six-tenths (4.4, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to January, “98.1 The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Overtaking KISQ is Bonneville-owned/similarly-formatted KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, fourth to third, 6+), which completely erased February’s -.5 with a March +.5. KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares in December/“Holiday” 2018, (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but was a combined -6.4 in January/February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1. Entering the top twenty at #19, Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” logs its fourth straight up or flat trend for a gain of six-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+). In three successive improvements, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was +1.1 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone” falters by two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and slips from sixth to ninth. Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, sixth to seventh, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-half share in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight upticks accounting for a +1.4 by Cumulus Media’s WBAP (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+) completely erases its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). Moreover, “News Talk 820” leaps into the top ten (#15 to #9). After posting a .7 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” adds two-tenths to .9 (#34 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” – which added one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+) – drops one-tenth to .4 (#36 to #37, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate, KTCK is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.7) and market rank (#16). “The Ticket All Sports All The Time” had been in an alternating down/up pattern (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+). Having lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+-share in three straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” drops from #22 to #23. The flagship of the Texas Rangers was a +1.0 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to .8 (#35 to #34, 6+) by Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” halts six straight down or flat trends that resulted in its 6+-share being sliced in half (-.6) in that timeframe (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+).

Without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a net gain of one-half share (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM progresses from #19 to #17. “News Radio 1080” has been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0 since “Holiday” 2016.

A collective +.8 via three improvements in a row (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA falters by three-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – There is plenty of movement in the market’s contemporary Christian arena. On the plus side, an uptick of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+) enables Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” to return to the top ten (#11 to #5), while WAY Media’s KAWA “WAY-FM, Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” improves by one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, #31 to #23, 6+) after eroding by -1.2 in March. Conversely, however, First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.0 Encouraging Music/Words of Hope” has its 6+-stat carved exactly in half (-.9) via three successive dips (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – .9, #32, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Worship Now” relinquishes one-half share (2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #21, 6+). This directly follows a March increase of six-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016 (2.4, as well). As a result of three successive drops (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE lost approximately half (-3.6) its 6+-share, but “Star 102.1” wipes away 25% of that deficit with an April gain of nine-tenths to 4.4 (6+), catapulting into the top five (#11 to #3). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is co-owned CHR KHKS #1 for the fourth month in a row, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is a collective +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.7) since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Stuck on 4.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 and then on 5.1 (6+) in February and March, classic rock cluster-mate KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” stumbles by seven-tenths to 4.4 (second to third, 6+). A combined +.9 in February/March (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #15). Having logged three straight positive spikes for a +1.2 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” drops two-tenths to 4.2 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3” is off one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 (6+). “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Repeating March’s .4 (6+), co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” checks in at #29.

Finishing at #22, #23, and #24, respectively, are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – 1.1, +.2, 6+); iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” (.6 – 1.0, +.4, #27 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .8, unchanged at #24, 6+). KILT-AM lost a combined half-share in January/February; KBME reaches a one-share (6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 1.1; and – before losing one-tenth in March – KFNC had been up or flat six sweeps in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+).

Following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is off a combined half-share in three straight slips (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2, #19 to #20, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Down or flat the past three survey periods for a loss of seven-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” erases that deficit with an increase of eight-tenths to 4.9 (tenth to seventh, 6+), its strongest 6+-showing since February 2018’s 5.0. Entering the April sweep, iHeartMedia’s KQBT “93.7 The Beat” had an interesting topline of 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 (6+). “The Beat” busts out a gain of six-tenths to 4.4 (steady at #11, 6+), extending its consecutive up or flat streak to six; it is +1.1 in that stretch. In the market’s country contest, Entercom’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (5.2 – 5.0 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q” is flat at 4.7 (repeating in ninth-place, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three upticks in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+); “93-Q” gained eight-tenths in March. Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is an overall -4.6 in three slips in succession (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the 13th straight time. Immediately in advance of this slide, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are +.5 (January,  6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 (February, 7.0 – 6.2, 6+); +.5 (March, 6.2 – 6.7, 6+); and now -.6 (April, 6.7 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Down one-tenth in March, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” falters by another half-share in April (3.3 – 2.8, #16 to #17, 6+). While it repeats at #21, co-owned/similarly-formatted KTJM “La Raza” picks up two-tenths to 2.1 (6+), pulling the plug on five consecutive ratings periods without an increase for a collective loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slips to the runner-up slot. The Cox Media Group news/talk outlet erased two-thirds of December/“Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4. It was -.9 in February; +.1 in March; and now declines by one-half share in April (7.1 – 6.6, -.5, 6+). WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A loss of one-half share (1.4 – .9, #22 to #25, 6+) takes Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” below a one-share for the first time in nearly seven-years (.8, July 2012). Owing to three straight up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3  1.4, 6+), WYAY gained two-tenths. Elsewhere in the market’s news/talk format, Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” picks up one-tenth to .4 (flat at #29, 6+), curtailing three dips in a row that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), while Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .1, -.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” (.2 -.1, -.1, 6+) are tied at #31.

As a result of being a combined -.9 in March/April (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14). Conversely, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up one-half share in March/April (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves advances from #20 to #18.

On the heels of a mammoth -1.4 in March, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up two-tenths (3.4 – 3.6, #13 to #11, 6+). At the same time, however, Georgia State University news/talk WRAS dips two-tenths (.8 – .6, #226 to #28, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Over and above posting its third straight increase for an overall +2.1 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” vaults from fifth to first with its best 6+-showing (7.0) since 8.6 in “Holiday” 2018. By tacking on one-half share to March’s increase of two-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). Before eroding by -1.0 in February, “The Bull” was a collective +1.4 through four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Its country rival, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” adds two-tenths (2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and progresses from #16 to #14. “Kicks,” which was off three-tenths in March, rebounded from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase in February (2.6 – 3.2, +.6). There is an interesting development in the market’s competitive urban AC battle as the format’s 6+ share deflates by -1.5, immediately after it improved (in March) by +1.4. More to the point, Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic,” which was +2.5 via three successive positive spikes (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+), sputters by eight-tenths to 6.1, shifting from second to fourth. Simultaneously, Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B,” +1.4 in February/March (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), returns half that increase (5.2, -.7, fourth to seventh, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs are off one-tenth with each losing two rankers: Dropping from #9 to #11 is iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.7 – 3.6, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” falls from #11 to #13 (3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” broke out a +.7 in March. “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; forfeited six-tenths in February; and was flat in March.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the third straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” slips from #18 to #20. Flat at #23, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” drops one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

At the same time, Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” improves by two-tenths in consecutive ratings periods (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) as the Phillies’ flagship – which was -1.3 in February – proceeds from fourth to third. Dropping from #14 to #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – April 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 (6+).

While off a collective -1.0 via three declines in a row (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KYW repeats in ninth-place. “News Radio 1060” was down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, but rebounded in January with a gain of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.0, 6+).

For the second month in a row, public news/talk WHYY falters by four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, #16 to #18, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – After trending 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erupts with a +1.2 to 3.4 (#19 to #12, 6+). A combined -1.3 in February/March (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK not only logs a +1.0 to 6.8 (6+), “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” leaps from sixth to first. It displaces Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” (7.0 – 6.7, -.3, first to second, 6+), which has a March-only stay at #1. Philly’s market leader from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. By forfeiting three-tenths to 4.5 (unchanged at #8, 6+), format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Relaxing Favorites,” interrupts four up or flat trends that generated a combined +2.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Formerly rhythmic hot AC “Real 106.1,” WISX became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). Anchored in seventh-place, Beasley Media Group-owned WXTU “92.5 Philly’s Country Station” is a collective +2.2 through four straight gains (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing since July 2018 (5.8, as well). Also notching an April gain of eight-tenths is iHeartMedia’s WRFF (3.1 – 3.9, #13 to #10, 6+), as “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” has its best 6+-stat (3.9) since November 2017’s 4.0. Segueing from second to fifth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is a combined -1.1 in March/April (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+), after its +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+). WOGL jumped from a three-way tie for third (January) to first in February. Three successive improvements by Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR accounted for an overall +1.7 (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), but “93.3 Everything That Rocks” surrenders seven-tenths to 5.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in March (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” jumps from #19 to #15. Although it repeats at #25, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is off one-tenth to 1.4 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).

Not only does Entercom sports talk WFAN rack up a gain of seven-tenths (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship zooms from fourth to a first-place tie with its highest 6+-share in Long Island (5.1) since October 2018’s 5.6. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is unchanged from March in 6+-share (1.8) and market rank (#21).

An increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Entercom all-news WCBS-AM to enter the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS has lost eight-tenths in three straight slips (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+). These two siblings were a combined +1.3 in January.

Unlisted in October 2018 and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; but is down or flat for the third time in succession for a net loss of one-half share (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22 to #24, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and ties sports talk cluster-mate WFAN at #1. Following five straight times at #1, Connoisseur Media-owned hot AC WALK-FM shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+), “97.5 – Real Variety” has now lost over half its 6+-share (-5.5) in four consecutive declines (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). A collective -5.8 through three drops in succession (9.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” concludes that slide with a one-tenth increase (3.5, tenth to ninth, 6+). The six most recent fluctuations for Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” are -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); -.5 (February); +.7 (March); and now -.5 in April (3.7 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+). Four successive sweeps without a loss by Cox Media Group-owned WBAB netted a +1.3 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), but “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” drops four-tenths to 4.0 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Tied with identical 2.4 – 2.1 (-.3, #15 to #19, 6+) profiles are Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Long Island’s Home For Everything That Rocks” and Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7,” as the two stations have positive streaks come to an end. “The Shark” was a cumulative +.9 in five straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), while “NEW 102.7” “logged four up or flat reports in succession for a +.8 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the seventh consecutive sweep that iHeartMedia news talk KKDD is without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), but “1290 News Talk IE” manages to move from #24 to #23.

It is tied with co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” whose November 2018 through April 2019 topline is .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 (6+). For the 16th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

In a December 2018 through April 2019 down/up pattern which includes April’s loss of nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – .8, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR drops from #11 to #13 and has lost one-half share in that timeframe. Meanwhile, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is down or flat for the third time in a row (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – The Inland Empire’s huge news is that Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA gains four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2, second to first, 6+) at the same time that Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” regresses by that magnitude (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, first to second, 6+). “Jose” and KOLA had been at #1 and #2, respectively, in each of the past 11 sweeps. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). “Jose” is off for the fifth consecutive report for a collective -3.5 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+). December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A collective -1.9 via four successive negative trends (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet KLRD “Air 1 Worship Now” wipes away nearly half that deficit with a +.9 to 1.2 (#19 to #12, 6+). Progressing by one-half share are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” (4.1 – 4.6, steady at #4, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” (2.8 – 3.3, unchanged at #8, 6+). “K-Love” was stuck on 4.6 (6+) in January and February, before sputtering by one-half share in March; “Que Buena” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 ratings periods. In three successive improvements, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE was a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” is off three-tenths to 3.4 (flat at #7, 6+). After posting five consecutive up or flat trends for an overall gain of two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD returns one-tenth to 1.4 (#12 to #11, 6+); “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 20th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks Cumulus Media news/talk KGO’s seventh straight San Jose sweep without an increase for an overall -1.1 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). Meanwhile, four straight up or flat moves by co-owned news/talk KSFO have accounted for a one-half share increase (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, #22 to #23, 6+).

Off three-tenths in February/March (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” rebounds with a +1.1 to 4.2 (6+) as the flagship of the Giants inches up from eighth to seventh. In consecutive sweeps, Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” picks up two-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, #20 to #19, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM is -1.5 in March/April (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+), directly after a collective +1.4 in four straight ratings periods without a loss (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+).

Albeit down two-tenths (7.1 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED marches from second to first. A combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), KQED erased that deficit in its entirety with a gain of nine-tenths in March. Having added one-tenth in back-to-back (February/March) sweeps (.7 – .8 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW is flat in April (.9, #27 to #26, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here makes a larger (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 improvement than Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.3, +1.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other end of the spectrum, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” suffers the largest (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 decrease of any station in these 12 PPM-markets (7.7 – 6.2, -1.5, first to second, 6+). We are not through though with the magnitude of 1.5, as – prior to the April sweep – “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three upticks in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). For a change of pace, it was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Co-owned hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music,” which gained six-tenths in in three straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), regresses by eight-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Format rival, iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3,” is a collective -1.1 in three straight slips (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). For the fourth straight month, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. KOIT-FM remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – On top for the fourth month in a row, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has nonetheless lost an overall eight-tenths in three straight drops (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+); “New Jersey 101.5” was +1.2 in January. Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR slips by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8, #14 to #18, 6+). January’s +1.0 completely erased the overall December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.0. After three straight times of notching a 1.0 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC falters by three-tenths to .7 (#26 to #27, 6+).

An increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) elevates Entercom sports talk/Yankees key station into the top ten (#15 to #10). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is a collective -1.1 in six straight ratings periods without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, #23 to #24, 6+).

Entercom all-news/Mets flagship WCBS-AM has gained a combined seven-tenths in March/April (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, #19 to #16, 6+), while, in the same stretch, co-owned/similarly-programmed WINS is down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6, flat at #25, 6+). Prior to March WINS posted four straight gains that accounted for a one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Even though it adds one-tenth (2.4 – 2.5, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM backslides from #19 to #20; WNYC was up a combined eight-tenths in January/February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Having surrendered three-tenths in March, WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” roars back with a +1.0 (2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and reenters the top twenty (#21 to #15). The Cumulus Media hot AC is in the process of being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to contemporary Christian when the deal receives final approval. Climbing from third to second, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a combined +1.9 in four straight improvements (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately in advance of this string, “Z-100” was without an increase four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+). Off a combined three-tenths in February/March (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WWPR “Power 105.1” responds with a gain of seven-tenths to 3.7 (#15 to #10, 6+). Entering the top ten as well is Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1,” which picks up one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, #12 to #8, 6+). Regressing by one-half share are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.1, steady in fifth-place, 6+) and Emmis owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #19, 6+). WCBS-FM had been up six-tenths through three consecutive gains (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). When “Hot” picked up two-tenths in March, it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). In addition to logging its fourth straight decrease for an overall -2.4 (5.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” fades from the top ten (#9 to #14).

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB 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. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.

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