Tag: "acquisition"

Thursday, July 2, 2020

| July 2, 2020

COMING THIS WEEKEND:  Independence Day Weekend Edition of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of 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, will be posted tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 3:00 pm ET.  This new episode titled “Self-Evident!” will look back at this past week of June 29-July 3, 2020 in addition to paying tribute to the founding of America.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupJennifer Horn, talk show host, Salem Media Group / VP, CRN Digital Talk RadioMatthew B. Harrison, law professor, Western New England University / VP Goodphone CommunicationsLincoln Ware, talk show host WDBZ, Cincinnati; Dan Yorke, talk show host, WPRO, Providence; Doug Stephan, talk show host, “DJV Show” / talk show host, “American Family Farmer.” This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode (posted Friday 7/3 at 3:00 pm ET),  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.

LiveXLive Closes on PodcastOne Acquisition. The live stream and on-demand platform LiveXLive Media, Inc announces it has closed on its acquisition of PodcastOne. LiveXLive says in a press release, “PodcastOne, which recorded revenue of $27.5 million in calendar 2019, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of LiveXLive. The acquisition is expected to be accretive and will strengthen LiveXLive’s balance sheet as well as diversifying its business model with a significant advertising component.” PodcastOne’s library includes more than 300 podcasts, including: “The Adam Carolla Show”, “The Big Podcast with Shaquille O’Neal,” A&E’s “Cold Case Files,” “Hotboxin with Mike Tyson,” and more. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz joins LiveXLive as a significant shareholder and remains executive chairman. Under the terms of the acquisition, LiveXLive acquired 100% of the equity interests of Courtside Group, Inc., the owner and operator of PodcastOne, and issued to stockholders of PodcastOne approximately 5.36 million restricted shares of LiveXLive’s common stock, which are subject to a 12-month lock-up period and certain trading restrictions thereafter.

TALKERS News Notes. Baton Rouge alt-weekly The Advocate reports that Guaranty Broadcasting’s sports talk KNXX-FM “104.5 ESPN” shuffles its programming lineup. Writer Kyle Whitfield says the station breaks up the “Sports Today” duo of Charles Hanagriff and Jimmy Ott with Hanagriff being partnered with former LSU running back Jacob Hester for the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm “Hangin’ with Hester and Hanny” show and Ott starting his own “Gametime” program airing from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..FOX News announces that after an independent investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, it has fired “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Ed Henry. The company sent a memo to staffers written by FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and president and executive editor Jay Wallace explaining Henry’s departure. Henry’s attorney, Catherine Foti, issued a public statement that Henry denies the allegations and “is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that radio producer Carl Amari’s golden age of radio programming is moving from Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown WIND-AM. WGN recently announced it is dropping the weekend overnight “WGN Radio Theatre” program. Now, the syndicated “Hollywood 360” – co-hosted by Amari and Lisa Wolf – will air from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on WIND-AM. Salem Chicago RVP and general manager Jeff Reisman says, “We are excited to have ‘Hollywood 360’ and Carl Amari back on AM 560. Carl expertly weaves together a unique mix of content that has continued to attract and entertain listeners for years, and we look forward to welcoming them back.”…..This might fall into the “at least they spelled our name right” category. Daily Herald columnist Jim O’Donnell writes about the state and future of ESPN’s WMPV, Chicago “ESPN 1000” – being operated by Good Karma Brands under the leadership of general manager Mike Thomas. O’Donnell is clearly not impressed with sports talk in Chicago but gives Thomas – who arrived in his home state back in January after leading the programming at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” – the opportunity to talk up the changes taking place at WMVP.

‘Mightier 1090’ in San Diego to Use SportsGrid Tech Platform. When the new iteration of talk programming takes to the airwaves of San Diego on XEPRS as “The Mightier 1090” sometime this summer, SportsGrid’s cloud-based automation and live production tools will be used by the station. SportsGrid says its production services will stream the “Mightier 1090” audio feed through a low-latency IP connection from the cloud to the station’s transmitter. Marketing executive Bill Hagen is leading operations of the soon-to-debut station. He says, “I’ve listened to the people and the dream of bringing ‘The Mighty 1090 AM’ back to Southern California has now become a reality. The legendary tradition is back in a Mightier fashion, allowing for carefully thought out, desired programming to once again serve the Southern California region.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections/Mask Controversy, Seattle CHOP Ends, Policing in America, Confederate & Colonial-Era Monuments Issue, Russia-Taliban Bounty Report, Facebook Advertiser Boycott, Court Strikes Trump Asylum Order and Vacate Mary Trump Book Restraint, and Status of Sports Leagues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1). The rise in COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future outbreaks tied with the controversy over the wearing of masks to diminish transmission; the Seattle police clear the CHOP in the aftermath of two killings in the area; the criticism of policing in the U.S.; the movement to remove Confederate and Colonial-era monuments; the report that Russia has been offering bounties to Taliban fighters for killing U.S. servicemen; Facebook deals with an advertiser boycott over its handling of “hate speech” and “misinformation”; a court strikes down the Trump administration’s order denying asylum requests from people from Latin American nations and a court vacates the restraint on Mary Trump’s book; and the status of American sports leagues 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. New York hip hop outlet WWPR “Power 105.1” is presenting “A Celebration of Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon Album Release” starting at midnight tonight (7/3). iHeartMedia’s “Power 105.1” will celebrate the life and works of Pop Smoke by playing songs from Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon at the top of every hour, plus exclusive Pop Smoke interviews with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez, behind-the-scene photos and performances from Power 105.1’s POWERHOUSE available at Power1051’s website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as check-ins from 50 Cent, Steven Victor, Lil Tjay, Fivio Foreign, The Breakfast Club and more…..The weekend country radio show “B-Dub Radio Saturday Night” debuts Saturday (7/4) in partnership with its syndication development partner, Skyview Networks. Host Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is throwing a Fourth of July party featuring country radio’s superstar duo LoCash as a special guest to celebrate the show’s re-launch with listeners across the country. The show has added new affiliate stations, including iHeartMedia’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5,” whose PD Lance Houston says, “B-Dub has added such a great energy to ‘BIG 95.5’ on Saturday nights! If you want your station to sound fun again on Saturday night, while staying true to the format and the sound of country music, then this is the show for you.”…..Programming pro Mike McCoy is named operations manager at Stephens Media Group’s Rochester, New York that includes adult contemporary WRMM-FM “Warm 101.3,” alternative WZNE-FM “94.1 The Zone,” and adult hits WFKL-FM “Fickle 93.3.” He will also program “Warm 101.3” and “Fickle 93.3” SVP of programming Bob Thornton says, “Mike is exactly the kind of person we need in the Rochester market. His relentless pursuit of excellence, leadership qualities and vast experience will take this cluster to new heights.”

Friday, November 2, 2018

| November 2, 2018

Scripps Two Stations Away from Exiting Radio Biz; Good Karma and SummitMedia Close on Acquisitions.  Yesterday (11/1) was the closing on Good Karma Brands’ purchase of news/talk WTMJ-AM and country-turned-sports WKTI-FM in Milwaukee for $16 million and on SummitMedia’s acquisition of 19 stations in the Wichita, Springfield (Mo), Omaha, and Knoxville markets for $47 million.  The closing officially puts Scripps Media out of the radio business, having grossed $83.5 million from the selloff.  As reported earlier in TALKERS, Good Karma Brands is flipping WKTI-FM, Milwaukee from country to sports talk as “94.5 ESPN Milwaukee.”  The stations SummitMedia acquires are KFDI-FM, KICT-FM, KFXJ-FM, KYQQ-FM, and KFTI-AM in Wichita; KTTS-FM, KSPW-FM, KSGF-AM/FM, and KRVI-FM in Springfield; KEZO-FM, KSRZ-FM, KQCH-FM, KKCD-FM, and KXSP-AM in Omaha; and WWST-FM, WCYQ-FM, WKHT-FM, and WNOX-FM in Knoxville.  Kalil & Co was the exclusive broker for both transactions.  Once Lotus Communications closes on its $8 million acquisition of Scripps’ Tucson and Boise operations, it will officially have exited the radio business.

Beasley Reports Positive Third Quarter Financial Numbers; Net Revenue Up 10.6%.  This quarterly financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group comes after a number of station transactions that have taken place over the last year and a half.  The company cites the May 1, 2017 sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville; the December 19, 2017, asset exchange of AC WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston; and September 27, acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom for $38 million. This quarter’s results reflect the operations and from WBZ-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018.  The results also reflect approximately two months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017.  That said, Beasley reports net revenue of $65.1 million – a 10.6% rise over the same period in 2017.  Although station operating income was down almost 35%, Beasley states that it was “impacted by an additional $1.7 million in bad debt expense due to financial issues at United States Traffic Network.” Chief operating officer Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley’s strong operating cash flows allowed us to continue making strategic investments in our broadcast and technology platforms. During the third quarter, we completed the strategically complementary and accretive acquisition of WXTU-FM in Philadelphia. In addition to being one of the best and most listened-to country music stations in America, WXTU-FM further enhances our revenue and competitive position by creating a full cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-ten market. We also completed two smaller acquisitions including a Tampa-based event company and a nationally syndicated Esports podcast in separate transactions that were funded with cash on hand. All three transactions are consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by identifying and completing transactions where we can drive valuable synergies, leverage content and enhance SOI margins, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”

Saga’s Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications states net revenue was $31.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the same period in 2017.  Operating income decreased 3.4% to $5.3 million and station operating expense increased 7.7% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 net revenue was flat compared to the same quarter last year at $29.6 million.  Looking at the past nine months, net revenue increased 6% to $91.9 million.  Saga reports $48.8 million in cash on hand as of September 30, 2018 and $50.5 million as of October 31, 2018.  The company’s total long-term debt was $20 million as of September 30, 2018.  On Tuesday (10/30), Saga announced its intent to buy Ocala Broadcasting Corporation’s Ocala-Gainesville four-station group – country WOGK-FM and classic rock “The Wind” trimulcast WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM.

Delaware Talker Dan Gaffney Beginning Saturday Gig at WPHT in Philly.  His “day job” is program director and morning drive host at Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City “Delaware 105.9,” but tomorrow night (11/3) Dan Gaffney adds hosting the 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Saturday show on Entercom’s WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210” to his radio work.  Gaffney says, “I’m so excited to work with PD Jared Hart and his team at WPHT, in my favorite big city – Philadelphia!”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 29 – November 2.  Next Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the caravan of Honduran migrants making its way to the U.S. border and President Trump’s controversial video ad. Coming in at #3 was the birthright citizenship issue, followed by the Pittsburgh synagogue slayings 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, WDRQ PD and director of FM programming Robby Bridges announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Detroit cluster after five years to return home to Providence to focus on his family.  He posts on his Facebook page: “It is with many mixed emotions to share I have chosen not extend my agreement and will be leaving Detroit by the end of the year.  Totally my choice, company has been terrific as I made the decision also.  It’s been an amazing 11-year ride with Cumulus that’s given me incredible opportunities, found me lifelong friends and left me with unforgettable memories.  None more so, than in the Motor City!”…..There was no notice and Cumulus Media hasn’t said anything publicly, but Kelly Ford appears to have exited her role on the Nashville-based, syndicated country morning show “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” with Ty Bentli and Chuck Wicks – although her bio is still on the website…..Programming pro Robert Elfman is named program director for Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WGNI-FM “102.7 GNI” and classic rock WKXS-FM “94.5 The Hawk” in Wilmington, North Carolina. Elfman moves to Wilmington after 11 years with Eagle Communications, most recently as OM and PD at the company’s Manhattan, Kansas station group.  Cumulus Media Wilmington vice president and general manager Eric McCart says, “While searching for our next leader for ‘102.7 GNI’ and ‘94.5 The Hawk,’ Robert impressed us from the very start as someone who will help take us to the next level and deliver an even better listener experience.  He possesses the leadership skills to work with our team and lead our brands to even greater success serving our listeners, advertisers, and community. I’m very excited to welcome Robert to our Cumulus family!”…..Adams Radio Group flips active rock WJFX-HD2/W277AK in Fort Wayne to hip hop as “Loud 103.3” featuring such core artists as DrakeThe Weeknd, Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, and more. Station OM JJ Fabini states, “I couldn’t be more excited about ‘Loud 103.3.’ Our city has sorely been missing a hip hop outlet for years – an entire segment of our population didn’t have a radio station to call their own, and Adams is thrilled for the opportunity to serve the community with this new venture.”…..Meruelo Media’s hip hop KPWR-FM, Los Angeles “Power 106” is launching a new, two-hour show starring DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible called, “New at Night.”  It airs from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am and is being billed as “unfiltered new hip hop without limitations” programmed and mixed by DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible with assistance from music and programming supervisor Becky Lopez.  “Power 106” personality Mando Fresko hosts the second hour of the program.

October 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” repeats at #9; August’s 4.4 is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). After posting a +.5 in June; -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is down one-tenth in October (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). September’s 2.5 is its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). Via six straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” doubles its 6+-share and continues at #24. A collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT repeats at #1. KUT, which was -1.0 in August, was on top in July and May – with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0.

Austin Music Formats – No sooner had Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ eroded by -1.2 in September than “Majic 95.5” roars back in October by erasing that deficit in its entirety (6.7 – 5.5 – 6.7, +1.2, fourth to third, 6+). Its 6.7 in August and October is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. Off a collective nine-tenths in August and September (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” answers with a +.6 in October to 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+). Dropping eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.2 – 4.4, flat at #8, 6+) and Emmis-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (4.0 – 3.2, #10 to #12, 6+). Having posted six straight sweeps without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops three-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #18, 6+). The October 2018 sweep isn’t kind to Austin’s country format as iHeartMedia’s KASE is down four-tenths (5.7 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and a combined +.6 in August and September. Co-owned KVET-FM drops two-tenths (5.3 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). In four straight downward trends, “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” was an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+) until it scored a +.6 in September. Finally, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+) but stays at #21. With a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), “Austin’s Country Alternative” erased three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK is a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” jumps from eighth to fifth. A July increase of four-tenths halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF has nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share and advances from #19 to #17. In May, “News Radio 680” finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. Up a cumulative six-tenths in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” moves from #16 to #14. Its +.4 in September halted three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Over the last five survey periods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and unchanged at second (8.4 – 8.3, -.1, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – As the result of four straight down or flat trends, WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” was a combined -1.3 (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). That slide ends in October though as the iHeartMedia CHR posts a one-half share increase to 5.5 (tenth to seventh, 6+); September’s 5.0 is its lowest 6+-share since December 2017 (5.0, as well). Also improving by one-half share are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.9 – 4.4, steady at #11, 6+) and Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” (2.2, #18 to #15, 6+), which had logged a 1.7 (6+) in five of the last nine reports (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (9.6 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” repeats at #1. On the strength of September’s +1.1, “Foxy” recorded a 9.6 – its strongest 6+-stat since January’s 10.7. A loss of nine-tenths (6.1 – 5.2, 6+) drops Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life, Your Music” from fifth to ninth. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is a collective +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+); -1.3 in July (7.7 – 6.4, 6+); +.6 in August (6.4 – 7.0, 6+); and a collective -1.7 in September and October (7.0 – 5.8 – 5.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). October’s 5.3 is the lowest 6+-stat for “Mix” since 5.1 in March. At the same time that Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” adds one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” surrenders four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, 6+). The two format rivals are unchanged at #3 and #12, respectively. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR halted three straight downward moves that led to a collective -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). A four-tenths decrease in September by WNCB suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). A loss of one-tenth to .5 (flat at #20, 6+) by Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” interrupts six straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .5 – 5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Shaking off September’s -.7 with an October increase of +1.0, Emmis news/talk WIBC advances from sixth to fifth. In addition, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” continues an up/down pattern that began in March: 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 6.5. Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” levels out at 2.2 (6+) following September’s +.6, which almost wiped out its overall loss of seven-tenths through five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). “The Fan,” however, backslides from #15 to #16 where it is tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which logs a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, #19 to #16, 6+). After being a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI is now off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to September’s +.4 (7.0 – 7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” bumps up from third to second. WFMS was #1 in April, May, and June, before faltering by a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+). Representative fluctuations this calendar year for “95.5 The Country Station” include: -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); and +.9 (October). There’s also good news for its format foe, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which responds to September’s -1.5 with a +.6 (5.1 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). “Hank” was down nine-tenths in June and then became frozen on 6.6 (6+) in July and August. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” picks up two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and continues at #15. Major accolades continue for Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which registers its fifth successive uptrend netting a whopping +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+); reaches 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history (beating the previous record of 9.7 set just last month); and is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Conversely, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” (flat at #14) is a collective -1.2 as a result of four straight slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5, 6+) and falls below the three-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.8). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH “Hot 96.3” sputters by six-tenths (6.0 – 5.4, 6+) and segues from fifth to seventh. Following four consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” surrenders four-tenths to 7.1 (6+), slipping from second to third. September’s 7.5 represents the finest 6+-showing for WYXB since January’s 7.9.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – This is a genuinely historic sweep for news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” which not only has the largest (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of any facility in PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets (7.9 – 10.4, +2.5, 6+), it unseats an outlet that had been #1 the past 43 sweeps (see below). October’s 10.4 actually isn’t the best 6+-stat in WTMJ’s PPM history though – it hit 10.9 in January 2015. It was announced roughly three months ago that Good Karma Brands would be acquiring Green Bay Packers’ network flagship WTMJ from Scripps; the sale is pending. A combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” picks up four-tenths to 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Remaining at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is a collective +.7 as the result of four consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 3.4 (#12, 6+). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – October 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 (flat at #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to September’s +.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL advances from sixth to fourth. “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. It no longer has a direct competitor as (Scripps-to-Good Karma Brands’) WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” transitioned to sports talk this week (as “94.5 ESPN Milwaukee”). In its final sweep as a country station, WKTI shifts from #13 to #12, but is an overall -1.0 in five straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Even after cratering -1.6 in September (10.2 – 8.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” managed to stay at #1 for the 43rd consecutive ratings period. In October, however, the combination of WTMJ dialing up a mammoth +2.5 (to 10.4, 6+) and “Big FM” faltering by seven-tenths (to 7.9, 6+), WRIT tumbles to the runner-up slot. Prior to losing seven-tenths in July, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB resulted in a +2.2 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+), but “B-93.3” surrenders nearly half that increase (5.2 -1.0, 6+) and dips from fourth to seventh. September’s 6.2 represents the strongest 6+-showing for WLDB since “Holiday” 2017’s 7.4. On the heels of September’s one-half share decline, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” plunges another nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). WKLH previously was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 (June); +1.2 (August); -.5 (September); and -.9 (October). Four gains in succession by Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” eventuated in an overall +1.0 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) and the best 6+-showing (5.1) since December 2016’s 5.5. In October though “Kiss” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.7 (ninth to tenth, 6+). After logging a one-half share gain in September to 5.9 – its best 6+-stat since August 2017’s 6.3 – hot AC cluster-mate WMYX “99.1 The Mix” relinquishes eight-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to eighth, 6+). While it remains at #11, Saga Communications urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” is off two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three consecutive increases that netted a +1.6 (2.6 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the August ratings period, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). It’s apparently time for another move of two-tenths by “Super Talk” (3.8 – 4.0, 6+), taking it back into the top ten (#11 to #10). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#19 to #20, 6+) has a May 2017 – October 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – 1.1. In four consecutive up or flat moves, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  has more than doubled (+3.3) its 6+-share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+) as “104.5 The Zone” jumps from seventh to fifth. This (6.3) is the highest 6+-share for the Tennessee Titans’ flagship since January’s 6.5. An overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which were by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+) – Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” gains a collective six-tenths in September and October (.7 – .8 – 1.3, #19 to #18, 6+). Having recorded a one-half share increase in August, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM surrenders twice that margin (-1.0) in September and October (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6, 6+) as “NPR News and Classical Music” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Nashville Music Formats – A collective -1.5 in three slips in succession (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.6 – 6.0), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” erases one-third of that deficit with a one-half share gain to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). In addition to having its highest 6+-stat (5.8) since May’s 5.9, CHR sibling WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +1.4 in three straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8, seventh to sixth, 6+). Despite the fact that it backslides from #13 to #14, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” is an overall +.8 in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). While Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA is in the driver’s seat for the ninth successive ratings period, it hasn’t always been uneventful. These are among the fluctuations this calendar year for “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music”: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); and now -.7 in October (8.8 – 8.1, 6+). “Mix” ranked first in November (2017), December, and “Holiday”; shifted to second in January (2018); but returned to #1 in February. In three positive spikes in succession (5.9 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK was a collective +1.5. In one fell swoop, however, “92-Q” craters by -1.9 (7.4 – 5.5, 6+) and drifts from third to eighth. It’s a somewhat similar, although less dramatic, story for iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+). In September and October, “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6, #2 to #3, 6+). August’s 7.8 is the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January (7.8, as well). It is a clean sweep for the market’s three country-formatted FMs: Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is up two tenths (5.6 – 5.8, flat at #6, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” notches an improvement of four-tenths and is steady at #8; and Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” gains three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, #12 to #10, 6+). “The Big 98” was up eight-tenths in September, while “Nash Icon” spiraled by -1.0. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), “Nash FM” was a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM notes its third straight increase for an overall +.8 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Flat at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is a combined +.6 via three consecutive gains (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), directly following an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net May through September decline of just one-tenth (.6 – .6 -.6 – .5 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth to .6 (6+) and continues at #21. Following an approximately 6.5-year absence from the Providence report, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM returned in print in May. “News Radio 1030” is up three-tenths in four straight up or flat Providence moves (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, #19 to #16, 6+). Three of the most recent shifts for Entercom sports talk outlet WVEI include: -.6 (July); +.7 (August); and +.7 in October (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to seventh, 6+). In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Finishing back-to-back at #9 and #10, respectively, are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which duplicates September’s +.4 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, flat at #9, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH (1.8 – 2.3, +.5, #11 to #10, 6+). Before adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In September, WGBH returned the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in August and September (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB bounces back in October with a +.5 to 6.9 (6+) and carries on at #5. Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1,” which is trending 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.7 (fourth to second, 6+). Entering the October sweep, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI had been in double-digits (6+) 11 of the last 17 sweeps, but “Lite Rock 105” falters by eight-tenths (10.2 – 9.4, 6+). Nonetheless, it #1 for the third month in a row; June’s 10.3 is its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Some major ups/downs continue for CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which is -.7 (July); +1.0 (August); -.7 (September); and now -1.4 in October (8.4 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+). This (7.0) marks the first time WPRO-FM is below an eight-share (6+) since February’s 7.8.

Norfolk – An overall -2.5 via four straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” responds in October with a +1.1 to 6.9 (fifth to third, 6+). It is tied at #3 with classic rock sibling WAFX “106.9 The Fox,” which nets a +1.6 in September and October, (5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). That nearly erases its -1.8 in four straight decreases (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” has more than doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in three positive spikes in succession (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5, #10 to #9, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, urban AC WVKL just keeps rolling as “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” (flat at 13.7) is #1 for the 23rd time in a row and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 31st time in the last 32 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+), which WVKL tied in July. In the runner-up slot for the fifth straight month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz,” which spirals by -1.2 to 7.0 (6+). As a result, it pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat moves that yielded an overall gain of nine-tenths (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+). Down a combined one-half share in three successive slips (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” segues from fourth to fifth. Immediately prior to this streak, “2WD” was +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) and in advance of May’s -1.1 posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from September’s -.8 with a gain of three-tenths (4.3 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” doubles its 6+-share (.2 – .4, 6+) and carries on at #16. Entering this sweep, however, WSJS lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share as a result of six straight down or flat moves (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+). This marks the fifth consecutive month that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 and fourth time in a row it is without a loss for a collective +.4 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Its +.1 in August concluded at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May through October topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (flat at #15) is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to September’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” continues in third-place with its highest 6+-showing (8.5) since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017. WMAG had been a collective -1.0 in July and August (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.8, 6+). Up one-half share (5.4 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” which eroded by -1.5 in June, advances from eighth to seventh. Steady at #5, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” follows September’s loss of eight-tenths with a -.1 (7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+).”Q-104.1” was down three-tenths in July and then up four-tenths in August. July’s decrease ended at three its consecutive streak of gains that netted a +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+). By adding two-tenths to 10.4 (6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG applies the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). This is the tenth month in a row “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is on top and 23rd straight time it’s in double-digits (6+). Wiping out September’s +.5 with a -.6 in October (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” finishes at #12 for the fifth consecutive time. Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Owing to three straight declines (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW is off a combined nine-tenths, but “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” continues in the runner-up slot for the tenth consecutive time. A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in June and July and then on 3.6 (6+) in August and September, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “101.1 La Ley” sputters by one-half share in October to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” makes up half that deficit with a +.5 to 2.4 (#13 to #11, 6+). WJNO previously notched four straight up or flat trends for a +.9 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). In addition to exiting the top ten (#10 to #12) Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” drops four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of positive spikes that yielded seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Repeating September’s 1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bumps up from #14 to #13; “Real Radio” gained one-half share in August. In three straight increases, Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is up a collective four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and is steady at #18. With its third straight improvement for a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN progresses from eighth to sixth.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After sputtering by one-half share in September, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” roars back with an increase more than twice that margin (2.8 – 3.9, +1.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). An overall +1.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is on top for the tenth month in a row with its highest 6+-share (10.7) since November 2017’s 11.2. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it suspended three straight decreases that produced an overall -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). In addition to cracking the top ten (#11 to #10), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” is +1.2 through four upticks in succession (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The three latest shifts for Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” are +1.2 (August); -.9 (September); and -1.0 in October (4.2 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to August, WIRK notched five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.0 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); August’s 5.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2017. Similarly, major month-to-month moves continue for iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5,” which was -1.6 (May and June, 4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+); a collective +1.3 (July and August, 2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+); -.5 (September, 4.0 – 3.5, 6+); and now -.7 in October (2.8, seventh to ninth, 6+). Remaining at #5, co-owned WKGR “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” drops six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Up four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+) after July’s half-share loss, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” forfeits six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. September’s 5.2 is the best 6+-showing for “Sunny” since April (5.2, as well). Following three setbacks in succession for an overall -1.2 (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” – posts a +.1 to 5.4 (third to second, 6+). September’s 5.3 is its lowest 6+-share since 4.9 in “Holiday” 2017.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – These past four ratings periods have been quite the rollercoaster ride for Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV. It is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); and topped with an eye-popping +2.0 in October (8.6 – 10.6, 6+) that takes “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” from #3 to #1 with its best-ever 6+-stat (10.6) in the PPM-era. This is the first time WOKV finishes first since May, when it scored a 9.3 (6+). For the third month in a row, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” registers a .5 (#19 to #20, 6+). Off one-tenth after September’s -.6 (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT dips from #12 to #13.

Jacksonville Music Formats – By gaining two-tenths to 7.0 (flat at #4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” interrupts three straight down or flat moves that led to a combined loss of three-tenths (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 this past January and March. Continuing at #7, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9” nets +1.4 in three straight increases (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), immediately following three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Down two full-shares in September and October (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station,” which had been on top the past four months, shifts to #3. In September, WEJZ had its consecutive string of reaching double-digits (6+) end at three (10.4 – 10.3 – 10.6, 6+). August’s 10.6 is the best 6+-showing for WEJZ since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9, while October’s 8.6 its weakest since 8.1 in March. In six successive downward moves, co-owned WGNE is an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), but “Gator Country 99.9” repeats at #9. A cumulative -1.0 in March and April, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” was +.8 (May); -.5 (June); +1.0 (July); -.4 (August); +.8 in September; and now -.7 in October (5.9 – 5.2, flat at #6, 6+). Delmarva Educational Association contemporary Christian WCRJ “The Joy FM” debuts with a 1.1 (#17, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Trending 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 (July-August-September-October, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” remains in tenth-place. July’s +.2 to 3.1 (6+) stalled five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” posts its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+); WFMS was off six-tenths in July. Although flat at #18, co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” drops two-tenths to .2 (6+), halting five successive up or flat moves that yielded three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Owing to four successive sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO  was a combined -1.4 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Despite picking up two-tenths to 8.8 (6+) to halt that skid, “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” downshifts from second to third. May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. Over and above adding an astonishing +2.4 to September’s +.6 giving Entercom adult contemporary WRVR an 11.0 – its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 – “104.5 The River” flows from second to first. Steady at #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up an overall one-half share in four consecutive up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after five consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101,” which – despite being up four-tenths (10.3 – 10.7, 6+) – trades places with WRVR at #2. Entering the August sweep, KJMS was +1.7 in three straight up or flat trends (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+), but was a combined -.8 in August and September (11.1 – 10.4 – 10.3, 6+). Down or flat six monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is up seven-tenths in September and October (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). It is tied at #5 with co-owned 1070 WDIA “The Heart & Soul of Memphis,” which erodes by eight-tenths (6.1 – 5.3, 6+). An overall -2.7 in six downward moves in succession (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #4 with its lowest 6+-stat (7.1) since March 2017’s 6.5. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded “V-101” at #1. As a result of four straight slips for a combined -2.4 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM tumbles from sixth to ninth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). When Cumulus Media-owned WGKX lost two-tenths in September, it curtailed three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). Now, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” falters by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) but continues in seventh-place.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 6.2 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” busts out a +.8 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). July’s one-half share gain halted three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#15 to #14) has an ultra-consistent topline so far this calendar year: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 (6+). Returning to print after an extended hiatus, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 (6+) and checks in at #13. After seven straight down or flat trends for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is a combined +.8 in September and October (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” (#13 to 14) follows August’s gain of three-tenths with a combined September and October loss of four-tenths (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, , 6+). Its August improvement curtailed five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By posting a one-half share increase to 7.5, (6+), WTIC-FM ends a July-August-September mini-slide that accounted for a collective -1.6 (8.6 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+); the Entercom hot AC is unchanged in third-place. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in September (11.4 – 11.1 – 11.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” is on top for the 27th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 24th time in the last 26 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which pulled the plug on four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). Penetrating the market from Springfield (Massachusetts), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WMAS-FM is off one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, #11 to #13, 6+). Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.9 in five straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+).

Friday, December 13, 2013

| December 13, 2013

westwoodone logoCumulus Announces Closing of WestwoodOne Acquisition.  Although the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division is still reviewing the merger, Cumulus Media Inc. announces the completion of the $260 million deal.  Cumulus says that although the merger was not subject to the pre-closing notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act,cumulus logo the review is taking place and it can’t predict if the DOJ will elect to seek, or obtain, any remedies, or the effect that any remedies may have on its business, financial condition or results of operations.  Cumulus maintains it does not believe the deal raises any anti-competitive issues.  Back to the deal, Cumulus notes it consists of approximately $45 million attributable to the equity of WWO and the retirement of $215 million of debt of WWO.  Cumulus used cash on hand, including approximately $238 million in cash proceeds from the Company’s previously completed sale of 53 radio stations to Townsquare Media, LLC.

cookehollandNews/Talk #1 Format Reports Nielsen from Client Conference.  Among the information shared at this week’s two-day Nielsen Client Conference was the capper at the end of day two when Nielsen director of programming services Jon Miller announced the results of the company’s top ten formats of 2013 based on AQH share in the 48 PPM-rated markets.  The news was particularly good for news/talk as it tops the pile with a 6+ AQH share of 9.3.  It’s also been a good year for CHR which comes in #2 with an 8.2 share.  Following, in order, are: country – 7.8 share; adult contemporary – 7.7 share; hot AC – 5.5 share; classic hits – 5.3 share; urban AC 5.0 share; and sports talk and classic rock tie with a 4.3 share.  There was much more discussed as consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke writes about the attending CEOs who lamented the industry’s status quo mentality as well as more presentations about integrating social media into listener interaction, and much more.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

whitmanbrianBrian Whitman Signs Extension with Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles.  Longtime Los Angeles radio personality Brian Whitman inks a deal to continue his work as morning drive personality on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles.  Whitman will remain part of “The Morning Answer” on “AM 870 The Answer” alongside Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss.  Whitman has also worked at such LA signals as KIIS-FM, KLSX-FM and KABC-AM as well as WABC, New York.krlalogo  Salem VP/director, spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Brian Whitman is one of the most talented voices on Los Angeles radio, and we are delighted to keep this growing show together for the foreseeable future.  I have worked with Brian since 1996 when I hired him at WABC in New York, and used him across the country as one of the funniest voice over guys on the air.  But his skills go much beyond comedy voices.  He has grown into a very talented talk show host doing morning drive in Market #2.”  Whitman adds, “I’ve been truly blessed to be on the air here in Los Angeles since 1991.  I am excited about the continued growth of our radio show, our station and our brand.  I am so grateful for the truly overwhelming support I’ve received from Salem’s chief executive officer Ed Atsinger, and the entire management team.”

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Subs for Cumulus Media Networks as Huckabee Show Winds Down.  Governor Mike Huckabee did his last live show for Cumulus Media Networks as his show goes into holiday mode before ending on January 3.  Former congressman and talk radio personality J.D. Hayworth is subbing on the network beginning today through January 3 on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program.  Hayworth says he’ll be on the radio all of next week as well as December 26 and 27 and January 2 and 3.  “Governor Huckabee was very gracious to allow me to serve as his guest host on several occasions, and I welcome this opportunity as well.  For me, Friday the 13th is a lucky day.  I thank Cumulus for entrusting me with ‘Mike’s mic’ into the New Year.”

ericksonerickErickson to Sub for Rush Limbaugh.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Georgia-based talk show host Erick Erickson will be fulfilling a dream when he sits in for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Rush Limbaugh over the holidays.  Erickson – who serves as editor-in-chief of RedState.com in addition to his radio work – will host Limbaugh’s program on December 20, 24 and 26.  Erickson’s regular radio job is afternoon drive personality on Cox Media Group’s WSB, Atlanta where he’s heard from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Erickson tells the AJC, “I’m really excited.  It’s one of the few things I ever wanted to do going back to college.  I listened to him every day.  I’d plan classes around his show so I’d be able to listen in my dorm for a couple of hours.”

deptrojohnRhode Island Governor Signs on to Petition to Oust WPRO’s John DePetro.  According to a report in the Providence Journal, the union-led drive to compel WPRO, Providence to remove talk show host John DePetro from his daily talk show on the station has garnered support from the state’s Governor Lincoln Chafee.  The paper reports that the boycott against WPRO’s advertisers – jewelry dealer Alex and Ani has been singled out – is being coordinated by the AFL-CIO‘s secretary treasurer Maureen Martin, who is also the political activities director of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.  Governor Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger, confirms to the paper that the governor has signed the petition urging the jewelry store to withdraw its advertising from WPRO as long as DePetro is employed there and also says he won’t go on any other show until DePetro is gone.  Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned-Democrat who had long been criticized by conservatives in the media as a RINO (Republican in name only), has a history of engaging with instead of ignoring his media critics and DePetro has been a critic of Chafee for some time.  DePetro came under fire from the unions after using what they termed demeaning and sexist language in criticizing female union members’ activities.  DePetro has since apologized for his choice of words.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison to speak at 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will make a rare speaking appearance at another trade publication’s industry conference and serve as a special guest faculty member at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano‘s forthcoming 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia on March 26, 2014.  The one-day seminar, located at the Rittenhouse Hotel, will help preparedelcollianojerry modern-day broadcasters to solve the major problems and meet the pressing challenges facing the radio business during its rapid transition into the digital era.  Among the topics to be covered include ways to positively “disrupt” radio before your competition does and understand the sensibilities of the “millennial” generation — as well as learn new ways to present commercials, attract new audiences and develop new sources of revenue.  Harrison will be joining “MoreFM” (formerly B-101), Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee as a specially invited faculty speaker at the event.  Upon accepting the assignment, Harrison states, “I am honored to play a role in Jerry Del Colliano’s event and work alongside such a dynamic and independent entrepreneur as Jerry Lee.  Del Colliano is a brilliant thinker, teacher and observer whose bold voice in this industry continues to contribute to radio’s intelligence, health and survival.”  For information about the conference please click here.

btrnlogoMacGregor Joins BTRN as VP/Affiliate Sales.  Twenty-five-year media management veteran Mark MacGregor is named vice president of affiliate sales for Business TalkRadio Network. “Mark brings a wealth of experience to this position and our company,” comments BTRN president Jeff Weber.  “He has a proven track record of success in affiliation and I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to us as we continue to grow the networks.”  MacGregor’s past credits include similar titles to his present BTRN assignment for MyFamilyTV, FamilyNet and ETC Television.  Business TalkRadio Network provides long and short form programming to over 1,000 affiliates.  It currently features such programs as “Investor’s Edge,” “Real Estate Investor Radio,” and the “CEO Show.”

boomercartoncomedyWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton to Host Comedy Show.  WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will host the “Super Comedy Jam” at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday, January 29.  Appearing at the show will be an all-star lineup of comedians, including a couple with radio ties.  The stars performing will include: Jay Mohr (who also hosts his eponymous sports talk show for Fox Sports Radio Network); Nick Di Paolo (previously partnered with Artie Lange for a late night comedy/sports radio show); Dave Attell; Michael Che; Jeff Norris; and John Pizzi.

castnermichaelOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel news/talk outlet KEX, Portland adds another hour to the back end of Michael Castner’s afternoon drive program.  Beginning Monday, he’ll broadcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Castner joined KEX this summer after spending the last two-plus years hosting a nationally syndicated program for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network…..The next color voice of the Chicago Cubs is former Cubs infielder Ron Coomer.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Coomer will sit alongside play-by-play Pat Hughes when the 2014 season begins.  Coomer takes over for Keith Moreland providing analysis on WGN and affiliates across the Midwest…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition as listeners “will be treated to live, holiday-themed programming with a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ twist, including music, special guest appearances and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.  Host George Noory will be live in studio to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year with his loyal audience, who will get the chance to share their favorite Christmas memories and stories of miracles during open lines.”

wphtphantasycampWPHT Sends Local Hero to Phillies Phantasy Camp.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (center) poses for a shot with Sergeant First Class Brian Keaton, his wife and two of his children in the WPHT studios.  The station, the Philadelphia Phillies and the local chapter of the USO surprised the wounded warrior during Thursday’s program with a trip to the Phillies Phantasy Camp this morning live on the air.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Mark Levin program is added to the schedule at KOYT, Helena, Montana; the company’s “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage adds the following stations to is affiliate roster: KINN, Alamogordo, New Mexico; WZUS, Decatur, Illinois; WBAP, Dallas; KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; and WLS-AM, Chicago…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KLZ, Denver; WPTK, Raleigh; and KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” feature joins the programming at KTKZ “AM 1380 The Answer” and KSAC “Money 105.5” in Sacramento.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM for 8th Straight Week.  The criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the eighth consecutive week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 this week was the federal budget deal.  At #3 was the selfie President Obama took with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thornig-Schmidt and his appearance at the Nelson Mandela memorial service followed at #4 by the nuclear talks with Iran.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

| September 23, 2013

cbsbarclayslgCBS Radio Partners with Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.  In what is being called “an exclusive multi-year entertainment and sports initiative,” CBS Radio announces a partnership with the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center.  This sounds like a big sports deal from the language in the press statement but it also allows for non-sports entertainment that could benefit CBS music stations.  The companies say they have formed a “strategic alliance that combines the strengths of the powerful media and entertainment brands, resulting in increased coverage on WFAN Sports Radio 66AM and 101.9 FM of the popular NBA team, select college basketball games under the BROOKLYN HOOPS presented by Ticketmaster franchise, and select BROOKLYN BOXING powered by Golden Boy Promotions bouts, as well as the creation of first-class concert events, and exposure of the landmark arena to audiences across the country.”  Further they state, “A unique aspect of the agreement calls for Barclays Center and CBS Radio to develop and jointly program a new concert series and live events hosted at the arena. These events will be promoted using the nationwide scale of CBS Radio’s 126 stations, the majority of which are located in the top 50 radio markets.  These co-produced events will offer out of market consumers the chance to experience Barclays Center firsthand through customized promotions and fly-away contests.”

nielsenarbitronFTC Gives Thumbs-Up To Nielsen Acquiring Arbitron.  The much-discussed acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen Holdings gets regulatory clearance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The deal now becomes subject to usual closing conditions, but it is expected to become reality next Monday (9/30).  According to a statement released by Nielsen, “The combined company will expand advertising effectiveness for radio clients and be better able to solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, such as streaming audio and out-of-home.”  It was at this time last year (September 2012) when Arbitron – working with ESPN and comScore – announced a cross-platform project.  The FTC decision effectively means that project will continue.  Reuters reports that, “The cross-platform services tell advertisers in a holistic way what customers watch on television, listen to on the radio, look at online and see on their mobile devices.”  If an FTC-approved third-party agrees to licensing terms and other requirements, Nielsen would make available for license Arbitron PPM and related data as well as software and technology currently being used in the ESPN project for the sole purpose of cross-platform measurement for up to eight years.  Nielsen chief executive officer David Calhoun comments, “We are looking forward to providing all of the benefits of the combined company to our new clients in the radio industry and their advertisers, driving incremental value for them as well as our shareholders.  This is a highly acceptable outcome for us as it doesn’t change the market landscape.”  This past December, Nielsen agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share, for a total purchase price of $1.3 billion.

millerchrisNew Opportunities for Radio in Social Media Marketing.  Digital media consultant and Talkers columnist Chris Miller says he firmly believes that for radio sales people “a social media arrow in your quiver would help open doors to more potential interactive clients.”  Miller writes that it’s understandable that radio sales people are concerned with selling their own inventory but it’s important to realize that advertisers are concerned with moving their products or selling their services.  Most will admit to wanting to use social media but don’t know how to go about it.  That, says Miller, is where you should come in.  Read Chris Miller’s entire piece here.

radioshow2013RAB/NAB Radio Show a Success.  Six senior members of the TALKERS/RadioInfo editorial team attended and provided in-depth coverage of last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando, Florida. The consensus among them is that this year’s installment of the conference was one of the most successful and productive in recent history.  This report card is based on the following criteria: 1) significant attendance during difficult economic times, 2) a well-balanced agenda that covered the most important bases of interest to radio broadcasters – namely programming, marketing, sales, and technical concerns, and 3) a reasonably realistic attitude toward the challenges facing the medium and business of radio relatively undistorted by the wishful thinking or mindless cheerleading that often comes along with the territory at conferences presented by trade associations.  In assessing the convention, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “This was the best Radio Show we’ve attended in many years.  It wasn’t watered down by the interests of its sponsors but rather really focused on what was best for its attendees – plain and simple – and the most important achievement being that it was targeted like a laser on the radio industry taking into account its most pressing existential concerns.”  Harrison’s special address at the TALKERS-sponsored “info-session” discussing the 10 things radio needs to do to remain vital to 21st century popular culture was delivered to a standing room-only crowd. It will be re-broadcast on TalkersRadio as well as TALKERS TV and RadioInfo TV within the next several days.  Stay tuned for details.

cookehollandRadio Show Wrap-Up.  Radio consultant and Talkers columnist Holland Cooke offers some final thoughts from the Friday edition of the 2013 Radio Show in Orlando.  Included in this column are some salient tidbits from the “Adventures in Copyrightland” panel dealing with some of the industry’s most common legal questions as well as takeaways from the Radio Show Luncheon.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

wwwl logoEntercom to Add Local Talk to Re-Imaged Sports Talk WWWL, New Orleans.  Entercom prepares to change the programming on WWWL, New Orleans from straight sports talk from ESPN to what it is calling “3WL 1350 – a hybrid sports and local talk station.  The company says it “is an extension of the Gulf South POWERhouse, WWL AM/FM.  3WL builds on the success of this legendary New Orleans station by offering a ‘branch’ focused on the passions of New Orleans. 3WL will go live Monday, October 14.”  Entercom New Orleans GM Chris Claus states, “3WL 1350 celebrates the three greatest passions of New Orleanians: sports, food and fun!  Think of 3WL as a radio station as tasty as gumbo, as fun as Mardi Gras and as passionate as Saints fans on Sundays.  3WL will build on the tremendous success of WWL, but have a focus all its own. This is an exciting time for Entercom New Orleans and our clients. There is no city like New Orleans in America and there will be no station like 3WL in New Orleans.”  WWL PD Diane Newman is programming the station that will feature: T-Bob Hebert and Kristian Garic in morning drive; NBC Sports Radio’s Erick Kuselias in late morning; “The Food Show with Tom Fitzmorris” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Lighter Side of the Spud Show” with John “Spud” McConnell of sister WWL from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and NBC Sports Radio the rest of the evening and overnight.

djohnnyJohnny D. Exits WSPD, Toledo.  Talk show host Johnny D. took over the afternoon drive program on Clear Channel’s news/talk WSPD, Toledo on a part-time basis after the departure of Brian Wilson from the station last November.  In February, Johnny D. was named permanent host of the program.  Now, the station moves on without him as program director Scott Sands takes over the program.  Clear Channel regional market manager Kellie Holeman confirms Johnny D.’s exit from the station to the Toledo Blade and says the replacement show will be “a new talk show featuring lively conversations about pop culture, breaking news, money, politics, technology, and sports with host Scott Sands and a ‘think tank’ of regular contributors from the local and national stage.”

weei logoRumors Indicate WEEI, Boston is Courting Curt Schilling for On-Air Gig.  In published reports in both the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe, there are rumors in the Boston sports talk radio scene that Entercom is making overtures to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling to bring him aboard as a host – possibly on the PMschillingcurt drive show.  The Globe states that the station may be seeking to pair Schilling up with PM drive co-host Mike Salk and that Salk’s co-host Michael Holley is looking to get out of his contract with the station to join ESPN.  But Holley’s statement to the paper doesn’t indicate he’s ready to leave.  He said, “I haven’t heard anything.  I haven’t been informed that they’re looking to move on or change the show.  I think when we started in March, I think the acknowledgment was, it takes a while.  It takes a while for the new show to get its identity and for the co-hosts to develop chemistry.  I had never met Mike before March. We’re getting to know each other on the air and off.  I’d be surprised [if Entercom made a change] based on what I’ve been told, but you never know.’’  Writer Chad Finn wonders if Schilling – who obviously knows baseball – would be comfortable talking football, hockey and basketball.  The paper also reports WEEI has been trying to bring Comcast Sports Net New England’s Joe Haggerty for on-air work at the station.

herskovitzalAL HERSKOVITZ: To Beat the Devil.  Sale maven and H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz says that radio sales people can take their stations to higher revenue plateaus with a little creative thinking in the areas of marketing, remote events and contesting.  Herskovitz writes that, yes there are concerns for anyone working in radio because “we live in a fast-paced, quickly changing society.  But until the day the mountains erupt and bolts of lightning come crashing out of the sky simultaneously, there still are things under our control that can be done.  And sales reps have one such tool in their hands at which they are supposed to be the experts.  It’s called “ADVERTISING!”  Sales departments that strive to creatively put radio’s unique attributes to work for them will survive longer than those that forget about what radio does best.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

hennermariluMarilu Henner Profiled in TALKERS Tomorrow.  Actress and healthy lifestyle advocate Marilu Henner’s new talk radio show is being produced and repped by Sun Broadcast Group as she ventures into the business.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian recently spoke at length with Henner about her acting career, her work as an advocate for healthy lifestyles and her new talk radio show initiative.  About the latter, Henner says, “I knew radio would feel intimate, but I had no idea just how intimate.  I never realized how much fun it would be.”  You can read Mike Kinosian’s profile of Marilu Henner tomorrow at Talkers.com.  You can also meet Henner in person if you’re already registered for the sold out Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference taking place on Thursday, October 10 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood as she will be addressing the industry there.  For information about the conference, including remaining sponsorship opportunities, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest updated agenda, please click here.

savagemichaelOdds & Sods.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage is added to the schedule at Entercom’ WRKO, Boston in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET time slot..  This is a return to the station for Savage whose show aired there until he left syndicator TRN last fall.  Savage says in a statement, “The people in Boston are realists, we understand each other.  I appreciate the city.”…..News director and program director Adam Chappelle exits Black Crow Media’s news/talk WVGA, Valdosta, Georgia…..WJR, Detroit-based weekend talk show host Glenn Haege – host of “The Handyman Show” – is publishing an expanded version of his Fix it Fast and Easy publication as an eBook.  Haege has published 11 books and writes a column for the Detroit News.

skywatchtraffic logoMel Wheeler’s Roanoke and Lynchburg Stations Add Skywatch Traffic.  The Mel Wheeler Radio Group stations – country WSLC, Roanoke; news/talk WFIR-AM & 107.3, Roanoke; urban contemporary WVBE, Lynchburg; CHR WXLK, Roanoke “K 92,”; and adult contemporary WSLQ, Roanoke “Q99” – add Skywatch Traffic for traffic reporting.  In a press statement, Skywatch Traffic CEO Chuck Johnson says, “Both areas have grown in population and with the construction going on up and down I-81, it warrants the need for this partnership between all of these companies.  This type of service is very common in all major and medium size radio and TV markets.  Now Roanoke and Lynchburg has the service in place.  SML Aviation who also serves both cities has also jumped on board.”  Skywatch Traffic says it is now the third-largest traffic reporting company in the United States behind Total Traffic/Clear Channel and Radiant Traffic/Cumulus and serves 157 radio stations and 4 television markets.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

| April 17, 2013

arbitronArbitron Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Nielsen Holdings N.V.  At yesterday’s special meeting of stockholders, Arbitron’s shareholders voted to approve the acquisition of the company by Nielsen Holdings N.V.nielsen logo with 98.99% of the shares voting in favor of the agreement and plan of merger.  These shares represented approximately 77.11% of total outstanding shares of Arbitron common stock as of the March 8, 2013 record date for the Special Meeting.  As previously announced on December 18, 2012, Arbitron Inc. and Nielsen Holdings N.V. entered into a definitive agreement for Nielsen to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48.00 per share in cash.  The deal remains subject to certain regulatory approvals, including expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period, and customary closing conditions.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global Closes on Recapitalization.  Dial Global first announced plans to enter into recapitalization of its existing credit facilities, other obligations and equity interests back on March 4.  Now, it reports it has entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement with General Electric Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and collateral agent on a “First Lien Credit Agreement,” which, after taking into account a $15 million paydown, consists of a term loan of $136 million and revolving credit commitments of approximately $23 million, $18 million of which is drawn.  The maturity date for that is October 21, 2016.  DG also states it has entered into a Priority Second Lien Credit Agreement with Cortland Capital Market Services, LLC, as administrative agent and collateral agent, Blackrock Kelso Capital Corporation, as syndication agent and as the lender party for an additional $31.5 million term loan facility, with a maturity date of July 21, 2017.  The Company issued to Blackrock penny warrants to purchase 7.5% of the Dial Global common stock.  The Second Lien Credit Agreement was a restructuring of the existing approximately $93 million in second lien obligations and was accomplished by amending and restating the Second Lien Credit Agreement to provide for a $30 million term loan with a maturity date of April 16, 2018 and exchanging approximately $63 million in remaining obligations under the prior Second Lien Credit Agreement for a new Series A preferred stock of the Company.  Lenders received penny warrants to purchase 12.0% of the Company’s common stock and 12.0% of the outstanding shares of Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock and Series D preferred stock.  Those will be subject to forfeit, in whole or in part, if the Dial Global retires all or a portion of the $30 million second lien term loan and the Series A preferred stock held by such 2L lenders prior to certain specified dates.  As part of these agreements, stockholders of preferred stock and warrants were granted certain corporate governance rights, including the right to elect three directors to the Dial Global’s new eight-person board of directors.  The three newly-elected directors are Brian Pope, Marshall Merriman and Ethan Underwood.

smerconishmichaelWashington Post’s Erik Wemple Examines Smerconish Departure from WPHT.  In a piece in the Washington Post, media writer Erik Wemple takes a look at Michael Smerconish’s exit from longtime home base WPHT, Philadelphia for his new employer SiriusXM and, more specifically, Smerconish’s unwillingness to be defined as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican and the CBS Radio station’s move to remain true to the conservative talk radiowpht logo philosophy.  Smerconish debuted this week on the satcaster’s POTUS channel – politics of the United States – that serves those interested in politics in general as opposed to the conservative and liberal talk channels the service also offers.  Smerconish is not afraid to criticize what he believes are faults with both the news/talk format or the country in general, telling Wemple, “The problem for the country, I think, is that too many [people] cannot differentiate between entertainment and substance.  The country is paying a price for this brand of polarized media…Too many politicians are taking their cues from people with microphones.”  Wemple spoke with WPHT GM Marc Rayfield who says Smerconish’s philosophical change over the past few years veered from the station’s objective.  He says there’s little passion for “middle-of-the-road.”  He also says Smerconish “didn’t serve our core values.  We wanted to remain conservative…We had been talking about the direction of the radio station for some time and we came to a mutual conclusion that we were not necessarily the best fit for each other.”  Michael Smerconish will deliver the State of the First Amendment address at the Talkers New York 2013 conference in New York on Thursday, June 6.  Read Wemple’s piece here.

bohannonjimRadio Legend Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years in Syndication.  The lifelong radio broadcaster has been in national syndication with Dial Global and its predecessors for 30 years as of Friday, April 19 when he celebrates that mark.  Jim Bohannon began with the old Mutual Radio Network as a reporter and then started filling in for Larry King on his nationally syndicated program.  The network was acquired by Westwood One and Bohannon took over for King’s late night slot in 1993.  Bohannon recently re-signed with Dial Global (which acquired Westwood One) and will be honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from TALKERS magazine at the Talkers New York 2013 industry convention in New York City on Thursday, June 6.

stephandougDoug Stephan Adds a Dozen Affiliates.  Doug Stephan’s Stephan Multimedia reports the company has picked up a dozen new affiliates for the company’s radio offerings including Stephan’s “Good Day” nationally syndicated morning program, the weekend “Talk Radio Countdown Show” and others.  New affiliates include: WNZS, Bangor, Maine; KTPA, Prescott, Arizona; WLBK, DeKalb, Illinois; KLEY, Wellington, Kansas; KMAS, Shelton, Washington; KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana; KXAR, Hope, Arkansas; KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KOAL, Price, Utah; KUGN, Eugene, Oregon; WICO, Ocean City, Maryland; and WTIM, Taylorville, Illinois.

mmgradionet logoMedia Management Group Expands into Network Syndication; Warren Eckstein’s Pet Show Joins Initiative.  Longtime WOR, New York and WOR Radio Network personality Warren Eckstein returns to national syndication via Media Management Group’s new MMG Radio Network division.  The syndicator reports Eckstein’s “The Pet Show” launched on Saturday, April 6 on more than 100 stations. ecksteinwarren Additionally, Warren’s “Pet Tip” can be heard daily on more than 200 stations.  MMG also announces the new network will be led by Alan Eisenson, MMG’s EVP of business development.  MMG states, “Eisenson has a 23-year background successfully programming news/talk radio stations in New York, Denver, Las Vegas and, most recently, Clear Channel’s news/talk properties in Sacramento and San Francisco.”  On the new initiative, Eisenson says. “As the industry environment continues to evolve, the opportunity presented itself to acquire some of the format’s top talent in various niches.  We’re thrilled to have seized that opportunity.  We’re honored to be working with an accomplished pro like Warren Eckstein, and excited by the array of top caliber talent to come as we expand the network.”  The MMG Radio Network says it will eventually include 12 hours of programming produced weekly and tailored for stations’ weekend lineups.  The programs will also include a broad roster of digital elements, making them completely customizable for listeners to consume exactly when and how they wish.

schruckwindremSeton Hall University Radio Station Honors Alumni Glenn Schuck and Bob Windrem.  Two alumni of Seton Hall University’s radio station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey “The Loudest Rock” were honored at the station’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past Saturday.  WINS, New York reporter Glenn Schuck (left) and NBC News producer Bob Windrem (right) were inducted during WSOU’s 65th anniversary dinner, which drew more than 200 people together to celebrate the station’s birthday.  Some of the attendees included station alumni Bob Ley, Anthony Delia, Bill Rock, Full Metal Jackie, Pete Tauriello, Christina Stoffo, Frank Garrity, Mike DePippa, Joe Guzick, Mark Mitchell, and Gary Susalis, among others.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Gun Legislation Proposals, and Teen Rape/Suicide Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing was the dominant story on news/talk radio across the country on Tuesday.  Other stories that registered included proposals for gun legislation and the high-profile cases of young teens allegedly raped who then committed suicide.  The top stories are the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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