Tag: "Ajit Pai"

Monday, November 30, 2020

| November 30, 2020

Pending Business: Minimizing Risk. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, says that for local business owners, the biggest obstacle to overcome (beyond the pandemic) is the high risk of advertising. In today’s column, he offers seven points to help radio sellers combat this risk anxiety. Read it here.

COVID-19 and Holiday Travel, Biden Transition, Trump Post-Election, Georgia Runoff Elections, Iran Scientist Assassinated, Record Dow/Joblessness, and Utah Monolith Disappears Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The current pace of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and concerns about Thanksgiving holiday travel spreading the coronavirus; the Joe Biden administration goes forward with transition activities as officials are named; Donald Trump continues to argue that the election was fraudulent; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the aftermath of the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear weapons scientist; the Dow holds its record level as economists express concerns about potential mass joblessness as a result of the pandemic; and the bizarre metal monolith found in remote Utah disappears were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Last Chance for Christmas Cash. Unsurprisingly, consumer research forecasts a very different holiday shopping season. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke says “steal this line” for a local advertiser’s copy. Read it here.

Cox Media Group’s Bill Hendrich to Retire. Although today’s announcement says Bill Hendrich will remain with Cox Media Group in an advisory capacity, the company announces that he’ll retire from his executive vice president of radio position. During his three-decade career with Cox Media Group, Hendrich has served as EVP, radio, overseeing programming, operations and sales for the company’s radio stations. He also has oversight of CMG’s Radio Revenue team and Radio Digital team. CMG president and CEO Dan York says, “Bill’s retirement comes with a wealth of gratitude and mixed emotions. In the time I have known him, he has shared his exceptional passion, focus, and leadership from which our company, and our industry, has immeasurably benefited. Bill’s legacy of decisive leadership, his personal style and his deep experiences in radio and beyond will inform our work well into the future.” Hendrich comments, “Although I’m retiring from CMG, I will remain an active and passionate supporter of this great company. For the past 31 years, I have been able to work with the best and most talented team in the radio industry. With NewCity Communications, Cox Enterprises and Apollo, I have been a part of three outstanding companies – each bringing valuable and innovative ideas to keep radio viable in today’s media landscape. I look forward to continuing our work together in an advisory capacity to help the team at CMG serve their audiences, customers, and communities with best-in-class services. I joined a great company in 1989 and I get to leave that same great company with pride 31 years later. I am a lucky man.”

Round Three of November PPM Takeaways. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from the third round of Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey that covered October 8 to November 4. This group of markets included Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Some moves of note include Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte rising to the #2 spot after climbing a half share to finish with a 7.4 share. iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio rises to the #1 rank on the strength of a 1.4 share increase for a 7.7 share. iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento keeps its #1 rank for the third straight month after posting a 9.1 share (+0.6) and the company’s KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City adds 1.9 shares during the survey to achieve a 9.5 share and its second straight #1 rank. Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City climbs into the #6 spot after posting a 5.7 share (+0.7). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

FOX Sports Radio Launches New Weekend Show. The new “Up On Game” show that debuts this Saturday (12/5) from FOX Sports Radio is co-hosted by former NFL stars LaVar Arrington, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Plaxico Burress. Arrington says, “I’m super excited to team up with my brothers to host this new show. TJ and Plaxico are sports cultural icons and legends. Not only do they have incredible knowledge and experience as former pro athletes, but they also understand how to mentor players. This show will break the mold and create a new way of thinking about athletes and sports topics.” FSR VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro adds, “LaVar, TJ, and Plaxico have such unique perspectives, which will make for a truly refreshing and entertaining listen. This is not going to sound like any other sports talk show.  When these three star football players take the mic, all with strong points of view, watch out!”

Can Trump Be the ‘Next Limbaugh?’ There’s buzz aplenty about Donald Trump’s post-presidency role in the media. Talk radio consultant and RT America TV host Holland Cooke thinks the time is opportune: “FOX News has a problem. When they reported election results, viewers damned them on social media and the ratings tanked. Talk radio has a problem. Its biggest star has advanced cancer. Will Trump supporters flee mass media entirely? And could Citizen Trump herd them past his own media paywall?” In the segment you can see here, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison weighs in.

Ajit Pai Announces He’ll Leave FCC in January. After three years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announces that he intends to leave the Commission on January 20, 2021. Pai issued the following statement: “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as chairman of the FCC over the past four years. I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me. To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.” He added, “I also deeply appreciate the chance to have worked alongside the FCC’s talented staff. They are the agency’s best assets, and they have performed heroically, especially during the pandemic. It’s also been an honor to work with my fellow commissioners to execute a strong and broad agenda.  Together, we’ve delivered for the American people over the past four years: closing the digital divide; promoting innovation and competition, from 5G on the ground to broadband from space; protecting consumers; and advancing public safety. And this FCC has not shied away from making tough choices. As a result, our nation’s communications networks are now faster, stronger, and more widely deployed than ever before. I am proud of how productive this Commission has been, from commencing five spectrum auctions and two rural broadband reverse auctions in four years, to opening 1,245 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for unlicensed use, to adopting more than 25 orders through our Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, to aggressively protecting our communications networks from national security threats at home and abroad, to designating 988 as the three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and much, much more. I’m also proud of the reforms we have instituted to make the agency more accountable to the American people.  In particular, for the first time ever, we’ve made public drafts of the proposals and orders slated for a vote three weeks before the agency’s monthly meetings, making this the most transparent FCC in history.”

Jim Bohannon Helps Kick Off the Holiday Season. Pictured here in fill Santa Claus regalia – complete with golf cart sleigh – is Westwood One nationally syndicated late-night talk host Jim Bohannon. He’s in Chickasaw Point, South Carolina helping the community kick off the holiday season.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new radio station from Nashville Public Radio launches today at 3:00 pm local time. WNXP-FM, Nashville “91.ONE, WNXP, Nashville’s Music Experience” is a “new music discovery station” that “will serve as a platform for new and emerging artists from Nashville and beyond plus incorporate a unique fusion of indie rock, urban alternative, electro pop and pop alternative.” Station program director Jason Moon Wilkins says, “WNXP is focused on being an ally to the Nashville music scene by providing opportunities that stretch beyond our city. The Nashville Artist of the Month feature is a great example of how we’ll use every tool and relationship from radio to social media to NPR Music to bring music like [rapper] Namir [Blade]’s to new audiences.” WNXP’s full-time staff consists of music director and midday host Jewly Hight, APD and evening host Mickey Parks, production coordinator and morning host Marquis Munson, and engagement coordinator Paige A. Jack…..In order to sate the appetite of live music fans, SiriusXM is launching the “Next Wave Virtual Concert Series” in which it will present six new virtual concerts over three consecutive weeks. The Octane Accelerator Virtual Concert will feature new, live performances from three explosive new hard rock bands, Saul, Any Given Sin, and AVOID, hosted by Jose Mangin. Coffee House Live: At Home Edition will include exclusive sets from singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Sam Fischer, and Ruth B. Alt Nation’s Virtual Advanced Placement Concert will feature breaking alternative artists Royal & The Serpent, beabadoobee, and Holly Humberstone. Hip Hop Nation: Nation’s Next Virtual Concert will hand the mic to Mulatto, Tyla Yaweh, and Yella Beezy. Highway Finds Tour: Quarantine Edition will showcase new performances from Drew Parker, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Angie K, and Shy Carter.  Liquid Metal Hard Attack Virtual Concert will feature performances with Slaughter To Prevail, Spiritbox, and Tetrarch.

Friday, October 16, 2020

| October 16, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Hugging and Slugging!” looks back at this past week of October 12 – October 16, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Alan Stock, talk show host/commentator, KXNT, Las Vegas; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. 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 WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; 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; WCED, DuBois, PA “Connect FM”; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, 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.

Jack Heath Exits WGIR-AM, Manchester, NH. A brief story in the New Hampshire Union Leader indicates that radio talk show host Jack Heath has exited iHeartMedia’s WGIR-AM, Manchester, New Hampshire and his daily “NH Today” morning program. Heath said goodbye to his listeners at the end of his show and posted the following message to his Facebook page: “I have been honored and humbled to host the show for nearly 7 plus years there. I am especially grateful to the listeners for being there and proud of the work I was able to do to help NH’s great nonprofits and advocate for our veterans — a mission I will continue. This is not a goodbye but a thank you for now. Until we talk again, thanks…Stay tuned. JH.”

KFGO, Fargo’s Joel Heitkamp Positive for COVID-19. A report from the Associated Press indicates that KFGO-AM, Fargo “The Mighty 790” talk show host Joel Heitkamp has tested positive for COVID-19. The story notes that Heitkamp says he began experiencing symptoms last weekend and says he’s “lost his sense of taste and smell and is experiencing body aches.” He’s self-quarantining and still doing his radio program remotely. He told listeners, “I am in a part of the process where it’s certainly after talking with people in the medical field, it certainly looks as though I’m going to be one of the lucky ones in terms of how this has infected me, in terms of how I’m going to feel throughout this process, not going to feel good, not going to feel great.”

SRN’s Sebastian Gorka Has Twitter Account Locked After Biden Post. According to a story published at Breitbart, Salem Radio Network talk show host Sebastian Gorka has been locked out of his Twitter account after posting a photo of Hunter Biden in the bathtub smoking a cigarette and the text, “Why did @FBI take the Biden laptop and do nothing?” Gorka received a message from Twitter saying he’d been locked out for violating the rules and said he must delete the tweets that violate the rules. It’s not clear what rules were broken in the tweet. While appearing on SiriusXM with Breitbart’s Alex Marlow, Gorka said to listeners, “This is America in 2020. The FBI did nothing when they had evidence of crimes, and when I want to talk about it as an American citizen to you and the Breitbart listeners, my account was locked. We are here. We have arrived. 1984 wasn’t fiction, and they want to steal an election again, and I just don’t mean social media, I mean authorities that can burst through your front door at 4:00 am with a warrant like they did to Roger Stone.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Promises to ‘Clarify Ambiguity’ in Section 230. Saying that he’s moving in response to concerns from members of all three branches of the federal government, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’ll proceed with a rulemaking to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Act that explains the immunity from legal responsibility that digital platforms enjoy with regard to their content. Pai says, “The U.S. Department of Commerce has petitioned the Commission to ‘clarify ambiguities in section 230.’  And earlier this week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that courts have relied upon ‘policy and purpose arguments to grant sweeping protections to Internet platforms’ that appear to go far beyond the actual text of the provision. As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does Section 230 currently mean? Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230.  The Commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning. Throughout my tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, I have favored regulatory parity, transparency, and free expression.  Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 12-16. The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a four-way tie between the presidential race, Thursday night’s dueling town halls, balloting issues, and scandals & accusations. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections plus high-profile COVID patients, followed by health care, meds, and protective measures 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 complete chart here.

ASU Student Rae’Lee Klein Sues School on Free Speech Grounds. In September, Rae’Lee Klein was removed from her position as manager of Arizona State University’s student radio station Blaze Radio. This came in the aftermath of Klein’s tweet related to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the tweet, Klein said, “Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.” Her attorney, Jack Wilenchik, tells Downtown Devil, “We’re suing because she’s not the station manager. She’s been constructively terminated (and) they’re not letting her do her job. They are discriminating against her based on her exercise of free speech by taking that away.” Klein has been effectively removed from her position but she’s still being paid by the school. According to media and constitutional law specialist David J. Bodney, whom Downtown Devil communicated with for the story, “There was no First Amendment violation here, and Ms. Klein’s claims are meritless. ASU and the Cronkite School have deep and abiding commitments to free speech and excellence in journalism, and this lawsuit disregards an array of facts that show just how baseless these claims really are.” Bodney added that Klein’s conduct post-Tweet is evidence she’s is no longer able to lead Blaze Radio and that the university did not terminate her employment. Bodney also says that Klein was offered other opportunities, such as starting her own radio station with support from the university, all of which she rejected.

TALKERS News Notes. The most recent Westwood One Blog post reveals data from Nielsen Audio’s national consumer study of 1,000 respondents (conducted October 1-5) that tracks the pandemic’s impact on consumer movement, spending, attitudes, and media usage. Some of the conclusions drawn include: 1) There is a 56% increase in the number of Americans working outside the home. Nielsen reports 61% of U.S. workers are now commuting to their workplace, up from 39% in early May; 2) Half of American schoolchildren are driven to school with AM/FM radio playing in the car. 50% say their children are driven to school (3% carpool, 47% parent/family member). 44% of American schoolchildren are taking the bus. 62% indicate that AM/FM radio is always on, and 35% say AM/FM radio is sometimes on in the car; and 3) The economy will affect holiday shopping, but AM/FM radio listeners will spend more than the average. A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners say they will spend more this holiday (14%) versus heavy TV viewers (10%) and the overall market (10%). Read the full post  here…..Podcast producer Lipstick & Vinyl announces the third season of “The Double Shift,” that explores the challenges working moms face every day. The new season focuses on the disruptive impact of the coronavirus on families, how that disproportionally disrupts moms’ careers, and how to navigate that. Creator and host Katherine Goldstein says, “We’re in an acute crisis at this moment. 865,000 women have left or been forced to leave the workforce between August and September. Many of those women are moms. The lack of structured family and childcare programs that we’ve talked about on ‘The Double Shift’ are more glaringly missing than ever before.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that its national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” has successfully surpassed another affiliation milestone and is now heard on more than 440 radio stations across the USA and Canada.  The Careys say, “Since the pandemic has disrupted our nation and the world back in March, ‘RMWorldTravel’ has added about 30 new affiliates and additional new sponsors, underscoring the importance of all aspects of the travel world in our daily lives.”

Outstanding Sales Opportunities. New York’s next media star is wanted at two power-packed stations. Salem Media New York, part of a nationwide media conglomerate, wants to hire two fabulous sellers who can rise to the top! Opportunity is limitless. We are looking for quality, regardless of current time in selling. Respond by dropping a note to Jerry.Crowley@Salem.cc.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

| August 20, 2020

Cincinnati Reds Broadcaster Thom Brennaman Suspended For Gay Slur. Cincinnati Reds play-by-play broadcaster Thom Brennaman – son of National Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman – has been suspended for his using a gay slur during Wednesday night’s Reds-Royals broadcast. Apparently, Brennaman thought he was not on the air when he said, referencing and unknown place, that it is “one of the fag capitals of the world.” Brennaman apologized and left the broadcast before the completion of the double-header. The Reds issued the following statement. “The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman. He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts.” During his apology, Brennaman implied that he realizes this may cost him his job. “I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am. It never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.” Brennaman is part of the broadcast team for the Reds Radio Network and television’s FOX Sports Ohio.

Entercom Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Detroit’s WWJ-AM. Detroit all-news outlet WWJ-AM is celebrating 100 years on the air today (8/20). Entercom says it’s proud to honor “Detroit’s news leader and America’s first continuous broadcasting commercial radio station.” Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “WWJ has served as an important news source for Detroiters for 100 years and continues to provide the most credible and comprehensive multiplatform news coverage relevant to our city. We look forward to honoring our station’s rich history by reflecting on key moments with integral talent and welcoming distinguished guests to celebrate with us. I congratulate and thank the hardworking staff of WWJ and look forward to another 100 years as Detroit’s go-to news source.” Today WWJ will air special programming, including clips of major news stories the station has covered over the past 100 years and interviews with politicians and business leaders including Entercom president and CEO David Field, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and former Detroit police chief Ike McKinnon. Highlighted in the programming will be on-air pros who have been with the station for over 25 years, including morning anchor Roberta Jasina, auto reporter Jeff Gilbert, city beat reporter Vickie Thomas and business reporter Murray Feldman. There’s a nice piece in the Detroit News accompanied by lots of vintage photos of the station from the paper’s files. It also delves into the hotly contested debate over which was the first commercial radio station in the U.S., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KCBS in San Francisco or WWJ? The Detroit NewsMichael H. Hodges writes that WWJ being the first is disputed by KDKA and KCBS, but “it mostly comes down to a matter of technical definition. KDKA got its federal license a few months before WWJ in 1921, and that’s its line in the sand. But 8MK, as WWJ was known in 1920, was on the air with an amateur license well before Pittsburgh.” Entercom says WWJ is “America’s first continuous broadcasting commercial radio station” and boasts such accomplishments as “being the first radio station to broadcast election returns on August 31, 1920, the first sportscast on September 1, 1920, the first missing person report on March 15, 1922, the first Detroit Tigers play-by-play broadcast on April 19, 1927, and more.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post is reporting that former Howard Stern show cast member “Stuttering” John Melendez is suing SiriusXM for “using his name, likeness and voice without permission on channels dedicated to Stern.” Melendez left the Stern program in 2004 – prior to Stern joining SiriusXM in 2005 – to become the announcer on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” The suit was filed in federal court in New York complaining that the airing of old Stern programs violates California law and “his right of publicity.”…..Westwood One and PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz is featured in the August-October issue of the investor-targeted magazine Luckbox. The theme of the issue is “Podcasts Rising” and in the interview piece, Pattiz discusses his building of Westwood One in the late 1970s and how in 2011 he began using what he’d learned running WWO to launch PodcastOne for the soon-to-be-burgeoning podcasting industry. You can read the piece here…..Newsmax TV announces that it has entered into a deal with Cox Media Group to air WOKV-FM, Jacksonville’s Mark Kaye program. Kaye’s program airs daily on WOKV-FM from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The Newsmax TV show will air weekly – Saturdays at 3:30 pm – and will feature “funny and informative clips from Mark Kaye’s radio broadcasts, as well as behind-the-scenes ‘vlog-style’ content that is exclusive to Newsmax.”…..Hearst’s Baltimore radio duo news/talk WBAL-AM and rock WIYY-FM – along with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens – announce the radio broadcast team for the 2020 NFL season. Former Ravens players Dennis Pitta and Obafemi “Femi” Ayanbadejo are joining Ravens play-by-play announcer Gerry Sandusky to handle color and analysis. WBAL and WIYY president and general Manager Cary Pahigian says, “We are pleased to offer Baltimore Ravens fans an exceptional broadcast team. As a former Raven, Dennis has always provided astute analysis to our broadcast. Femi’s extensive NFL experience will add keen insight, and there is no better play-by-play announcer than Gerry Sandusky.”

Stephen K. Bannon Charged with Fraud in ‘We Build the Wall’ Effort. Former Donald Trump adviser, former Breitbart executive, and podcast/talk radio host Stephen K. Bannon is being charged in New York with fraud in what U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss says is his role in a scheme related to the “We Build the Wall” online fundraising effort. The New York Times reports that Bannon is one of four defendants who allegedly “defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction.” Bannon has not commented publicly.

Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Fall School Plans/College Outbreaks, USPS Funding/Vote-By-Mail Debate, Putin Critic Poisoned, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19). The November presidential election and Wednesday evening’s Democratic National Convention; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools in September and the COVID-19 outbreaks at several college campuses; the controversy over funding the U.S. Postal Service and the related debate over mail-in voting; Vladimir Putin critic Alexey Navalny in a coma after allegedly being poisoned; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WPHT’s Giordano Is on a Documentary-Special Roll. WPHT, Philadelphia’s legendary mid-morning host Dom Giordano has written, produced, and hosted the third in a dynamic series of two-hour specials tapping into his background as a teacher and one of talk radio’s most astute observers of education. The first two specials focused on issues surrounding COVID-19 and kids returning to school as well as a July 4th weekend special celebrating America.  The new show airing this week titled, “The Case for Civics: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Reason,” explores the need for civics to be taught in schools and how important it is to the future of America to raise knowledgeable citizens. Like all of Giordano’s productions, it is bi-partisan and features prominent figures including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed RendellSara HarrisEntercom VP for social impact is featured and details the radio company’s major commitment to promote civics education. The program is airing on WPHT tonight (8/20) from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm and Saturday (8/22) from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Beijing’s Persecution of Chinese Spiritual Movement Falun Gong Is Focus of This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  While Americans continue to be preoccupied with COVID-19, a faltering economy and racial strife, the strained relationship between the United States and China intensifies with each passing day. America is confronted with the CCP’s unfair trade practices, subversive cyber warfare against US interests, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, strangling democracy in Hong Kong, and covered up misdeeds in the origins and spread of COVID-19. Add to that disturbing list the CCP’s heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens as evidenced by Uyghur labor camps and the imprisonment, torture, and organ-harvesting of innocent practitioners of a burgeoning spiritual movement based in peaceful Buddhist principles called Falun Gong. Levi Browde is the executive director of the New York-based Falun Dafa Information Center, an organization working to end the human rights abuses against people who practice Falun Gong in China. He is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In discussing this podcast Harrison states, “The CCP views the growing practice of Falun Gong among Chinese people both home and abroad as a threat to the State’s core position as the ultimate authority. They not only commit atrocities against its participants, they wage a war of toxic propaganda against the spiritual practice portraying it as a subversive cult – a view that has been unwittingly absorbed and perpetuated by the American media. It is my hope that this deep-dive conversation will clear up these misconceptions as well as shed light on the Beijing regime and the dangers its complex relationship with the United States presents going forward into the uncharted, turbulent waters of the 21st century. This is not a left versus right issue but one that I believe should be of great concern to all American talk media hosts and commentators interested in a secure America, freedom of religion, and human decency.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Las Vegas’ KWNR “95.5 The Bull” has a new program director as Mojoe Roberts assumes the reins. iHeartMedia says Roberts joins the country station after most recently serving as country format captain for Alpha Media and PD for KUPL, Portland. SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Las Vegas Tony Matteo says, “MoJoe brings a wealth of format knowledge and expertise. We’re thrilled to have him joining our iHeartMedia Las Vegas team.”…..Seattle CHR KBKS is re-branded “HITS 106.1” The New Home of the Jubal Show and Commercial Free Weekends. The iHeartMedia station is programmed by Jared Fallon who says, “From the moment we launched ‘Jubal 106.1’ the reception from the entire city and across the country has been massive. Today we are thrilled to unveil ‘HITS 106.1,’ the new home of the Jubal Show!”…..Pittsburgh morning radio personality Cris Winter exits Renda Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WWSH “WISH 99.7” as the result of budget-related cuts. She tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “When you look at covid-19, it’s a situation where everyone is making cuts. It is such a bizarre time, and everybody is struggling right now. It’s just an unprecedented time for everyone. We are all just trying to keep our heads above water.”…..Programming pro Don Jarrett is named PD at Rich Broadcasting’s country simulcast KWFI-FM and KWFO-FM “The Wolf” in Idaho Falls. Jarrett was most recently programming Riverbend Communications’ crosstown country KTHK-FM “105.5 The Hawk.” Rich Broadcasting operations manager Josh Tielor says, “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to add Don to our team. He’s well known in the community and well connected in the industry. He brings a new level of excitement and energy to our station family.”…..The photo below published at LARadio.com is not from a time capsule. That KMET billboard is currently up and it put the folks at LARadio.com into investigative mode. The picture was snapped by Los Angeles publicist Hal Lifson who set the investigative wheels in motion. It appears the billboards are up for a movie shoot for a film that takes place in the 1970s. TALKERS magazine publisher and former KMET program director Michael Harrison says, “Seeing the billboard is a rush. I still find it hard to imagine L.A. without KMET. It would be like Brooklyn not having Coney Island.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

| April 7, 2020

FCC Shoots Down Request for Investigation into Broadcasters Airing Presidential Press Conferences. Last week, the activist organization Free Press filed an emergency petition with the FCC calling on it to “investigate the spread of false Covid-19 information via broadcast outlets across the United States.”  Free Press co-CEO Jessica J. González and senior policy counsel Gaurav Laroia state, “The FCC possesses both the authority and the responsibility to ensure the public airwaves are utilized in the public interest.  This duty is heightened in times of crisis.  Specifically, broadcasters are prohibited from knowingly airing false information about a catastrophe that causes ‘substantial public harm.’”  Yesterday (4/6), the Commission’s Office of General Counsel and Media Bureau wholly rejected the petition saying it “seeks remedies that would dangerously curtail the freedom of the press embodied in the First Amendment and misconstrues the Commission’s rules.  The decision also makes clear that the FCC will neither act as a roving arbiter of broadcasters’ editorial judgments nor discourage them from airing breaking news events involving government officials in the midst of the current global pandemic.”  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is quoted saying, “Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press.  And so long as I am chairman of this agency, we always will.  The federal government will not—and never should—investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments simply because a special interest group is angry at the views being expressed on the air as well as those expressing them.  In short, we will not censor the news.  Instead, consistent with the First Amendment, we leave it to broadcasters to determine for themselves how to cover this national emergency, including live events involving our nation’s leaders.”

SportsGrid Shows to Air Across SB Nation Radio Network. Two of SportsGrid’s national talk shows – “Ferrall Coast to Coast” with Scott Ferrall and “Game Time Decisions” with Gabe Morency – will air on the SB Nation Radio schedule beginning April 14.  “Ferrall Coast to Coast” will air weekdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and “Game Time Decisions” will air from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  Ferrall comments, “This new opportunity allows me to reconnect with my long-time loyal listeners all over the country across the SB Nation network of radio stations. I’m looking forward to changing sportscasting by including the sports betting perspective and commentary to the millions of engaged fans.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Emergency Grants. The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s executive committee of the board of directors held an emergency meeting recently to respond to broadcasters in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic. The criteria for emergency grant qualifications has been revised to provide aid to broadcasters who meet the requirements and have been infected.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Never in our history as broadcasters have we experienced an event that has caused this much hardship.  Thus, we have revised provisions to our emergency grant eligibility guidelines.”  For more information, broadcasters in need can email grants@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org/coronavirus.

Austin American-Statesman Launches New Streaming Talk Station. Former KLBJ-AM, Austin personality Jeff Ward is one of the Austin market radio pros to join the newest streaming venture from the Austin American-Statesman.  The new station – called the Statesman News Network – joins the news organization’s streaming music station Austin360 Radio as the paper’s next audio venture.  Ward will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  He says, “There will be plenty of common-sense rants.  But the goal of the show is always the same: I want you to find it compelling, and I want you to feel forced to think.”  The paper says that other shows lined up for the stream include: “From the Newsroom” featuring interviews from the staff of the newspaper; “512 Tech and Business Report,” a daily update on local business and technology news from Amy Edwards; “Longhorn Confidential,” breaking news, interviews and updates on the Texas Longhorns; “Austin Found,” in which Statesman reporter and Austin history buff Michael Barnes and radio personality JB Hager share the stories behind the making of the Texas capital; plus more.

PPM Analysis: February 2020 Extra. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents and “extra” look at Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey.  In this report, he presents a rank of the PPM markets based on weekly, 6+ AQH share for all spoken-word stations; a rank of the highest market-wide gains in spoken-word listening; a rank of the markets that lost the most 6+ share; and more.  See it all here.

Radio Pros, ‘Sterling On Sunday’ Keeps You on the Air.  The national radio show “Sterling On Sunday” invites laid off radio performers to participate in their on-air comedy routines and dramas.  “We have had a stunning array of top talent in our sketches such as Charlie Van Dyke, JJ Wilson, but mostly people who wish to remain anonymous due to their alimony situation.  If you can cut an mp3, we can write a part for you.”  “Sterling On Sunday” is aired (10:00 pm to 1:00 am) on major stations live such as KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; WPHT, Philadelphia; KFBK, Sacramento; plus about 100 more.  “Broadcasting from home is nothing new to us.  It’s the right way.  We will give you credit, script approval, and generally talk you up. Hear past shows at www.waltermsterling.com so you know what you’re getting into. No broadcaster should be off the air, it’s unnatural.  C’mon let’s make a show.  We also have a plan to pay you for helping our team clear the show…cash!”  Contact waltermsterling@gmail.com.

U.S. Coronavirus Cases and Death Toll, the Hydroxychloroquine Debate, Trump Fires Whistleblower, Financial Markets Activity, Boris Johnson in ICU, Wisconsin Primary, 5G-Coronavirus Conspiracy, USS Theodore Roosevelt Controversy, Chinese Journalist at WH Presser, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7). The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll; the medical and political debate over the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus; the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson; the world’s financial markets react to coronavirus news; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to the ICU for Covid-19 treatment; the battle between Wisconsin’s governor and the state Supreme Court over the primary elections; the conspiracy theory that 5G is exacerbating coronavirus symptoms; the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt is removed for pleading for help for his coronavirus-infected crew; a Chinese journalist is admitted to the White House press briefing; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City Morning Host Sues Entercom for Discrimination.  Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz” morning host Afentra Bandokoudis has filed suit against Entercom Kansas City for “discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Equal Pay Act.”  She’s seeking back pay, benefits, bonuses, and more.  Bandokoudis’ complaint alleges that she was paid less than her male counterparts despite outperforming their shows.  She was paid a base salary of $100,000 and her PD/afternoon host Scott Geiger, a.k.a. Lazlo, made $185,000.  (Bandokoudis and Geiger were married from 2005 through July of 2018, a month before Bandokoudis was fired from the station.)  She alleges Johnny Dare, morning host on sister rock station KQRC, made more than $185,000 despite her show outperforming his.  Bandokoudis goes on to claim that after she complained about the par disparity, she was subject to retaliatory actions before ultimately being let go in 2018.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At iHeartMedia’s Chicago hip hop WGCI, Zach Boog is named the new evening host, taking over for DJ MoonDawg, who exited during the company’s January restructuring.  He’d been filling in on the daypart along with other WGCI staffers.  Station PD Johnnie D. Glover says, “It is an honor to promote Zach to nights on 107.5 WGCI.  He is extremely entertaining, works hard to produce compelling content, and has a very organic way of connecting with Chicago listeners.  Zach has a bright future and I look forward to working with him to create many exciting memories with 107.5 WGCI’s audience.”…..Griffin Communications CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-Hits” brings Kacy Termini aboard as co-host of the new “Chubbs & Kacy Show” to debut on Monday (4/13).  She comments, “I’ve been so impressed with what ‘K-Hits’ and the Griffin brands have been able to do in our community.  Every time something happens, they step up to help their neighbors and keep them safe and informed.  Especially at such a trying time for many.  I’m excited to work with Chubbs and do our part to make Green Country even more special.  We still need to laugh – in both the hard times and the good ones!”…..Condolences to the family and friends of programming pro John Roberts, who passed away recently after a esophageal cancer.  He’d been serving as regional operations manager for Townsquare Media in Tyler, Texas.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “John was a true pro, one of the best our business has ever seen.  But more importantly he was a great friend to everyone, and he made a huge impact on his family, his staff, his community, and basically with everyone he met.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

| September 24, 2019

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down FCC’s 2017 Ownership Changes. In the fourth round of The Prometheus Project vs the FCC, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission failed on the effects the 2017 ownership changes would have on the female and minority ownership front.  Judge Thomas Ambro writes: “We do, however, agree with the last group of petitioners, who argue that the Commission did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.  Although it did ostensibly comply with our prior requirement to consider this issue on remand, its analysis is so insubstantial that we cannot say it provides a reliable foundation for the Commission’s conclusions.  Accordingly, we vacate and remand the bulk of its actions in this area over the last three years.  In doing so, we decline to grant the requested extraordinary relief of appointing a special master to oversee the FCC’s work on remand.”  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai disagreed with the decision and wrote: “For more than twenty years, Congress has instructed the Federal Communications Commission to review its media ownership regulations and revise or repeal those rules that are no longer necessary.  But for the last fifteen years, a majority of the same Third Circuit panel has taken that authority for themselves, blocking any attempt to modernize these regulations to match the obvious realities of the modern media marketplace.  It’s become quite clear that there is no evidence or reasoning—newspapers going out of business, broadcast radio struggling, broadcast TV facing stiffer competition than ever—that will persuade them to change their minds.  We intend to seek further review of today’s decision and are optimistic that the views set forth today in Judge Scirica’s well-reasoned opinion ultimately will carry the day.”  Pai is referring to Judge Anthony Scirica’s dissenting opinion in which he says the Citizen Petitioners overlook “that the Commission’s judgment regarding how the public interest is best served is entitled to substantial judicial deference.”  Further, Scirica writes, “The FCC reasonably predicted on the record before it that the new rules would not diminish or harm minority and women ownership.  The question whether the rules and ownership diversity are interconnected was aired over the course of the 2010/14 quadrennial review. The FCC invited comment and data that might shed light on this connection.  It concluded—based on its understanding of the broadcast markets, the evidence in the record, and the only data submitted—that repeal of the rules was unlikely to harm ownership diversity.”  He further reasons that “the effect the new rules will have on women- and minority-broadcast ownership may remain difficult to uncover until the FCC gains experience with the new rules.”

KTRS, St. Louis Names Wendy Wiese News Director. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that market radio and TV pro Wendy Wiese is named news director at CH Holdings’ news/talk KTRS-AM, effective October 7.  Wiese has been with the station on a part-time basis, filling in for Kelly Jackson on Mondays as co-host of the McGraw Milhaven morning drive program.  In this new role, Wiese will anchor both the morning and afternoon newscasts with Jim Fairchild.  She’ll also handle fill-in duties in addition to continuing her Monday morning co-host role.  During her career Wiese has served with Entercom’s crosstown KMOX, KTRS (from ’96 to ’06), Relevant Radio, and St. Louis Regional Public Media’s KETC-TV, St. Louis where she hosts the public affairs program, “Donnybrook.”

Mike Francesa to Host Radio Hall of Fame Ceremony. Iconic New York City sports talk personality Mike Francesa will host the 31st annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York on November 8.  The WFAN-AM/FM afternoon host and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee will preside over the ceremony in which Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (Kevin & Bean), Joe Madison, Jim Rome, Ryan Seacrest, John Tesh, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer will be inducted.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Quintessential New Yorker Mike Francesa will bring big energy, humor, and great perspective to this year’s Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  We’re honored to have him as our master of ceremonies.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “BOB & TOM Show” is broadcasting live from the 2019 Radio Show in Dallas this week.  Host Tom Griswold and his ensemble cast will be in the main lobby of the Hilton Anatole Hotel Wednesday through Friday (9/25-27) from 5:00 am to 9:00 am CT.  Celebrity guests will include comedians Donnie Baker, Greg Hahn, Al Jackson, and Alli Breen, comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo, and The Black CrowesSteve Gorman.  Griswold and cast member Kristi Lee will co-host the Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show with Premiere NetworksDelilah and Reach Media’s Rickey Smiley on Thursday night…..Play-by-play of the University of New Orleans men’s basketball and baseball will be heard on Cumulus Media’s country WRKN-FM, Picayune, Mississippi “106.1 NASH ICON” this season.  The games will be called by Jude Young and Emmanuel Pepis…..Entercom announces two new original podcasts are joining RADIO.COM starring former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast members.  “Eat Live Love Indulge with Kathy Wakile” and “The Lookover Ladies,” hosted by Laurita and friends Jill Ashley and Melissa Polo.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “We’re thrilled to welcome this stellar group of talented women to our best-in-class content portfolio on RADIO.COM and with them, more female-first programming to the platform.  They each lead full lives as professionals, mothers, wives and daughters, in addition to dedicating themselves to championing on behalf of various causes.  I look forward to hearing more of their inspirational and relatable stories of family, home life and inner strength.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy/Hunter Biden Business Dealings, UN Climate Summit/Trump at the UN, 2020 Presidential Race, and Brexit Chaos Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23). The controversy over President Trump’s conversations with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the related questions about the legality of Hunter Biden’s business activities in the Ukraine; Monday’s UN Climate Summit and today’s UN appearance by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the political and legal chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit tactics 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. Air personality David Bugenske becomes the newest cast member of “The Wake Up Call” on Entercom’s country KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He’ll work alongside Kelli “Green” Barajas and Ginny Harman.  Entercom Riverside SVP and market manager Michael Valenzuela says, “We are so excited to welcome a champion for country music and country radio to the K-FROG family.  David’s remarkable personality, presence on social media, and love for serving the Southern California community is a natural fit for a heritage station such as ‘K-FROG.’  We look forward to creating great content with David.”  Bugenske was most recently on air at Mt Wilson FM’s country KKGO, Los Angeles “Go Country 105.”…..Portland rock radio personality Iris Harrison announces that she’s leaving Entercom’s classic rock KGON – the station at which she’s worked for the past 42 years – at the end of December.  Harrison says in a video posted on the KGON website that she plans to put her archive of interviews and other KGON classic content together in a new podcast format…..SuiteRadio and Envision Networks are offering tribute radio specials of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek of The Cars for FREE to any station that wants to air them.  Each tribute is being shared as a sample of the forthcoming radio show called “Long Live Rock.”  Each tribute features six songs with nationally recognized radio personality Donna Mackenzie sharing stories of the “Money Man” and Ocasek. The special is fully produced and played together offer an hour’s worth of programming that includes all local commercial time available for radio stations to sell…..The staff at iHeartRadio’s hot AC WMXY-FM, Youngstown, Ohio “MIX 98.9” is mourning the untimely passing of Wes Miller, who died yesterday (9/23) at age 53.  The station says, “Our condolences go out to his family including his children and wife, Shelley.  Wes was a bright spot each morning on the radio and his infectious laugh will be missed in our hallways each day.”

Thursday, December 14, 2018

| December 13, 2018

FCC to Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules. At its open meeting yesterday (12/12), the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to launch the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The rules subject to this quadrennial review obligation are the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether these three rules continue to serve the public interest or whether they should be modified or eliminated in light of changes to the media marketplace.  Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and GOP commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and objected in part.  She wrote in her statement, in part, “Newspapers have collapsed, and stations are increasingly owned by national companies with limited ties to the communities they serve. What is emerging are news deserts – areas of the country where national news dominates but local news is disappearing. Competition matters.  It is axiomatic that more owners in more markets can mean more ideas.  It can mean more news.  The converse is also true.  Too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results…We seek comment on a proposal allowing a single company to own an unlimited number of FM and AM radio stations in most communities in this country.  That could mean one company controls every radio station in the town where you live…To the extent this rulemaking offers thoughtful reform, I approve.  But in other aspects, I dissent.  It fails to honestly assess the impact of too many changes we propose on the values of localism, competition, and diversity that have informed this agency’s media policies in the past—and I believe should still inform our efforts in the future.”

FOX News Channel and Hannity Finish 2018 on Top of Cable Ratings. A story in The Hill citing Nielsen data reveals that FOX News Channel finished 2018 in first place in the cable TV battle, posting its best prime-time audience ever: 2.5 million average viewers.  Liberal cable newser MSNBC also enjoyed its best year, wrapping the year in second place behind FNC with 1.8 million average viewers in prime time.  As far as individual personalities go, FNC’s Sean Hannity had the highest-rated show. His average viewership was 3.275 million.  Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s program was second behind “Hannity” with 2.881 million average viewers.  While both FOX News Channel and MSNBC enjoyed prime-time ratings increases this year over 2017 (up 3% and 12%, respectively), CNN was down 6% from last year with 990,000 average viewers in prime time.  Following Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in the list of the top five cable news/talk shows were three more FNC programs: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 2.827 million average viewers, “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham – 2.61 million, and “The Five” with 2.38 million.

Scripps Media Officially Out of Radio Biz; Lotus Communications, Bustos Media, and Family Life Broadcasting Close. Yesterday (12/12), the closings took place for the sale of stations related to Scripps Media’s exit from the radio station business.  After divesting of the first 26 of its radio station properties earlier in the year, Scripps sold its remaining eight radio properties in the Tucson and Boise markets to Lotus Communications for $8 million.  In order to comply with FCC ownership caps, Lotus spun off news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM, Tucson “106.3 The Groove” to Bustos Media.  Scripps Media was created in the 2015 merger of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications and Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps in which the print properties kept the Journal name and the radio stations joined Scripps’ television assets under the Scripps Media banner.

Cumulus to Air Ben Shapiro in PM Drive on WABC, New York.  New York news/talk WABC will air the new Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour radio show in addition to the one-hour podcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning January 7.  The Cumulus Media station already airs the podcast right after the “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.  In the New Year, Savage is transitioning to hosting a one-hour, daily live show and a one-hour podcast instead of his current three-hour live show. WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Ben is a fascinating host that completely cuts through the sameness that is political talk radio right now.  It’s the perfect time for us to expand his programming on 77 WABC.”

Paul J Schneider Wraps KBOI, Boise Morning Show Career Tomorrow. As announced earlier this year, longtime KBOI, Boise morning personality Paul J Schneider will leave his morning show duties after his regular broadcast tomorrow (12/14).   Schneider will continue to work with KBOI producing weekly features and a blog as well as continuing to cover Boise State Football for Learfield Sports.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”

WFNZ, Charlotte Host Frank Garcia Arrested on Assault Charges.  According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, afternoon drive sports talk host Frank Garcia was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female last Saturday (12/8).  The report indicates Garcia is not related to the 29-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries in the incident.  Garcia – a former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman – co-hosts the afternoon show on Entercom’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” with Kyle Bailey.  He is also an assistant coach for the Charlotte Catholic High School football team.

Harry Hurley Guests on Brian Kilmeade Show. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) on Monday morning (12/10).  Hurley is a regular fill-in for Todd Starnes on his FOX News Radio syndicated program.

ABC Radio Offering End-of-Year Programming. Affiliates of ABC Radio are being offered five long-form shows and eight short-form programs for year-end programming. The long-form shows include: “Journeys of Faith” featuring the most memorable moments from ABC News senior national correspondent Paula Faris’ popular podcast of the same name; “Playback 2018,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky featuring an in-depth look at the biggest stories of the year; “2018: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2018’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Perspective” is a special year-end edition of ABC News’ award-winning weekly newsmagazine; and “World News This Year” takes a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2018’s final edition of this weekly show.

Trump-Democrats Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Sentenced, Immigration Issues, Google Congressional Testimony, May Survives/Brexit Issue, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years; the migrants in Tijuana and immigration reform; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote and the Brexit challenges; Time’s “Person of the Year” are journalists from the U.S., Myanmar, the Philippines, and Jamal Khashoggi; the world’s financial markets activity; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Miami, Entercom names Jessie Penate, a.k.a. DJ JPS, evening personality and music director for CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  He’s been with the station since 2016 when he joined as a mixer after winning the station’s “Mix Master” competition.  He says, “I’m thrilled to continue this journey on the station I grew up listening to, working with a talented team filled with passion and energy.”…..iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company announce the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live Thursday, March 14, 2019 on FOX-TV, from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The event will once again broadcast live simultaneously on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This is a show that is truly controlled by music fans, because it celebrates the artists and songs that they listened to all year long on our 850 broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  FOX has established itself as a premier television destination for music fans, which has made it a natural home for our Awards.”…..February’s 61st GRAMMY Awards will once again include Westwood One as the official broadcast partner in which radio stations will be offered a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content.  Westwood One will welcome select local stations and national programs to its Westwood One Backstage at the GRAMMY Awards, which takes place in the days leading up to the February 10 television broadcast.  It will also offer a two-hour “GRAMMYs Nomination Special” airing February 2-3 in CHR/hot AC, AC, and urban formats; “GRAMMYs Week Highlights,” airing February 4-10; and the “GRAMMYs Red Carpet Countdown.”…..Marker Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KJJZ, Palm Springs “KOOL 95.9 FM” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah for evenings…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington announces the winning schools in its 2nd Annual mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition.  The competition was divided into two categories – kindergarten through 8th grade and high school.  North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland won in the first category and gets $2,500 for its music program and Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland won the high school division and will receive $5,000 for its music education program…..Entercom’s country WUSY, Chattanooga “US 101” is seeking a midday personality. Find all the information about applying here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

| November 21, 2018

Shecterle to Lead NRG’s Omaha Cluster. In Omaha, radio executive Mark Shecterle is named market manager at NRG Media’s station group that includes: news/talk KOIL, sports talk duo KZOT-AM “1180 The Zone” and KOZN “1620 The Zone,” hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5” rock KOOO “101.9 The Keg,” rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9,” and regional Mexican KMMQ-AM/K258DC.  Shecterle was most recently vice president of sales south for United States Traffic Network. He previously served with Radio One, Total Traffic & Weather Network, and Westwood One.  NRG president and CEO Mary Quass states, “We are thrilled to have Mark join NRG.  He brings extensive experience in management, sales, and marketing to the market.  He understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio.  We are confident with Mark’s leadership, he will continue to develop innovative strategies for the market while providing great local radio.”

FCC to Begin 2018 Quadrennial Review of Media Ownership Rules.  Chairman Ajit Pai writes in his blog post at the FCC’s website that the agency will begin the 2018 Quadrennial Review of broadcast ownership rules and will “begin with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which seeks public input on the relevant rules, such as the Local Radio Ownership Rule, as well as several diversity-related proposals.”  That will begin at the FCC’s Open Meeting on December 12.  The ownership rules are a hot-button issue in the radio industry.  Some argue for liberal changes in the ownership regulations to help radio station owners compete in the audio arena with the largely unregulated digital audio and satellite radio services.  Other media industry players – most notably iHeartMedia – are against any further relaxation of ownership caps.  The National Association of Broadcasters is proposing changes that would allow companies operating in the top 75 radio markets to own up to eight FM stations and an unlimited number of AM signals.  Companies in markets 76 and up (and in unrated markets) would be allowed to operate with no limits.  The NAB also added a proposal related to the incubator program that would allow companies in that program to own up to 10 FM signals in the top 75 markets. When the NAB released this proposal back in June, FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly said he was open to considering it, stating that marketplace definition is key for him.  “I’ve critiqued the Department of Justice and FCC merger reviews in the past – AM radio only competes with AM radio, FM radio only competes with FM radio and newspapers only compete with newspapers.  That’s a crazy perspective that no longer applies, if it ever did.”

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Pictured above is Genesis Communications Network syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs standing beside the Christmas tree her program donates to the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village in Las Vegas – a charity that helps adults with disabilities gain employment and enjoy a variety of social services.

Trump Stands by Saudis, Dow Plummets, Democrats’ House Speaker Battle, Trump Answers Mueller Questions, Ivanka Email Case, California Wildfires; Avenatti Assault Allegation, Romaine Lettuce Warning, Thanksgiving Holiday/Eastern Cold Snap, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20).  Reaction to President Trump’s decision to deny Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; concern about the world’s financial markets as the Dow drops more than 500 points; the internal battle among Democrats over Nancy Pelosi as next speaker of the house; President Trump finishes his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller; the controversy over Ivanka Trump’s use of her personal email account for government business; the devastation from California’s wildfires; the allegation of assault against Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti by a former girlfriend; the CDC’s warning about the safety of the romaine lettuce in the U.S.; the Thanksgiving holiday and the Eastern U.S. cold snap; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The death of legendary disc jockey and voice artist Casey Kasem is the subject of a CBS TV special this Saturday evening (10:00 pm ET) as “48 Hours: The Mysterious Death of Casey Kasem” looks at the claims of Kasem’s second wife Jean – who says his children by his first wife killed him in an attempt to get his money – and the Kasem children (KerriJulie and Michael), who say Jean Kasem is guilty of elder abuse.  Casey Kasem died in 2014 after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia.  Saturday’s edition of “48 Hours” is hosted by Peter Van Sant…..iHeartRadio strikes a deal with Waze for the latter’s traffic and map app to sync with iHeartMedia’s digital platform to provide both audio streaming and directions without having to leave the iHeartRadio app.  iHM says, “The integration enables users to sync their Waze and iHeartRadio apps to access their favorite iHeartRadio features within Waze navigation or access Waze navigation inside iHeartRadio.”…..Brew City non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine” announces the results of its first “Backline” accelerator program from it and partner gener8tor that is assisting up-and-coming Milwaukee musicians Lex Allen, Crystal Knives, Abby Jeanne, and Zed Kenzo.  The 12-week music business immersion program helped the artists learn about the business and take part in collaborations in multiple cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and London.  The “Backline” program was created by WYMS to help Milwaukee musicians break out nationally.  Acceptance into the program for the four artists included $20,000 in equity-and royalty-free grant funding for each musician to be used toward furthering their careers.  The musicians have been using the grants to pay for equipment, recording sessions, travel, publicity services, photography and video. WYMS is owned by the Milwaukee Public Schools.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

| July 16, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Tribune/Sinclair Merger.  Releasing a statement today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s sharing with fellow commissioners a “draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative judge.”  Pai’s sticking point is an aspect of the proposed merger that would allow Sinclair to control stations it doesn’t technically own.  “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction.”  The proposed sale of Tribune Broadcasting’s assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group includes Tribune’s lone radio property – news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Sinclair currently owns three other radio stations in the Seattle market: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments on Pai’s decision, saying, “I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings.  Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law — specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition.  After a lengthy and fair process, Chairman Pai acted in a non-partisan manner in making this decision – a marked departure from the Commission’s partisan actions during the Obama administration.

iHeartMedia Elevates Four to Division Presidents. Four iHeartMedia region presidents are being promoted to division presidents of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Linda Byrd, Scott HopeckBrian Olson, and Jeff Tyler are expanding their current region president roles to include division president responsibilities — joining current division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Tom McConnell — and will report to Greg Ashlock, president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

ESPN Extends Contract with Paul Finebaum. Sports media personality Paul Finebaum and ESPN announce they’ve inked a new multi-year contract that will keep Finebaum with ESPN and SEC Network.  Finebaum will continue to host his eponymous radio program and continue to serve as an analyst on “SEC Nation.”  Finebaum comments, “I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network.  I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”  Finebaum is also featured on a variety of additional ESPN programming, including “Get Up!,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter,” “College Football Live,” “Finebaum Film Room” and “College GameDay.”

Boomer Esiason Leaves Westwood One ‘Monday Night Football’ Radio Booth. No one can accuse Boomer Esiason of being a slacker.  His numerous media gigs make him one of the busiest sports media figures working today.  But now, he’s saying ‘good-bye’ to one of the roles he’s held for the past 18 years – color analyst for Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” radio broadcasts.  Esiason also co-hosts the WFAN-AM/FM, New York morning show with Gregg Gionnatti; he’s a lead studio analyst for CBS Television’s pregame, halftime and post-game program, “The NFL Today”; and is a member of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” team.  Esiason says, “It has been an honor to be a member of the Westwood One NFL broadcast team for the last 18 years.  I am proud to have delivered the calls for some of the most iconic Monday Night and Super Bowl moments in the history of the NFL.  With my continuing busy schedule during the NFL season, including my daily NYC-based morning drive radio show, ‘The NFL Today’ and ‘Inside the NFL,’ I thought the timing was right for me to step away.  I would like to thank my broadcast partners in the booth who have made the job enjoyable and fulfilling.  Also, I would like to thank Westwood One’s senior management and sales force, who, over the years, were instrumental in providing on-air support for the Boomer Esiason Foundation.”

Forbes: Hannity’s Rise ‘Inextricably Tied’ to Trump Friendship. In a piece in Forbes written by Hayley Cuccinello, some experts are quoted saying that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity’s “rise is inextricably tied to his close friendship and access to President Donald Trump.”  The piece goes on to note that Hannity is the only cable news/talk host to make the Forbes world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities list this year.   TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece explaining Sean Hannity’s eclipsing fellow Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh on TALKERS’ 2018 Heavy Hundred list of the most important radio talk show hosts.  Harrison says, “Sean Hannity’s prominence as a news-making, frontline player in presidential politics, coupled with being a double threat as a radio and TV star, rank him this past year as one of, if not the, most influential radio and TV talk show hosts of all time.”  Harrison adds in a statement to the TALKERS editors, “It is important to point out that even before Trump came on the scene as a political player, Hannity was a major force in talk media nipping at the heels of Rush for years.”  See the Forbes piece here.

Third Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway at Central Washington U. The third annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins this afternoon on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington with Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president of radio Drew Horowitz, Hubbard Seattle VP/market manager Marc Kaye, and more than 35 other radio pros from Hubbard, Entercom, Bonneville, Townsquare, Alpha Media, the Seattle Seahawks and others will lead sessions during the 10-day institute.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington is the sixth institute of the summer and will be followed by the KBA Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute in Kentucky and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  Today (7/16), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 14th installment is the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation/Indictments, NATO Meeting Aftermath, Trump Flouts Royalty Protocol, Illegal Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War, Chicago Police Shooting Protests/KC Cop Attacks, Brexit Controversy, France Wins World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Today’s meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the ongoing investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Friday’s indictment of 12 Russians on hacking charges; President Trump’s meeting with NATO leaders and his statement that the European Union is America’s foe; chatter about Trump’s failure to observe royalty protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; the trade war brewing between the U.S. and China; protests in Chicago after police kill an armed black man and the attack in Kansas City that wounded three police officers; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU exit woes; France wins the World Cup; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hubbard’s Triple A WWFD, Frederick, Maryland First Full-Time, All-Digital AM Station. Frederick, Maryland triple A WWFD-AM “The Gamut” (also heard on translator W232DG at 94.3 FM) is making history as the “first full-time, all-digital AM radio station in the U.S.” Hubbard Radio says, “In an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving demand for digital, ‘The Gamut’ will be turning off its analog signal and will no longer be accessible through regular AM radio beginning today (7/16) at 12:00 noon.  This announcement comes as a result of a collaborative effort between ‘The Gamut’ and HD Radio, an Xperi Corporation brand, to give AM broadcasters parity in the car dashboard with FM HD Radio, satellite and internet streaming, among others.”  The conversion to all-digital is primarily expected to provide listeners with better sound quality and include new display features such as artist name, song title and even album artwork.  WWFD engineer and program director Dave Kolesar states, “My belief is that AM needs to start trending in this direction. We’re excited to be doing this extremely innovative project that has tremendous potential to make AM much more viable to distribute all formats.”

Indianapolis Radio Personality Bernie Eagan Retires. WYXB, Indianapolis afternoon personality Bernie Eagan is retiring from the business on July 20 after almost four decades on the radio.  Eagan – who is blind – got his start on radio while in college at the former Indiana Central College.  He studied broadcasting at Ball State and joined Emmis’ WENS, Indianapolis “Lite Rock 97.1” in 1981.  In 2002, he became morning host on Emmis’ adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B105.7,” and later transitioned to afternoons.  Eagan was recently selected by the Indiana Broadcasters Association to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame. He will receive that honor this November.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York hot AC WNEW-FM re-brands from the “Fresh 102.7” moniker to “NEW 102.7.”  Entercom New York region president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “This is an exciting move that underscores our commitment to offer listeners in New York a top-rated content and music experience.  Feedback tells us that New Yorkers are looking for a hot AC station that can take them through their workday and we know ‘NEW 102.7’ will deliver.” Additional announcements regarding the new programming lineup will be made shortly…..After cutting loose longtime syndicated morning show Bubba The Love Sponge” from rock WRXK, Fort Myers, Beasley Media Group announces it is piping in the “Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show” that emanates from its Detroit classic rock WRIF.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “We are pleased to have some of the finest personalities in the rock format within our company and Dave and Chuck are among the best of the best.  The type of content that they deliver has proven success in this market and I have no doubt this show will be a winner in Fort Myers.”…..Saga Communications classic hits KIOA, Des Moines announces Luke Matthews is the new morning drive co-host, alongside Amy on the “Luke & Amy” show. Matthews takes over for Maxwell Schaffer, who recently departed to take on the director of promotions and marketing at iHeartMedia’s Des Moines station group.

Round Four of June PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2018 survey period covered May 24 – June 20. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a quick one-month stay at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT (8.2 – 7.8, -.4, 6+), which shifts to the runner-up slot. May’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Off one-half share in April but up one-tenth in May, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” now falters by four-tenths in June (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), exiting the top ten (#10 to #11). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Now, “The Horn” adds one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Anchored at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” posts a +.2 to .5 (6+), suspending four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On top four months in a row, Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” plummeted -1.4 in May (8.9 – 7.5, 6+), segueing to #2. Wiping away nearly half of May’s deficit, “Bob” – which was +1.0 in April – posts a June improvement of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+) and returns to #1. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In addition to moving from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is up for the third straight time for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat (5.8) in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). Off one-half share in May, iHeartMedia-owned KASE erases that loss completely with June’s +.5 (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). It now trails co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, third to fourth, 6+) by four-tenths. April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down slightly in back-to-back sweeps (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” improves by a cumulative six-tenths in May and June to 2.4 (#17 to #14, 6+). At the same time that Emmis regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Z 107.1” falters by one full-share following a May increase of six-tenths (5.3 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 returns in its entirety the six-tenths it picked up in May (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). The 5.3 for KLZT-FM in May is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.4.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a robust +.9 (7.8 – 8.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC progresses from third to first; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. In addition to dropping from seventh to eighth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April loss of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). After four successive times of posting a 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF gains two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) yet backslides from #18 to #19. Ironically, prior to May, “News Radio 680” occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; and now -1.3 in June (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 2.6, #11 to #14, 6+). This (2.6) is its softest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 2.4. Following eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), co-owned sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+) and now disappears from print.

Raleigh Music Formats – Three major improvements in a row by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, March – April – May – June, 6+) net a collective +2.6, propelling “Mix 101.5” from fifth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (7.7) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). With its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half as a result of four straight negative moves (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” bounces back with a +.6 to 1.6 (#19 to #17, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot following 12 straight months there and slipping to second is Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” (9.3 – 8.4, -.9, 6+). Its +.4 in May pulled the plug on three dips in a row that accounted for a combined -1.8 (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+). This past January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+). Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Within 6.0 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (6.0 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG  drops six-tenths to 5.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.3, but “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #6.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s largest (6+) May 2018 – June 2018 increase is made by Emmis news/talk WIBC (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+), which jumps from seventh to fourth. Prior to May’s -.3, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Having forfeited seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases it with a combined +.7 in May and June (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3, #13 to #14, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, Emmis-owned sports talk WFNI is off one-tenth to 2.2 (flat at #16, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without an increase for the third time in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A collective -2.3 as the result of three downward trends in succession (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” hangs out a +.6 to 3.7 (6+) but remains at #13. The Radio One CHR was a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). Its rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” advances from eighth to seventh with its third consecutive increase for a collective +.9 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+). Notching May 2018 – June 2018 increases of one-half share as well are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), which was a combined -1.3 in April and May (7.4 – 6.4 – 6.1, 6+), and Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” (6.8 – 7.3, fourth to second, 6+). Winning ways continue for co-owned WFMS, which is not only #1 for the third month in a row but “95.5 The Country Station” is an overall +2.3 in four straight upticks (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June 2018’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. WFMS was -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; and +.5 in May. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), spirals by nine-tenths to 6.2 (second to sixth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Including June’s -1.1, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is now an overall -2.0 via three straight negative moves (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 (March – April – May, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8) but stays at #11. Substituting May’s +.6 with a June -.6, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” carries on at #9. Its gain of six-tenths this time last month halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Displaying an identical May 2018 – June 2018 profile as “The Mix” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, flat at #9, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-stat since re-appearing in print in December 2016. In four downward trends in a row, Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) but actually improves from #12 to #11 – where it is tied with WOLT.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Scripps news/talk (and Milwaukee Brewers flagship) WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminates May’s -.6 with a +.5 (7.3 – 7.8, third to second, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” surrenders eight-tenths of May’s +.9 (7.7 – 6.9, second to fourth, 6+). In April (2018), WTMJ matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). With downward trends in three straight sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, January through April, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time it reached the eight-share level (6+) was just over five years ago (8.1, April 2013). An overall +.8 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), WUWM has a one-tenth setback to 2.7 (6+) yet climbs from #15 to #13; the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th consecutive sweep. The March 2018 – June 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); and now +.9 in June (6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+). A May uptick of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WMYX halted five successive sweeps without an increase which accounted for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). By adding one-half share (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), “99.1 The Mix” climbs from seventh to sixth. April’s 4.5 marked the first time “Mix” slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. In addition to being +1.7 in four straight increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 40th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. A cumulative +2.5 in five straight increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” forfeits 40% of that increase (5.1, -1.0, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Eight-tenths behind it is format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which loses one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Having recorded a +.7 in April and then a -.1 in May (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (#15 to #20, 6+) spirals by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8. In five consecutive losses, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  is -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+); “104.5 The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. Anchored at #9, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined -.5 in four straight sweeps without an increase, (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. For the third straight sweep, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+) with “Super Talk 99.7” remaining at #11. January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – June 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is 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 (#19 to #11, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Roaring back from May’s -.5 with a gain twice that margin (8.2 – 9.2, +1.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA  is #1 for the fifth month in a row. “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want,” which had been (slightly) down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), dials up a one-half share gain to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. Adding seven-tenths to May’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from eighth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May, similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” breaks out a +.6 to 4.6 and remains at #10. Immediately in advance of the aforementioned -1.5, “Nash Icon” was an overall +1.8 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+). A loss of three-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WSIX (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) shifts “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” from sixth to seventh. “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -1.1 (May 2018 – June 2018, 6+) as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” erodes by seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. By dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” slips from #11 to #12. Four successive up or flat trends by co-owned WQZQ more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-share, but “Classic Hits 93.3” (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), hands over-one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) yet proceeds from #18 to a four-way tie at #16; May’s 1.2 is its best 6+-stat since November 2017 (1.2, as well). Also included in that logjam at #16 is TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL, which is off three-tenths to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+). Having reached the top twenty for the first time in March, “Activa” concludes three straight up or flat moves that produced a 6+ AQH stat seven times greater than it was in February (.2 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit that it remains at #7, Entercom sports talk WVEI posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Leading up to the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). One-tenth behind is Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (flat at 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). May’s setback of eight-tenths essentially negated the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The January 2018 – June 2018 (6+) topline for co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is a steady .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 (unchanged at #15). Down an overall seven-tenths in four straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ slips from #12 to #13; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” gained six-tenths in February. Off one-tenth (2.2 – 2.1, 6+), The Wheeler School’s WELH is unchanged in its market rank (#10); WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by three-tenths (2.2 – 1.9, #11, 6+); these two public news/talk facilities were tied in May at #10. Immediately prior to the May sweep, WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Owing to six straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8, third to second, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.6. Moreover, this (9.8) is its strongest 6+-performance in three years (9.9, June 2015). Tacking on nine-tenths to May’s increase of eight-tenths (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” repeats at #1. This (10.3) is the highest 6+-stat for “Lite” since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to this past October, “Lite Rock” (-1.1 in March) was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Erasing May’s -.4 with an increase twice that margin, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY (9.0 – 9.8, +.8, 6+) remains at #2, where it is tied with WCTK. On top in March and April, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” slipped to the runner-up slot in May. June 2018’s 9.8 is its best 6+-stat since January 2012’s 10.0. Following three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 but continues in sixth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, #13 to #12, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB loses exactly half its 6+-share (-1.4); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Huge winning ways continue for Entercom urban AC WVKL which is #1 for the 19th time in a row and a collective +2.2 in three straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3, 6+). Moreover, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 27th time in the last 28 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, WVKL set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) it set two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Having faltered by three-tenths May, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT displays an increase twice that size (1.9 – 2.5, +.6, 6+) and is anchored at #8. In five successive (slightly) up or flat trends, “92.1 The Beat” gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Bouncing back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE logs a one-half share increase (5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3 2WD” strung together three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). Three straight declines by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI accounted for a –1.3 (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), but “103 Jamz” is now +.6 in May and June (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+) to advance from third to second. In a somewhat similar vein, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), but “Hot 91.1” is up a combined six-tenths in the last two sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In the  Saga Communications cluster, WNOR “99 Rocks” erodes by -1.0 (8.3 – 7.3, second to third, 6+), while classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.1 in May and June (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. This (7.3) is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since its 6.0 in “Holiday” 2017. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV spirals by roughly 80% (-3.9) of its 6+ AQH share (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9) with “Movin’ 107.7” falling from #11 to #12.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” posts a gain of two-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+); WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Once again finishing at #13 and #14, respectively, are Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0, for an overall -.5 the past three sweeps, 6+) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (1.1 – 1.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS is off 50% (-.4) in three straight dips (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+). Immediately before that, owing to three straight (slight) increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Resurfacing in April following a long absence of being unlisted, Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” posts its five latest 6+-stats – including May 2018 – June 2018’s +1.1 (4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to seventh). Coinciding with iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” posting a +1.0, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” spirals by -1.5 (6.2 – 4.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). This marks the third uptick in a row by “Q-104” for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+) as it jumps from sixth to fifth. When WTQR, which logs its highest 6+-share (7.2) since October 2017’s 7.3, registered a +1.2 in May, it drew even with WPAW. Immediately prior to June’s -1.5, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April). Its April decrease curtailed three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Similar to WTQR, May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 7.1 in October 2017. After both stations sputtered by six-tenths in May, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jams” (7.9 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (7.5 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+) roar back with matching leaps of nine-tenths; they remain at #3 and #4, respectively. WJMH was a combined +1.1 (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, January – February – March, 6+), but off one-half share in April. Entering the May sweep, WMAG netted +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+). Notwithstanding a loss of eight-tenths (12.0 – 11.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the sixth straight sweep and notches double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March but then +1.2 in April. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG” spent seven straight survey periods on top. While anchored in the runner-up slot for the sixth straight sweep, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is -2.5 in five consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS was +1.5; however, “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is now a collective -.9 in May and June (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+). Up nine-tenths via three consecutive gains (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” returns four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) but stays at #10.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight up or flat trend by iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). Without a loss the past five months for a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is off four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) but stays in eighth-place. While flat at #11, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths (1.7 – 1.9, 6+). Three-tenths behind “News Talk 850” is iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which is steady at 1.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Similar to WJNO, “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). The five 6+-stats for WSWN, which debuted in print in January 2018, are .5 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 (#17, 6+); “The Talk of the Palm Beaches,” however, is unlisted in June 2018.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” picks up six-tenths to 6.5 (6+), advancing from third to second. Prior to April, “Kool” was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and had been +.8 (December 2017); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); +.5 (March); and -1.0 (April). Down one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. A gain of three-tenths to 9.3 (6+) by WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” applies the brakes to three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Over and above that, the Alpha Media hot AC is on top for the sixth month in a row. Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 ratings periods in a row on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September setback ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” regresses by six-tenths (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) to slide from second to third.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite gaining one-tenth for its third increase in succession for a +2.1 (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), news/talk WOKV falls to #2 after a one-month stay at #1. This (9.4) is the strongest 6+-showing since September 2017’s 9.7 for “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which was -.9 in March. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, the Cox Media Group outlet recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; the station was +1.3 in September. Having dropped one-tenth in each of the last three survey periods (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT gains one-tenth in June to 3.3 (6+) and carries on at #12. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – When WEJZ lost two-tenths in May, it bumped the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property from first after just a one-month stay on top. Powered by a June +1.4, however, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” returns to #1 (9.0 – 10.4, 6+). WEJZ was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” was an overall +5.8 in four straight uptrends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+). This (10.4, June 2018) is its highest 6+-stat since 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017. After being a collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (steady at #4, 6+). Its +1.1 in March pulled the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 straight ratings periods, “Jacksonville’s Country” shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to #1 in January 2018 and March; October 2017’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Conversely, with a one full-share loss, Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 virtually disappears from print (1.1 – .1, #18 to #21, 6+). In October 2017, WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country” had a 10.3-share advantage (13.6 – 3.3, 6+) over Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WGNE but that lead is now 1.5 as “Gator Country 99.9” is steady at #5 with a 5.8 (-.1, 6+). WGNE bounced back from a -.6 in March with a +1.1 in April. Without a decrease in each of the past five sweeps for a combined +1.8 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL surrenders one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+); “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” erased 80% of that margin with a +.8 in April to 5.0 (6+), but forfeits one-half share in June (4.5, flat at #7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #11 in June are Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” which gains one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, #12 to #11 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” – down one-tenth (flat at #11, 6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Meanwhile, WREC is without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Its eight-tenths’ setback in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for a collective +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC, -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, since 3.6 in February 2017. Having logged a .1 (6+) three consecutive times, Entercom sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” adds two-tenths to .3 (#18).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to climbing from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM  registers its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.3 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Moreover, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” has its strongest 6+-showing (6.8) since May 2017’s 7.0. Piling on a +1.0 in June to May’s +.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” solidifies its hold on #1. On top for three months in a row, KJMS slipped to second in April. “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there and rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. While anchored at #8, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” is a collective +1.5 in three straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+). A one-half share May 2018 – June 2018 improvement to 3.9 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” curtails four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). This is the fourth time in a row that iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” sputters for a collective -2.5 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+); June 2018’s 4.8 is its softest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.6. A combined -1.3 in May and June (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” repeats at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC sibling “V-101” at #1. As a result of three straight upticks (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO was +2.3 but “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” forfeits seven-tenths in June to 9.3 (flat at #2, 6+). May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged in tenth-place, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” records its sixth down or flat trend in succession for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). WNPR followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time it was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). This represents the third straight (modestly) down or flat trend in succession by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just prior to that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Off two-tenths (1.2 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” remains at #13, but has its consecutive streak of up or flat trends which produced a +.4 end at five (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Immediately after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in four successive down or flat trends (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, unchanged at #12, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – A one-half share increase by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (4.3, unchanged at #8, 6+) erases a combined setback of four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+). Even though Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is an overall -1.9 in three straight downward moves (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4, 6+), “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in the last 22 sweeps. WRCH was +1.1 in March but then -1.1 in April. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). Having posted five successive improvements for an overall +2.9 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” surrenders eight-tenths to 7.0 (third to fifth, 6+); May’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since last October (also 7.8). Off eight-tenths as well in June is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WHCN “105.9 The River” (7.7 – 6.9, fifth to sixth, 6+), which is below a seven-share (6.9, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.0. A collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” falters by seven-tenths in June to 7.1 (third to fourth, 6+).

Thursday, May 17, 2018

| May 17, 2018

PodcastOne Expands ‘Dennis Miller Option.’ According to PodcastOne, demand is the reason it is adding a second weekly episode of “The Dennis Miller Option” to its offerings.  The company announces the addition “following a chart-topping debut” that saw it in “the top ten on the Apple Podcasts comedy charts, holding a top 25 slot since its April 25 premiere.”  Beginning the week of June 4, new episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts.  Miller comments, “We live in a world that has podcasts, and those podcasts have to be guarded by people with microphones.  Who’s gonna do it?  You?  I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.  And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves listeners!  You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that podcast…you need me on that podcast!”

Senate Votes to Uphold Obama Net Neutrality Policy.  The U.S. Senate yesterday voted – by a 52-47 margin – to overturn the FCC’s overhaul of the Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The matter will be sent to the U.S. House where it’s likely to languish.  Even if it didn’t, President Trump wouldn’t sign it. Still, performers union SAG-AFTRA issued the following statement, “We commend the senators who voted today to undo the FCC’s order repealing net neutrality rules.  We support the basic principles that companies should provide their users with access to all lawfully distributed content on reasonably non-discriminatory terms, they should be prohibited from favoring their own content over the content of an unaffiliated provider and they should be prohibited from prioritizing the content of one unaffiliated provider over that of another.  We continue to urge the government to work toward the goal of preserving a free and open Internet and to maintain and strengthen the distinction between the transmission of lawful and unlawful content.”

Westwood One Asking Users to Register their C-Band Downlinks.  The idea behind this is simple: the FCC is considering allotting more bandwidth to other potential users and the more the FCC is aware of the breadth of C Band use, the less that is likely to be taken away.  Westwood One says, “On April 19, 2018, the FCC issued a public notice regarding a 90-day opportunity to register existing C Band Downlinks.  Westwood One is encouraging stations to register within the window, which closes July 18, 2018, so that the FCC is aware of all downlinks in existence before they offer space to mobile broadband data services.  The FCC believes that if you do not register your downlink during this window, you do not need interference protection moving forward.  It is critical that stations register their downlinks so the FCC is aware of it during this 90-day window or risk losing ALL of their satellite programming.  The 90-day window closes on July 18, 2018.”  Westwood One SVP of technology and operations Eric Wiler states, “In our history, we have never had to license and/or register C Band downlinks.  Yet with the extensive use of mobile devices, WiFi and other data services, there is a constant need for radio spectrum and the government is considering all possible options.  All C Band radio, television and data services on every satellite are at risk.  Registration is key to helping the FCC appreciate the universe of existing downlinks and potential outcomes of expansion.  Westwood One has been working with other networks and satellite vendors to attempt to resolve this situation.”  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee.  During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies.  You may register using FCC Form 312, using the paper form, online at http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs, or engage a third party to assist you.  Satellite Engineering Group is a third-party resource and can be reached at (913) 375-1114.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow, WGN, Chicago is recognizing and celebrating five inductees at the WGN Radio Walk of Fame ceremony in front of Tribune Tower.  The induction will take place live on the air with co-hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder.  This year’s inductees are: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck SwirskyRoger Triemstra and Mary Van De Velde…..SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of comedian Richard Pryor with three weeks of special programming dedicated to the late star.  Starting May 21 on the Comedy Greats channel, listeners will hear Pryor’s entire discography – all newly remastered for the event – as well as an original audio documentary hosted by Ron Bennington. As part of the tribute, “Richard Pryor: Still Outrageous,” SiriusXM will also exclusively broadcast three recently discovered standup albums, which will be the first time they are available to the public, in addition to rare and never-before-released tracks…..ABC News Radio is providing coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on Saturday (5/19) from 6:00 am – 10:00 am ET, anchored by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting from Windsor by correspondents Tom Rivers and Cheri Preston.  Royal expert and author Jane Green will join Katersky in New York.

Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Erdogan vs Israel, Rex Tillerson Address, Senate Net Neutrality Vote, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The investigation into Trump campaign and Russian agent connections and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower; the status of U.S.-North Korea meetings and the hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program; Turkey’s President Erdogan issues statement encouraging Muslim nations to unite against Israel; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s VMI commencement speech; the U.S. Senate’s vote to overturn FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s net neutrality policy; trade negotiations between the U.S. and China and President Trump’s ZTE comments; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Cumulus Media Indianapolis cluster names Kelly Harlow as digital sales manager/local sales manager.  Cumulus operates country WFMS, adult hits WJJK, and CHR WYRG in Indianapolis.  Harlow comes to the cluster from iHeartMedia’s crosstown station group.  She worked in the Cumulus Indy sales department from 2008 through 2012…..Adams Radio Group appoints Jason Lamp vice president and general manager for its Tallahassee operations that includes country duo WWOF and WANK, CHR WHTF, and oldies WQTL.  Lamp takes over for retiring manager Hank Kestenbaum.  Lamp comments, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead our team to build the Adams Radio Group brand in the Tallahassee market, to provide quality programming for our listeners, and a customer-driven integrated advertising platform to address the needs and increase the success of our clients.”…..iHeartMedia moves sales pro Lisa Ballance from its Nashville station group to St. Louis where she now holds the sales manager title.  iHeartMedia operates seven stations in the market and Ballance will be responsible for sales at adult contemporary KLOU, hip hop KATZ-FM, and Gospel KATZ-AM…..Westwood One is an official promotional partner of the 2018 Billboard Music Awards taking place this weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs will feature private backstage performances by a number of artists including Daughtry, plus interviews with a number of artists and celebrities.  In addition to the backstage activations, Westwood One has five hours of BBMAs Night of Event Coverage on Sunday, May 20, from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET…..Pictured below is country duo Maddie & Tae posing for a pic with morning personalities Ty, Kelly and Chuck at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus in Nashville.  The duo talked about their new song, “Friends Don’t,” and played a special, celebrity edition of “Did They Make It?” From left to right are: Ty BentliMadison Marlow, Kelly Ford, Taylor Dye, and Chuck Wicks.

Round Three of April PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April 2018 survey period covered March 29 – April 25. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – When Alpha Media news/talk KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three increases in a row that produced a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). In April though, “101 FM News – Stay Connected” answers with a +.6 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Following three straight months in sole possession of the top spot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.5 – 8.5, 6+) now shares the penthouse with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety.” Representative recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; and now -1.0 in April. Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #20, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is off two-tenths to 1.6 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). While flat at 1.0 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” climbs from #25 to #24. Tracking the market’s sports talk scene, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” logs a 2.0 (#18 to #19, 6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps; Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game” is down three-tenths (1.4 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” loses one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and stays at #24. Prior to April, “Sports Radio 620” gained one-half share in four successive sweeps without a loss (.6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.1, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” displays a +.6 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh), its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.6. Up or flat for the fourth time in succession for a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #10 to a three-way tie at #8. Regaining in its entirety the six-tenths it lost in March, classic hits-oldies sibling KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+) remains in third-place. This time last month, co-owned adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety” trailed frontrunner KOPB by 1.5 shares (6+). The combination of public news/talk KOPB eroding by -1.0 and “K-103” notching a +.5 (8.0 – 8.5, 6+) results in the two stations locked in a first-place tie. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” had ranked #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. In the market’s country contest, Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” recoups the four-tenths it surrendered in March (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull #1 for New Country” is flat at 3.3 (6+) and remains at #15. In January (2018), “The Bull” registered a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but lost 80% of that increase (-1.6) in February and March (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE regains the two-tenths it lost in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). In a three-way scrum at #14, Entercom news/talk WBT is a combined -.9 in March and April (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), immediately after three increases in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ is flat at 1.7 (6+) and remains at #18; “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” rebounded from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – Powered by a whopping +1.9 (3.2 – 5.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” rockets into the top ten (#16 to #6). It isn’t the only Charlotte station improving by at least one full-share in April though as Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” wipes out March’s -1.1 with a +1.2 (6.3 – 5.2 – 6.4, 6+), jumping from sixth to third. In February, WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths. Up eight-tenths in three consecutive ratings periods without a loss (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFX coughs up nearly twice that gain (5.9, -1.4, 6+); after a one-month stay at #1, “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” drifts to #5. Its 7.3 in March was the best 6+-stat for WRFX since 7.6 in April 2017. “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Succeeding “The Fox” at #1 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (6.8 – 7.0, +.2, second to first, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); and +.6 in March. It shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, the first time on top for WKKT since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). As a result of three straight decreases, Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is -1.4 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+). Urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WOSF “Old School 105.3” returns 75% of March’s +.8 (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, 6+), slipping from seventh to eighth. Immediately before its March increase, “Old School 105.3” was an overall -1.8 via five consecutive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Three iHeartMedia siblings falter by one-half share each: adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (4.6 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); WEND “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” (3.8, #9 to #12, 6+); and CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (3.4, #13 to #14, 6+). “The End” was +.7 in January to halt three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); -.5 in February (4.3 – 3.8, 6+); +.5 in March; and now -.5 in April. Meanwhile, “Channel 96.1” was an overall +.8 in four straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – With a net loss of two-tenths via three sweeps in a row without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI slips from seventh to eighth. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to three consecutive negative trends, KSTX was a combined -1.9 (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), but the Texas Public Radio news/talker picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Continuing at #20, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is without a loss for the fourth time in succession for a collective +.5 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight times of recording a .5 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up two-tenths to .7 (6+) and is steady at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – Four positive spikes in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM have generated a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” progresses from eighth to fifth. Tacking on six-tenths to its March +.7, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” climbs from #14 to #13. “Norteno” was +.8 in January and -1.0 in February. By gaining two-tenths to 4.2 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT not only pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in a -.9.6 (13.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Variety Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). On top for the fourth sweep in a row, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -.4 in March and April (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in a row that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. So far this calendar year, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” has amassed a +2.7 in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) only to surrender a combined -1.3 in March and April (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. It is one-tenth ahead of format rival, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which records its fourth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, steady at #4, 6+). Trending 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.1 (6+) since December, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (#14 to #18, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its March gain of one-tenth with a mammoth +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” jumps from sixth to third. This (7.8) is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and -.9 in February. Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is without a loss for the tenth ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-tenth (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). This represents the third sweep in a row without an increase for Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), which is -.8 in that timeframe; 5.3 (January and February) was its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A +1.3 in January stymied four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). An overall +.8 via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” sputters by one-half share to 2.4 (#12 to #13, 6+). January’s gain of six-tenths halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Having logged a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” posts an improvement of six-tenths to 5.0 (tenth to seventh), its highest 6+-share since last June’s 5.1. Tacking on one-tenth (11.1 – 11.2, 6+) to March’s +.8, classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW is on top for the 14th consecutive ratings period; “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). Co-owned rocker WDVE (7.8 – 7.9, +.1, 6+) has been in second-place in ten of the last eleven sweeps. It was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). A loss of six-tenths (7.8 – 7.2, 6+) drops Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” from the runner-up slot to fourth-place. Steady at #11, co-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is up seven-tenths through three straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). At the same time, Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” dips by two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to ninth, 6+), curtailing three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KFBK, which was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; up again to #1 (tied with KSEG) in March; and now back to #2 in April (8.1 – 7.8, -.3, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+); logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017; and followed in January 2018 with a +.2. January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Three straight improvements netted a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), but KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in March (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KSTE inches up from #15 to #14. “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. After logging a +.4 in March, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ forfeits all of it plus another one-tenth (4.8 – 4.3, -.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). KXJZ posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a -1.0 or an exactly one-half reduction in its 6+-stat (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3, #20 to #23, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.5 (#23 – to #22, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – For the 12th ratings period in succession, Entercom’s KRXQ (4.0 – 4.6, +.6, 6+) records a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 as “98 Rock” vaults from ninth to fourth. After enduring three dips in a row that resulted in a massive -8.2 and well over half of its 6+-share (14.2 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” picks up two-tenths to 6.2 and continues at #3. “Mix” ranked first in December 2017 (8.8, 6+) and in “Holiday” 2017 (14.2, 6+). Off a combined half-share in February and March (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” erases that deficit with a +.5 to 4.6 (6+) as it climbs from #8 to that four-way logjam at #4 (that includes KRXQ). Albeit down one-tenth (8.1 – 8.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” emerges in sole possession of first-place, following a tie at the top with iHeartMedia’s KFBK; “The Eagle” was #1 in February, as well. A January gain of two full-shares by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Co-owned KKDO “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” returns 70% of its +1.0 in March (3.2, -.7, #10 to #12, 6+); 3.9 (March) was its best 6+-stat in more than two years (3.9, February 2016). Still in that Entercom cluster, CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” is a collective -.8 in three straight sweeps without an increase (5.4 -5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+) but remains at #4. As the result of three successive upticks, Entravision-owned country outlet KNTY gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but “101.9 The Wolf” relinquishes one-half share to 2.5 (#13 to #14, 6+). In addition to “The Wolf,” iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is part of a three-way tie-up at #14. “The Bull” is without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, #16 to #14, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s other FM country outlet, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), surrenders two-tenths in April to 4.2 (sixth to ninth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above being +3.0 in four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” marches from second to first. Immediately prior to this streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat in each of the last three sweeps for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” dips from ninth to tenth. KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Without an increase the last three sweeps as well (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, steady at #13, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.3. Slipping from #21 to #22, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – In addition to advancing from seventh to fifth, Bonneville-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” is a combined +2.2 via four upticks in a row (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance (5.7) since last July’s 6.2. When 1980’s hits KSQN dropped four-tenths in March, it snapped at ten a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+). In April though, “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” answers with an increase of seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.7, #22 to #21, 6+). The 1.3-share (6+) advantage Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” enjoyed over co-owned (news/talk) KSL evaporates as “FM 100.3” hands over in full March’s +.9 (7.3 – 8.2 – 7.3, first to second, 6+) and now trails KSL by eight-tenths. KSFI, which had been on top the past six ratings periods, was -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). Eroding by eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.8 – 6.0, flat at #3, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). A gain of nine-tenths in March resulted in “97.1 ZHT” logging a 6.8 – its finest 6+-share since 7.1 in March 2016. Meanwhile, “K-Bull” ends three upticks in a row that netted +2.3 (3.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). The market’s two hot ACs regress by six-tenths: Capitol’s KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.7 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+). Both of these stations lost one-half share in March.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – By picking up three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT segues from #22 to a three-way tie at #19. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Talk Radio 840” was up or flat for three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Off three-tenths to 2.6 (#14 to #15, 6+), Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR suspends three positive spikes in succession that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” dips from #25 to #26. A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. Unchanged at #27, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.5 in seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Trending 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.5 (January – February – March, 6+), Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 6.1 (fourth to third, 6+), its best 6+-stat since last November’s 6.7. In four straight gains, co-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” is +1.6 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+). The game of musical chairs at the top between iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” and Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” continues as “Sunny” is off six-tenths (7.4 – 6.8, first to second, 6+), while KKLZ is +.2 (6.8 – 7.0, second to first, 6+). The two stations traded places in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse – by “Sunny” – after five straight months there. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); and -.5 (February). In addition to holding the lead in December 2017 and March 2018, “Sunny” was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). After avoiding a loss the past six reports for an overall +2.6 (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.1 (third to fifth, 6+). In addition to “Sunny,” Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” log April losses of six-tenths. Three upticks in a row by KOMP produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) but it has now dropped six-tenths in back-to-back monthlies (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.3, #14 to #18, 6+). In an up/down pattern since “Holiday” 2017 in which it’s up two-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” drops from #11 to #13.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from a -1.0 in March, iHeartMedia news/talker WLW posts a +1.6 to 8.9 (6+) and shifts from third to second. The Cincinnati Reds flagship was a combined +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, 6+). This (8.9) is its highest 6+-share since last October’s 9.2. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” is down a combined one-half share in March and April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3, #10 to #12, 6+). WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). It is one-half share ahead of Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU which replicates March’s -.4 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+); WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. Flat at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” returns the two-tenths it gained in March (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” drops three-tenths (.7 – .4, #22 to #23, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Even though it registers its fifth positive spike in succession for an overall +2.7 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5, 6+), Hubbard’s WUBE backslides from second to third; “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” was -1.4 in December. Not only does Radio One urban contemporary WIZF apply the brakes to four negative moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), “101.1 The Wiz” hauls out a +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is an overall +.9 in three successive positive spikes (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3, #16 to #15, 6+). This (2.3) is the best 6+-showing for WDBZ since November (2.3, as well). An April gain of eight-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+) completely wipes out its -.8 in February and March (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Setting the pace for the fourth straight time, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” drops six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), thus halting three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. More major ups/downs for Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9,” which was -1.4 via five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+); +1.3 in January; -.5 in February; +.6 in March; and now -.8 in April (5.1 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). This is the ninth straight time that iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.9 (4.9 – 4.2, -.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (4.9 – 5.5, steady at #8, 6+) and Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE (2.9 – 3.5, unchanged at #14, 6+). In advance of dropping three-tenths in March, “Real Radio” was up a combined three full-shares in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+). January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Down eight-tenths in three consecutive monthlies without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” slips from ninth to tenth. Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5,” was +2.0 in September 2017. A loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+) takes iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF from #16 to #17. Immediately before gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Tied at #20 are Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (1.1 – .9, -2, #19 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (flat at .9, #20 in March, as well, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Registering its fourth positive spike in a row for an overall +2.5 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” jumps from sixth to fourth. After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. Prior to March 2018, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in March 2017 (6.1). It is quite the double-play for iHeartMedia’s WRUM which is up for the fourth successive monthly for a +1.8 (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+) and is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Although remaining at #7, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” adds seven-tenths to 5.7 for its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 5.9. Down a cumulative two full-shares in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJRR answers with a one-half share increase in April (3.3 – 3.8, #13 to #12, 6+). In January, “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” posted a +1.3, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In a bit of an interesting twist, the internet “stream” of Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is up nine-tenths (.0 – .9, #21, 6+), while the station’s actual FM signal regresses by eight-tenths (6.8 – 6.0, third to fifth, 6+). Prior to April’s -.8, WMMO-FM was +1.6 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), with 6.8 in March its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After being within 5.0 – 5.5 range in each of the last six survey periods (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” logs a +.8 to 6.3 (seventh to fifth), the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since last October’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive sweeps without a loss by Entercom’s WKRK netted a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” returns two-thirds of that increase (4.4, -.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). A combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+) after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN adds one-tenth in April (2.9, 6+) and continues at #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” responds in March and April though with an overall +1.6 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.5, 6+), leaping from eighth to fourth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). There have been seven dramatic up/down shifts in succession for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits”: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); and now +1.0 in April (8.3 – 9.3, steady at #2, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Co-owned WMMS duplicates March’s +.6 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). After three increases in a row for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK falters by one-half share to 9.6 (6+) but repeats at #1. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Having notched a gain of six-tenths in February, urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” is a combined -1.4 in March and April (6.3 – 5.7 – 4.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). February’s +.6 pulled the plug on three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” racks up a +1.3 (1.8 – 3.1, #19 to #15, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” spirals by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #10 to #16+). In March, Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP erased February’s -.4 with a +.4. WHB was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Without a loss for the sixth time in a row for a +.9 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR nonetheless backslides from #16 to #17. After registering six successive upticks for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is off three-tenths in March and April (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+). Cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” picks up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) and carries on at #19. Unchanged at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .7 (6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Up or flat each sweep since December for an overall +1.6 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” vaults from #8 to a three-way tie at #4. Part of the logjam there includes co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1,” which records its third (modest) decrease in a row for a -.5 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other FM country property, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” dials up a +.9 (4.0 – 4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). “The Wolf” was a collective -1.3 in February and March. Stuck on 3.2 (6+) the last two survey periods, alternative cluster-mate KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” notches a +.7 in April to 3.9 (#14 to #12, 6+), matching last November’s 6+-stat. Steady at #3, co-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.3 in four straight up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Despite a loss of four-tenths (8.1 – 7.7, 6+), KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies property faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Dropping out of the top ten (#10 to #11), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” is down eight-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN inches up from sixth to fifth. “News Radio 610” eroded by one full-share in February; was -.7 in March; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU stumbles by six-tenths to 3.7 (seventh to eighth, 6+); 4.3 in March was its best 6+-showing since August 2017’s 4.7. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” gains two-tenths to .9 (#16 to #15, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet has ceased subscribing to Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” boasts a 14.4 (6+) in April and finishes first for the fourth consecutive sweep. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; and now +1.0 in April. Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (9.0 – 9.4, +.4, 6+) is #2 for the fourth time in a row. WNCI was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in February and March (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” surrenders nine-tenths (5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.1 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2017 report, Saga Communications’ classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind” deflates by one-half share to 1.6 (6+) but remains at #13. It is the first time “Rewind” has been below a two-share (6+) since recording a 1.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Blue Chip urban contemporary WBMO logged a 1.2 (6+) in December 2017, but has not been in print the last five sweeps.

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