Tag: "Ajit Pai"

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.

Monday, April 9, 2018

| April 9, 2018

BIA Kelsey: WTOP-FM, Washington Top Billing U.S. Radio Station.  This is a repeat for the Hubbard Radio all-news station. BIA Kelsey, in its “Investing in Radio” Market Report, reports the top 10 billing radio stations in the U.S. and WTOP-FM repeats at #1 having billed $67.8 million in 2017.  Entercom sports talk WFAN, New York came in #6 – down two slots from last year – with $41 million billed.  The rest of the top 10 consists of spoken-word stations: Entercom’s all-news WINS-AM and WCBS-AM in New York come in #7 and #8, respectively, with $41 million in billing, followed by Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago at #9 ($40 million) and iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles at #10 ($35 million). See more here.

Report from NAB 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the 2018 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  Sunday’s activity featured the Digital Futures session and Cooke says if anyone needs proof of the potential for podcasts as revenue builders, look no further than the newspaper business that is jumping feet-first into the medium. Gatehouse Media’s Peter Newton says his company is building mini-studios in all 50 of its markets by year’s end. Despite the attacks on traditional media outlets as news sources, Pew Research finds that local news organizations are ranked most trustworthy while social media ranks #4 in trustworthiness. See more of Cooke’s report from Las Vegas here.

Paralyzed Vocal Cord Sidelining WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil.  WSCR, Chicago personality Dan McNeil is off the air for a while (he’s been off since March 28) and lets listeners know that he’s suffering from a paralyzed vocal cord.  He writes the following Facebook post: “After six hours with my new otolaryngology team, here’s the news: Gratefully, I’m cancer free, emphysema free.  The flip side is I have a paralyzed right vocal cord.  The larynx was injected with a collagen gel, designed to separate the two cords.  Recovery time varies.  I will do all in my power to expedite the process.  The timing couldn’t be worse.  And I haven’t been this excited to open a mic since the morning after “17 Seconds” in Boston in ’13.  We will reboot ‘McNeil & Parkins’ on ‘670 The Score’ as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, I will be writing columns for the site and trying to be a good teammate, promoting all of our shows via social media. So sorry. Thank you, Danny Parkins, Nick Shepkowski, Chris Tannehill, Mark Grote, George Ofman and my management team for your humanity.”

Kilmeade and Hurley Raise $30k for Charity.  Friday (4/6) was the 10thAnnual Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” charity.  FOX News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade helped Hurley raise some $30,000 for the charity.  He also held a private book signing for 260 invited guests at the Resorts Casino -Hotel in Atlantic City.  Hurley says, “Brian is one of the most decent, generous and hard-working gentlemen in our business.  He hosted ‘Fox & Friends’ and his radio program and left immediately for our event. Brian is a superstar who is humble and incredibly engaging.”

The 11thAnnual Hersky Awards.  It is awards season and H-and-H Communications president Al Herskovitz today presents the winners of the 11thannual Hersky Awards – honors given to those who show outstanding achievement in the arena of talk radio sales and advertising.  See who this year’s winners are in the categories of: best live read, best presentation of a local product/service by a national host, top produced national commercial, and best singing commercial/jingle here.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Visits Flinn Broadcasting. Pictured above with the staff of Flinn Broadcasting in Memphis is FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (third from left). The chairman stopped by the company’s offices on April 5.  Pai spoke with owner Dr. George Flinn about issues including: continuing simplification of radio rules and the continuing availability of FM translators.  Chairman Pai spent 30 to 40 minutes on site, met with the company’s staff and management. He also was interviewed by the Memphis Business Journal.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s still no Kevin Klein on Entercom’s sports talk/hot talk hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine.”  The station is still airing promos that tout it as the flagship of San Diego Padres baseball, but as of this morning (4/9), the station is still airing rock music in the morning drive daypart – although Klein’s name is still listed on the website as the morning drive personality…..Delmarva Education Association-operated WZNZ-AM/W262AG, Jacksonville, Florida changes from business talk to news/talk as “Talk 100.3.” The station airs conservative talk shows including Salem’s Hugh Hewitt, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, Dave Ramsey, and Compass Media’s Gordon Deal, alongside religious programming and business shows…..Radio research pro Laura Ivey joins Edison Research, directing various aspects of Edison’s growing practice in audio and social media.  She will also take a role in Edison’s election research.  Edison president Larry Rosin says, “Laura will be an outstanding addition to our team.  She has a comprehensive understanding of the audio space and Edison’s clients will really enjoy working with her.”  Ivey has served in various roles with Arbitron and Nielsen Audio since 1996…..Gow Media announces that it is adding ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith show to the program schedule on “SportsMap 94.1FM.”  The program follows the local Charlie Pallilo program…..Boston sports personality Danny Picard launches a new YouTube series called “363: OFF THE AIR” available on his YouTube channel.  He says, “I’m always trying to provide new, original content, but I’m extremely excited to show off my latest YouTube creations.  There’s a real opportunity here to continue to build my brand in a unique way, without any restrictions.”

Deadly Syria Gas Attack, Mexican Wall/Immigration Policy, Jimmy Kimmel-FOX News Feud, Financial Markets Activity, Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress, North Korea Nukes, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly gas attack on civilians in Syria and Russia’s blaming of Israel; the status of President Trump’s proposed Mexican wall and U.S. immigration policy; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel personalities over Kimmel’s targeting Melania Trump in a sketch; the activity of the world’s financial markets in response to tariff threats; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Tuesday; North Korea signals willingness to talk about denuclearization; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Mike Gallagher in London. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher in London with a constable from the London Metropolitan Police.  SRN says that Gallagher is in London investigating reports that the crime rate there has exceeded that of his home base in New York City.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The rumored hiring of Ed Lover to host the morning drive show at Entercom’s classic hip hop and R&B WBMX-FM, Chicago “104.3 Jams” is a reality as the company announces he’ll begin hosting “The Ed Lover Morning Show” with lifelong Chicagoan Jennifer Farina, known as “Jen BT,” starting Thursday (4/12).  Entercom Chicago market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Ed Lover is as smooth as his name and we’re looking forward to having him take the helm of mornings on Chicago’s #1 station for throwbacks.  His deep connection and knowledge of classic hip-hop and R&B along with his energy and drive will help Chicagoans start their mornings on the right note.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KKDO, Sacramento from “Radio 94.7” to “ALT 94.7, Sacramento’s Alternative.”…..Westwood One reveals its latest 24/7 music format called Classic Rock X.  WWO says the format debuted on Forever Media’s WRQY, Wheeling, West Virginia “Rocky 96.5.”  The company says the format was developed in conjunction with Forever and will soon be featured in more of their markets, as well as offered to the marketplace at large.  It’s a harder-edged classic rock format with core artists AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses replacing such acts as Doobie Brothers, Eagles, and Bruce Springsteen.  It also includes songs from Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and other mainstay 90s bands.”…..Alpha Media’s Wenatchee, Washington cluster brings the “JACK FM” format to the market on translator K232ED, Wenatchee as “94.3 JACK FM.”…..The 53rd ACM Awards take place this Sunday (4/15) live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will broadcast LIVE at 8:00 pm ET on the CBS Television NetworkWestwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards and Westwood One will welcome more than 25 of the top country stations in America to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards.  Through its partnership with the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive ACM branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards.  The one-hour “ACM Red Carpet” is being hosted by Elaina Smith and both the three-hour “ACM Broadcast Companion’ and the “ACM Winner Wrap Up Show” are being hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith…..Mikadety Radio files to transfer KDSN-AM/FM (currently airing a variety format and an adult contemporary format, respectively) Denison, Iowa to University of Northwestern-St. Paul.  University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a Minnesota-based non-profit corporation headed by Alan Cureton.  It owns 42 licenses, of which 18 are full-power stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Connecticut, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.

“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.

Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.

 News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.

TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England PatriotsTennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.

Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.

PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.

SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.

FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).

Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2018

Joe ‘Pags’ Show Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” arrives at the 100-affiliate mark with the addition of KPAM, Portland to its affiliate roster.  Joe Pagliarulo’s WOAI, San Antonio-based program is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksSalem Media Group SVP/spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Years ago a young TV anchor in Albany called me to ask how he could get into talk radio.  That was Joe Pags.  I figured it was a passing fantasy, but no, he was serious.  What an honor to be his 100th affiliate in Portland at our newest talk station.  Our listeners there are in for a real treat.  And congrats Joe, you made it!”  Pags adds, “It’s an absolute thrill to add such a great station like KPAM in a top market like Portland!  For this powerhouse to also be my 100th affiliate and to once again be working with Phil Boyce is truly humbling.”

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC.  The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention.  TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday.  Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Rob Stadler Gone From Mornings at WYAY, Atlanta. As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” parted ways with Rob Stadler – host of the morning news program – at the end of 2017.  Ho reports that WYAY program director Tom Lee has not named a successor to the Stadler-hosted program, but Ho suspects the new program will be more of a talk show than a news show.  This for the station that launched in 2012 as an all-news outlet.  Talk radio pros Mike Brooks and Rob Carson have been filling in hosting the AM drive program.  For his part, Stadler told Ho in a text, “The last two years have been a lot of fun, but my sights are now set on a new position that doesn’t require a 1 a.m. wake-up!  Can’t talk about it right now but soon…I sincerely wish the talk and news talent at WYAY-FM the very best for future success!”

KKFN, Denver Adds More Local Content.  There’s more local sports talk on Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” with the extension of the “Pritchard and Cecil” program and the addition of a Sandy Clough-hosted evening show.  Well-known Denver sports voice Sandy Clough begins hosting a 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on January 16.  Effective immediately, the “Pritchard and Cecil” program – co-hosted by Mike Pritchard and Cecil Lammey – is airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “Broncos country and the Denver sports community has shown us there’s a clear demand from ‘104.3 The Fan’ for more local sports talk.  We’re excited to give our audience even more of an opportunity to feed their passion on a daily basis.  It’s something they both yearn for and deserve.  Sandy Clough is an institution in the Denver sports radio market.  In the evening, Denver sports fans are looking for an outlet, and having Sandy on from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm will allow him to not only give perspective on Broncos headlines but also provide postgame reaction to the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and other Denver sports events.”

Longtime WGN, Chicago Talk Host Milt Rosenberg Passes at 92.  Legendary Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg died yesterday (1/9) after complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.  Rosenberg was a University of Chicago psychology professor who hosted the evening “Extension 720” program on Tribune’s WGN from 1973 through his “forced retirement” in 2012.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s obit for Rosenberg here.

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’s filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

PodcastOne and AP Team Up for Sports Coverage.  A new relationship between PodcastOne SportsNet and AP promises to provide reports from national and international sporting events, beginning with the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.  This deal also includes new PodcastOne and AP content, with some premiering as soon as this week.  Additionally, “Red Circle Sports with Dennis Miller,” “Riggle’s Picks,” “Real GM” and others will be added to PodcastOne SportsNet lineup.  PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This will provide AP and PodcastOne subscribers with real-time, daily news reports, commentary and original content. It will provide additional power to the explosive growth of podcasting, while taking maximum advantage of the unmatched connection to listeners that podcasts already provide.  AP Sports is everywhere with on-the-ground, first-hand coverage that will now be available via podcasts as never before.”  Content produced by AP and PodcastOne SportsNet will be distributed on AP platforms, as well as PodcastOne.com and the PodcastOne app.

Brendan Carr Nominated for Full FCC Term.  Republican FCC commissioner Brendan Carr is being nominated for a full, five-year term on the Commission.  Based on comments from fellow commissioners – including FCC chairman Ajit Pai – Carr has the support of the rest of the commission.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a supportive statement to Senator Cory Booker, “To be sure, Commissioner Carr is a dedicated public servant.  He has been a very responsive and concerned FCC Commissioner, sensitive to the issues brought to his attention by the NJBA.  Moreover, his courteous response to our communications translates to his committed staff and we are grateful for their service to our great industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The latest station to add the Radio America-syndicated “Chad Benson Show” is Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Radio America says KTAR-FM joins a growing list of affiliates that includes KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; WDBO-FM, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; and KTSA-AM, San Antonio among others. Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Chad is an incredible talent who will talk about the political headwinds in America, plus deliver his unique views on other real-life issues that the Valley cares about.  From the economy to social media, to different things working people experience daily, he is a wonderful storyteller on a mission to entertain.  We’re also excited to be partnering with the team at Radio America as they continue to deliver the best of the next generation of talk programming.”…..Saga Communications’ Cayuga Radio Group names John Summers brand manager and news director for news/talk WHCU, Ithaca, New York, effective January 22.  Summers was most recently regional program director and news director for Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network…..With the decision by Breitbart News to part ways with Stephen K. Bannon – who served briefly with the Trump Administration as a senior adviser to the president – his work hosting the “Breitbart News Radio” program that airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel also ends.  SiriusXM announced the separation yesterday (1/9)…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio division for podcasting, streaming, and advertising – dubbed “cabana” – publishes its comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidebook to helping podcasters and their advertisers meet their marketing goals.   AdLarge says the report “includes a glossary of terms with clear, concise descriptions of the different advertising options in podcasting and spotlights how each of them can deliver specific benefits to a campaign.”

Trump DACA Rollback, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Trump Russia Dossier, De Niro Trump Rant, California Mud Slides, North-South Korea Talks, Arpaio Senate Run, Alabama Wins CFC in Overtime, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The attempt by the Trump Administration to roll back the Obama-era DACA and a judge’s ruling to stay that move; Stephen K. Bannon splits from executive post at Breitbart News; the ongoing controversy over Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book; the Donald Trump Russia dossier and the new suit by Trump lawyers against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS; actor Robert De Niro’s rant against President Trump at an awards ceremony; the deadly California mudslides; the talks between North and South Korea and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s giving credit to President Trump for forcing the talks; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces plans to run for U.S. Senate; Alabama beats Georgia in overtime to win the College Football Championship; and the NFL 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 new morning show at Entercom Communications’ CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” is the duo of Edgar Sotelo and Brian Moote, effective February.  Entercom’s SVP/market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring together Edgar and Brian on ‘AMP Radio.’  Both of them are smart, genuine and funny and we look forward to watching them make a huge impact in LA – on air, on-site at local events and on social media.”  Edgar Sotelo previously served as the morning show host at WBMP, New York “AMP Radio.”  Brian Moote exited his gig with the Atlanta-based, syndicated “The Bert Show” to take this new gig…..RadioInfo sources in New York say Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has removed Rick Gillette from the program director role at the station.  We are also hearing that Gillette is being offered the chance to remain with the company in another capacity.  Assistant program director Mike Allan is now acting PD for “95.5 PLJ.”…..Rock programmer Garett Michaels joins Local Media San Diego’s alternative XTRA, San Diego “91X” as program director.  Michaels’ work in the San Diego market includes his most recent stint with Local Media San Diego and Midwest Television at rock KFM-BFM and almost 10 years programming alternative KBZT.  He also programmed alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” from 2013 through 2015.  He says, “After spending the last year consulting and working with the team, I couldn’t be more excited to officially join Local Media San Diego.  It’s an honor to be a part of ‘91X,’ a station that represents the San Diego lifestyle, has deep roots serving our local community, and is truly one of the icons of the alternative format.”…..Speaking of Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego, the station names Chris Patyk program director.  Patyk has been programming sister stations CHR KEGY “Energy” and adult contemporary KYXY…..The nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show announces it has hired award-winning broadcast journalist and radio personality Dominique DiPrima to serve as co-host.  She hosted the daily news and public affairs show “Front Page” on KJLH-FM, Los Angeles.  DiPrima will also hold the title of senior producer…..Canadian Music Week announces that Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be a featured speaker at the “A Radio Executive’s View” from the “Corner Office” Super Session on Friday, May 11 at the two-day Radio Interactive Summit taking place on May 10-11.

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ ratings performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on country.  During this period – November 6 to December 9 – many music stations were adding Christmas music to their rotations and that could be a factor in the comparison of November 2017 data to December 2017 data.  Kinosian reports, “Approximately one of every four stations (26%) on our country sample is up between November 2017 – December 2017, while 63% experience decreases; the remaining 11% of the panel remains unchanged.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017 ratings, “Roughly half the stations on this country panel are down year-to-year (49%) and nearly as many (43%) are up; the remaining 8% are steady.”  Two country outlets in PPM markets ranked #1 in their respective markets during the December 2017 survey – iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus and WQIK, Jacksonville.  See the entire report here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”

 

 

John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Friday, November 10, 2017

| November 10, 2017

Entercom Announces November 17 Likely Day for Merger Closing.  After yesterday’s ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, Entercom issues a statement that it “continues to expect the merger to close as early as November 17.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are energized and excited by today’s announcement from the FCC.  The Commission’s approval marks a significant milestone on our path toward completing the transformational combination of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  This brings Entercom an important step closer to our goal of delivering greater value for our listeners, customers and shareholders as a leading media and entertainment company with national scale and the No. 1 creator of live, original and local audio content.”  As previously announced, CBS Corporation launched an exchange offer for the separation of its radio business as part of the agreement to combine CBS RADIO and Entercom, which is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on November 16, 2017, unless the exchange offer is extended or terminated.  On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced an agreement to combine with CBS RADIO in an all-stock transaction which is expected to be tax-free to CBS and its shareholders.  The new Entercom will operate 235 radio stations.

iHeartMedia Recognizes WBZ-AM Union Representation; Will Employ Current Staffers.  According to a report in the Boston Herald, iHeartMedia has altered its course with respect to the acquisition of all-news WBZ-AM, Boston in a swap with Entercom.  Initially stating that the company would not take on the SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts of the station’s union staffers and that all employees would have to re-apply for their jobs, the company is changing its strategy.  As part of an iHM and SAG-AFTRA interim agreement reached Wednesday night, the former “agrees to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time announcers, producers, editors, writers and production assistants employed by WBZ-AM.”  iHeartMedia will also “offer employment to all current union represented employees of WBZ-AM…at their current salary or hourly rate of pay.”  iHeartMedia could begin its LMA of WBZ-AM as early as next Friday (11/17).

FCC’s Pai Makes Case for Eliminating Cross Ownership Ban in NYTimes Op-Ed. Not that regular readers of TALKERS magazine need any convincing, but Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s op-ed in The New York Times makes an elegant case for eliminating the 42-year-old rule preventing cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast operations.  Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has publicly stated that she fears for the diversity of news sources and a reduction in news content overall if the ban is lifted.  But Pai points out that in the few markets where newspaper-broadcast operations exemptions have been grandfathered for years, there’s no evidence of that diversity being affected.  He writes, “Multiple studies have found that, on average, a cross-owned TV station produces more local news than comparable non-cross-owned stations.  And a cross-owned radio station is four to five times more likely to have a news format. This makes sense, because a company that owns both a newspaper and broadcast outlet is able to gather the news and distribute it more cost-effectively across its multiple platforms.”  Read his piece here.

Cox Names Four Execs for Atlanta Operations.  These changes at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta operations are designed to allow these “highly talented and proven leaders” to “work together to fully integrate CMG’s portfolio of traditional and digital media platforms in the Atlanta area beginning in 2018.”  First, Moya Neville is named the new VP of sales.  She moves over from sister company Cox CommunicationsDonna Hall is CMG Atlanta’s new VP of marketing.  She’s been VP and market manager for CMG Atlanta and Athens radio stations since 2014.  Mark Medici is the new VP of audience and newspaper operations.  And the new VP of content and broadcast operations (TV and radio) is Paul Briggs.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting on the recent rumors that job cuts are coming to ESPN.  In the piece published yesterday, Deitsch reports that sources say some 100 staffers will be let go after Thanksgiving.  The cuts will “hit positions across ESPN including front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers. The ‘SportsCenter’ franchise is expected to be hit hard—including on-air people—given the frequency of the show has lessened considerably on main network ESPN.”  It was in April of this year that ESPN eliminated the positions of about 100 air personalities and journalists…..Former NFL and college football coach Charlie Weis is joining SiriusXM’s roster of NFL analysts for its SiriusXM NFL Radio channel. Weis will be heard every Friday on “Airing it Out” with co-host Bruce Murray…..Radio traffic pro Jim Battagliese joins iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network to serve as regional director of operations for the New York market.  He moves up the East Coast from Washington where he’s been director of traffic and weather operations at Hubbard’s all-news WTOP since 2010…..ABC Radio says the ‘No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis’ podcast – a show that focuses on the most-impressive women in the world letting down their guard and sharing honest stories about what it really takes to build an empire – is launching a new monthly bonus segment titled, “RJ Answers.”  Host Rebecca Jarvis – who serves as chief business, technology & economics correspondent for ABC News – will answer questions directly from callers during the segment.

President Trump’s China Visit Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 6-10.  The presidential trip to China and Donald Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear program.  Coming in at #3 was former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign detailed in her new book, followed by the GOP tax reform plan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Las Vegas CHR KLUC, the morning drive  program re-brands from the previous “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” to “The Chet Buchanan Show,” effective immediately.  The program features Chet Buchanan, Spence, and Kayla, with producer Davey the “Showkiller.”  CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager JB King comments, “Chet’s work on air and in the Las Vegas community is second to none; coupled with Spence’s creativity and passion for radio, I am thrilled that they will continue to be an integral part of the KLUC lineup.”…..In Detroit, the Detroit News is reporting that classic rock WCSX afternoon personality Doug Podell has exited the Beasley Media Group cluster.  He’d worked in the market for the past 23 years with WCSX and rock WRIF…..Hubbard Radio country outlet WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” names “Stacey and Jonah” the new afternoon drive program, taking over for Bo MatthewsStacey K. Boyer and Jonah Griss-Bush had been with Amaturo Media Group’s CHR KHTH “Hot 101.7” hosting the morning program for the past six years.  Boyer also served as program director of the station.   WIL program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is the platinum standard for live and local talent.  While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding diversity and experience to our stable of show hosts.  Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Hwy 40 during the drive home!”…..The “Greg & The Morning Buzz” show at iHeartMedia’s rock WGIR-FM, Manchester, New Hampshire “Rock 101” is holding a “Lend A Helping Can” radiothon on November 16 and 17 to benefit 11 New Hampshire charities working to combat local hunger and homelessness.  “Greg & The Morning Buzz” is syndicated across the state on: WHEB-FM, Portsmouth; WLKZ-FM, Wolfeboro; WHDQ-FM, Claremont; and WRFK-FM, Barre, Vermont…..Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa-St. Petersburg “b98.7” announces that new morning personalities Chadd and Kristi Thomas will host their 17th Annual Toys for Tots Marathon Toy Drive on Friday, December 1 to benefit needy families.  They’ll broadcast live and collect new, unwrapped toys at a Walmart Super Center…..During the month of October, Alpha Media markets across the U.S. raised funds for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign.  The company held an internal competition to see which market could donate the most to the cause.  The total donated was $13,546 with Portland in the lead with $9,391.  Mitch Elliot from 101.9 KINK FM joined the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. “I was so frustrated that so many loved ones had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted badly to do something, I just didn’t know what.  When I heard about Real Men Wear Pink, I knew I could use my giant ‘megaphone’ at KINK to raise awareness and money.  My initial goal was $2500, but our listeners came through in droves and we were able to raise over $9K!  I am so thankful that folks responded in such a big way.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting “Winter Jawn ‘18”  at XFINITY Live on January 18 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.   It’s a free, outdoor show featuring live performances by: Dashboard Confessional, The Struts, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and AJR.  The event includes a New Music Discovery Stage featuring: SYML, The Glorious Sons, and Welshly Arms.

PPM Analysis: Alternative Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of alternative stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  Looking at 6+ ratings from last month’s survey and October’s, “nearly as many stations on our alternative sample are up from September 2017 (41%) as are down (44%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  A year-over-year comparison shows “slightly more than half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (52%), while 45% improve; the remaining 3% are unchanged.”  Not being known as a high-cume format, it’s not surprising that no alt rocker ranks in the top 5 (6+) in its market.  However, iHeartMedia’s KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” and KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” ranked #6 in their respective markets in October.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Monday, October 23, 2017

| October 23, 2017

FCC Commissioner: It Is Time to Update Our Rules to Reflect the Current Media Marketplace.  Those are the words of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in his FCC blog post titled, “Thoughtfully Modernizing the Commission’s Media Ownership Rules.”  In the post, O’Rielly points to reforms already made under current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and names the reforms he thinks should be adopted next.  He writes, “If a form is not needed, it should be eliminated.  If a study is duplicative or useless, it should be junked.  When public notice requirements are outdated, at the very least they should be modified.  And when FCC rules are no longer necessary, they should be removed from our books.”  Noting that for almost 10 years the FCC has failed to adequately complete the Quadrennial Review, O’Rielly states, “It is time we fulfilled not only a congressional mandate but the congressional intent of keeping our rules current.  And this can and should be done thoughtfully, consistent with the fundamental propositions of localism, diversity, and competition.  We owe this not only to our broadcasting industry but more importantly, to the American people, who are paying for – in one form or another – market inefficiencies resulting from our rules.”  Among the five principles he outlines for media ownership reform are the elimination of the cross-ownership bans.  “As consumers demand innovative platforms and seamless experiences to consume content, the FCC imposes bans preventing broadcasters and newspapers from delivering synergies that could result in innovative products and more, not less local content.  Eliminating the restrictions on newspaper/radio, radio/television, and newspaper/television combinations is a crucial step.  Previous commissions and bipartisan legislation from Congress already recognized the need for an update.  It’s time to act.”  Read O’Rielly’s entire post here.

NYT: Former FOX News Channel Star Bill O’Reilly Paid $32 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Case.  In an expose published in The New York Times over the weekend, it’s being reported that former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly in January agreed to pay $32 million to longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations, a month before the network agreed to a contract renewal with O’Reilly that was to pay him $100 million over four years.  The paper reports that O’Reilly settled five other harassment allegations in years prior.  FNC tells the Times it was aware of Wiehl’s allegations against O’Reilly but says it was unaware of the amount of the settlement as that was a matter between O’Reilly and Wiehl.  The NYT piece notes that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James had been working to convince both staffers and the public that they were trying to clean up the cable news channel’s image and had recently fired FNC president Roger Ailes in the wake of his sexual harassment troubles, and would let O’Reilly go as well.  This latest matter of workplace sexual harassment in the entertainment world comes as Hollywood is reeling from the Harvey Weinstein harassment scandal.  See the Times piece here.

Bruce Kelly Joins Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, AZ Cluster.  Radio pro Bruce Kelly is named director of programming and operations at Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, Arizona station group that includes news/talk KBTK “97.1 The Big Talker” and music outlets classic hits KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1,” country KSED “107.5 Kolt Country,” and classic rock KWMX “96.7 The Wolf.”  Grenax general manager Stan Pierce says, “[Kelly] is a talented programmer with a long history of on-air success and a creative thinker on the marketing front.  Bringing in someone of Bruce’s caliber reflects our commitment to provide our community of Northern Arizona with top-quality radio.”

Changes at WFOM, Atlanta ‘The Fan 2.’  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the pairing of Larry Wachs and Bob Whitfield on Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” has ended with owner David Dickey stating he’s looking for a new show partner for Wachs on the newly reconstituted “Regular Guys” show on WFOM (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm).  He also says he wants to build a show around Whitfield with the possibility of adding local programming to WIFN “The Fan 3.”  Read Ho’s piece here.

Westwood One Unveils Kurt Warner Podcast.  New to the Westwood One Podcast Network is a weekly show featuring NFL great and football analyst Kurt Warner, titled “The Kurt Warner Quarterback Podcast.”  The program is delivered fresh every Tuesday morning during the NFL season and features Westwood One play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan.

North Korea War Talk, Trump Tax Plan, McCain-Trump Feud, New O’Reilly Settlement Allegation, Carter NYT Interview, Potential Uranium One Probe, James Toback Harassment Accusations, Mueller Investigates Podesta Group, Astros Win AL Pennant, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the ongoing feud between Trump and John McCain and McCain’s shot at the president over Vietnam War draft deferments; new allegations of a $32 million settlement between Bill O’Reilly and a sexual harassment accuser; Jimmy Carter’s New York Times interview; Robert Mueller’s investigation into an Obama-era deal with Russian firm Uranium One; director James Toback is accused of sexual harassment by numerous actresses; the Houston Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant; and Sunday’s NFL action and poor attendance at a number of stadiums were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more.  (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.)  Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews.  To hear this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Cumulus Media’s Detroit country station WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Jessica Poxson exits her role as midday personality, assistant PD and music director…..There’s a new CHR station in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market as Curtis Media Group flips modern rock WXNR “99X” to rhythmic CHR as “HOT 99.5.”…..The morning duo of Jake and Tanner are back together at Woodward Radio’s WKSZ, Appleton, Wisconsin “95.9 Kiss FM,” effective today (10/23).  Jake Kelly and Tanner Jay joined E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI, Milwaukee for mornings in October of 2015.  Tanner Jay left the program earlier this year for family reasons and Kelly stayed on solo for a while before exiting the station as well.  The two were hosting the morning show on WIXX, Green Bay prior to joining WKTI…..Radio One celebrated the 40th career anniversary of legendary Washington, DC radio and television personality Donnie Simpson last night (10/22) at the Warner Theatre.  The star-studded concert featured Simpson’s favorite regional and national artists, including: Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Chante Moore; and Rare Essence…..The Cumulus Media “neXt2rock 2017” national search for the nation’s newest rock star has so far drawn more than 1,800 submissions.  Emerging artists are being rated by Cumulus listeners through October 25.  Ultimately, the winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and exposure via Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  Mentor judges for the competition’s finale include Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.

Monday, October 16, 2017

| October 16, 2017

Former FCC Chairman Wheeler Criticizes Ajit Pai on Silence Regarding Trump License Revocation Comments. During an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program yesterday (10/15), former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler criticized current Chairman Ajit Pai, saying Pai’s silence regarding President Trump’s tweet about revoking broadcasters’ licenses makes him complicit in the president’s attempts to coerce the media.  Wheeler stated, “He is making himself complicit in the coercion that the president was engaging in when he was trying to send a message to broadcasters saying, ‘We’re watching, and we control your right to be alive.”’  Also on CNN, current Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel added, “History won’t be kind to silence.  It’s important for all the commissioners to make clear that they support the First Amendment, and that agency will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensee’s coverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Friday (10/13), Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham (pictured above at right) broadcast her program from Liberty University’s Convocation, which kicks off the school’s homecoming weekend.  Ingraham’s show was co-hosted by author and Eternal Word Television Network news director and lead anchor Raymond Arroyo (above, left).  Ingraham is also scheduled to begin her nightly FOX News Channel program, “The Ingraham Angle,” on October 30…..Bonneville’s Seattle talker “KIRO Radio 97.3 FM” announces the addition of a new, weekly lifestyle show called “Cask Club Radio” created with partner Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.  The program launched on Saturday (10/14) at 3:00 pm and focuses on the growing craft spirits, cocktail, beer and wine culture. It’s being hosted by Heritage co-founder and CEO Justin Stiefel, co-host Lydia Cruz, and producer Maura Dooley.  Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Heritage Distilling has earned its reputation as a big-thinking innovator.  With this new audio project, Heritage once again takes the broad view of how its products fit into the overall lifestyle and passions of people around the Pacific Northwest.  We’re proud to partner with Heritage, and to help them blaze another new trail as a forward-thinking marketer.”…..Media sales pro John Fitzgerald returns to the ESPN Audio team as vice president, ESPN Audio ad sales.  Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire 21-year career with The Walt Disney Company, will oversee all aspects of ESPN Radio national network ad sales, including talk programming, event play-by-play and Audio on Demand, which includes podcasts.  He will report to ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller.

Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Saber Rattling, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Deadly California Wildfires, Kaepernick Files Suit, College Football, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs, Happy Death Day Film, Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The state of the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s intent not to certify compliance; the ongoing saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal; the battle against California’s deadly wildfires; Colin Kaepernick files a suit against NFL team owners alleging collusion to keep him unsigned; Saturday’s college football games; the weekend’s NFL action; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the new horror film, Happy Death Day were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hyper-Local High School Football Play-By-Play.  It was a scene out of “Friday Night Lights” (10/13) as hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), serving Springfield and its surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, launched its new sports department with live play-by-play coverage of high school football games.  Pictured above in the press box calling the PBP between the home team Longmeadow High School “Lancers” and visiting Chicopee Comprehensive High School “Colts” is TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (c) joined by color callers Eddie Garibian (l), a Longmeadow senior, and Graham Topor (r), a Chicopee junior.  TALKERS magazine is headquartered in Longmeadow, MA.  Pioneer Valley Radio was launched in 2015 by publisher Michael Harrison and former WHYN, Springfield morning personality Brad Shepard as an experiment in local “personality-oriented, hyper-local public affairs radio.”  Since then it has gained tremendous traction and become what Shepard describes as “a serious business and an important local media platform that is making a difference.”  The expressly non-partisan station has expanded its menu to include a wide variety of programs covering local politics, civics, business, education, public health and safety, arts and entertainment and now, sports. According to Casey, who heads up the new sports department, “One of the most satisfying aspects of this project is giving local high school students the opportunity to sit in the broadcast press box and call color on the radio.  These two great kids, Eddie and Graham, were fantastic!  We plan to expand our coverage beyond football to include basketball and other sports and get lots of kids from area schools involved in our broadcasts.”  All Pioneer Valley Radio live broadcasts are powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.

NOT TO BE MISSED: Alex Jones and Michael Harrison Engage in Candid Dialogue About the State of Media and the Talk Industry. Prolific conspiracy theorist and mega-successful independent broadcaster, Alex Jones is this week’s guest on the newly-posted (10/10) installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” During the fascinating, uninterrupted hour of fast-paced conversation, the two discuss Jones’ role as a pioneer in the rise of digital, spoken-word broadcasting touching upon the balance between news and entertainment, the corporate effect on broadcasting, the influence of Hollywood on popular culture, Jones’ relationship with Donald Trump, 21stcentury entrepreneurism, the value of direct marketing as a method of generating revenue and much more. Harrison states, “Like him or not, there is no denying the fact that Alex Jones is one of a select handful of the most influential and important talk broadcasters of the modern era and has been for years. I am glad to have the opportunity to present him to the media world from that perspective.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At classic hits WRBQ, Tampa “Q105,” radio and television pro Rich Fields is named the new afternoon drive personality.  Beasley Broadcast Group says in announcing the addition that Fields most recently served as a meteorologist at KCBS-TV, Los Angeles.  His radio resume includes stops at KCBS-FM, Los Angeles; WCOF, Tampa; KODJ, Los Angeles; WFJO, Tampa; KNX-FM, Los Angeles; WYUU, Tampa; WSUN, Tampa, and KRTH, Los Angeles.  He also served as Bob Barker’s announcer on “The Price Is Right” for nearly a decade…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes today that Windy City radio personality Gary Spears did his last show on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK on Friday, taking calls from Chicago listeners and from fans across the country.  Spears is retiring from the station and plans to relocate to Florida.  Feder notes that Spears “was one of the original jocks when CBS RADIO turned WBBM FM 96.3 into a Top 40 station.  His first run there from 1982 to 1984 was followed by a second from 1990 to 1994.”…..Country station WCKN, Charleston, South Carolina “92.5 Kickin’ Country” names Jess Jennings program director.  She comes to the Charleston Radio Group station from her most recent gig at country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Group operations manager Stephen Crumbley says, “After an intense search, we are very happy to have Jess join our team here at CRG.  Her on-air talent and programming skills are a perfect fit…..Denver radio personality Kendall B is back on the air in the Mile High City at Max Media’s rhythmic AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” in the morning drive daypart.  Kendall B had most recently been at Entercom’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Max Media Denver general manager Jeff Norman says, “Kendall B has been waking the Denver market for over 15 years and I couldn’t be prouder to have him apart of the Max Media and ‘Jammin’ 101.5’ family.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that iHeartMedia names Bo Money program director at hip hop WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3.”  Money is also hosting afternoons on the station and will serve as a regional urban programmer for the company…..Also from Indiana Radio Watch, the price tag for WKHL, West LaFayette that Woof Boom Radio is paying for the class A FM station is $608,000.  The seller is non-profit operator Educational Media FoundationIRW reports that “once the sale closes, Woof Boom Radio Lafayette will own 90% with managing partner Jim Ducey, a.k.a. Jim Stone, owning 10%.  Ducey will become GM of WKHL.”

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the September 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Comparing September performances to data from the August 2017 survey, Kinosian notes that “only one of every three eligible adult contemporary facilities in our sample (33%) improves between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+), while 57% are down; the remaining 10% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Going back to the September survey a year ago, “approximately four of every 10 stations (39%) on this particular adult contemporary sample improve year-to-year, while 56% regress; 5% of the panel is unchanged from September 2016.”  A total of seven AC-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the September survey: WLTW, New York; WBEB, Philadelphia; WNIC, Detroit; WDUV, Tampa; KSFI, Salt Lake City; WWLI, Providence; and WRCH, Hartford.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

| October 12, 2017

Emmis Reports 2nd Fiscal Quarter Financials – Pro Forma Revenue Up 2%.  Today, Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan reports earnings for the company’s second fiscal quarter (ending August 31).  Year-over-year figures are not comparable due to the sale of KPWR, Los Angeles in August and January’s sale of its Terre Haute, Indiana stations.  Net revenue for the period was $41.8 million, and that compares with $46 million a year ago.  However, the company reports that pro forma radio revenue for the quarter was up 2%.  Emmis’ New York, Austin, and St. Louis clusters gained market share during the quarter.  Smulyan says, “There were bright spots this quarter, especially in New York, as our second quarter results were buoyed by record-setting ticket sales for Hot 97’s marquee event, Summer Jam, and ‘Hot 97’ has been the #1 rated station in the 18-34 demo for each of the last three months.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  In markets affected by the recent spate of hurricanes, listening to news/talk radio spiked, as is often the case. Across the board Kinosian reports that “slightly more than half of this news/talk sample is up between August 2017 – September 2017 (54%, 6+); 29% of the stations highlighted here are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.”  When looking at year-over-year changes, “basically, one of every two stations on our news/talk sample registers an August 2017 – September 2017 increase (51%, 6+), while 42% decline; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  A total of 13 news/talk stations in PPM markets ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the September survey, with four – Cox’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; CBS’ KMOX, St. Louis; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton – ranking #1.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Trump’s Attack on NBC Spurs Rebuke by RTDNA, Letter to FCC’s Pai by Senator.  The Twitter attack on NBC’s reporting by President Trump caused the Radio Television Digital News Association to condemn the president’s words.  NBC reported that the president requested a “ten-fold” increase in the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal.  In denying the report, Trump questioned whether it was “appropriate” to challenge NBC’s license for spreading “fake news.” The RTDNA responded with a statement from executive director Dan Shelley that reads, in part, “Today’s call by the President of the United States to challenge the licenses of networks is not only dangerous to the American people’s right to access responsible journalism, it represents a clear misunderstanding on his part of how much control the federal government can exercise as it relates to networks and cable channels.”  Meanwhile, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to “maintain the Federal Communications Commission’s charter as an independent agency and withstand any urges from President Trump to harm the news media and infringe upon the First Amendment…I ask for your commitment to resist the President’s request and call on you to publicly refuse to challenge the license of any broadcaster because the President dislikes its coverage.”  He also asks for copies of any correspondence in which the White House has requested action against a broadcaster.  Pai’s office has not issued a public response.

‘ESPNLA’ Adds Eric Davis to Afternoon Show. Former NFL star and sports media pro Eric Davis joins the afternoon drive program on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA.”  He joins show co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington on the newly renamed “Afternoons with Marcellus, Kelvin and Eric” program, effective today (10/12).  Davis continues his position with Travis Rodgers and Kirk Morrison as hosts of the pre- and post-game programs surrounding Los Angeles Rams radio broadcasts.  Davis also currently works for FS1.

TALKERS News Notes. A leadership change takes place at Entercom’s San Francisco station group as vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo exits after five years with the company.  The move comes as Entercom announces that it is divesting of urban AC KBLX, adult contemporary KOIT, and classic rock KUFX ahead of the CBS RADIO merger.  After the deal is consummated, Entercom will operate sports talk KGMZ, all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, hot AC KLLC, rhythmic AC KRBQ, and alternative KITS.  Currently, the CBS RADIO market manager is Doug Harvil…..In Cincinnati, iHeartMedia promotes D.J. Hodge to market president for the cluster that includes news/talk WLW, sports talk WCKY, news/talk WKRC and sports WSAI.  Chuck Frederick exited that position earlier this year…..AudioHQ and TuneIn announce a deal in which the former will be the exclusive U.S. re-seller of TuneIn’s audio advertising inventory.  TuneIn VP/head of global revenue and partnerships Bill Hartman says, “TuneIn’s audience is growing and our inventory continues to scale.  We’ve been hyper-focused on content and creative solutions for our brand partners, including live-streaming music festivals, custom podcast series, and an emphasis on exclusive.  Plus, we’re now producing a variety of content with our league partners as well as human-hosted, curated radio which are focal points for our selling efforts.”

Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Trump Attacks NBC, Deadly California Wildfires, Trump-North Korea Rhetoric, Iran Nuclear Deal, Boy Scouts to Admit Girls, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11). The escalating scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; President Trump’s attacks on NBC and threatening to revoke its “license”; the wildfires in California’s wine country that have taken the lives of 23 with hundreds more reported missing; Trump’s exchange of war rhetoric with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s inclination not to certify Iran’s compliance with the pact; the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement it will allow girls to join; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the controversy over NFL national anthem protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Delmarva’s Damien Buck Passes at 58.  Radio pro Damien Buck died on Monday (10/9) at age 58 after a long illness.  He’d been serving as production director at Delmarva Broadcasting’s news/talk WDEL-AM/FM and sister CHR WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware.  WDEL states on its website that Buck had been with the company for 30 years.  He also operated his own Buck Productions and did voiceover work for The Disney Channel.

Providence Radio Icon Jimmy Gray Dead at 72. Providence market radio personality Jimmy Gray, a.k.a. James Hargraves, died on Monday (10/9) at a nursing home at the age of 72.  During his long career, Gray worked at WOR-AM, WPRO-FM, WHJJ-AM, WEBE-FM, and WCTK.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock icon Nikki Sixx announces he’s leaving his syndicated radio shows at the end of December in order to focus on new projects.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Sixx Sense” nightly show, along with “The Side Show Countdown” and “The Side Show Classic” will end December 31.  Sixx has been working with Premiere on the syndicated programming since 2010.  He’s stepping down to work on new projects that include his blossoming photography career, TV endeavors and the Broadway adaptation of his best-selling memoir, The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rockstar.  Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “When we first partnered with Nikki in 2010, we set out to create a unique program from the perspective of true rock star, and that’s exactly what we did.  We’re proud of the work we did together to make ‘Sixx Sense’ one of the most widely syndicated rock radio programs in the country, while establishing the ultimate platforms for rock music fans, as well as new and established artists.  It’s been a pleasure working with Nikki, and we wish him all the best.”…..Last month it was announced that Chris Randolph would be joining Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis to host the midday show.  Now, Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch breaks the news that he will not take over that position after all, due to family reasons.  Thompson reports that sister WNNF afternoon host Amanda Orlando will cover the midday show in the interim.  Randolph had most recently been morning host at Alpha Media’s hot AC WXMA, Louisville…..At Cumulus Media’s country KUBL, Salt Lake City, “K-Bull 93,” program director Travis Moon is now hosting the afternoon drive show, moving Matt Ramone to the midday shift…..Pop superstar Ed Sheeran is seen here holding up a t-shirt he customized at iHeartMedia’s CHR WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River.”  Program director Jonathan Shuford tells TALKERS/RadioInfo that the station is auctioning off the t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Westwood One Official Radio Partner for American Music Awards.  Radio syndicator Westwood One announces American Music Awards programming as part of its deal as official national radio partner for the awards ceremony.  The 2017 American Music Awards will broadcast live from LA’s Microsoft Theater on Sunday, November 19 from 8:00 pm to – 11:00 pm ET on ABC-TV.  As part of Westwood One Backstage, more than 25 local stations and national programs will take part during rehearsals and event night for the awards show.  Other programming will include: 30-second branded highlights, airing November 6 through November 19 that include format specific versions for hot AC, AC and CHR stations hosted by WPLJ, New York’s Jayde Donovan.  Urban and urban AC versions are hosted by WNBM, New York’s La Loca.  A two-hour nomination special will air the weekend of November 11.  The Westwood One Backstage Radio Row Remote takes place on Friday and Saturday (11/17-18).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

| September 28, 2017

FCC Chairman Pai Asks Apple to Activate FM Chips.  In a statement issued today (9/28), Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is asking Apple – the lone major smartphone manufacturer holdout – to agree to activate the FM chips installed in phones.  Pai says, “When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information.  I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones.  Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so.  But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  That’s why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones.  It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.”  There has been no public response to Pai’s statement by Apple.

Price Tag for Entercom-EMF Deal: $57.75 Million. We know the price for the three Entercom radio stations sold to Educational Media Foundation after Entercom filed with the FCC.  These three stations are the first of the divestitures required to facilitate the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  Educational Media Foundation is paying Entercom $57.75 million for KSWD, Los Angeles; KSOQ, Escondido (San Diego market), and WGGI, Benton, PA (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market).

WSB, Atlanta’s Condace Pressley Receives Local Honor.  The Atlanta Business League has just announced its 2017 list of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” and WSB Radio manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley is honored as a member of this year’s list.  Pressley was recognized during the “Women of Vision” breakfast on Tuesday (9/26) at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.  Since 1994, the list has reflected the names of black women in the metro Atlanta community who have reached senior level positions within their profession, are leading entrepreneurs in their industry, or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically and in government.  WSB-AM/WSBB-FM director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs comments, “Condace quietly and humbly moves through Atlanta’s communities and serves, mentors and leads every day.  And, she’s done that throughout her entire career with WSB and ‘KISS 104.’  I am so proud and pleased that she gets this kind of due fanfare.”

Financial Talker Ray Lucia Seeks Supreme Court Ruling to Get Back into Investment Business. Financial talk radio host Ray Lucia is taking his ouster from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The San Diego Reader has a lengthy story on the matter here.  The short version is that Lucia was banned in 2013 after the SEC ruled that his “Buckets of Money” investment plan was not “backtested.”  He has appealed the ruling to no avail.  Now, he’s arguing that the administrative law judge responsible for the decision to kick him out of the industry was appointed unconstitutionally.  Lucia’s attorney tells the paper he believes the SCOTUS will hear the case.  Lucia’s program is syndicated via the Biz Talk Radio network.

TALKERS News Notes.  As part of its “Community Conversation” series, Scripps’ Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ’s news department is presenting a program addressing the controversy surrounding player protests during the national anthem at NFL games.   The uninterrupted, one-hour special takes place this afternoon (9/28) at 4:00 pm CT.  The conversation will lead directly into WTMJ Radio pregame coverage of the Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears game at Lambeau Field.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks states, “The protests by NFL players during the national anthem have sparked debate and raised awareness of the issues of social justice in the country.  WTMJ Radio is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers and the de facto town hall for the state of Wisconsin.  We feel it’s our duty to provide a high-profile place for all sides of the conversation to be heard.”  WTMJ hosts John Mercure and Melissa Barclay will moderate the special that is also being streamed at wtmj.com and via Facebook Live…..Dallas talk show host Jon-David Wells announces via Facebook that his talk show “The Wells Report” is soon to be heard in the market on Salem Media Group’s KVCE-AM, Highland Park as it flips from a simulcast of Christian teaching KWRD-FM to news/talk as “1160 AM KBDT – Big D Talk.”  Wells says his program, previously heard on Salem’s news/talk KSKY, is also being distributed via USA Radio Network…..Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network East Coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh in a still shot from a promo for this weekend’s season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”  Bligh plays a security guard who won’t let guest star Ryan Gosling upstairs without a guest pass.  See the video here.  When Bligh is not scratching his acting itch (he’s appeared in motion pictures such as Man on a Ledge and Ricki and the Flash), he’s securing new affiliate stations for SRN’s Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Larry Elder and others.

PodcastOne and Former Staffer in Legal Tangle.  Former PodcastOne producer Raymond Hernandez and company founder and chairman Norm Pattiz have very different views of the issues surrounding Hernandez’s claims against Pattiz.  As reported first in Variety, Hernandez is suing PodcastOne for unlawful termination, claiming that he was let go for protesting instructions from Pattiz to “inflate download numbers” of the company’s podcasts.  PodcastOne attorney Marvin Putnam, however, says, “Mr. Hernandez was fired for stealing intellectual property from PodcastOne — a theft he has admitted to committing.”  In the complaint, Hernandez says Pattiz, who is a reserve sheriff’s deputy, set his revolver on a desk with the barrel pointing toward him in order to intimidate him.  Pattiz reponds, “This guy must be crazy.  I’ve never met alone with him.  I didn’t hire him or fire him.  I barely know who he is.  The fact that I’m a law enforcement reserve is well known as I have public service awards in my office.  I didn’t and would never act in the manner that’s been described… His allegations are absurd.”

Alliance for Women in Media ‘Women Who Lead’ Honorees Named.  At this November’s Women Who Lead luncheon, five women media executives are being honored by the Alliance for Women in Media at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.  The event “recognizes and celebrates women who have had a significant impact on the media industry, as trailblazers and extraordinary leaders in their chosen field.”  This year’s honorees are: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Broadcast Group; Amy Emmerich, chief content officer, Refinery29; Kathleen Finch, chief programming, content & brand officer, Scripps Networks; Susan Swain, co-CEO, C-SPAN; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  For more information about the event or to reserve your seat, click here.

Trump Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Victory, NFL Protests, Cost of Illegal Immigration, Puerto Rico Devastation, ObamaCare Repeal Efforts, Hugh Hefner Dies, Rick Pitino Corruption Case, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27).  The outline of President Trump’s tax reform plan and his speech promoting the effort in Indianapolis; controversial former judge Roy Moore wins the GOP primary in the Alabama U.S. Senate race; ongoing debate over NFL players protesting during the singing of the national anthem; the FAIR study concluding illegal immigration costs taxpayers almost $116 billion per year; the lack of power, potable water and food in Hurricane Maria-stricken Puerto Rico; the efforts by the GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Graham-Cassidy Bill; Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at age 91; the federal investigation into corruption in Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s program; the final week of the regular season in Major League Baseball; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Cool News Radio Opportunity.  WNRP seeks a morning drive news anchor/reporter.  “NewsRadio1620 ▪ FM92.3” in Pensacola, Florida has an immediate opening for an experienced AM drive radio news anchor.  Join the team that local newspaper readers have twice voted “Best Morning Show.”  Includes news on sister station “CatCountry98.7.”  Strong writer, fast audio producer, conversational style, plus a passion for local news gathering.  Seven Edward R. Murrow awards for local news coverage.  FOX Radio News affiliate.  Independent and locally owned.  Excellent employee benefits, including 401k plan and health/dental/vision insurance.  Great lifestyle near beaches in NW Florida panhandle.  EOE. Send audio with resume here.

 

 

Clive Davis Visits ‘Jonesy’s Jukebox.’  Music biz legend Clive Davis visited Cumulus Media’s classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles on Tuesday (9/26) to chat with “Jonsey’s Jukebox” host Steve Jones about his new documentary film, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, that opened in LA at Cinerama Dome/ArcLight Hollywood.  From KLOS, Davis also spoke with Matt Pinfield for “Flashback”; with WKQX, Chciago’s Brian & Lou; and WLS-AM, Chicago’s Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Evan Saxon of film distributor Abramorama, Davis, Jonesy, and film and music promoter Elliot KendallPhoto: Mark “Mr. Shovel” Sovel.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Baltimore, rock programming pro Steve Huber moves from Hearst Communications’ WIYY “98Rock” to Times-Shamrock’s crosstown classic rocker WZBA “100.7 The Bay.”  The move lifts him from assistant PD to program director and takes effect on October 2.  WZBA general manager Jefferson Ward states, “We had a tremendous response to our open PD position and I had the chance to talk to a number of excellent programmers, people that might have easily been hired had Steve not come into our picture.  Steve is deeply passionate about radio and has a broad and strong skill set.  Those qualities along with his understanding of radio’s opportunities today and his vision about where radio can go made Steve a perfect fit for ‘100.7 The Bay.’”…..Alternative rock WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina “Modern Rock 98.7” names Laura Lee program director and afternoon drive host.  Sunrise Broadcasting sought to replace Paul Cannell, who exited last month to join Cumulus Media’s New Orleans operations.   Lee was most recently with Adams Radio Group where she handled promotions director duties in Salisbury-Ocean City in addition to programming classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5” and serving as music director and midday personality…..As reported in Billboard, Apple is now saying that it has hit the 30 million paid subscribers mark.  That compares with Spotify’s 60 million paid subscribers.  Neither service offers a free tier as do Pandora and iHeartRadio.  The story notes that income from the service is part of Apple’s larger Services segment that reported third quarter 2017 revenue of $7.3 billion, a year-over-year increase of 22%…..Superadio Networks announces an affiliation and sales agreement with Marvin Sapp’s Praise Place, LLC to syndicate his eponymous weekly Gospel radio show.  All affiliate and national advertising sales will be handled by Superadio and American Urban Radio Networks.

2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 28, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — It’s a wrap!  103,000+ of us are headed home, with lots to digest and implement.  Among the ideas I heard – and heard-repeated – here this week, these stand-out:

“We cannot ever, ever take our position for granted.”
Graham Media Group VP for Digital Media Catherine Badalamente, accepting the 2017 Digital Leadership Award at the NAB Show Technical Luncheon.

“The living room will be in the car.”

Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Company Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management (translation: He’s leading his company’s “connected car” project).

Keynoting NAB’s Radio Luncheon, he explained: “People build their habits outside the vehicle, and we help them bring them into the vehicle,” via new-tech dashboards.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

| April 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

2017 NAB Show: Cars, Congrats, and Commish #1

| April 26, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, NAB Crystal Award Winners were announced.  And the winners are: KMOX, St. Louis; WREW-FM, Cincinnati; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; WTOP-FM, Washington; WBLS-FM, New York; WUBE-FM, Cincinnati; WDNS-FM, Bowling Green, KY; WYCT-FM, Pensacola; WHUR-FM, Washington; and WZUS-FM, Decatur, IL.

Also at the luncheon, we heard from jocular Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Company Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management; or as he explained his job description: “I play with apps.”

“We create habits.”

“People build their habits outside the vehicle,” he explained, “and we help them bring them into the vehicle,” via new-tech dashboards.

Read More

Friday, March 17, 2017

| March 17, 2017

Cumulus Media Reports 2016 Q4 and Full-Year Financials.  The company had not been hiding the fact that the news of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 or the whole year would not be positive, and the results were not surprising.  Cumulus Media reports its Q4 net revenue was $299.5 million – down 3% from the same period in 2015, and the full-year net revenue was $1.14 billion – a dip of 2.3% compared to all of 2015.  Separating the company’s two reportable segments – the radio station group and Westwood One – for the fourth quarter of 2016 the radio station group was up 1.3% on net revenue of $209.7 million.  However, Westwood One was down 12.3% on net revenue of $89.1 million.  For the whole of 2016, the radio station group’s net revenue was $802.3 million, an increase of 0.8%.  Westwood One’s net revenue was $336.6 million, a decrease of 8.8% from 2015.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We entered 2016 with a singular objective: to fix the core business problems – poor culture, poor ratings and poor operational execution – which was essential to establishing a foundation on which to build improved financial results.  Throughout the year we made significant progress addressing each of these areas, most visibly in ratings growth where we’ve outperformed the industry for 15 straight months.  In fact, with two back-to-back quarters of revenue share increases on the station side, a trend which continued through January, we have early evidence that, despite a tough industry environment, our foundational work is beginning to translate into improved financial performance.”

Legendary WSB-AM, Atlanta Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  It was on the Ides of March in 1922 that WSB-AM began broadcasting to the citizens of North Georgia.  On Wednesday, Cox Media Group celebrated the anniversary.  WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “In 1922, WSB was licensed to deliver weather reports.  Today, delivery of accurate and dependable news, weather and traffic remains our calling card, but this station and its people are so much more.  Service to the Atlanta community is in WSB’s DNA.”  Station director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs adds, “The WSB brand of local news, weather and traffic has grown from being on AM only to now serving north Georgia on FM, mobile, and digital.  It all boils down to our slogan – Depend On It!”  See a cool presentation of WSB’s 95-year history here.

WVON, Chicago Adds Maze Jackson to the Matt McGill Morning Show.  Local political commentator and strategist Maze Jackson is joining Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s morning program, the “Matt McGill Morning Show,” on WVON, Chicago, effective April 3.  The station says this move is being made to secure WVON’s position as a contributing voice in the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections, in addition to increasing the station’s overall rankings.  McGill has been solo host of the morning show on WVON for the past six years – a role in which he’ll continue.  Jackson joins the show after contributing for the past two years as a weekly commentator and guest host.  WVON says, “Jackson has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement.  Jackson spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies as former executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”

TALKERS Magazine Publisher Michael Harrison Joins WPHT, Philly’s Rich Zeoli for His New Podcast.  At CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is launching a new podcast that features content not heard on the WPHT airwaves.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison joined Zeoli for his inaugural show.  In addition to addressing such topics as the Trump Administration’s impact on news/talk radio and the influence of politics on talk radio, the two delved into “inside” radio subjects including the evolution of the talk radio format, changing media technology, and the public’s evolving media habits.  Listen to it here.

Desert Broadcasters Brings Palm Springs AMs Back to Life; KGX Branded ‘Real Talk.’  The two Palm Springs signals – KPSI-AM 920 and KWXY-AM 1340 – went dark last August after longtime owners Rozene and Ric Supple decided to exit the radio business.  Enter Garry Wing and Desert Broadcasters who acquired the stations and just put KPSI – now KGX “Real Talk” – and KWXY back on the air.  KWXY is a soft AC.  The Desert Sun reports that Wing wants to create a talk station with less political vitriol (and less “fake outrage”).  Radio America personality Chad Benson’s show is featured on the station.  Wing says the station will air a combination of local and national talk shows.  Both stations occupy the early 1960s-era broadcast facility pictured in the photo here, taken from the Desert Sun’s video report.

iHeartMedia Unveils ‘SmartAudio’ Advertising Product at ‘SoundFront.’  At Wednesday’s client-focused “SoundFront” up front event, iHeartMedia introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, now a part of the programmatic solution SoundPoint.  iHeartMedia says SmartAudio goes farther in leveraging the power of SoundPoint to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments.  iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it.  They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game…Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio outlet WBEZ, Chicago is debuting a new podcast series called, “Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells.”  The series consists of essays by inmates at Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center about their prison cells – shedding light on the everyday experience of incarceration.  The series was the idea of award-winning, Chicago-based author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz.  He began working with the inmates through Northwestern University colleague Jennifer Lackey, who invited him to speak to a class she taught at the correctional center.  Kotlowitz asked the 15 male inmates facing long sentences to complete a writing exercise describing their cells.  He recognized the potential each story possessed to reveal the realities of life in prison…..“Motley Fool Money” host Chris Hill (left) is pictured here with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin (right) recording a segment for Hill’s program at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this week.  Hill says, “We talked about the scene in Austin, what the major entertainment companies are doing to lure audience, Apple’s foray into original programming, VR in movies and a lot more.”

Trump Travel Ban Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 13-17.  The second travel ban order by President Donald Trump and its block issued by a Hawaii judge was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration budget cuts.  Coming in at #3 was the interest rate hike by the Fed, followed by the GOP health care plan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces its class of inductees for 2017.  They include: Johnny Dowd/Jaybeau Jones from “JB 105,” Providence; French-language broadcaster and current WNRI partner Roger Laliberte; WHJJ and WPRO personality Myrna Lamb; current WPRO-AM program director Tony Mascaro; former RAB SVP and Rhode Island radio manager Dick Rakovan; and former WICE personality Frank Kingston Smith.  Also the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio in the Ocean State by John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores, and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – will go to Mowry Lowe –a pioneering New England newscaster, gifted announcer and premier radio executive.  The Station of the Year Award will be presented to iHeartMedia Providence to commemorate a successful multi-station food drive to feed the hungry in Rhode Island.  The Legacy Station of the Year award recognizes top 40 WICE-AM.  A reunion with some of the station’s legendary Hall of Fame DJs, staff and listeners is planned.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Appears on WJR, Detroit’s Paul W. Smith Show.  This morning’s WJR, Detroit live broadcast of the Paul W. Smith St. Patrick’s Day show was not the first appearance on the station by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  He’s been a guest on the show before.  Pai (left) is pictured here with Smith (right) on stage at The Cube Theatre inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast. The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio, podcasting and audio media on this week’s installment of the award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out.” The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Pattiz sums up his impression of the study as follows, “I was very encouraged relative to the audio medium as a whole by the information that came from the study. There’s good news in it for almost everybody that’s in the audio space.” Pattiz and Harrison cover a lot of ground touching upon advertising trends, the evolution of audience measurement metrics, in-car listening habits and much more in this conversation that is a must-listen for radio and audio media professionals. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Imaging, voiceover and production firm Benztown announces it has brought Katrina Woolverton, J.D., LL.M, aboard to serve in the newly created position of general counsel…..On Monday (3/20), WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is hosting Warner Bros. Records recording artist Bebe Rexha as its guest to host a cooking demonstration at the brand new CBS RADIO Chicago Culinary Kitchen.  Rexha will show off her culinary skills while being interviewed by “B96” morning show hosts J Niice, Showbiz Shelly and Producer Gabe.  The segment will take place in front of a live studio audience made up of about 20 station contest winners who also get tickets to Rexha’s concert that evening at the Metro theater.

Monday, March 13, 2017

| March 13, 2017

Townsquare Media Announces Q4 2016 Net Revenue Up 5.8%; Up 3% for 2016 on Pro Forma Basis.  Those numbers are for the company as a whole.  Townsquare Media breaks its quarterly financial reports into two segments: Local Marketing Solutions (including broadcast and digital products) and Entertainment (live event experiences and music and lifestyle content directly to consumers, and promotion, advertising and product activations).  For the fourth quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media reports the Local Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue was $119.5 million – an increase of 5.1% on an actual basis.  For all of 2016 on a pro forma basis (pro forma for the acquisition of NAME and the divestiture of 43 of its towers on September 1, 2015), the segment’s net revenue was $342.2 million – also up 5.1%.  For the company as a whole, 2016 pro forma net revenue was $516.9 million, an increase of 3% over all of 2015.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price adds, “In 2016, we delivered net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 17%, 127% and 9%, respectively.  On a pro forma basis, net revenue growth of 3.0% was driven by the strong performance of our local products and offerings within our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where pro forma net revenue increased 5.1% over the prior year.  This year we focused on strengthening our balance sheet; through EBITDA growth and debt repayment we reduced net leverage from 5.5x at the start of the year, to 4.9x at year end.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Address 2017 NAB Show.  New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will address the 2017 NAB Show at a general session on Tuesday, April 25 in Las Vegas.  The address is expected to provide insight into the FCC’s policy and regulatory objectives related to broadcasting, technology and communications law and regulation.  Pai was appointed as an FCC Commissioner by President Obama and confirmed in May of 2012.  President Trump designated him chairman in January.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “We know from his tenure as FCC commissioner that Ajit Pai believes deeply in the value of free and local broadcasting.  Chairman Pai’s appearance at NAB Show represents a tremendous opportunity for attendees to hear first-hand about his regulatory philosophy and priorities.”

Phil Valentine Now Airing in Afternoons on KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Local talk show host Mike Ferguson is leaving the Cumulus Media station to take on the communications director role at the Show Me Institute.  That opens up the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot for Westwood One’s Phil Valentine show to take over.  In announcing the move, WW1 notes that in Valentine’s home market of Nashville, Valentine “is #1 Persons 25-54 in Nashville.  His show draws more listeners in his home market than Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck combined.”  Commenting on joining KCMO-AM, Valentine says, “If ever there were a perfect market for our show it’s Kansas City.  What a heritage station!  They have big plans to take this station to the top and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Alpha Media Drops Local Morning Show on Sports Talk WMEN, West Palm Beach.  The duo of Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach have exited Alpha Media’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “FOX Sports 640.”  The station is now running the full lineup of FOX Sports Radio programming.  Replacing Raineri and Zemach is the “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” program.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast Tomorrow (3/14).  The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison tomorrow (3/14) for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio and podcasting on the award-winning weekly series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Don’t miss it, posted bright and early tomorrow morning right here on Talkers.com, PodcastOne and iTunes.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump Fires Preet Bharara, GOP Health Care Plan, the “Deep State” concept, Trump-Russia Connection, North Korea Threats, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation the Obama Administration ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; President Trump fires U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara after Bharara refused to resign in accordance with the administration’s request that he and 45 other U.S. Attorneys do so; questions about what the GOP-engineered replacement of the Affordable Care Act will entail; talk about the existence of a “Deep State” that operates the government behind the scenes; Democrats’ wishes to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the possible connection between Russian agents and the Trump campaign; the growing nuclear missile capabilities of North Korea; and the Sunday afternoon revelation of the teams making the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  At last week’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the MAB presented its 2016 broadcast excellence awards.  Cumulus Media’s WJR reports that it won 22 awards across numerous categories, including: 2016 Commercial Station of the Year; Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast – The Mitch Albom Show; Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality – The Paul W. Smith Show; and Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast Personality – The Frank Beckmann Show.  WJR program director Mike Wheeler says, “We’re really proud of the way the WJR team serves our audience, advertising partners and community.  It is gratifying to have the MAB validate our efforts.”…..Westwood One will tip off coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday (3/14) with play-by-play coverage of all 67 games.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 1, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 3, in both English and Spanish, live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charleston, South Carolina, Cumulus Media appoints 20-year radio programming pro Kathy Brown as program director for hip hop WWWZ “93 Jamz” and urban contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.”  She comes to Cumulus from her most recent position with iHeartMedia programming hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah.”  Cumulus Media Charleston operations manager Bill West says, “Kathy is a pro and I’ve already been inspired by hearing her ideas for our brands here in Charleston.”…..Mapleton Communications ups Jamie Patrick to program director for country KDRK, Spokane “93.7 the Mountain.”  Patrick host the morning show, is music director and assistant operations manager – all duties he will continue while ascending to PD…..Entercom names Lindsey Martin director of promotions for its five-station Sacramento cluster…..Cumulus brings Appleton/Oshkosh market radio pro Dan Markus aboard to host the morning drive show on its adult standards WNAM and middays on classic hits WVBO.  Markus spent 17 years programming the company’s Green Bay classic hits outlet WOGB…..iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS, Dallas “Lonestar 92.5” is presenting the return of the “Bo and Jim Bash VI” taking place on August 18 at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas.  This annual event, presented by the station and the morning team of Bo Roberts and Jim White, will this year feature Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Stone Cold Sweat featuring Bo and Jim.  KZPS program director Don Davis says, “Foreigner is coming off a sold-out show last month in Dallas and we have been after Cheap Trick since year one, so to say we are excited about this lineup would be an understatement.  And if Foreigner and Cheap Trick weren’t enough, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the night than having Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Bo and Jim’s Stone Cold Sweat open the show this year.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina hip hop WZFX “Foxy 99” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy – to the station’s program lineup for morning drive…..Entercom launches new urban station “Hot 103.7 FM” on translator K243AV, New Orleans.  Entercom New Orleans VP and market manager Chris Claus says, “We are focused on delivering the content and music that we know listeners in New Orleans are looking for.  The combination of well-known and live local talent and the R&B hits that fans want to hear on 103.7 FM is a magical one that has not been on the dial in New Orleans.”  Tom “Jammer” Naylor – who programs sister CHR WEZB “B97” – will serve as the program director.  Urban radio pro Jay Dixon is consulting the station.  On air is Abraham “Big Abe” Johnson on the “Big Abe in the Morning” program.  Terrence “Terry Bello” Burton is hosting afternoon drive…..JVC Media has partnered with major Long Island retail locations and DNS publications to publish a quarterly country music newspaper called This Is Country.  JVC says the free, full-color magazine will contain exclusive interviews, stories, pictures, news, album and movie reviews, up-coming events around Long Island “and other information a country music lover will not want to miss.”  JVC’s country WJVC-FM, Center Moriches, New York “My Country 96.1” is promoting the publication that launches April 15.

Friday, February 17, 2017

| February 17, 2017

KMOX, St. Louis Extends Calhoun and Ackerman.  St. Louis heritage news/talk KMOX announces it has signed staffers Michael Calhoun and Tom Ackerman to new, multi-year contracts that include some new duties for both.  Calhoun and Ackerman are part of the CBS RADIO station’s “Total Information AM” morning drive program – Calhoun as co-host and news reporter and Ackerman as a personality and the station’s sports director.  KMOX program director Steve Moore states, “Tom and Michael are talented personalities who play integral roles at the station. Tom was born and raised in St. Louis so reporting the news and sports in the city he loves is a natural progression for him.  Michael is an award-winning field reporter who brings a unique voice to KMOX that instantly connects with listeners.”  Ackerman expands his role to serve as co-host of “Total Information AM” alongside Debbie Monterrey and Calhoun.  Calhoun adds field and spot news reporting to his responsibilities.  Calhoun will also continue to serve as KMOX’s lead reporter on St. Louis’ “Start Up, Entrepreneurs and Innovation” initiatives and continue to host “Nothing Impossible,” a show that informs listeners about how innovators are transforming and revitalizing the St. Louis region.

Grayson Exits KMOX; Headed for Crosstown KTRS?  A report by Joe Holleman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Jon Grayson has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX where he was hosting the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am show.  Grayson’s “Overnight America” show had been syndicated nationally in a deal with Westwood One but that was shut down at the end of 2016.  Now, after 16 years at KMOX, Grayson may be headed across the street to news/talker KTRS.  Holleman reports that’s the industry chatter.  KTRS reportedly has an opening for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The station also recently hired former KMOX personality Doug McElvein.

Madison Talk Host Mitch Henck Moves Forward on Digital Platform.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about Madison talk radio personality Mitch Henck – one of a number of personalities cut free with the demise of the progressive talk format on iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison last fall.  Henck has recently launched the web-based platform MadisonTalks.com, where his program and others continue to provide the market with “outside the box” digital content.  Though he was heard on WXXM for years, Henck says his political leanings are not so easily qualified.  “I am center-right on economics and more libertarian on social issues.  I like splitting hairs and challenging callers to make their argument.”  Read the whole story here.

11th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for June 28-29.  This year’s 11th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire/Let’s Make America Great Again radio row broadcast will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is again producing the event at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, White House officials and those who live and work along the southern border.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “This event has always been about holding our elected leaders accountable and educating the public.  In particular, this year, lawmakers must be reminded that Americans strongly support President Trump’s immigration policies.  Otherwise, the noise made by vocal special interests – which the mainstream media loves to amplify – will dominate.  Talk radio remains the bullhorn of the ‘silent’ majority.”  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should contact event manager Cassie Williams at 202-328-7004 or cawilliams@fairus.org to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 60 talk hosts.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Touts AM Revitalization at NABA Symposium.  The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission addressed the attendees at yesterday’s “Future of Radio and Audio” symposium presented by the North American Broadcasters Association.  Among the topics he discussed was AM revitalization.  He kicked that off by stating, “It’s no secret that many stations in the AM band are struggling.  The band’s overall listenership has declined, and advertising revenues along with it.  This stems mainly from the band’s technical problems.  Every day, it seems harder to get a quality AM signal.”  Pai boiled his solution down to the two-pronged approach of making it easier for AM operators to acquire FM translators and encouraging the activation and use of FM chips in smartphones.  Regarding FM translators, Pai said AM station owners have complained that it can be difficult finding a location for translators.  “That’s why we’ve proposed a new reform that my fellow Commissioners and I will vote on next week.  This measure would give AM stations greater flexibility in siting their translators.  It’s a small step that would be a big help to AM broadcasters.  This year, we also plan to open two new windows in which AM stations that still don’t have an FM translator can apply directly to the FCC to get one authorized.  And we’ll keep working on ways to improve signal quality on the AM band and reduce AM broadcasters’ operating costs.”  As for FM chips in smartphones, Pai said he’s against mandating those chips be activated – he’s a free-market guy who doesn’t approve of such a heavy-handed approach, and he thinks it’s outside of the FCC’s purview.  He noted that in the U.S., “only about 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips, and the percentage is lower in Canada.  By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80%…[but] despite the low numbers, we are seeing progress; in the last two years, the percentage of top-selling smartphones in the United States that have activated FM chips has risen from less than 25% to 44%.”

Andy Pollin Joins WJFK-FM, Washington for Weekends and Fill-Ins.  Washington, DC sports talk personality Andy Pollin is no longer a free agent.  The market sports media figure was recently set free by Red Zebra’s WTEM “ESPN 908” after almost 25 years at the signal.  Now, he’s being heard on CBS RADIO’s crosstown WJFK-FM on weekends and in fill-in situations.  The Washington Post reports that Pollin will host a regular Saturday show with (also former WTEM) personality Thom Loverro from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon starting February 25.  WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard tells the Post, “It just gives us more great talent.  You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing.  He hasn’t been available for 25 years, because he’s done such a good job.  So to have someone like that available, we’d be crazy not to work something out with him.”

WQAM, Miami Re-Ups with the Miami Hurricanes.  Miami sports talker WQAM inks a new multi-year deal to continue serving as the flagship station for University of Miami football and men’s basketball.  Pictured at the contract signing in Coral Gables on Thursday (2/16) are (from l-r): WQAM program director Ryan Maguire, “The Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki, WQAM host Curtis Stevenson, Miami football coach Mark Richt, Miami athletic director Blake James, and WQAM host Joe Rose.

Nielsen: 2016 Election Year Good for News Radio.  Ratings giant Nielsen issues data – illustrated in the graphic above – showing the rise in listenership to news radio during the 2016 election year.  Nielsen notes that just as in the previous election year of 2012, the number of people tuning in to all-news stations, news/talk stations and public radio NPR affiliates spiked, making it the most-listened-to radio format by persons 6+ in PPM markets during 2016.

Allegations of Trump Campaign’s Russia Connections and Michael T. Flynn’s Resignation Top News Talk Stories for Week of February 13-17.  The allegations that members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian agents prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump travel ban issue and the related Mexican wall matter.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s contentious relationship with the news media, followed by Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as nominee for labor secretary at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio programming pro Patty Martin is joining digital platform AccuRadio to program its world music and Celtic channels.  He says she’ll also be involved in programming adult rock and adult alternative formats.  Martin – who served in the market programming Hubbard’s classic hits WDRV and CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT – tells Feder, “It’s all the fun of radio programming without the headaches!”…..KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” midday personality “Uncle Joe” Benson signs a new contract to continue with the Entercom classic rock station.  Program director Dave Beasing says, “Joe is the best-known and most-loved classic rock DJ in Los Angeles.  The reason is simple.  He’s literally written the book on classic rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”…..A new Sunday night show dedicated to the women of alternative rock is launching on Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X1015” featuring host Lauren O’Neil…..iHeartMedia Fort Myers announces media personalities Lulu and Lala are joining hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1, 90s to Now” as 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight hosts effective immediately.  The station says, “The ‘Y100.1’ night show with Lulu and Lala will feature the dynamic pair’s unique take on pop culture news and fun antics with listeners, along with special celebrity guest interviews and Y100.1’s unique blend of today’s hits and 90’s throwbacks.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

| February 1, 2017

FCC Chairman Pai Vows to Remove ‘Unnecessary or Counterproductive Regulations.’  At his first press briefing as Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai told reporters that the Commission’s main goal is to “remove unnecessary or counterproductive regulations from the books.”  These comments came after the Commission voted 3-0 to eliminate two requirements: (1) that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public; and (2) that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of a cable system’s principal headend.  Pai says, “These measures follow directly from Commissioner O’Rielly’s diligent work to identify unnecessary paperwork burdens.  In all, this action reduces regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and cable operators without adversely affecting the public interest.”  It remains to be seen if a Pai-led Commission will move to end the broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership ban in the near future.  Remember that Pai issued strong comments against keeping the ban after it was retained in the latest Quadrennial Review under former Chairman Tom Wheeler.  Pai also did not comment to reporters about his plans to move to overturn the net neutrality regulations passed during the Obama Administration.

Buck Sexton Takes Over Host Role at Premiere’s ‘America Now.’  The new name of the show is “Buck Sexton with America Now,” and Premiere Networks announces that Sexton will begin hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET show on Monday, February 6.  The company says Meghan McCain leaves the show to focus on her expanded role at FOX News Channel.  Sexon has been serving as a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  Previously, he’s been a CNN contributor, and radio/TV host for Beck’s TheBlaze.  He formerly served as a CIA officer in the Counterterrorism Center and the Office of Iraq Analysis.  He completed tours of duty as an intelligence officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other hotspots around the globe.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Buck as host of ‘America Now.’  He’s smart and engaging, and his previous work with the U.S. Intelligence Community makes him uniquely qualified to lead conversations about the news, events and issues that affect all Americans.  We’re confident Buck’s distinct perspective will resonate with America Now’s national audience and create powerful multi-platform opportunities for our partners.”

KXL, Portland’s Lars Larson Joins White House Presser Via Skype.  At today’s White House press conference – in which four media outlets will be allowed to ask questions of Press Secretary Sean Spicer via Skype – KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk show host Lars Larson will be taking part in the event.  The White House announced the launch of the “Skype Seats,” designed to allow media outside of Washington to participate in the daily White House press briefings.  Larson says in a statement, “For a long time I wished I had the opportunity to ask questions at a White House briefing.  In fact, I’d love to ask questions every day.  Years ago I actually inquired about what it would take to get a one- or two-day pass to go to the White House briefing.  I would be willing to fly to DC and do that, but you’d only get that one opportunity and not the daily opportunity the major media get.”  Larson will be able to ask his question around 2:00 pm ET.

Trump Travel Order/Protests, Gorsuch Nominated for SCOTUS, Sanctuary Cities Order, Dems Block Votes on Cabinet Picks, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31).  The controversy over President Donald Trump’s order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the ensuing protests; Trump names U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch his nominee for the Supreme Court; Trump’s threat to sanctuary cities and the lawsuits planned by several of those cities; Democrats block votes on three of President Trump’s cabinet picks; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Capitol Broadcasting Re-Brands WCLY; Adds FM Translator.  Triangle sports talker WCLY-AM adds an FM translator at 95.7 and re-brands the station “95.7 The Ticket.”  The station airs largely syndicated sports talk programming plus local and regional play-by-play. Capitol Broadcasting operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow states, “We couldn’t be more thrilled that with our great weekday lineup and partners, our listeners will have an additional FM signal in Raleigh to enjoy great sports programming.”  Capitol Broadcasting also operates sports talk outlets WCMC-FM “99.9FM The Fan” and trimulcast WDNC-AM/W257CS/W243DK “Buzz Sports Radio.”

TALKERS News Notes.  New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett appears as the first guest on the “Forbes Under 30” podcast that launched today (2/1) on PodcastOne.  The program is hosted by Forbes contributor and former PBS personality Steve Goldbloom.  On the show, Bennett talked about his brother’s success in the league and why he continues to play football as he creates children’s books, apps and more.   The focus of the new program is on “young innovators, disruptors and entrepreneurs who are changing the world.  It features past and present members recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, along with up-and-comers who match the profile of future list-makers.”…..Former Minnesota Governor, pro-wrestler and radio talk show host Jesse Ventura is launching a new variety news show titled, “The World According to Jesse,” on RT America beginning this spring.  RT America says the program will “tackle both the current news agenda and deeper issues, such as government hypocrisy and corporate deception with Jesse’s distinctive take on stories sidelined by the mainstream media.  Ventura will apply his uncensored, bold, and bare-knuckled approach to thought-provoking interviews and on-the-ground reporting alike.”…..As part of its strategy to deliver an enhanced visual hybrid radio station experience beyond the smartphone, TagStation is increasing focused efforts on the connected car.  The company is hiring Derek Rohloff as VP automotive business development to spearhead inclusion in the next generation auto dashboard.  TagStation’s activity in the dashboard space began in 2012, when it worked with a leading OEM to build a prototype for SmartDeviceLink.   NextRadio and TagStation president Paul Brenner states, “Derek brings his proven expertise and deep industry contacts to the team which will help us ramp up quickly. The timing is right for the company, as we are poised and ready to showcase what we can offer to the automotive industry.”

 

 

Sean Strife to Program ‘Y957 FM’ Cedar Rapids.  Named to the program director role at iHeartMedia’s KOSY, Cedar Rapids, Iowa “Y957 FM” is Sean Strife.  He most recently was producer for KIIS, Los Angeles’ “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.”  He also produced the “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” show and was an air personality at sports talk KLAC.  He’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida and began his career in the radio industry in Gainesville and West Palm Beach before moving to LA in 2013.   iHeartMedia Cedar Rapids SVP of programming JJ Cook says, “Sean was the obvious choice for this role – he brings his major market experience, format knowledge and industry connections with him to help ‘Y957 FM’ continue its strong growth in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City markets.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Air personality Mike Allen announces he’s leaving his home of the past 10 years – Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” – for a soon-to-be-announced gig elsewhere.  He’s been afternoon host, assistant program director and music director at the station.  He’ll continue to host the USRN-syndicated “25 Years of Hits” country program…..There are changes to announce at Entercom’s Austin cluster:  The company names Matt Wheeler creative services director for the whole station group and APD for adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” and hot AC KAMX “MIX 94.7.”  Sean Mack is appointed music director for KAMX.  And Orphan Andrew is assigned the duty of voice tracking the KAMX evening show from his home at the company’s CHR KDND, Sacramento “107.9 The End,” where he handles middays…..The lineup is set for the Grand Ole Opry at this month’s Country Radio Seminar on February 22 – the kick-off night of the three-day event at Omni Nashville.  Playing the show will be: Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Crystal Gayle, LOCASH, Cam, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Carly Pearce, and Dailey & Vincent.  The concert starts at 7:00 pm following the CMA Welcome Reception in the Performance Hall…..iHeartMedia debuts a new country station on Millman, Iowa-licensed translator K243CA (Des Moines market) branded “96.9 The Bull.”  The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show will be featured in morning drive.  Market president Joel McCrea states, “‘96.9 The Bull’ provides an amazing opportunity for Des Moines by offering a wider variety of music and entertainment.  We couldn’t be more excited to connect Des Moines country music fans with the hottest country artists.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

| January 24, 2017

It’s Official: Trump Names Pai FCC Chairman.  On the heels of news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump would name Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai the new chairman, he’s done just that.  Pai will lead the three-member commission consisting of Pai’s fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly fccnewand Democrat Mignon Clyburn until two more commissioners are named to the body by Trump.  Pai’s statement was simple: “I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States forpaiajit designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”  While Pai has been a friend to the radio industry, serving as a commissioner who is sensitive to efforts such as AM revitalization, the speculation is that this FCC will reverse Tom Wheeler-era policies on net neutrality, broadband subscriber data privacy and others.

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Radio on WADK, Newport.  A little more than a month after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, longtime Rhode Island talk radio personality John DePetro returns to the airwaves via 3G Broadcasting’s WADK, Newport, Rhode Island for a show that launchesdeptrojohn tomorrow (1/25) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  In announcing the news, DePetro states, “I am now the exclusive owner of the ‘John DePetro Show,’ which gives me full ownership of the content of the show and the freedom in the future to syndicate my popular, highly rated, entertaining program.  My listeners should get ready for the most entertaining radio I have ever done, and I will continue to tell it like it is.”  DePetro’s deal with the station includes a two-hour Saturday “John DePetro Show Week in Review.” Station owner Bonnie Gomes comments, “John DePetro and I have known each other since the late 80s when we worked together at a Providence radio group.  John has a well-known, entertaining program and it matches with our goal of making 1540 AM WADK completely live and local.  We are excited to welcome John to our broadcasting family and know that he will bring a new, exciting, entertaining twist to our current programming lineup.”

DGital Media and The Players’ Tribune Partner for Podcast Network.   Sports-themed media platform The Players’ Tribune partners with DGital Media to release its first podcast.  The Derek Jeter-founded podcast network will feature “oral histories, athlete-hosted podcasts, a flagship show and other topical series.”  The theplayerstribunefirst show is “Giant Steps,” an oral history podcast that chronicles the rise of the New York Giants’ first Super Bowl championship in 1986.  The 60-minute episode, narrated by Michael Strahan, features first-person accounts from Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Elvis Patterson, Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells.  The Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler comments, “‘The Players’ Tribune’ has become a destination for thoughtful, insightful storytelling related to topics both on and off the field.  We’re excited to introduce another medium for athletes to share stories and discuss important issues through a unique and intimate listening experience.  DGital Media is a terrific partner on the launch of this newest extension of our premium content offerings.”

Trump Withdraws US from TPP, Women’s Marches Aftermath, Trump Federal Hiring Freeze, Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes, ‘SNL’ Writer Suspended, Parliament to Vote on Brexit, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the aftermath of the Women’s March in DC and in cities across the world; Trump enacts federal government hiring freeze; the deadly tornadoes that tore through the Southeast U.S.; a “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich is suspended for her tweet targeting Barron Trump; Britain’s Parliament prepares to vote on the country’s exit from the European Union; and the Super Bowl matchup between New England and Atlanta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. WABC, New York late morning hosts Sid Rosenberg (left) and Bernard McGuirk (right) are both re-signingbernieandsid17 with the Cumulus station for new, three-year deals.  McGuirk and Rosenberg both still have their roles on the “Imus in the Morning” program.  The new deals pertain to their “Bernie & Sid” 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m excited to spend the next few years at WABC!  [Market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb have been a joy to work for and I’m blessed with the best, funniest and most talented partner in the business!”…..Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM announces the schedule for its Phillies program “The Hot Stove” with Phillies play-by-play team Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.  The hour-long show will air four consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning February 1.

McintyreMartin17Doug McIntyre and Steve Martin Sell Out Four Nights in Southern California.  Pictured above are film and comedy legend Steve Martin (left) and KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (right) on stage during one of four performances that took place January 8-11.  McIntyre hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series and Martin recently joined him at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.  Previous guests in the series have included John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.  Photo: Sue Swan.

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RadioInfo Web bannerWestwood One Names Switzer VP/GM of Music & Entertainment – Country.  This is a return to the Westwood One fold for Bryan Switzer.  He served with then-ABC Radio Networks,switzerbryan Citadel Media and Cumulus Media Networks from 2006 through 2014 overseeing Nashville marketing, promotion, and affiliate sales for “American Country Countdown,” the 24-hour formats and more.  He returns to the media biz from his most recent executive post with JennsCo Chemical Solutions.  As vice president/general manager, music & entertainment-country for Westwood One, he’ll be in charge of the marketing and operations of all owned and represented country shows.

Renda Broadcasting Appoints Steve Granato PD for Fort Myers-Naples Cluster.  Taking over for Randy Savage, who left the program director position with Renda Southwest Florida to join Cumulus’ Wilkes-Barre cluster, is Steve Granato.  He’ll program the company’s four-station cluster including country WWGR “Gator Country 1019,” adult hits WJGO “1029BOBfm,” hot AC WSGL “Mix 104.7,” and news/talk WGUF “98.9 Naples FM Talk.”  Granato previously served with Renda Broadcasting programming the company’s Pittsburgh properties in the early 1990s.

WMMR, Philly Names Brent Porche Overnight Jock.  Philadelphia heritage rock outlet WMMR announces Brent Porche is named the station’s new overnight personality.  The Beasley Media Group-owned station notes porchebrentthat “it’s rare a radio station that goes eight years between full-time hires. It’s rarer still that the position is for a full-time, overnight air talent.”  Porche takes over for Jacky Bam Bam who recently was promoted to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  Porche says of his new gig, “It’s like a lifelong fan rooting for the Eagles and getting hired to play on the team – with all his favorite players!  I’m honored to join Preston & Steve, Pierre Robert, Jaxon, Jacky and all the DJs on such a legendary station.”

Jenkins to Lead Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri Station Group.  Thirty-year radio pro Mikejenkinsmike Jenkins is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri station group that includes, country KRES-FM, oldies KIRK-FM, Christian contemporary KTCM-FM, and news/talk KWIX-AM/FM.  Alpha Midwest Region EVP George Pelletier says, “We are pleased to welcome Mike Jenkins to our Alpha operations in Moberly.  Mike has a terrific track record of success everywhere he has worked.  His reputation of being a great leader, inspired broadcaster and client-oriented sales champion convinced us that he was the right kind of person to lead the Alpha team in Moberly, Missouri.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  San Diego CHR KHTS-FM “Channel 93.3 FM” names Ethan Cole evening personality.  Cole stays with iHeartMedia having spent that past two years producing the “Matty in the Morning” show for WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM.”.…..Saga Communications names Mark the Shark afternoon drive personality at classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee WKLH-FM “Rock 96-5.”  It’s a return to Brew City for The Shark.  He served with former rock outlet WQFM (now AC WLDB) during the 1980s and 1990s…..The Cantore + Woods morning show with Chris Cantore and Steve Woods exits Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego “FM 949” after 15 months in the daypart.  No word on the new morning drive show yet…..WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1”wnksAMshow intern Whitney Thore and the “Maney, Roy and LauRen Show” are back on television for tonight’s (1/24) season premiere of the TLC Network show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” starring Thore.  The show follows Thore, a passionate dancer on her way to maintaining a healthy life style through dance and a “No Body Shaming” policy…..iHeartMedia’s Fresno country outlet KHGE “102.7 The Wolf” is hosting the 2017 Acoustic Kick-Off Concert featuring live performances by country music recording artists Hunter Hayes, Casey Donahew and Lucas Hoge tomorrow night (1/25) at the Tower Theater in Fresno.  The Wolf program director Nick Cash says, “We love to connect our ‘102.7 The Wolf’ listeners with the hottest new country artists in a live and intimate setting.  Hunter has a big, young following in the Central Valley and we can’t wait to sing along with them in the crowd at Acoustic Kick-Off Concert!”

Monday, January 23, 2017

| January 23, 2017

Odds & Sods.  There’s news to report from the NielsenBubba the Love Sponge legal war.  Bubba’s legal teambubba has been arguing that Nielsen’s arguments for keeping certain documents confidential are unfounded and that they should be made part of the public record.  However, Friday, U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore ruled against Bubba, stating that “challenging a confidentiality designation is not the proper procedure for a court to decide whether the public has a right to access a pleading.”…..Longtime CBS Radio News reporter Dan Raviv leaves the news organization in surprising fashion – with a tweet at the end of his coverage of the Presidential Inauguration.  He wrote, “Radio friends, I had the bittersweet honor of declaring (I swear it was short) at the end of our 90-min. coverage that it is my last on CBS.” Raviv had been with CBS Radio News since 1978.

Trump Sworn In/ObamaCare Executive Order, Women’s Marches, Trump Press Team’s Inauguration Crowd Dispute, Allegation of Trump Business Interests Conflicts, Cabinet Confirmation Hearings, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump and his signing of an executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act; the Women’s March on DC and the marches in various cities across the nation; the Trump press team’s offering of “alternative facts” regarding the size of the crowd at the inauguration; the planned suit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington over Donald Trump’s business interests; the confirmation hearings of the several cabinet nominees; and Sunday’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Louisville Non-Com Hacked; Anti-Trump Song Plays on the Air.  Non-commercial low power FM WCHQ, Louisville was the victim of a hack on Friday afternoon (1/20) that resulted in the rap tune “F*ck Donald Trump” by YG & Nipsy Hussle playing in a loop for about 15 minutes.  The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that station manager Kathy Weisbach was able get the digital song file to stop playing.  Station program director Gary Simpson tells the paper that whoever hacked the station got in via the software it uses for its FM audio and that the software permits EAS alerts from getting on the air.  He speculates that since other stations use the same software, other outlets could be vulnerable to a hack.  See the Courier-Journal story here.

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RadioInfo Web bannerDanny Meyers to Program ‘Movin’ 107.7’ in Norfolk.  Programmer Danny Meyers joins iHeartMedia’s Norfolk cluster to serve as program director and morning drive personality at urbanmeyersdanny contemporary WMOV “Movin 107.7, Hampton Roads’ Feel Good Music.”  The station says Meyers – who was most recently morning host at CHR WXLK, Roanoke – will oversee WMOV’s “on-air content and music programming, as well as broadcast the local morning show with his perspective on pop culture and community news.”  Meyers says, “I’m excited to start a new chapter at ‘Movin’ 107.7’ and become part of the iHeartMedia Norfolk family, especially after a record-setting revenue year for the station.  I know the team is ready for an even bigger 2017!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alternative KDGE, Dallas is no more but iHeartMedia is notEdgefest17 letting go of the annual “Edgefest” concert promotion.  Now, the company’s rock KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” is presenting “Edgefest 2017” scheduled for April 1, 2017 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.  The acts signed up for the daylong, two-stage event are: Blink 182, The Offspring, 311, Chevelle, The Toadies, Naked and Famous, The Nixons, The Record Company, Goodbye June, Black Pistol Fire, Dreamers, Missio, Badflower and The Wrecks.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis comments, “This year’s ‘Edgefest’ has one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had, with a variety of established and rising star artists.  As a nod to the 25th anniversary of the show, we are pleased that several of these ‘Edgefest’ alums are back to celebrate with us.”…..At the Saginaw, Michigan station group of Alpha Media, Joby Phillips is adding the program director responsibilities for hot AC WGER “MIX 106.3” to his workload.  He’ll continue to program country WCEN “94-5 The Moose” and host the station’s afternoon show.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

| December 15, 2016

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Step Down.  Since the November election, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler would remain on the Commission or step down and today he announces he’ll do the latter.  He says he’ll step down on January 20.  “Serving as FCC Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life.  I am deeply grateful to thewheelertom president for giving me this opportunity.  I am especially thankful to the talented Commission staff for their service and sacrifice during my tenure.  Their achievements have contributed to a thriving communications fccnewsector, where robust investment and world-leading innovation continue to drive our economy and meaningful improvements in the lives of the American people.  It has been a privilege to work with my fellow Commissioners to help protect consumers, strengthen public safety and cybersecurity, and ensure fast, fair and open networks for all Americans.”  The radio industry isn’t quite as sanguine about Wheeler’s tenure.  In general, the radio biz believes it was far down on Wheeler’s priority list – broadband seemed to be top-of-mind for the chairman – and that was underscored by the decision to leave the broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership ban in place in the most recent Quadrennial Review.  There’s been no indication from the Trump Administration whom it might like to see as FCC Chair, but there is speculation that Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai may be at the top of the administration’s list.

Salem Chicago Re-Signs Dan Proft. Morning personality Dan Proft will continue to co-host the morning drive show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” after signing a multi-yearproftdan contract extension.  Proft – who previously served with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM – joined Salem’s WIND in 2015.  He co-hosts “Chicago’s Morning Answer” with Amy Jacobson.  WIND general manager Jeff Reisman states, “We’re extremely pleased with Dan’s contributions to the station.  The combination of Dan and Amy Jacobson as a team has helped to grow both the audience and the revenue of this radio station to all-time highs.  We’re excited that Dan will be a part of our future and continued success, as well.”

Trump Administration Transition/ Cabinet Nominations, Allegations of Russian Influence in the Election, Fed Raises Interest Rates/Record High Dow, Trump Meets with Tech Execs, Syria Civil War, U.S.-China Relations, Uber Self-Driving Cars, Bitter Cold Weather, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14).  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State; allegations of Russian hacking into the DNC’s files to influence the election outcome and that the operation was sanctioned by Vladimir Putin; Fed Chair Janet Yellen raises interest rates and the related record-high Dow Jones industrial average; Trump’s Wednesday meeting with numerous Silicon Valley executives; the Syrian civil war and the violence against civilians in Aleppo; the state of U.S. relations with China after Trump’s Taiwan incident and China’s continued military build-up in the South China Sea; the controversy in California as Uber tests driverless cars in San Francisco; the bitter cold weather affecting much of the northern U.S.; 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.

Odds & Sods.  Talk show host Rob Carson is launching a content initiative via Soundcloud and Patreon.  Aftercarsonrob a two year stint at Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, Carson tells TALKERS, “I am starting a new venture before my next radio gig.  I’ve rebuilt my radio studio to not only to talk around the nation but to do an audio and video podcast.  The Patreon site allows passionate followers to pay as little as $1 a month for a daily podcast, audioblogs, syndicated comedy and more.”…..Salem Media Group announces that in Philadelphia, it has appointed Gregg Stiansen as the new general manager of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  The former Nassau Broadcasting and Connoisseur Media exec takes over for the retiring Russ Whitnah…..ESPN Radio is providing coverage of 27 college football bowl games, including the matchups from the College Football Playoff, including the January 9 National Championship Game.  That game will be called kirofmby ESPN Monday Night Football voice Sean McDonough with analyst Todd Blackledge and reporters Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons.….Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle helped raise more than $502,000 for the non-profit organization Treehouse, which addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care.  Yesterday’s 28th Annual Holiday Magic Fundraiser will provide for each youth in the program one significant holiday gift along with support for programs and services throughout the year.

talkers-2017Save the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age at the dawn of the Trump Era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ Talkers 2017: A New Era will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, Talkers 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, December 23.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

| June 30, 2016

Greater Media Drops Sports Talk on WMGC, Detroit.  You have to give Greater Media Detroit management credit for having the chutzpah to take on CBS RADIO’s dominant sports talker WXYT-FM, but after wmgc sportslogoSmallthree years and little ratings traction, the company is ending the expensive venture and is airing the ‘Detroit Oldies’ format (also heard on WCSX-HD2) on WMGC until a new format is unveiled.  Regarding the end of “Detroit Sports 105.1,” Greater Media Detroit VP/market manager Stevechessaresteve Chessare says, “The change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past three years.  We would like to thank our dedicated listeners and the entire ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ staff for their many contributions to the station in the Motor City.  They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.”  The last three Nielsen Audio PPM survey numbers (Persons 6+) comparing WMGC to competitor WXYT-FM were indicative of the gap between the two stations: March – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 5.2; April – WMGC 0.9, WXYT-FM 6.5; May – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 7.3.

Talk Host Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo Renews with iHeartMedia.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is also heard on iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston in the afternoon drive daypart.  Thepagliarulojoe company says that under the new, multi-year deal, Pags will continue in these roles.  Pags’ program is also syndicated across the country and is heard on almost 50 additional stations.  Pags also serves as the host of the iHeartMedia program “The Weekend with Joe Pags” that is aired on iHM stations nationwide.  Pagliarulo says, “I am thrilled to continue with iHeartMedia.  I am proud to have called iHeartMedia home for more than a dozen years and knowing this fantastic relationship will continue for many more years to come is simply amazing.

NYPost: iHM Creditor Would Rather See Bankruptcy Than Take Company’s Current Offer.  Following up on Wednesday’s story about iHeartMedia’s SEC filing indicating that talks between it and a group of senior iheartmedia logo tinylenders about restructuring are far apart, the New York Post is reporting that a different lender – not involved in the negotiations referenced – says it would rather see iHeartMedia go into bankruptcy than accept the company’s current offer.  That lender believes it could get 90 cents on the dollar in bankruptcy, and that would be better than the interest rate cut and year’s extension on the term that iHM is offering.  However, that lender also told the paper he’d prefer a reasonable offer by iHM to seeing the company go into bankruptcy. Read the Post story here.

Deadly Istanbul Airport Terror Attack, the Presidential Race, ‘Brexit’ Aftermath, GOP Benghazi Report, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29).  The terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 42 and wounded hundreds; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union; the Republicans’ final report on the deadly Benghazi attacks; the myriad troubles Rio De Janeiro is facing as it prepares to host the Summer Olympics; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FCC Commissioner Pai Piles on Criticism of Wheeler’s Ownership Rules.  In a statement commenting on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision not to change the Commission’s ownership regulations – including eliminating the cross-ownership ban preventing radio and newspapers from being owed by the same companies in the same markets – FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says, “The FCC’s rules should reflect the media marketplace ofpaiajit today.  Unfortunately, Chairman Wheeler’s media ownership proposal reflects the world that existed in the 1970s.  Last month, the FCC had no problem approving not one, but two multi-billion dollar cable mergers.  Last year, it signed off on AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV.  Yet, it now gets the vapors at the prospect of a newspaper in Scranton, Pennsylvania owning a single radio station.  Whatever the motivation for the Chairman’s proposal, it has nothing to do with the evidence in the record, principled decision-making, or the law.  Indeed, given current trends, it is likely that the Commission’s newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership restrictions will outlive the print newspaper industry itself.”  Ouch!  Broadcasters for years have lamented the Commission’s unwillingness to rescind this restriction.  And now, at a time when there has never been more access to different media sources, the refusal to budge seems incomprehensible to many.

PodcastOne-Jericho Network Partnership to Launch Charles ‘Konnan’ Ashenoff Show.  This is the first show to come from PodcastOne’s partnership with podcast host Chris Jericho for production, distribution and podcastone bproduct marketing of his The Jericho Network.  Latino Lucha Libre legend Charles Ashenoff, known to wrestling fans worldwide as Konnan, is the first host to debut on the network.  Future podcasts will take full advantage of Jericho’s involvement and interest in wrestling, music, paranormal activity and pop-culture in general.   All podcasts on The Jericho Network will be available exclusively at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris’ podcasts continue to be among the most successful on PodcastOne’s lineup.  There are a lot more things that we can do together, and the Jericho network will give us the vehicle and time necessary with which to do that.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

AM Radio is the Future of Radio!

| August 28, 2014

By Susan Nilon
WSRQ, Sarasota
Owner/General Manager

 

nilon susanSARASOTA — Time and time again, the question is asked, “What does the future hold for AM radio?”  Articles are written with predictions of AM’s demise due to the lack of interest of the “Millennials,” or how the internet and satellite radio will make it almost impossible for AM to compete in such a fickle industry.  While these predictions seem to make sense to the untrained ear, it reminds me of a time several decades earlier when experts attributed the demise of movie theaters due to the advent of the video cassette recorder.  Or the slow death of vinyl records, due to the portability and popularity of the compact disc.  Well, here we are 30 years later, and the US and Canada box office revenue in 2013 was $10.9 billion with 68% of the population in attendance and “vinyl sales hit their highest level since at least 1991, with six million units sold” according to industry data.  While it’s fun and sometimes smart to try to predict the future, if these “predictions” impact the decision makers of this industry by encouraging them to enter into a self-fulfilling prophecy of AM radio, then they are not only short-sighted, but are foolish as well.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

| August 14, 2014

krg logoColossal Sales Deal Between Katz and Cumulus.  Radio rep firm Katz Radio Group announces it has agreed to a new deal with Cumulus Media that is creating a new rep division at Katz dedicated to Cumulus owned-and-operated stations nationwide.  The firm – Westwood One National Sales – will provide advertisers and agencies direct access to all of Cumulus’ radio stations.  In a press statement, the companies say, “The new long-term agreement supports thecumulus logo companies’ mutual goal to evangelize the power of sound and drive more dollars into the sector. Westwood One National Sales will exclusively represent Cumulus stations nationwide and focus on providing integrated, multi-platform marketing solutions aimed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of advertisers.  Westwood One National Sales will also offer advertisers and agencies access to Cumulus’ newly developed traffic system.  The cutting-edge technology is designed to improve speed-to-market, giving Cumulus advertisers and agencies real-time pricing and availability of minute-by-minute, market-by-market opportunities across the country.”  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray says, “Our common goal is to get radio a much bigger share of advertiser spending by solving their marketing problems and showcasing the unmatched results radio delivers.  Our new partnership with Cumulus to launch Westwood One National Sales strengthens our ability to deliver the most innovative marketing solutions for advertisers and agencies across the expanding advertising platform of one of our important partners.”  As a result of this, Bryan Forbes is promoted to senior vice president, general manager of Westwood One National Sales.  His current post with KRG is vice president/director of sales.  Westwood One National Sales will have dedicated offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

nab logoFighting for AM in New Cars; NAB Pleads with BMW.  After learning that BMW’s new electric model – the i3 – will not include an AM radio due to the engine’s causing interference with AM reception, the NAB’s Gordon Smith wrote a letter to BMW asking the company to reconsider the move and re-engineer the system to accommodate AM, as some other manufacturers have.  Smith writes, “In the last decade, AM radio has embraced an evolution towards ethnic language programming, with a wide variety of formats serving a melting pot of diverse communities that make up the fabric of America.  Indeed, two-thirds of all minority-owned stations are now broadcast on the AM band; and many of these radio stations serve as a community gathering spot for vital information about health services, education and job opportunities.”  Smith goes on to note that in many markets, sports broadcasts – from high school to the professional level – are only heard on AM signals.  How BMW will respond, if at all, is anyone’s guess but it’s worth noting that radio stations that are also streamed could be heard via the owner’s smartphone which the i3 allows to be connected to its audio system.  Still, that the AM band — where most talk radio shows reside — is considered disposable by a major auto manufacturer (combined with the growing popularity of electric autos) is a huge red flag for AM stick owners.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Talks AM Revitalization in Columbus.  The campaign for AM revitalization being championed by FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was the topic at Wednesday’s town hall meeting held by the Ohio Broadcasters Association where Pai spoke and heard from broadcasters and the public on the matter.  Pai said three things he’s been thinking about lately regarding AM revitalization are: eliminating nighttime skywave protection for clear channel AM signals; allowing the use of synchronous transmission systems on the AM dial; and allowing stations to go all-digital on a voluntary basis.  But Pai said that by Halloween it’s his hope that the FCC will adopt AM revitalization that would: 1) move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters and, 2) ask the public to comment on a new batch of specific proposals for improving our AM radio rules because “the proposals we made last year, while they will help AM broadcasters, aren’t going be a panacea.”

romejimRome Added as KFWB Gears Up To Sports Flip. Rumors of a talk-to-sports format change by Los Angeles’ KFWB will become reality sometime in September and the station locks in CBS Sports Radio mega-talent – and LA native – Jim Rome as a cornerstone.  Trustee for KFWB Asset Trust, Diane Sutter, comments, “It has been nearly two years since Southern Californians have been able to enjoy Jim’s show and he is just a hint of what listeners can expect from the new KFWB sports lineup.  We are thrilled and excited tokfwb bring Jim back home to his many Los Angeles sports fans.”  Rome, a genuine sports radio host original, will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and will originate the program from Orange County.  Remarking that he is “thrilled to be returning home” on KFWB, Rome states, “CBS Sports Radio has provided me with an incredible opportunity to communicate with our nationwide audience via various platforms, but to reunite with our Los Angeles-based fans is particularly meaningful to me, personally and professionally.  I look forward to bringing ‘the jungle’ back home to Los Angeles.”  Rome has been with CBS Sports Radio since the network launched approximately 18 months ago.  It is believed sports KFWB’s moniker will be “The Beast.”  For years, KFWB had been an all-news station and competed against CBS Radio‘s KNX (which later became its sibling) in that arena.  Five years ago though (September 2009), it switched to talk.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). It will be butting heads against existing all-sports outlets KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

cclogoClear Channel’s Political Advertising Tool Now Incorporates Nielsen Data.  Earlier this year, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announced the development of its proprietary radio targeting tool for political advertisers – dubbed Audience Delivery Optimizer (AuDiO).  Now, the company reports that it is now incorporating Nielsen’s radio audience measurement data to further enhance its ability to identify key voter segments.  CC says this marks the first time that Nielsen’s Portable People Meter currency data has been combined with specific public voter information – creating a powerful new tool for political advertisers.  Clear Channel calls AuDiO a “first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool that enables political campaigns to precisely identify the 10 voter segments that are most crucial in key election districts.”  It goes on to say that with the integration of Nielsen’s industry-standard audience measurement data into AuDiO, political advertisers now have access to even more robust identification capabilities for their radio buys.  Using the 10 most common political segments, AuDiO can determine how many voters radio reaches in any political district around the country.  It can then identify the media preferences of any segment, giving advertisers key information about which media are best to reach which voters.  AuDiO works at all levels of national, statewide and local elections, and will be available for the upcoming 2014 election cycle.

fradybillGCN Adds ‘Lock-N-Load’ to Morning Offerings.  New to the Genesis Communications Network stable of programs is the Bill Frady-hosted daily program “Lock-N-Load.”  The company states that the show “covers all spectrums relating to the world of the gun, including the gun industry, trends, self-defense and, of course, those that would strip away your rights.  With guests such as the 3D gun guru Cody Wilson, Gunowners of America executive director Larry Pratt, Noble Peace Prize nominee Dr. Jim Garrow, tactical trainer Chris Costa, psychologist Dr. Linda Lagemann and many others, ‘Lock-N-Load’ explores the dynamics of the uniquely American Second Amendment and everything that goes along with it.”

bohannonnashvilleJim Bohannon Addresses Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Conference.  Sitting on a panel about spoken-word radio titled, “Give’em Something to Talk About,” Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Jim Bohannon appeared at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Nashville.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Westwood One’s Misti Douglas, Jean Williams, and Chrystal Heidemann, Governor Bill Haslam, Bohannon, and Westwood One’s Donny Walker.

IS Iraq Campaign/U.S. Military Involvement, Hillary Clinton-Obama Relationship, Michael Brown Slaying Aftermath, Limbaugh-Robin Williams Suicide Comments Controversy, and Israel-Hamas Cease Fire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/13).  The Iraq campaign of IS and the Obama Administration’s involvement of U.S. military personnel; the rift between Hillary Clinton and President Obama over U.S. foreign policy; the tensions in Missouri after the shooting death of Michael Brown; controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s comments after Robin Williams’ suicide; and the cease fire between Israel and Hamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

| May 6, 2014

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Camp Responds to Media Matters Piece.  The consumer media war against conservative talk radio – led by Media Matters for America – has, in general, not seen a lot of pushback from the program hosts themselves and the producers of the shows.  But Premiere Networks-syndicated Rush Limbaugh, the chief target of criticism, fired back at Media Matters after a piece by its senior fellow Eric Boehlert was published in The Huffington Post that proclaimed Limbaugh’s program a ratings failure in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.  Limbaugh program spokesperson Brian Glicklich penned a response to Boehlert’s piece in which he takes Boehlert to task for, primarily, publishing the three stations’ weekly AQH numbers with the implication they are Limbaugh’s numbers before clarifying that later in his piece.  He then adds his statistics about changes in Limbaugh’s ratings on those outlets.  With just four months under his belt on these stations, one thing is for sure: Limbaugh is still the primary target for Media Matters and scrutiny of the these signals is something the industry will see a lot of over the next year or so.

sabowalterYou’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman.  The recent passing of Ben Hoberman – the architect of KABC-AM, Los Angeles’ talk format in the early 1960s – has caused some of the industry’s great thinkers to look back at what made KABC and Hoberman so successful.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo writes today in TALKERS (5/6) that Hoberman understood the basic premise behind great talk radio: It’s a show.  Sabo also says Hoberman followed a number of other prescriptions for success, including these two: He invested in new technology and he embraced fresh, often outrageous talent.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Address AM Revitalization and Cross-Ownership Rules at PAB Meeting.  At the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters meeting in Hershey on Monday (5/5), FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the assembly that he wants to implement the workable aspects of the Commission’s AM revitalization program by the fall.  He told the gathering, “Small broadcasters and large broadcasters alike want to revitalize AM radio.  So do civil rights organizations and those favoring increased ownership diversity.  Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the list goes on.  Indeed, I’ve been amazed by the chord that AM revitalization has struck throughout the United States.  When I made this proposal in September 2012, I never imagined the response we would receive…Time isn’t on the side of this grand old band, so let’s commit ourselves to getting this done by Halloween.  Our proposals will not be a panacea for the real problems confronting AM broadcasters.  But they will help.  For example, I’ve heard from numerous AM broadcasters desperate for FM translators.  That’s why we need to move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters.  If the FCC acts soon, that window could open next year.  In addition to asking for comment in our NPRM on specific proposals, the Commission also solicited other ideas on how to improve the AM band, both in the short term and the long term.  And we received many suggestions from station owners, engineers, and listeners.  We need to sort through them and figure out which ones merit action and which ones need further study.  Beginning this summer, I plan to hold a series of meetings with stakeholders to discuss these proposals.  And I invite you to participate.  If you have an idea for revitalizing the AM band, don’t be shy. It’s not too late to tell us what you think.”  Regarding the cross-ownership rules, Pai is realistic about what can be accomplished, stating, “Unless the courts intervene, I see no prospect that the FCC will bring all of its media ownership rules into the 21st century in the next couple of years.  But I do see a glimmer of hope when it comes to the newspaper-radio ownership ban.  The Commission has signaled an openness to getting rid of this anachronism.  And as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’”