Tag: "Alpha Media"

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

| June 4, 2019

Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024.  As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract).  Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.”  Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”

Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb.  Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018.  Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.”  He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”

The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip BlissSouthern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville.  Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947.  Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations.  The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information.  Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year.  Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.

New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers.  iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019.  Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.”  The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.

Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.”  Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast.  The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories.  Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run 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 Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year.  Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK.  He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10.  Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country.  His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager.  He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands.  Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now.  We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program,  “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right).  Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.”  The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C.  The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action.  Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center.  She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts.  My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”

Friday, May 31, 2019

| May 31, 2019

SRN Places Full Lineup on KJJC, Salt Lake City. On Monday (6/3), KJJC Media Group is debuting the market’s new talk outlet, “The Place 1230 AM, KJJC, Common Sense Talk Radio.”  The lineup will include Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, and others.  The station’s brand – The Place – is a reference to Mormon leader Brigham Young’s comment he made upon settling in the region.  KJJC Media CEO Roger Lonnquist says, “There’s probably never been a time in our country’s history when the need for relevant talk radio programming has been so significant.  KJJC Media Group recognized the opportunity for serving listeners with high-quality programming that is not only entertaining, but also reflects the values of our communities in the greater Salt Lake region.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word formats Phil Boyce says, “Salt Lake City is home to the smartest and most engaged listeners to be found anywhere.  Our hosts look forward to engaging with the Salt Lake radio listeners on the issues that have an impact on all of us.”  Lonnquist says he plans to add an FM simulcast to the station’s signal by the end of summer.

FOX News Radio Names ‘Guy Benson Show’ Afternoon Program. The new “Guy Benson Show” replaces the “Tom Shillue Show” in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart on the FOX News Radio network, effective Monday (6/3).  Shillue remains host of “Quiz Show” (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation).  Benson previously hosted the “Benson & Harf” show with former FOX News contributor Marie Harf.  She left the company to take a position with the presidential campaign of Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).  The “Guy Benson Show” is based out of FOX’s Washington, D.C. operations.  Benson, who joined FOX in 2013 as a contributor, also serves as the political editor of Townhall.com.  Throughout his career, he has served as a Media Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks Double Down on ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show.  With the original co-host back on the show and a new, multi-year extension of the partnership for programming and syndication signed, Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks are moving full-steam ahead with the newly rebranded “Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show.”  Based at Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria and heard on more than 50 affiliate stations, the show features Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins.  Robbins was Markley’s original partner but a massive heart attack in 2015 forced him off the air.  He recently returned to the show as a contributor and is now a full-time member of the show.  Alpha and Compass say the addition of Scott Robbins accentuates the show’s focus on addressing topics from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, and a Millennial by having a host from each generation.  Alpha EVP of content Phil Becker says, “Markley, van Camp and Robbins have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor.  This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”  The show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Davis Media Expands ‘All-News 102’ on WBKQ-FM. In Eastern Virginia, Davis Media is dropping the classical music format on WBKQ-FM, West Point (southeast of Richmond) and will add it to the group of signals airing the “All-News 102” format.  That brand is based at WXTG-AM/FM (1490 AM and 102.1 FM), Portsmouth and is also heard on W270DA at 101.9 in Hampton.  Davis Media says, “The new format will be the historic district’s only all-news radio station powered by 10 journalists in the Southside, Hampton-Newport News region and Williamsburg.”  The multi-media company publishes local print brands Southside Daily, Hampton Newport News Daily, and Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.  It also has a content-sharing partnership with WVEC-TV, Hampton “13NewsNow.” Dee Patel, a former 10-year KYW, Philadelphia news director, serves as general manager and news director for “All-News 102.”

Four More to Enter WGN ‘Walk of Fame.’ The sixth class of inductees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame has been announced and “includes four native Chicagoans, two of whom are present-day voices, one who hosted a show for 60 consecutive years, and a behind-the-scenes staff member with 52 years of service to the station.”  The honorees are: Andrea Darlas, longtime WGN news director and now senior director of constituent engagement at the University of Illinois; 22-year WGN air personality and current midday host John Williams; “Tenpin Tattler” Sam Weinstein who hosted a bowling feature on the station for almost 30 years; and Marlene Wells, a member of the station’s marketing and sales team for more than 50 years.  See more about the inductees here.

Alexander Hamilton Descendant to Speak at Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation Event. At this year’s annual event presented by the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, Douglas Hamilton, the fifth-generation great grandson of Alexander Hamilton, will speak to attendees.  The Bold Gold Foundation’s 5th Annual Event – being held on June 12 in Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom – will celebrate the life of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the founding of America, which, in addition to remarks by Douglas Hamilton, will include a special keynote address by Dr. Stephen Knott.  Dr. Knott is a national security affairs professor at the Naval War College and is one of the nation’s leading scholars on Alexander Hamilton.  He’s also author of the best-selling book, Washington & Hamilton:  The Alliance That Forged America.  Attendees of this very unique event will receive a signed copy of Dr. Knott’s book and have an opportunity to take photos with Dr. Knott and Douglas Hamilton.  The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation assists students in preparing for careers in broadcasting and media and proceeds from this event directly support those efforts.  The organization was founded by Bold Gold Media president/CEO Vince Benedetto, who will be one of 67 industry speakers participating in a power-packed agenda at the sold out 22nd annual TALKERS convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story– next Friday, June 7 in New York City.   He will also be this year’s recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  For details about the convention, please click here.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” Now Posted.  The recently launched one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (May 27-31) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Mueller Speaks!”) features a lineup of guests that includes syndicated talk show hosts Howie Carr and Thom Hartmann along with Los Angeles Times columnist/podcaster and KPCC, Los Angeles host Patt Morrison; WFAN, New York host Richard NeerDC Radio Company executive director Victoria JonesTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and TalkersRadio general manager/Caldwell University, NJ professor David Bernstein.  The non-partisan program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It has just been picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm. According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, it is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this program as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeart picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and number of stations have inquired about its availability.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety here.

WABC’s Joan Hamburg Hosts Pre-Tony Luncheon.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Joan Hamburg (center) during her annual Pre-Tony luncheon at Arno Ristorante in New York with actor Santino Fontana (left) and Lilli Cooper (right), both nominated for Tony Awards for their roles in “Tootsie.”  The sold-out audience witnessed appearances by Broadway stars including: Jeff Daniels, Tony Award-winning actor and Tony nominee this year for his role as Atticus Finch in the smash Broadway play, “To Kill A Mockingbird”; “King Lear” actress Glenda Jackson, who won the Tony last year for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Three Tall Women”; Damon Daunno, Tony nominee for his work in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”; and Susie Essman of television’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  Highlights of the show will air on 77 WABC in two parts – on Saturday (6/1) and Saturday (6/8) at 1:00 pm.    Part 1 will air this Saturday, June 1st, at 1:00 pm, while Part 2 will air the following Saturday, June 8th at 1:00 pm. The 2019 Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 9th, at 8:00 pm ET, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Joan Hamburg’s Pre-Tony luncheon is a must-attend for Tony nominees.  The event is yet another example of the respect Joan has throughout New York’s theater community.  We are fortunate to bring the best of Broadway to 77 WABC and our listeners.”

‘SVP & Russillo’ Returns in Podcast Format. For six years, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo co-hosted the “SVP & Russillo” show on the ESPN Radio Network.  That show ended in 2015, but now ESPN is putting the two back together for a one-hour podcast on its digital platform.  The first program debuts on June 3.  After three monthly editions, in September the show will become bi-weekly. Van Pelt says, “We just figured, if we are going to talk on the phone for 45 minutes, we might as well record it and make it a podcast.  We enjoyed our time together on radio and it’s amazing the loyalty and appetite our listeners still have for us.  I couldn’t be more fired up.”  Russillo adds, “It’s been a few years since we stopped doing the show and I’ve always been amazed how many times people come up to me and say how much they still miss it.  It was a daily part of people’s lives.  Even people at ESPN who have different roles and positions today say how much they loved the show.  We both knew we would do something again.  I’m just happy it’s still with ESPN.”

Robert Mueller’s Justice Department Statements Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 27-31.  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference at the Justice Department in which he declined to say the president had not attempted to obstruct justice was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the intensification of impeachment talks among Democrats.  Coming in at #3 was the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade issues, followed by the new anti-abortion laws being passed in several states at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Edison Research Analyzes Social Media Use; What’s Up (or Down) with Facebook? Using data from its national telephone survey from the 2019 Infinite Dial study, its own national online survey, and its own in-person, in-depth interview survey, Edison Research presents “The Social Habit 2019” study.  Edison concludes that in the big picture, “there are now approximately 223 million social media users age 12+ in the U.S., and their original social media platform of choice, Facebook, is losing ground among users of all ages, for various reasons.”  Facebook reportedly has 15 million less users in the U.S. in 2019 than it did in 2017.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “Not only have millions of Americans stopped using Facebook entirely, nearly a third of Facebook users tell us they are using the service less.  While Facebook remains the leading social media brand in America, it is being wounded on multiple fronts, as every demographic has their own reasons for spending less time there.”  Some of the other findings are: 1) The “core users” of the different social media brands, (those who use that one ‘most often’) have different demographic profiles; 2) Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter have the highest composition of U.S. users age 12-34.  Facebook and Pinterest have the highest composition of U.S. users age 55+; 3) In qualitative interviews, Edison Research spoke with social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether.  Those users describe some of the reasons they are using Facebook less, including avoiding family members on Facebook, experiencing discomfort with some of the “attention-seeking” they see on social media, and gravitating to other, more photo-heavy platforms. Paradoxically, though, the same users articulate FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, as they scan social media platforms, and feel compelled to participate in social media.  See more here.

Legendary Music Radio Programmer John Sebastian Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He was one of the most prolific music radio PDs of the 70s, 80s and 90s – programming small-, medium- and large-market stations in the genres of top 40, AOR (album-oriented rock), classic rock, smooth jazz, and even country to notable success between Boston and Los Angeles.  Then as the 21st century unfolded, he did some consulting and eventually went on to a viable career as a voice actor.  But the itch to get back into music radio has prompted John Sebastian to go back to the drawing board and scratch out a brand-new music radio format targeting a familiar old segment of the population – the underserved 55-72 baby boomer demographic.  He calls it “The Wow Factor” and he’s out there talking it up to everyone and anyone who owns an FM stick.  Of course, today’s conventional wisdom in commercial radio is to follow the advertising agency money which is clearly aimed at the younger demos.  But Sebastian says it is foolish to leave all the revenue on the table that can be generated by serving the baby boomer demo which remains active, affluent, and grew up listening to radio.  Sebastian is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This podcast is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio history and would be fascinated by a deep-dive analysis of the modern-day industry’s frustrating logic of underserved demographics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured in the photo at right is Big Al Mack from the YEA Networks nationally syndicated morning radio program, “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” (center) with country star Blake Shelton (left) and Gwen Stefani (right).  Big Al was asked if he’d introduce Blake at the Memorial Day weekend Grand Opening of Shelton’s new live music venue, The Doghouse at Ole Red, in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  Shelton told Big Al the reason he asked him was because, “Every time I look on Twitter, you’re always saying something nice about me!”  Proceeds of more than $145,000 from the ticket sales went to benefit the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation…..In the photo below, Westwood One syndicated personality Blair Garner, host of “The Blair Garner Show,” poses at the private Center Point Road listening party for Thomas Rhett fans who won their way in to the special event at Cumulus Nashville’s country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” last week.  Listeners got to hear Rhett’s new album before its release and hear him speak about his life and career.  From left to right are: Valory Music’s Ashley Sidoti, Chris Palmer, Rhett, Garner, WKDF PD John Shomby, Tyler Reese, and Kelley Brock.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

| May 22, 2019

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  The performance of the all-news format is very important to Entercom as it owns nine of the 12 all-news stations in our panel.  Almost 60% of these stations went down (weekly, 6+ AQH share) from the March PPM survey to April.  Comparing April 2018 to this year, 6+ ratings movement was even, with half the stations going up and the other half going down.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington again ranks #1 in its market (the only all-newser to do so this month), while Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WWJ-AM, Detroit both ranked #2 in their markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s full report here.

Cumulus Asks FCC to Allow Up to 100% Foreign Investment.  The FCC has a rule that no more than 25% of an American broadcast entity can be owned by foreign investors.  As Cumulus Media emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in 2018, foreign ownership of its voting stock was no more than 22.5%.  The company made sure of that in order to facilitate the proceedings. Now, Cumulus is asking the FCC to allow foreign investment of up to 100%. The FCC public notice states, “Cumulus now requests approval to permit up to a 100 percent aggregate foreign investment to enable holders of warrants and non-voting stock to convert or exercise these instruments in exchange for voting stock and allow non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to 100 percent of its voting stock and capital stock generally in the future.  Specifically, Cumulus explains that upon grant of the Petition, the special warrants would be automatically exchanged, and foreign ownership of Cumulus immediately following such exchanges would then be approximately 34 percent on a voting basis and 31 percent on an equity basis.  Notwithstanding that the foreign ownership which would result from exercise of the special warrants is expected to be much less than 100 percent, Cumulus states that it is requesting a ruling that would permit non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to and including 100 percent of its voting stock and 100 percent of its capital stock generally.  Cumulus believes that elimination of the overall limitation on foreign ownership of its shares will, inter alia, enhance the market liquidity of its stock and ‘provide the Company with the greatest degree of flexibility in accessing foreign investment capital.’  Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is entirely consistent with the public interest. In support of the Petition, Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is consistent with the reorganization plan, which has enabled Cumulus to emerge from bankruptcy in a stronger financial condition, and which, in turn, will enable Cumulus to raise capital, enhance its programming, better serve the public, and compete with non-FCC regulated entities on a more level playing field.  Cumulus also maintains that grant of the Petition aligns with U.S. foreign trade policy and the U.S. government’s desire to ‘promote inbound foreign investment’ and encourage reciprocity with U.S. trading partners.”  The public comment period is open through July 8.

Alpha Media Stations Moving into Chicagoland Mall. After almost two years of negotiations, the local village board in Gurnee, Illinois (near the Illinois-Wisconsin border) has voted to pay Alpha Media $200,000 to assist in the cost of moving its four north suburban stations – news/talk WLIP-AM, Spanish sports talk WKRS-AM, rock WIIL-FM, and hot AC WXLC-FM – into space at the Gurnee Mills mall complex.  According to a report in the DailyHerald, mall owner Simon Property Group is paying Alpha $600,000 to help with the cost of the estimated $847,000 renovation project.  In return, Alpha will produce at least 32 public events at the mall to drive foot traffic and will air ads for the mall.

TALKERS News Notes. The Kirk MinihaneEntercom relationship appears to be turning sour again with the sports media personality now threatening to take legal action to get the platform he desires.  Brandon Contes at Barrett Sports Media writes an account of Minihane’s displeasure over his situation at Entercom that he expressed while broadcasting recently on Periscope.  Minihane wants his own “network” on Entercom’s Radio.com platform within a month or he says he’ll sue.  Minihane officially left the WEEI, Boston morning show last fall.  At the time, Entercom said it wanted Minihane to do a show on Radio.com…..Media personality Michele Tafoya – whose work includes serving as co-host of “The Tom Barnard Show” on Cumulus Media’s rock KQRS, Minneapolis – was honored Monday at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York with the Outstanding Sports Personality award for her work as an NBC Sports sideline reporter for NFL games.  Tafoya also won the award in 2012 and 2014.  Cumulus VP, classic rock and Twin Cities operations manager Scott Jameson says, “All of us at Cumulus Minneapolis are very proud of Michele winning this prestigious Emmy award.  We’re quite fortunate having her on our legendary morning show hosted by National Hall of Fame inductee Tom Barnard and the rest of the morning team.”…..Westwood One News picks up another honor for exceptional reporting as the organization and correspondent Jim Roope receive a Deadline Club Award for best “Radio or Audio Feature Reporting.”  The award recognizes Roope’s 2018 report, “Las Vegas: Remembering and Healing,” in which he returned to Las Vegas one year after the deadly mass shooting and spoke with the community and the victims about how they were remembering, coping, and healing. The Deadline Club Award is bestowed by the NY Society of Professional Journalists for reporting across all media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, radio, digital, and TV…..Radio personality Walter Sterling is guest starring on news/talk KFBK, Sacramento this holiday weekend.  He’s sitting in for Pat Walsh on both Friday and Monday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Sterling’s syndicated program is heard Sunday evenings on the iHeartMedia station…..Forever Media closes on its acquisition of the 10-station group in Delaware and Maryland it purchased from Steinman Communications for $18.5 million. The signals include news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, Wilmington and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. was the exclusive broker for the deal.

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, 2020 Election Politics, New Anti-Abortion Laws, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The request from congressional Democrats for President Trump’s tax returns and financial records; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; Iran’s increased production of enriched uranium and the possibility of U.S. military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; and NBA/NHL playoffs 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 Philadelphia, iHeartMedia names programming pro Brandon “Buster” Satterfield program director for CHR WIOQ-FM “Q102,” effective June 17.  Satterfield moves north from his most recent position with the company as APD for CHR WFLZ-FM, Tampa.  iHeartMedia Philadelphia SVP for programming Brian Check says, “Brandon brings a unique combination of top 40 radio experience on and off the air, as well as knowledge of the market and passion for everything Philly.  His dedication to the brand and keen eye for programming and the latest music make him the perfect fit.”…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” brings two-time Grammy nominee and radio personality Monie Love aboard to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show, effective today (5/22).  Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “We are so excited to have Monie Love join the ‘KISS 104.1’ team.  Her love of hip-hop, entertaining personality and star power make her a great addition to our afternoons here in Atlanta.”…..Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” announces Adrian Kulp joins the show as senior executive producer.  WWO says Kulp brings a wealth of creative experience across multiple entertainment mediums to the show.  He served for almost 10 years as a television executive with positions including vice president of TV development at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, vice president of TV development at Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing, and a stint at CBS’s “The Late Late Show.”  NASH Network director of programming John Shomby says, “Ty Bentli continues to build a team that is focused on maximizing creativity!  Adrian brings a different perspective to the table that will help the show build a unique vision and bring that to our listeners each morning!”

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

| May 21, 2019

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

WGN, Chicago Names Mary Sandberg Boyle Director of News and Operations. In Chicago, Tribune Broadcasting is promoting Mary Sandberg Boyle – executive producer of the Steve Cochran morning show – to the position of director of news and operations.  Sandberg Boyle assumes the role left open when Stephanie Tichenor jumped across the street to take on the program director position at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM.  Sandberg Boyle began her service with WGN Radio in 2015 and helped to launch the station’s weekday morning business show, “The Opening Bell.”  WGN-AM station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley says, “Mary brings us years of success managing high profile talent and a fresh vision for the next generation of WGN Radio.”

KTSA, San Antonio to Tweak Lineup.  The talk show lineup at Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio changes, effective June 17.  Trey Ware remains in morning drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and will be joined by current KTSA air personality Sean Rima from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Rima then goes solo from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. New to the lineup is the “Markley and Van Camp” program (featuring Jamie Markley and David Van Camp) for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Dave Ramsey remains from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and longtime midday personality Jack Riccardi moves to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Check out the station’s promotional video here.

Nielsen Audio Podcast Investigates Neuroscience and Radio Ads. In a two-part podcast titled, “Your Brain on Audio,” the Nielsen Audio Podcast features communications professor Dr. Rob Potter from Indiana University to share his findings from a career spent researching how the brain responds to sound, and what it takes to capture listener attention and create memorable commercials.  Nielsen Audio says, “The first step in that process is understanding how the brain works and how it’s evolved to process information.  This knowledge is important all along the marketing cycle, particularly in today’s cluttered media world.  There are distinct differences between automatic attention and controlled attention when it comes to our physiology, and different tools radio producers can use to trigger those parts of our brain.  Everything from the music bed in a commercial to the pitch and number of voices used affects how consumers pay attention to a particular message.  Then, once attention has been captured, creative shoulders the important task of imprinting the message into memory networks.  One simple way to affect memory is to play on emotion using words or music, and the cutting edge of neuroscience marketing research is exploring the specific ties between music and emotion for use as a tool in making better ads.”  Check out the first podcast here.

WSB, Atlanta Presents Video Documentary of the Jamie Dupree Story. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the story of WSB, Atlanta-based Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree’s battle with tongue protrusion dystonia that’s left him unable to speak.  Now, the station is featuring a video documentary telling Dupree’s story on its website.  Titled, “Voice of Reason,” the program details Dupree’s story and reveals how Cox Media Group identified a new, pioneering approach to return Dupree’s voice to radio.  CMG worked with Edinburgh-based speech synthesis firm CereProc. It sent hours of his archived radio reports to Scotland where engineers and audio specialists digitized and recreated his voice so that Dupree can write a script for a report that is converted into an audio file that sounds nearly identical to his natural voice.  Dupree says, “My health is fine, but my voice is not – and I honestly don’t know if I will ever speak normally again.  I’ll be forever grateful to my WSB and CMG family for getting me back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0.”  See the video, directed by WSB Radio videographer Jesse Brooks and produced by Cox Media Group digital content manager Zac Morgan, here.

Glenn Johnson Named OM for Cumulus Pensacola. The five-station Cumulus Media cluster in Pensacola has a new operations manager.  Glenn Johnson moves from the company’s NASH studios in Nashville where he was executive producer for “The Ty Bentli Show” to serve with the cluster that includes news/talk WCOA-AM and four music brands.  Cumulus Media regional VP Pete DeSimone says, “This is a win-win – a homecoming for Glenn and an opportunity to retain a very talented broadcaster.  We are extremely excited to have him leading the Pensacola programming team.”

Guaranty Media Brings Elliott Aboard as OM for Baton Rouge Stations. Programming pro Chris Elliott joins Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge as operations manager for the cluster that includes: news/talk WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3,” sports talk duo WNXX-FM/KNXX-FM “ESPN Baton Rouge,” and two music-formatted stations.  Elliott comes to Baton Rouge from his most recent position as brand manager for Manning Media’s hot AC WAFY, Frederick, Maryland.  Guaranty president and CEO Flynn Foster says, “Because great radio should reflect the ever-demanding needs of a local market, we are happy to announce the installment of our new OM to help us meet these demands.  Chris will be a powerful addition to our team.  He will lead our five stations, enhance our existing programming, develop new local talent, and expand our digital platforms. We are very excited to have Chris join us.”

Digital Talk Brand MoJo 5-0 to Support Veterans Causes. Digital talk radio station MoJo 5-0 – a new station focusing on conservative and libertarian content – is involved in two Memorial Day programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to assist veterans.  MoJo 5-0 was founded by late talk radio host Doc Thompson, who had a passion for veterans’ causes.  First, Matt Locke, host of the “Conservative Cartel” on MoJo 5-0, will broadcast live from the Warrior Tent on the 16th hole of Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge.  There he’ll interview numerous veterans to help bring attention to non-profits that benefit them.  Second, the 2019 Memorial Day Celebrity Softball Classic, benefitting CarryTheLoad.org, will be held on Saturday (5/25) at Airhogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas. MoJo 5-0 hosts Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci are scheduled to play alongside professional athletes, musicians, celebrities, and military heroes.  Locke says, “The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a huge part of what we are at MoJo 5-0, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back via both of these events.  We’ve been very vocal about honoring our military heroes and continuing the legacy that Doc Thompson established, and we’re thrilled to support these non-profits that play a vital role in veterans’ causes.”   MoJo 5-0 was developed, launched, and is managed by Cuddle Me Buff, LLC, a partnership of broadcasting experts encompassing all areas of the production spectrum, from operations to talent, business to sales.  Within six months of launch, MoJo 5-0 went from 0 listeners to 110K unique sessions weekly, and recently celebrated its one millionth download. MoJo 5-0 is distributed by iHeartRadio, and broadcasts from custom studios near Fort Worth, Texas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Kareem Chin to Investor Relations Position. Now that iHeartMedia is listed on the NASDAQ following its exit from Chapter 11 reorganization, it is naming media industry pro Kareem Chin SVP and head of investor relations.  In this position, Chin will manage iHeartMedia’s relationship with the investor community to ensure the company strategy is aligned with the needs of its equity holders.  Chin will work closely with COO and CFO Rich Bressler, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, EVP and general counsel Paul McNicol, and leaders of iHeartMedia’s finance and communications teams, and will oversee the company’s investor conferences, investor meetings, and quarterly earnings releases and financial filings.  He spent the last three years as VP of investor relations for Viacom.

iHeartMedia Boston Appoints Adam Ralston VP of Marketing. Boston marketing pro Adam Ralston is named vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia’s station group there that includes: news/talk WRKO, news/talk WXKS-AM, all-news WBZ-AM, and five music brands.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “Adam’s leadership, programming and sales strategy, event experience, knowledge of the market and long history of success coupled with his strong local relationships stood out and I know he is the perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to have him lead our best-in-class marketing team and contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Raiders Games to Air on KYMT-FM, Las Vegas. For the 2019 NFL season, Oakland Raiders’ games will air on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KYMT “93.1 The Mountain.”  Raiders games are produced and distributed by Compass Media Networks.  The play-by-play is being called by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger.  Former All-Pro tackle Lincoln Kennedy is handling color analysis and Chris Townsend serves as sideline reporter.  This is the team’s last season playing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before it relocates to Las Vegas in 2020.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, New Anti-Abortion Laws, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). A federal judge rules President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over documents requested by congress; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; reports Iran has heightened production of enriched uranium as the U.S. warns of possible military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoffs 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. Pictured below is CMT personality Cody Alan (second from right) with members of Little Big Town at the second-annual “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” three-day music and wine festival.  Alan chatted with all of the artists appearing at the festival and interviewed Little Big Town for the syndicated radio show “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” on June 3.

Friday, May 17, 2019

| May 17, 2019

TALKERS CONVENTION UPDATE:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is one week from today – Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Trinity Broadcasting Adds Eric Metaxas’ Radio Show. Starting today (5/17), Salem Radio Network’s “The Eric Metaxas Radio Show” will have a half-hour “Best of” component that will be seen on cable each Friday at 6:00 pm on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The television version will be repeated Sundays at 10:30 pm. Salem Broadcast president Dave Santrella remarks that Trinity Broadcasting has “proven to be a great partner in this unique venture. We are delighted to see this show develop into a regular weekend program seen across the country on the TBN cable platform.” Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce comments, “We are delighted to see some of Eric’s interviews reach an even bigger audience through TBN’s platform, where more people will get a chance to enjoy his wit, wisdom, and unique personality.” Meanwhile, TBN president Matt Crouch adds that Metaxas’ show “brings a unique depth and flair to TBN’s programming lineup. Eric’s longstanding reputation as a man of both faith and intellect is a perfect fit for TBN’s growing broadcast team of thought and faith leaders.” Yale University grad Metaxas is the founder/host of the New York City-based event series “Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life” and has been hosting his Salem radio show since 2015.

Meyer Named Entravision Chief Revenue and Product Officer. It will be a homecoming for Karl Alonso Meyer who – effective immediately – becomes Entravision Communications’ chief revenue and product officer. Entravision chair/chief executive officer Walter F. Ulloa comments, “We are delighted to welcome Karl back to Entravision. With his vast experience, strong leadership skills, and extensive knowledge of the company, he is the ideal candidate to drive our sales and revenue initiatives.” Meyer adds, “Entravision is like a second home to me. Having the chance to rejoin the company in this critical role is an exciting opportunity. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back and working again with the talented Entravision team. The media landscape is constantly changing and I look forward to bringing a unique perspective that will help the business continue its success.” Los Angeles-based Meyer first joined Entravision in 2004 and spent ten years with the company as vice president/general manager of its Los Angeles radio outlets and later as executive vice president/integrated marketing solutions for the western region.

Steve ‘The Big Dog’ Duemig Passes. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 2017, Steve “The Big Dog” Duemig, 64, died yesterday morning (Thursday, 5/16). Up until approximately 15 months ago, Duemig did afternoon drive for iHeartMedia Tampa sports talk WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio.” A posting on the station’s website notes, “WDAE is mourning the loss of sports radio icon Steve ‘The Big Dog’ Duemig. WDAE and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of ‘The Big Dog,’ Steve Duemig.” Before joining WDAE in 1996, Duemig spent five years at cross-town WFNS. For two years, he was the color analyst for the Tampa Bay Lightning. In addition, Duemig hosted a weekly call-in program on Fox Sports Radio, and the 13-year PGA golfer co-hosted a program on The Golf Channel.

TALKERS News Notes. One of the strongest voices in liberal/progressive talk radio – Bill Press – is pulling the plug on his daily morning show after a 14-year run. His last program will air in two weeks (5/31). While Press concludes his syndicated radio platform, he’ll begin podcasting next month, reportedly with a focus on the Democratic primaries. To his more than 32,000 Twitter followers, the 79-year-old Press wrote, “In case you missed it: We’ve had a great 14-year run of daily shows, but it’s time to transition. Don’t worry – my voice will still be front and center as we enter the 2020 election. Big news coming soon.” ….. Deputy Washington editor Shirley Henry is promoted to NPR’s chief Washington editor. She joined NPR five years ago as senior Washington desk editor and was boosted to deputy Washington editor in 2015. NPR News executive editor Edith Chapin notes, “As we further ramp up our election work while staying focused on the current administration, Shirley is poised to lead the team to break stories and provide the daily reporting, enterprise, and context our audience has come to expect. Her multi-platform experience meshed perfectly with the desk leadership in adopting a story first approach to reporting.” Henry has a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and dual Bachelor’s degrees from Boston University in Journalism and International Relations. Henry served as lead editor for White House coverage and was co-editor of the “NPR Politics” podcast. She previously worked at CNN‘s Washington bureau ….. Through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), SiriusXM will air coverage of tomorrow’s (Saturday, 5/18) Preakness Stakes from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. The Preakness is the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The satcaster airs all Triple Crown races, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Preakness is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One. Later today (Friday, 5/17) at 3:00 pm (ET), SiriusXM will air HRRN’s broadcast of the 95th Black-Eyed Susan Stakes….. The 15th biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament will air live on Entravision Communications’ radio and television stations from (Saturday) June 15 through (Sunday) July 7. Entravision president/chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman states, “We are only a month away from the start of the biggest soccer tournament being played in the United States. Bottom line: If you’re a soccer fan, you’re watching the Gold Cup. Besides being the most-seen sport around the world, it features teams our audiences follow. That’s powerful and provides an amazing opportunity for our advertisers.” Founded in 1991, the Gold Cup is an international FIFA soccer tournament. With teams from 16 countries participating, this will be the largest Gold Cup ever. The tournament will feature the four highest-ranked nations based on the CONCACAF Ranking Index: the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Entravision’s live coverage includes 24 games on 17 of its radio stations in 14 markets ….. For the third day in a row,TALKERS has an item regarding Bubba The Love Sponge and this time, it comes directly from the source. On his Facebook page, BTLS notes that he “couldn’t come up with a deal” to continue airing his show on Genesis Communications Tampa news/talk WWBA “AM 820 Gotta Know Now,” so he recommends Tampa Bay fans listen to the show online ….. While terms were not immediately disclosed, Alpha Media agrees to acquire Gray Television Amarillo’s Spanish adult hits KEYU. An application is being filed with the FCC for the transfer. In Amarillo, Alpha Media already owns news/talk KGNC-AM, KGNC-FM “Amarillo’s Country 97.9,” and classic hits-oldies KXGL “100.9 The Eagle.” Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction for both parties.

TALKERS Week in Review Radio Show for Monday, May 13 – Friday, May 17 Now Posted.  The latest installment of the new weekly one-hour radio program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” is now posted.  Guest this week include:  Kevin Casey of TALKERS; Jim Blasingame, host of the Small Business Advocate radio show; Sid Rosenberg, morning show co-host of WABC, New York;  award-winning journalist, Donna Francavilla, president of Alabama Media Professionals; and nationally syndicated host, Lars Larson of Compass Media Networks.  To listen to the show, please click here.

U.S.- China Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 13-17. The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports and the financial markets’ reactions were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, occupying the top spot on the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Mueller Report aftermath and the subpoena of Donald Trump, Jr. Coming in at #3 was the new Alabama abortion law and the threat to Roe v Wade, followed by the 2020 presidential race and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s entrance into the Democratic primary at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Mike McVay Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime radio industry programmer, executive, and consultant Mike McVay, who after eight years is leaving his position as EVP/content and programming for Cumulus Media at the end of June to re-launch his consultation firm, McVay Media, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne presentation “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and McVay engage in a candid conversation about the events that led to his leaving Cumulus by his own choice as well as his views on the future of that company, the state of radio ratings methodology, advertising agency practices, operating on a playing field with multiple distribution points, the care and nurturing of talent in this new era, significant differences between music and talk radio and opportunities and challenges inherent in radio station ownership going forward. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Regional senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana region, Michael Jordan, adds duties as band coordinator for iHeartCountry. In that capacity, he reports to iHeartCountry executive vice president/programming Rod Phillips. Jordan has held several positions at iHeartMedia Louisville and Lexington (Kentucky), including senior vice president/programming; program director for WMAZ, Louisville and WBUL, Lexington; and director of NTR and promotions for iHeartMedia Lexington. His philanthropic involvement includes working with the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Lexington Cancer Foundation ….. Two-year Alpha Media Louisville WDJX “99.7 DJX” program director/afternoon drive personality JD Garfield will be leaving the CHR outlet at the end of this month. “I’d like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the entire staff of talented and amazing individuals at Alpha Media Louisville for giving me the amazing opportunity to stand at the helm of one of the premiere CHR stations in the country,” he comments. “It truly has been a rewarding experience that I’ll never forget.” Garfield joined Alpha Media from Boise Idaho’s KWYD. He previously programmed in Madison (Wisconsin) at WJQM, and was operations manager in Springfield, Missouri at KQRA and KOSP ….. Director of operations/program director Darrin Arriens signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “The Link.” ….. After spending 20 years at Connoisseur Media Long Island adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3,” afternoon drive talent Jodi Vale exits. “Radio is my first love,” she notes. “I am absolutely not hanging up my beloved headphones.” As I finish up my master’s degree in communications with an emphasis in education, I look forward to teaching future broadcasters in the academic setting.” ….. New to nights/social media director at Albany Broadcasting rhythmic CHR WAJZ “Jamz 96.3” is Alexandra Wurst, who most recently did nights in South Bend (Indiana) at Mid-West Family Broadcasting CHR WQLQ. According to WAJZ operations manager/program director Jon Reilly, “We could not be more excited about this dynamic on-air personality. [Alexandra] has great energy and enthusiasm and we are looking forward to her fresh and unique sound at night.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – The nine-tenths’ January/February gain racked up by Alpha Media news/talk KXL (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+) vanishes and becomes a -1.0 in March/April (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) as “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” slips from #11 to #13. Up two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” continues at #18. Locked on .9 (6+) in February and March, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Without a loss the fourth successive sweep for a net gain of six-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned sports talk KXTG “The Game” carries on at #21. Flat at #23, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” loses one-tenth in back-to-back reports (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia-owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620,” which doubles (+.5) its 6+-stat since February (.5 – .8 – 1.0, #26 to #23, 6+) and reaches a one-share (1.0, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 1.1.

A combined -2.0 in February/March (9.3 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), KOPB erases 30% of the deficit with a +.6 to 7.9 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot; the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet had a one-month (January 2019) stay at #1. Ten recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); -1.6 (February); and +.6 (April).

Portland Music Formats – A stout +3.5 via three consecutive bumps (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH has that streak snapped by losing three-tenths to 8.6 (6+); however, “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 for the third month in a row. Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) nearly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). In three straight sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” nets +2.3 and is steady in sixth-place. “The Fish” ranked #18 in January. Conversely, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -1.8 in three consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+), dropping from #14 to #17. Immediately prior to sputtering by seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2. Off four-tenths to 4.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+), Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5” snaps at three its consecutive string of increases that accounted for a +1.1 (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+). A collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), cluster-mate KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” falters by three-tenths to 4.2 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Its 4.5 in March is the highest 6+-stat by KUPL since February 2018’s 4.7. After improving by eight-tenths to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since July 2018’s 4.6, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” surrenders four-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Having notched back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is now a combined -.7 in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost four-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship slips from #18 to #19.

Erasing all but one-tenth of March’s -.6 with an April increase of one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE advances from #16 to #14. “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a  combined +1.1 in January/February (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). While flat at .3 (6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC drops from #21 to #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – By gaining eight-tenths to 2.0 (#19 to #17, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Country boasts a #1/#2 finish in “The Queen City.” Even though Beasley Media Group’s WSOC returns the two-tenths it gained in March (6.8 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” repeats in first-place; it was tied for the lead in February. Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. A combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was +1.2 in January; lost three-tenths in February; but is a combined +.8 in March/April  (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+). Three straight upticks by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” yield a +1.9 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1, ninth to seventh, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (each) are urban AC sibling WBAV “V-101.9” (6.2 – 5.5, third to fifth, 6+) with its lowest 6+-stat (5.5) in two years (5.3, April 2017), and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.3 – 2.6, #13 to #16, 6+). The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); and -.5 in April (6.8 – 6.3, flat at #2, 6+). Immediately in advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February after WLKO’s January-only stay on top.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a +1.1 (4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI zooms from eighth to fourth. In addition, this marks the first time the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship reaches the five-share level (5.3, 6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was an overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Via three successive up or flat trends, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” nets three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+) and progresses from #23 to #22.

Finishing at #31 and #32, respectively, are Alpha Media sports talk KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.6 – .3, -.3, 6+).

Down three-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), after a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #12 to #15.

San Antonio Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for KQXT “Q-101.9.” The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet bounced back from January’s -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February increase of four-tenths; sputtered by six-tenths in March; but racks up a +.8 in April (4.0 – 4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase the past six sweeps for a collective -2.6 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM Que Buena 92.9” answers with an April +.7 to 3.5 (#16 to #12, 6+). Picking up one-half share (each) are KROM’s rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (tenth to ninth) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.4, #15 to #13, 6+). “The Beat” is up eight-tenths through three straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (4.4) since August 2018’s 4.5. “K-Love” was off three-tenths in February/March (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). Notwithstanding it has lost six-tenths in March/April (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. In advance of slipping to #2 in November 2018, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. Co-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock,” which netted nine-tenths in February/March (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), forfeits eight-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. Both of the market’s country powerhouses falter by four-tenths in April. Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips 6.9 – 6.5 (6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops 6.2 – 5.8 (6+). Despite the losses, they continue at #2 and #3, respectively. Recent shifts for “KJ-97” include +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). Meanwhile, “Y-100” has been +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.6 in March.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight sweeps without an increase, KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” falters by -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. The iHeartMedia-owned news/talk facility was tied for first in January. Returning the four-tenths it gained in March (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” slips from #14 to #15.

At the same time that Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” adds one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.7 – 8. – .9, #25 to #24, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” forfeits one-tenth and has lost four-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8, #21 to #25, 6+).

December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in the PPM-history of KXJZ, but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet follows with five straight decreases for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Unchanged at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through April 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.7 (January – February – March, 6+), Entercom alternative KKDO “Alt 94.7” breaks out an increase of nine-tenths to 5.6 (eighth to fifth, 6+). A positive spike of one-half share by Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM takes “Hot 103.5” (#16 to #14) to its highest 6+-share since November 2018 (2.5, as well). Despite being down six-tenths in March/April (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK). In the lead position for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Nine recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); and -.5 (April). The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share softens by -1.1, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and Entercom-owned KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (-.5). Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+) before dropping two-tenths in March. A combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Mix 96” gained two-tenths in March. After logging three consecutive improvements that yielded an overall +1.4  (4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” falters by one-half share to 5.1 (fifth to eighth, 6+). A collective +1.5 in three straight September –October – November – December (2018) gains, KNCI has been -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); +.8 (February); and -.5 (April). For the 14th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.1 – 2.2, +.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Notching a +1.1 to 5.1 (6+) in January, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” has followed with three straight drops for a collective -1.0 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which lost seven-tenths in February/March (7.1 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), gains four-tenths (6.4 – 6.8, 6+); the Pirates flagship remains in fourth-place. While it departs the top twenty (#17 to #22), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” continues its consistency, as reflected by this September 2018 through April 2019 topline: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 (6+).

Even though it is off a combined seven-tenths in March/April (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” continues at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – After logging three straight sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.8 (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK is a combined +1.1 in March/April (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+) as “96.9 Bob FM” stays in-place at #3. In back-to-back (February and March) sweeps, WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+). Even though the iHeartMedia-owned rocker forfeits nine-tenths in April, it is #1 for the third month in succession. Its December loss of one-half share interrupted three consecutive gains that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE tumbled by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Unchanged in fifth-place, co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost seven-tenths by not having an increase three sweeps in a row (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). The market’s two hot ACs are separated by two full-shares, as Entercom’s WBZZ “Star 100.7” gains two-tenths (4.8 – 5.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Q-92.9” surrenders four-tenths to 3.0 (flat at #12, 6+). A March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). Three Forever Media-owned stations that have been unlisted the last four ratings periods return in April: Country WOGI “Froggy” (1.2, #19, 6+); classic hits-oldies WPKL “Pickle” (.9, #20, 6+); and country WOGG “Froggy” (.8, #21, 6+). In December 2018 (the last sweep in which they appeared), WOGI was 1.2 (#18, 6+); WPKL scored a 1.1 (#20, 6+); and WOGG finished with a 1.4 (#16, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – An April gain of seven-tenths by Bonneville-owned KSL erases in its entirely a March loss of the same magnitude as “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (steady at #6) posts a 5.2 for the fourth time in the last six sweeps (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). After eroding by -1.0 in March, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” stabilizes at 4.1 (6+) but slips from eighth to ninth; KNRS was +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” gains one-tenth (.2 – .3 – .4, #21, 6+).

For the fourth month in a row, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted.  After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

Having lost nine-tenths in March/April (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER dips from #14 to #15.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – With a steady “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” explodes in April with a +1.2 to 5.0 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Despite being down or flat the third straight time for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+), Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” advances from fifth to fourth. By gaining six-tenths (1.6 – 2.2, #17 to #15, 6+), Brigham Young University-owned KBYU “Classical 89” records its best 6+-stat (2.2) since November 2018’s 2.4. Five consecutive increases by Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP deliver an overall +2.5 (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Moreover, “103.5 The Arrow” marches from second to first where it succeeds Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day.” On top the past five ratings periods, KSFI (8.9 – 8.1, -.8, 6+) segues to the runner-up slot. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Its format challenger, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” has its third decrease in succession for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Netting a +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” surrenders a -1.1 to 6.2 (6+) but continues in third-place. On the heels of dropping two-tenths (6.2 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by another six-tenths to 5.4 (flat at #4, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #15, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is up or flat the fourth straight time for an overall increase of eight-tenths (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (2.4, February, March, and April) since February 2017’s 2.8. Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches a 1.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) and continues at #23.

In addition to being +1.6 in four straight bumps (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR progresses from seventh to fifth.

Las Vegas Music Formats – Within 2.1 – 2.7 territory (6+) in each of the last five ratings periods (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS erupts with a +1.0 to 3.4 (6+). Moreover, “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” cracks the top ten (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.0. Breaking a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 3.7 – 2.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 with an increase of eight-tenths to 4.5 (its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 4.8), Entercom-owned CHR KLUC “98.5 Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” jumps from tenth to seventh. Rebounding from its March loss of nine-tenths with an April increase of two-tenths (8.3 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” is on top for the third month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history; it hadn’t been at #1 since August 2018. The station it succeeded – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” – is -7.3 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5, 6+) and drops from second to third. Prior to being #1 from September 2018 through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE was a combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). The three latest shifts for Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” are -.5 (February); +.5 (March); and -.9 in April (4.5, fourth to fifth, 6+). In eight straight up or flat survey periods prior to February, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance since October 2016 (5.9). Having logged five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” is now a combined -1.2 in March/April (3.9 – 3.4 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths in April as well is Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio,” which has lost nine-tenths in three straight declines (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.3 (January – February – March, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5” sputters by one-half share in April to 1.8 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” loses one full-share in March/April 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), slipping from eighth to tenth. Its internet stream surrenders one-half share (.8 – .3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22). The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is between a 3.1 – 3.9 (6+): 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9, #12 to #11). A combined +1.0 in January/February (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.5) and market rank (#15).

Doubling February’s 6+- stat (4. – 5. – .8, 6+), sports talk sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” cracks the top twenty (#22 to #20), while Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” gains one-tenth to .3 (#23 to #22, 6+).

Not only does Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE have its consecutive string of positive moves that yielded a collective +1.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) end at three, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Orlando Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” are +1.2 (February); -.6 (March); and +.9 in April (4.2 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 5.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Power” was off eight-tenths “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to March’s +.2 (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” proceeds from seventh to fifth, reaching the six-share level for the first time since June 2018’s 6.0. In a game of musical chairs involving iHeartMedia cluster-mates, Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” advances from second to first, while CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (8.4, -.6, 6+) drops from first to second. This is an exact flip-flop from what happened this time last month. The decrease of six-tenths by WXXL pulls the plug on four improvements in a row that resulted in a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+). A combined -1.0 in March/April (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5, 6+), “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017’s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. As a result of four straight setbacks, co-owned WJRR “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” has lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” picks up one-tenth to 5.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight decreases accounting for an overall -8.5 (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). “Magic” was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). By dropping three-tenths to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” snaps at three its consecutive string of increases that generated a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – The January 2019 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW is a stable 9.9 – 9.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 (6+), as the Reds’ flagship – which had a one-month (January) stay at #1 – remains in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” gains one-tenth in back-to-sweeps (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). For the ninth time in a row, Radio One’s WDBZ “The Buzz – Your Talk Station” is unlisted. It registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20.

Returning to the iHeartMedia cluster, sports talk WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from March in 6+-share (.9) and market rank (#18), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is off two-tenths (.6 – .4, #21, 6+).

After being an overall +1.1 via three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU surrenders six-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and falls out of the top ten (#9 to #13).

Cincinnati Music Formats – The four latest shifts for Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); and now +.6 in April (6.2 – 6.8, steady in fourth-place, 6+). Registering an April gain of six-tenths as well and finishing one-tenth behind “Warm” is its classic rock cluster-mate WOFX “92.5 The Fox” (5.1 – 5.7, sixth to fifth, 6+). There’s more great news in that Cumulus Media cluster as classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is +3.2 in four successive upticks (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3, 6+) and is #1 for the third sweep in succession. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR cratered by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” (#13 to #11) scores an overall seven-tenths in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+). Since the first of the year, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” (flat at #3), has been +1.0 (January); -.7 (February);  -.8 (March) and -.6 in April (7.9 – 7.3, 6+). Hot AC sibling WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” has lost nine-tenths as a result of three drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). While it remains in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” is without an increase for the fourth consecutive ratings period and has forfeited nine-tenths in that stretch (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming March’s -.6 into an April +.9 (4.9 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” advances from eighth to seventh; the Indians flagship logged a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). After a lengthy absence, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” resurfaces in print with a .5 (#18, 6+).

Off by -1.2 in February and then up four-tenths in March, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+) but is anchored in tenth-place.

After posting a 3.2 (6+) in January, February, and March, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN picks up two-tenths to 3.4 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is one-half share behind WKRK.

Cleveland Music Formats – In four consecutive upticks, iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, fifth to third, 6+), virtually offsetting its cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive losses (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); and is now +.6 (again) in April (7.0 – 7.6, 6+). This (7.6) is its highest 6+-share since August 2018’s 8.6. Over that exact timeframe, the five most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and now -1.0 in April (10.8 – 9.8, 6+). Despite returning that full-share March increase, “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the fifth straight ratings period. Co-owned mainstream CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits eight-tenths (3.9 – 3.1, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14. A March increase of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WQAL halted three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+); however, in April, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” relinquishes seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+). “Q-104” is tied (at #12) with Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” (3.2), which was unlisted in January, February, and March, after recording a 5.4 (seventh, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January/February +2.2 (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” has lost a combined eight-tenths in March/April (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM  “Talk 980,” which dropped two-tenths in March, improves by three-tenths (2.0 to 2.3, 6+) yet backslides from #19 to #20. Having more than doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (.6 – .7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” drops one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and repeats at #21.

Off six-tenths in February, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” rallies with a combined March/April +1.7 (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+). The flagship of the Royals not only catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10), it bypasses Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is -1.9 via three straight negative or flat trends (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+); WHB notched a +1.3 in January.

Without a loss the fourth month in a row (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR has gained a collective nine-tenths, erasing its “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths.

Kansas City Music Formats – Precisely doubling (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three positive spikes in a row (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” elevates from #19 to a three-way tie at #15 with its strongest showing (3.0) since January 2018’s 3.5. Another part of that three-way logjam at #15 is Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative,” which is a cumulative +1.2 in four successive upticks (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.0, #18 to #15, 6+). The last time “X-105.1” reached the three-share threshold (6+) was September 2016 (3.1). A combined +1.0 in March/April (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 – New Hit Country” jumps from fourth to sixth with its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well). Over and above being +2.5 via three consecutive bumps (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to April’s modest increase of two-tenths, the Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet has been +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and +1.1 (March). February’s 6.9 is its highest 6+share since July 2018’s 7.1. A combined -2.8 in February/March (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), cluster-mate KCFX bounces back with an increase of four-tenths to 7.7 (unchanged at #2, 6+). January’s 10.1 is the strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3 for “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which gave way to KCMO-FM after spending ten consecutive sweeps at the top spot. Four November 2018 through February 2019 spikes by Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” netted a +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+). “Hot 103” surrenders 60% (-.9) of that increase in March/April (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but carries on in third-place. A collective -1.6 via four successive setbacks (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+) by Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” (#15 to #18) directly follows five consecutive positive or flat moves that resulted in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Eroding two full-shares as a result of three dips in succession (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610,” which was +1.3 in January (5.7 – 7.0, 6+), continues in fifth-place.

Unlisted in January, February, and March, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” returns with a 4.7 (sixth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship posted a 5.3 (seventh, 6+).

Tied with WBNS-FM at #6 is Ohio State University news/talk WOSU, whose January 2019 through April 2019 topline is 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 (6+).

Columbus Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 17th sweep in a row, iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.8 – 13.0, 6+) has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January increase of eight-tenths pulled the plug on six straight declines that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and +1.2 (April). Notwithstanding that CHR sibling WNCI is a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” actually climbs from fourth to third. On the other hand, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.6) its 6+ AQH share as a result of six consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) yet “Classical 101” backslides from #16 to #17. Without a loss the fifth report in a row for a net increase of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” inches up from #12 to #11. Up two-tenths in February/March (7.8 – 7.8 – 8.0), adult contemporary cluster-mate WSNY “Sunny 95” sputters by -1.0 to 7.0 (third to fourth, 6+). While it continues in the runner-up clot, co-owned WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” falters by three-tenths to 8.4 (6+), thus curtailing three straight increases that resulted in a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). Having more than tripled (+1.3) its 6+-figure in nine straight positive or flat sweeps (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” has that streak broken by dropping one-tenth to 1.7 (#14 to #15, 6+).

Thursday, May 16, 2019

| May 16, 2019

2019 RTDNA Newsroom Survey Shows More Radio News Being Produced, More Staff Added. The 2019 RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University Newsroom Survey – conducted annually for the past 25 years by Emeritus Distinguished Professor Bob Papper – indicates that “more radio and TV stations are producing more news, hiring more staff, investing in investigative and community-service reporting and adapting to changing technology.”  The news for commercial news/talk radio stations isn’t necessarily good since it appears greater participation in the survey by public radio newsrooms and major market newsrooms has beefed up those numbers.  Papper says, “The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey shows the typical (median) radio news operation had a full-time news staff of one – the same as it’s been since I started doing these surveys 25 years ago.  All told, 80.8% of all multi-station local groups operate with a centralized newsroom.  That’s down 3 points from last year’s 84.1%.  The biggest differences in radio news staffing are between commercial and non-commercial stations. Along with a news director, the average commercial radio station has half a reporter (0.5) while the average non-commercial station has almost 2 (1.9). On the other side, the average commercial station has about a third of a person (0.3) in sports, and the average non- commercial station has zero. Usually, we go from year to year in radio news staffing with little to no change. Not this year. The median – or typical – number of radio news people at a station remained at 1.  That’s the same number it’s been for the quarter century that I’ve been doing this survey. But the average number of radio news people (per station) in this year’s survey soared from 2 to 3.1.  That’s a huge jump. And while we see that jump at its most pronounced at major market stations, every market category went up.”  Read more here

WMFS, Memphis to Launch ‘Giannotto & Jeffrey’ Afternoon Show. Sports talk WMFS-AM/FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN” is launching a new 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show featuring Mark Giannotto and Jeffrey Wright on Monday (5/20). Giannotto is a lead columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal who previously was a sports reporter for the Washington Post.  Wright serves as producer for the station’s 9:00 am to 11:00 am show hosted by Geoff Calkins and lead fill-in host.  The station says Connor Dunning will serve as the show’s executive producer. Dunning also is the social media/web/marketing lead for Entercom Memphis.

WSGW’s ‘Listen to the Mrs.’ Debuts in Podcast Form. The “Listen to the Mrs.” show has aired on WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan for the past 66 years, making it one of the longest-running talk shows in Michigan.  Now, the program that began as an “on-air, kitchen-to-kitchen network sharing recipes and homemaker tips over the phone” is morphing into a podcast.  Alpha Media announces the debut of the podcast version of “Listen to the Mrs.” with co-hosts Ann Williams (left) and Art Lewis (right).  Williams serves as the station’s news director and Lewis hosts the daily 9:00 am to 10:00 am program on the station.  Operations manager Dave Maurer says, “While we still like to hear from people raving about a great dish they had and sharing the recipe, the days of listeners calling to ask if we have a meatloaf recipe have given way to the Internet browser. Our new approach is sharing food trends, new cooking methods, and lifestyle information.”  WSGW has published 11 limited edition cookbooks over the past 30 years.  Only number 11 remains available.

KOZN, Omaha Hosts Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky. Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky (center) is pictured above with sports talk hosts Gary Sharp (left) and Damon Benning (right).  She appeared on the station’s morning show to promote the Olympic Swim Trials returning to Omaha.

TALKERS News Notes. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Bubba the Love Sponge is in danger of losing his Bubba Raceway Park property in Ocala, Florida that contains a racetrack, and his Bubba Radio Network studios.  The paper says he’s facing foreclosure on the property as Valley National Bank is suing him saying he owes more than $94,000 after defaulting on a line of credit…..The Weiss Agency – a talent agency representing award-winning local and nationally syndicated radio personalities and producers – is launching TWA Podcast Studio and its first program is, “Ghost Magnet with Bridget Marquardt.”  Celebrity paranormal investigator Bridget Marquardt is best known as a star of E! Networks’ “The Girls Next Door.”  In this podcast, she embarks “on an exploration of self-described ghost magnets and the spirits, poltergeists, and pookas they attract.”   This newly launched podcast division is headed by radio and publishing pro Joe Garner and will develop, produce, and distribute podcasts with the agency’s roster of talent as well as third party partnerships with outside talent and producers…..Westwood One News is presenting a Memorial Day Weekend program that takes listeners back to 1939, titled, “America on the Eve of War.”  The half-hour program is hosted by Westwood One News correspondent Barbara Kusak and explores the events leading up to the year Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France attacked Germany, and World War II was launched.  It’s available to affiliates for air Friday, May 21 through Monday, May 24…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio show hosted by Chris Hill adds Hutton Broadcasting’s KTRC, Santa Fe to its roster of affiliate stations…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio personality Clay Travis – host of “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” – at the Regions Tradition Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Hoover, Alabama last week.  From left to right are: Widespread Panic lead singer John Bell, Travis, professional golfer Steve Stricker, singer/American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart.

U.S.-China Trade War, Alabama Abortion Law, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Immigration Reform Plan, U.S.-Iran Tensions, and China’s Moon Exploration Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15). The trade war between the U.S. and China; the passage of a strict anti-abortion law in Alabama and the threat to Roe v Wade; New York Mayor Bill de Blasio enters the Democratic race for the nomination in 2020; President Trump announces his immigration reform plan; the military tensions between the U.S. and Iran; and China’s exploration of the dark side of the moon were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City air personality Cubby moves over from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WKTU to the company’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” to co-host the morning show with Christine Nagy.  He takes over for Bob Bronson, who left the station last Friday after 10 years hosting mornings.  Cubby’s move from WKTU means Carolina Bermudez will host the WKTU morning show solo until a new co-host is named.  WLTW PD and iHeartMedia AC brand manager Chris Conley says, “Cubby is one of New York’s most entertaining and highly respected on-air personalities, and we’re incredibly excited that he’ll be joining the ‘Lite FM’ family.”…..Country WQNU, Louisville “Q103.1” names Kristin Monica afternoon drive personality and assistant program director, taking over for Kevin “Gravy” Canup, who is now serving as SummitMedia’s Knoxville cluster operations manager. Monica was most recently with Cumulus Media’s country WFYR, Peoria…..Bustos Media Holdings acquires KRCW, Royal City, Washington from Farmworkers Educational Radio Network, Inc. for $200,000.  Bustos Media CEO Amador Bustos says, “The purchase of KRCW will give us our ninth FM station in Eastern Washington.  Starting today (5/15), KRCW will be operated under an LMA and become part of the popular “LA MAQUINA” radio network.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

April 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight improvements that yielded a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and its best 6+-stat (6.8) in the PPM-era, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL relinquishes 52% of that increase with a -1.3 to 5.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+). For the ninth sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted; it posted a .2 (6+) in August 2018.

Adding eight-tenths to the one-tenth it gained in March (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” jumps from a three-way tie at #13 into the top ten (#9). Steady at #23, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is up a combined three-tenths in March/April (.5 – .7 – .8, 6+).

In addition to being an overall -1.7 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP, which had sole possession of first place the past three sweeps, now shares the lead. January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Stuck on .4 (6+) in February and March, Entercom business news outlet WDCH adds one-tenth to .5 (6+) and stays at #25.

Albeit down two-tenths (8.9 – 8.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU moves from second-place to a first-place tie with WTOP. Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Steady in sixth-place, contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” is an overall +1.8 as a result of four upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+). The Atlantic Gateway Communications outlet erases its -1.4 through four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). A combined +.7 in March/April (2.7- 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications-owned WETA “Classical 90.9” advances from #16 to #13. Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 24 ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS gains two-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. The last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+) was May 2017 (2.9). While it remains in third-place for the fifth time in a row, its urban AC cluster-mate WMMJ “Majic” forfeits four-tenths to 7.8 (6+), thus curtailing six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Its format foe – Howard University’s WHUR – drops one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+) yet progresses from fifth to fourth. Its March loss of one-tenth pulled the plug on three successive upticks that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). Ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today,” which was a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+); sputtered by -6.1 (January); rebounded with a +.7 (February); regressed by -.6 (March); and now adds one-tenth in April (4.4 – 4.5, steady at #7).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO remains at #14, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is without a loss the fourth time in a row for an overall gain of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). Conversely, co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” is down or flat for the third straight time (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4, #27, 6+).

While it continues in third-place, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” is off one full-share via three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+). Recent fluctuations for the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (as well as the Bruins and Celtics) include +.4 (September 2018); +.9 (October); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); and now +.6 in April (3.2 – 3.8, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), although it is actually down six-tenths from a year ago (4.4, #9, April 2018, 6+).

A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is unchanged from March in 6+ share (5.0) and market rank (sixth).

Major shifts continue for Boston University news/talker WBUR, which was -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat August through “Holiday” 2018 ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+); +1.5 (January); and now -2.4 in three drops in a row (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.3, #8 to #11, 6+). WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH is off a combined seven-tenths in March/April (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.0, #18 to #19, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Anchored in seventh-place, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is an overall +1.3 in four straight upticks (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, “Country 102.5” applied the brakes to seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Format challenger – iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – is without a loss the fifth time in succession for a net gain of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, #20 to #16, 6+). An overall +2.2 through four consecutive up or flat trends (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” repeats at #1. In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot, while Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is in two-share range (2.2, -.2, #14 to #16, 6+) for the 18th time in a row. February’s 7.4 is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018, as well as January 2019 and February 2019. Gaining one-tenth (each) are Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WXLO “104.5 XLO” (#20 to #19), which reaches the market from Worcester. Up seven-tenths in four consecutive positive or flat trends (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), WXLO has its best 6+-stat since November 2014 (2.0, as well).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fourth consecutive sweep without a loss for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station,” which gains one-half share in that timeframe (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+).

Extending a positive streak as well is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which scores two-tenths in five straight positive or flat sweeps (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8, #27 to #25, 6+). Before picking up one-tenth in February, “The Ticket” was down or flat three successive reports for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+). Co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” returns the two-tenths it picked up in March (.5 – .7 – .5, #27 to #29, 6+). March’s +.2 ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase that led to a decrease of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Advancing from #20 to #19, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – In addition to bouncing back from a March forfeiture of one-tenth with an April increase of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” leaps into the top ten (#14 to #10). Prior to slipping to 2.9 (6+) in March, WFLC had been within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 15 survey periods. Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” – has a steady December 2018 through April 2019 topline of 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+) and slips from #17 to #18. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). The two rivals are separated by one full-share (6+) in April, compared to three-tenths in March. Notwithstanding a drop of one-tenth (7.4 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 for the fourth report in succession (which includes February’s three-way tie at #1). Its March increase of eight-tenths completely wiped away February’s decline of that magnitude (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Carrying on in third-place is Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM,” which has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 (6+). An overall +1.9 through three October 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 gains in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+), “Lite FM” notched its best 6+-stat (7.3 in “Holiday” 2018) since January 2018’s 7.4. Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Consequently, for the 12th straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). Off a combined eight-tenths in March/April (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” drops from seventh to ninth. As a result of four successive down or flat moves, co-owned WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” is -1.0 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that SBS cluster, Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” is off six-tenths in March/April (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). In the market’s urban contemporary contest, Cox Media Group’s WEDR “99 Jamz” has lost eight-tenths via three straight declines (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat” has a consistent January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and remains at #14.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Stabilizing from March’s -1.1 (5.9 – 4.8), KIRO-FM is unchanged in 6+-share (4.8) and market rank (fourth). The Bonneville news/talk outlet was a combined +1.0 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+). Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” has lost roughly 43% of its 6+-stat (-.9) in March/April (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #23, 6+), following a January/February increase of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). It is now tied with Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which falters four-tenths in March/April (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2, #24 to #23, 6+), after gaining seven-tenths in January/February (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+).

Tacking on a massive +1.4 to a March gain of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#17 to #6). In four consecutive November 2018 through February 2019 declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+), the Mariners’ flagship lost roughly 50% (-2.0) of its 6+ AQH share. Down one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” remains at #22.

In four straight reports without a loss, KOMO was up seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), but the Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news operation forfeits three-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and slides from #15 to #18.

On the heels of March’s -1.0 (8.0 – 7.0, 6+), KUOW craters by another -1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and segues to second after three months in a row at #1. The Northwest Public Radio news/talk outlet was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which nets +1.9 in five straight bumps (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), progressing from fourth to third. Immediately in advance of this streak, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Even though it has logged five successive up or flat sweeps for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s “New Country 98.9 The Bull” KNUC backslides from #12 to #13. The three most recent shifts for Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” are +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and now +.7 in April (2.4 – 3.1, #21 to #15, 6+). Its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+). Sandwiching a 2.5 (February and March) between a 3.0 in January and April (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” progresses from #20 to #17. Despite losing a collective four-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV moves from second to first. It is the first time at #1 for “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” since November 2018. An overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” relinquishes a -1.1 to 4.1 (#3 to a three-way tie at #8, 6+). As the result of six successive months (May 2018 through November 2018) without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), country KMPS-turned-AC KSWD was +1.7. Overtaking “The Sound” is adult contemporary rival, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KRWM “Warm 106.9,” which records a 4.8 for the third time in the last four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Entering the January sweep, “Warm” more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight improvements (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+); KRWM was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Faltering by six-tenths are Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” (4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” (2.7, 6+), which drifts from #12 to #19. Prior to April, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight bumps (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), while “Spirit” was up one-half share in February/March (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). In four straight sweeps without an increase, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ is a collective -2.0 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, flat at #15, 6+); moreover, “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.1) since May 2017’s 3.0.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 3.7 (6+) in January, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” notches a 3.5 for the third month in a row (#14 to #15, 6+).

Locked on 5.0 (6+) in February and March after January’s 5.2 (6+), Entercom sports talk/Tigers flagship WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” is up four-tenths to 5.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+).

Co-owned WWJ erodes by eight-tenths in back-to-back reports (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+) as “News Radio 950” shifts to the runner-up slot after a March-only stay in first-place. WWJ was a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+).

For the fourth time in succession, WUOM logs a fluctuation of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+); the Michigan Public Media news/talk facility returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). Wayne State University news/talk WDET is down one-tenth in consecutive reports and trades places with WUOM (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Down six-tenths in February, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” has gained nine-tenths in March/April (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+). This (2.4) is its highest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 2.5. Country rival, Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music,” surrenders half of March’s +.4 with an April loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). As was the case with “Nash FM,” WYCD regressed by six-tenths in February, as well. It’s been a seesaw experience lately for Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX. In March, “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” sputtered by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) to shift from first to second. Now in April, it loses another two-tenths (6.5 – 6.3, 6+) yet reclaims the top spot. The March/April decline of -1.5 follows back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s +.9 erased half of December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. As of March, “Detroit’s Classic Rock” has a direct competitor in the form of iHeartMedia’s WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels,” formerly alternative WDTW “Alt 106.7.” In its first monthly report, “Wheels” – resurrecting the WLLZ call letters used in the “Motor City” in the 1980s and 1990s – more than doubled (+1.9) the 6+-share on that frequency in February (1.5 – 3.4, 6+). “Wheels” now adds four-tenths to 3.8 (#15 to #14, 6+). A combined +.8 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falters by two-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Its CHR sibling, WDZH “Amp Radio,” transitioned to adult contemporary in early-November (2018), as “98.7 The Breeze.” With its new format, “The Breeze” is an overall +1.7 in six successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0, #12 to #11, 6+). The station it is chasing – iHeartMedia AC WNIC – has eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) over the past four sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+) yet inches up from third to a second-place tie. Its 17.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is by far the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Via four straight increases, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+); “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM follows with a March/April gain of eight-tenths (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) and stays in eighth-place. Albeit flat at 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” nonetheless climbs from #18 to #17.

An increase of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is enough to push Bonneville sports talk/Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” into the top twenty (#22 to #20). In a noteworthy Spanish sports talk development, Univision Radio’s KHOV “Univisión Deportes Radio” gains one-half share (.1 – .6, #32, 6+).

While off one-tenth in back-to-back-reports (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ carries on at #12; KJZZ was a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – After trending 6.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 (January – February – March, 6+) for a net loss of -1.2, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” erases that deficit completely with an April +1.2 to 6.5 (6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. It trails iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” by one-tenth. The four latest shifts by “The Mountain,” which is #1 for the third month in a row, are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); and +.7 in April (5.9 – 6.6, 6+). An overall -9.7 through just three drops in succession (15.0 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ pulls the plug by gaining two-tenths to 5.5, but backslides from second to third. January’s -8.0 halted four positive increases in a row that netted +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” dials up +.6 to 4.0, its best 6+-showing since September 2018 (4.0, as well) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Entering the March sweep, iHeartMedia’s KNIX improved by one-half share via five consecutive survey periods without a loss (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). In March/April, however, “102.5 Today’s Best Country” has now lost eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KAIZ “Air 1 – Worship Now” debuts with a .5 (#34, 6+). Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 La Campesina” loses all but one-tenth of that increase (2.9, -.8, #11 to #15, 6+). Sputtering by seven-tenths are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3” (2.0, #17 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia regional Mexican KOY “El Patron” (#27 to #31, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Amor 106.3” more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.7, 6+), while “El Patronexactly doubled (+.7) its 6+-figure (.7 – 1.4) in March and more than quadrupled its (6+) January showing. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 3.3 (6+) knock Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” out of the top ten (#10 to #13), it suspends three sweeps without a loss that accounted for a gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its March decrease of seven-tenths into an increase more than twice that magnitude (3.3 – 4.8, +1.5, 6+), Entercom-owned Twins flagship WCCO returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). By gaining eight-tenths in January/February, “News Radio 830” ended six straight down or flat moves accounting for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Although off one-half share in March/April (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), after being +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” remains at #13. In three straight down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6, unchanged at #16, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” has lost seven-tenths.

Immediately after gaining four-tenths, which halted four declines in succession resulting in a -2.3 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+), KTLK cluster-mate KFXN erodes by nine-tenths (4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Prior to November, “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” logged four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Posting its fourth report in a row without a loss for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” carries on at #24.

Continuing its down/up sequence that began in December 2018 (4.2 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips from ninth to tenth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Tacking on an impressive +1.1 to March’s +.1 (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KQRS leaps from fifth to second. “Minnesota’s Classic Rock,” which had been within five-share range (6+) in each of the last 13 sweeps, has its best 6+-stat (6.7) since December 2016’s 6.9. A collective +1.9 via three straight bumps (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 6.5, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM advances from fifth to third. “Twin Cities Christian Radio – Always Uplifting” reaches the six-share threshold (6.5, 6+) for the first time since January 2016’s 6.4. The Twin Cities’ (6+) hot AC share escalated by +3.1 (January); deflated by -1.3 (February); improved by +.8 (March); and is +1.0 in April. That latter increase is equally divided between Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” (7.0 – 7.5, repeating at #1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 4.7, #11 to #9, 6+). “KS-95” was +1.9 in January; regressed by -.8 in February; and was +.6 in March. Meanwhile, after plummeting nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well), “Cities 97.1” was +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); and +.2 in March (4.0 – 4.2, level at #11, 6+). With a February gain of seven-tenths, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KDWB progressed from third to first. In March, “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” repeated February’s 7.0, its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 7.2, and shared the top spot with KSTP-FM. An April decline of six-tenths to 6.4 (6+), however, sends KDWB from a first-place tie to fourth. Co-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” has lost roughly 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+). An overall +1.2 in four successive improvements (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “Go Radio – Modern Minnesota Music” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths (2.9, #14 to a three-way tie at #13, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” eliminates February’s loss of four-tenths. January’s one-half share increase curtailed three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective forfeiture of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). An overall +.9 as a result of four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 – Talk & Breaking News” progresses from #19 to #18. After picking up one-tenth in March to halt five consecutive San Diego losses that eventuated in a collective -.6 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” regresses by two-tenths to 1.0 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Entercom-owned KWFN “97.3 The Fan” nearly doubles March’s .9 (1.7, +.8, 6+) as the flagship of the Padres  advances from #23 to #21. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” does double February’s 6+-stat (.4 – .5 – .8  #27 to #25, 6+). Even though Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM was +.7 through four consecutive up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, #21, 6+) with 1.6 its best 6+-performance since February 2018 (1.6, as well), “The Mighty 1090” has gone silent.

Three straight gains by San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet KPBS resulted in a +2.6 (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), but it craters by -1.7, the largest (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 decrease of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve reviewed so far, to 6.0 (6+). Even so, KPBS is on top for the fourth month in a row.

San Diego Music Formats – Adding nine-tenths to March’s +.3 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” jumps from fifth to second with its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.9, as well). As a result of four straight setbacks (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS was a cumulative -2.3, but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounds with a combined March/April +1.2 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5, seventh to fourth, 6+). By adding an April increase of six-tenths to a one-tenth gain in March (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Local Media San Diego-programmed alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” advances from #20 to #17. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” (fourth to seventh) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.8 – 2.0, #15 to #20). An overall +2.2 through three consecutive improvements (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+), KGB is -1.4 in March/April (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). In February, “San Diego’s Classic Rock” reached the five-share level (5.9, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 5.1. A March uptick of eight-tenths by “Amor 102.9” stymied three down or flat moves in a row that accounted for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+). Following three bumps in a row for a net increase of one-half share (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” surrenders the entire spike (2.7, -.5, 6+) and falls from #12 to #16. In three consecutive improvements, Local Media San Diego-programmed urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM was a collective +1.3 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), but “Magic 92.5, The Beat of San Diego” surrenders four-tenths to 5.5 (second to fourth, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a downturn of nine-tenths to 3.6, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has its successive string of increases which netted a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) halted at three and drifts from the top ten (#7 to #13, 6+).

Frozen on 2.9 (6+) in January and February, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” added two-tenths in March, but regresses by six-tenths in April (3.1 – 2.5, #15 to #17, 6+). A January gain of three-tenths interrupted three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+).

Down by a combined six-tenths in February/March (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” answers with an April spike of nine-tenths to 2.6 (6+) as the Rays’ key station jumps from #19 to #16.

The “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is: 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 (#18 – #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – A mini-slide by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE that resulted in a one-half share loss (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) concludes as “The Joy FM” notches a +1.0 to 4.9 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#11 to #6). Anchored at #8, iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” is without a loss the sixth successive sweep for a +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). In three-share range (6+) in each of the last 16 reports, Cox Media Group CHR WPOI breaks out a +.7 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+), as “Hot 101.5 – Tampa Bay’s New Hit Music” reaches the four-share level for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.0. It overtakes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” which is trending 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 (February – March – April, #9 to #11, 6+). The consecutive string at #1 for Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV hits 81, but “Lite Favorites” is a cumulative -4.7 in four straight setbacks (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). This (9.0) is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018’s 8.9 and ends its streak of reaching double-digits (6+) at five. Its January decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. On the heels of March’s mammoth +2.1, co-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” relinquishes roughly 43% of that gain (7.5 – 6.6, -.9, 6+) but repeats in the runner-up slot. In five successive sweeps without an increase prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in August 2018 (7.1).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting January’s 4.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was frozen on 4.7 (6+) in February and March. The flagship of the Colorado Rockies notches a half-share increase in April to 5.2 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has a “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 (#25 to #24, 6+).

While flat at #17, Bonneville-owned KKFN is a collective -1.5 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.2 December/“Holiday” 2018; +.9 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” doubles February’s 6+ stat (.3 – .4 – .6, 6+) and continues at #27.

Not only does Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR erase 45% of March’s -2.0 with a +.9 to 6.5 (6+), it reclaims the top spot. KCFR was a combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+) and was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Surrendering the three-tenths it picked up in March (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC falls from #19 to #21.

Denver Music Formats – Good news continues for Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS, which is a collective +1.7 in four straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+). Moreover, “KS-107.5” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Improving by one-half share (each) are hot AC sibling KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.5, #11 to #10, 6+) and classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+). KALC gained seven-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.7, 6+), curtailing three straight downturns that were responsible for a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), but was down seven-tenths in March (4.7 – 4.0, 6+). Repeating in the runner-up position, Bonneville’s country KYGO is +1.4 via four straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). Leaping from fifth to third, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” nets +1.4 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL are +1.2 (January); -.6 (February); +1.2 (March); and -.9 in April (6.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” concludes its March-only stay at #1 and segues to #3. On the heels of March’s increase of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” plummets by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), fading from the top ten (#4 to #12). An overall +7.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+), KOSI was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+), but was a combined -8.2 in January/February (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Owing to three successive setbacks, Entravision’s KJMN “La Suavecita 92.7” is an overall -1.2 (4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), slipping from #11 to #13.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains at #11, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” is down or flat the third time in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). This is the third time in the last four survey periods that Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” logs a 2.7 (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7, #13 to #12, 6+). Having doubled (+.3) its 6+ Baltimore stat in four straight up or flat sweeps (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL is off one-tenth to .5 (#26 to #28, 6+).

Following three slips in a row that resulted in a -1.0 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” slices the deficit in half with a half-share gain to 4.4 (tenth to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned business news WDCH answers March’s loss of four-tenths with an April uptick of seven-tenths (.9 – 1.6, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #16).

Off by one-half share in back-to-back reports (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” slips from #12 to #13; WYPR was a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+). American University-owned news/talk WAMU, which gained one-tenth in March, drops three-tenths (1.5 – 1.2, #17 to #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In addition to being a robust +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” is #1 for the third straight time and reaches the nine-share level (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 9.2. Its January +1.0 applied the brakes to three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Up one-half share in March, Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 surrenders nearly twice that magnitude (1.9 – 1.0, -.9, #16 to #20, 6+). After posting a 15.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, adult contemporary sibling WLIF-FM is trending 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, WWMX “Mix 106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix,” which had been without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), falters by four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but continues in sixth-place. Following three positive spikes in a row for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” drops two-tenths to 2.0 (#14 to #15, 6+). For the eighth sweep in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted so far making a (6+) March 2019 to April 2019 increase of at least two full-shares is Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (5.1 – 7.3, +2.2, 6+). Moreover, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship makes one of the most significant leaps within the top ten by vaulting from seventh to a first-place tie. The last time KMOX occupied the top spot was October 2018 (8.4, 6+). A combined +.8 in January/February (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is now off four-tenths in March/April (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #18, 6+).

After back-to-backs losses of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” picks up one-tenth to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+).

Having posted a February gain of four-tenths, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU is now -1.3 in March/April (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia’s KSD are +.5 (4.0 – 4.5, 6+, February); -.5 (4.5 – 4.0, 6+, March); and now +.9 in April (4.0 – 4.9, 6+), as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). In late-2018, KSD was -.8 (August); +.5 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and -.6 in “Holiday” 2018. Its format rival – Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” – was up seven-tenths in March, but sputters by three-tenths in April (6.1 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. In February, WIL was down six-tenths to 5.4, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well). A genuine model of consistency, urban AC cluster-mate KATZ-FM has recorded a 6+-share between 2.1 – 2.5 in each of the last 16 sweeps. In April, however, “100.3 The Beat” erupts with a one-half share gain to 2.7 (6+) and continues at #17. Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” was tied for February’s top spot with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU and then took sole possession of first-place in March. Now in April, KSHE again has to share the lead – this time with Entercom news/talk KMOX (see above). The six most recent shifts for KSHE are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); and -1.6 in April (8.9 – 7.3, 6+); 8.9 is its highest 6+-share since November 2016 (8.6). Aforementioned KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was +1.6 in January but has since floundered by -1.7 in three dips in succession (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+).

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

| May 1, 2019

iHeartMedia Announces Completion of Restructuring. Almost 14 months after entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, iHeartMedia announces it has “successfully completed its restructuring process.  As a result of the comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia’s debt has been significantly reduced – from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.”  With the balance sheet reorganization comes the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings into two independent, publicly traded companies.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that iHeartMedia now has a capital structure that matches our exciting operating business.  The focused dedication of our employees and the unwavering support of our new owners and advertising partners enabled iHeartMedia to seamlessly complete the restructuring process and reach this final milestone.  iHeartMedia enters this next phase of growth as a multi-platform audio company with a vastly improved financial profile. We are well-positioned to continue to innovate and offer cutting-edge technologies, products, and services to our audiences and advertisers.”  Pittman continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new iHeartMedia, Inc.  Rich Bressler continues to serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.  A new board of directors has been appointed, including Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and the following members: Jay Rasulo, Gary Barber, Brad Gerstner, Sean Mahoney, and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.

David Field on Spoken-Word Radio and Sports Gambling.  During the first quarter earnings call with analysts yesterday (4/30), Entercom president and CEO David Field talked about the value of his spoken-word formatted radio stations, saying the group – all-news, news/talk, and sports talk – account for “roughly about 40% of our revenue mix across our stations.”  The company operates 235 stations and, by TALKERS‘ count, approximately 30% of its stations are spoken-word.  Separately and responding to a question about the gambling category and the trend towards legal sports gambling across the country, Field expressed hopes for the future of the sports gambling advertising category, saying the company’s large group of sports talk stations should be able to capitalize on that.  He stated, “We have seen estimates that the sports gambling advertising market could be in the neighborhood of $2 billion.  If you think about radio getting a chunk of that, a reasonable chunk of it and Entercom’s prowess in the sports market, we think this could become a $1 million or $2 million category for Entercom over time.  That is certainly a reasonable aspirational goal.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Subscribers can see the rest of the transcript here.

‘The O’Reilly Update’ Show Launches. This is the week “The O’Reilly Update” – the new, 15-minute daily radio program featuring Bill O’Reilly – debuts on more than 100 stations.  Key Networks is syndicating the program and reports that inaugural affiliates include: WBAL, Baltimore; WDTK, Detroit; WHK, Cleveland; KUFO, Portland; and KTSA, San Antonio.  Key Networks says the program is airing in four of the top 10 DMAs, nine of the top 20 DMAs and 18 of the top 50 DMAs.  It is also being rolled out on 21 non-news/talk stations, including on country and classic hits outlets.  The show – with all network spots included within the show and two minutes of local avails – is delivered daily at 11:30 am ET.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian says, “Bill O’Reilly has a track record of insightful and unfiltered commentary on vital topics and issues.  His familiar voice and dynamic point of view augments our lineup of outspoken hosts and commentators.”  Alpha Media news/talk/sports content director Bruce Collins says, “Bill is a true natural storyteller.  I’m extremely excited to have him on-air in Portland on ‘Freedom 970.’” Meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Storywhere he will be delivering a special keynote address.  The convention is rapidly nearing a sellout.  For registration information, please click here.

 

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Overcoming the Public’s Distrust of the Media Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.   The highly polarized nature of today’s political climate has created a widespread public distrust of the media in general.  Dealing with this complex issue has become one of the fundamental challenges facing news/talk hosts of all political stripes.  It also creates new opportunities.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring a panel discussion addressing this concern and all matters of credibility titled “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show;” Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, “The Rick Ungar Program”/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com.  Don’t miss this session!  The discussion will be moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Midwest Closes on Alpha Media Acquisitions. The $21.6 million deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications that gives Midwest six Peoria market radio stations closes.  The station group includes news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY and five music-formatted signals.  The Duke Wright-led Midwest Communications owns 75 other radio stations in states including: Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  This is its first Illinois acquisition.  At the time the sale was announced, Wright stated, “The first time my wife and I visited Peoria was to visit son Michael enrolled at Bradley University.  We were most impressed with the city and its radio stations.  My thought was that here was a market that would probably nicely fit into the Midwest Communications radio group.”  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Indiana’s Legendary WHBU-AM Relaunches as Talk-Music Hybrid.  The Anderson, Indiana-licensed station is owned by Woof Boom Radio and the company is re-launching the “oldest commercial station” in the state to more intensely serve the Muncie-Marion market.  The station will feature talk shows to focus on Anderson and Madison counties plus classic hits from the 60s and 70s.  New morning host (and Hoosier native) Mitch Henck handles the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show.  He says, “I am really excited to help launch a new morning news/talk show on WHBU. We really put Anderson and Madison county first. We want to capture stories about the special people who live here as they pursue their hopes and dreams every day.”

Dan Mason Named Chairman of VSiN.  Longtime radio executive Dan Mason is named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) the media network dedicated to sports betting information.  In this role, Mason will “work closely with VSiN’s management team to capitalize on the emerging growth and partnership opportunities in the sports betting and media space.”  VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “There are few media executives with both the experience and reputation that Dan brings to the table.  He’s already brought invaluable guidance to our team as a senior adviser and investor, and we look forward to having even greater access to his unmatched depth of knowledge and relationships in this industry.  We’re thrilled to work even more closely with this consummate leader and better leverage his C-level expertise to build on and accelerate the recent growth we are experiencing at VSiN.”  Mason adds, “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here. Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings.  We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels, including terrestrial radio where sports have thrived for decades.”

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters is announcing it is accepting nominations for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards through May 31.  The NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Finalists will be announced in July and winners will be honored at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show in Dallas on September 26.  Stations and on-air personalities may nominate themselves in the categories of “Station of the Year by Market Size,” “Station of the Year by Format,” “Personality of the Year by Market Size,” “Legendary Station,” and “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” which has been renamed from “Noncommercial Station of the Year.”  Nominations will also be accepted for new awards categories of “Legendary Manager of the Year” and “Best Radio Station Podcast.”  Syndicators and affiliates may also submit nominations for the category of “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.”  Nominations must be submitted online here…..Radio America‘s nationally syndicated  “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch announces new affiliate stations WJJF-FM, Nassau (Long Island); WSIC-AM/FM Charlotte; WFTW-AM Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and KPNW-AM/FM Eugene, Oregon all add the program to their daily lineups…..Bustos Media’s news/talk KVOI, Tucson announces that two of its programs – “Eye on the Ball” with Steve Rivera and “Around the Table” with Dawn and Jennifer English – are swapping dayparts.  Rivera moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the English’s move to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, the station adds the independently syndicated Dave Ramsey show to the program schedule, airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..This month is being declared the Second Annual Maryland Podcast Month.  Brian Griffiths founded Maryland Podcast Month last May in order to “bring together podcasts of all stripes and cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.”  It’s non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced content, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows.  Being featured in Maryland Podcast Month are a couple of shows from WBAL, Baltimore personalities…..Team Broadcasting‘s sports talk KQTM, Albuquerque “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” is partnering with local soccer club New Mexico United to bring 15 of the team’s matches to the station’s airwaves.  New Mexico United is in its inaugural season in the USL Championship, a professional soccer league that has a partnership with Major League Soccer…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” recently hosted The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy in professional sports, on the “Felger & Massarotti” show.  Pictured below in the “Sports Hub” studio in Boston are (From l-r): host Mike Felger985thesportshub.com hockey writer Ty Anderson, WBZ-FM personality Big Jim Murray, and host Tony Massarotti.

Mueller Report Release/Barr Testimony Request, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Tax Returns/Business Earnings Issues, Venezuela Unrest, Deadly UNCC Shooting, Southern Border Crisis, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). The release of the Mueller report, Robert Mueller’s disagreement with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report and Barr’s requested testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; the Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the request by New York State for Trump’s tax returns and the investigation into Trump business deals with foreign governments; the political unrest in Venezuela; the shooting at University of North Carolina Charlotte that took the lives of two and injured others; the migrant influx status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, midday personality and music director Tom Peake is leaving his on-air role with Entercom’s classic hits KOOL-FM.  He’ll continue to serve as music director.  Peake tells the Arizona Republic that it was not his idea to give up his air shift, but he understands the reasons and has no ill feelings.  Peake started at the station as a part-time jock in 1979.  He became the full-time evening personality in 1981…..Beasley Media Group’s hot AC WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware “The New Mix 99.5” names John Baublis, a.k.a.Johnny B, program director.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Johnny’s a programming veteran with years of proven success and past experience in the Wilmington market.  Plus, he shares our values of great local radio with an emphasis on serving the community.  We’re proud to have someone like Johnny on our team at JBR.”…..Two programming announcements from Midwest Communications.  First, Ryan Fantozzi is named brand manager for rock WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin “Rock 94.7,” effective May 13.  Fantozzi comes to Midwest from NRG Media where he was PD at rock WBWB, Bloomington, Illinois.  Fantozzi replaces Terry Stevens, who is promoted to operations manager for the company’s Lansing, Michigan cluster.  Stevens will oversee the operations of rock WJXQ, CHR WLMI, country WWDK and adult hits WQTX.

Friday, April 19, 2019

| April 19, 2019

Talkin’ Trump with Chris Christie at the WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above at last night’s “1210 WPHT Speaker Series” sold-out, live event are WPHT afternoon personality Rich Zeoli (right) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left) at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, New Jersey.  WPHT program director Jared Hart says the event couldn’t have been timed better with the release of the Mueller Report and the latest from the White House.   He adds the 500 attendees were “relentlessly entertained by Christie’s wit and honesty.”

Broncos Great Tom Nalen Named PM Drive Co-Host at KKFN, Denver. After the February departure of longtime afternoon drive personality Alfred “Big Al” Williams – who’s headed to iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA after his non-compete expires – Bonneville finds the new on-air partner for Darren “DMac” McKee (left) on “The Drive” on KKFN “104.3 The Fan.”  Denver Broncos great Tom Nalen (right) joins the program starting Monday (4/22).  McKee says, “I’m still pinching myself.  I cannot believe Tom Nalen is my new radio partner.  Our friendship goes back to his days playing for the Broncos and continued after he retired.  I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited or happy professionally following this move.  To host ‘The Drive’ every day with Tom Nalen is an absolute dream come true.”  Nalen has done radio in the market co-hosting programs with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and Front Range Sports Network. Station program director Raj Sharan says, “While Tommy’s football credentials are unquestionable, it’s his personality that made him the perfect fit as our new co-host of ‘The Drive.’  His sense of humor mixed with blunt honesty and a heart of gold add up to one of the most loveable figures in Denver sports history.  During our audition process, his chemistry with DMac was instant and undeniable, as was the overwhelming feedback we received from our listeners.  It was clear and obvious that Tommy was the people’s choice and I’m thrilled all of Broncos Country will enjoy his insight and charm every weekday on their drive home.”

Alpha Media Portland Names Sara Perrin Marketing Director. Marketing pro Sara Perrin is named the new marketing director for Alpha Media’s Portland station group that includes: news/talk KXL, talk KUFO, CHR KBFF, country KUPL, triple A KINK, sports talk KXTG-AM, and hip hop KWEE.  In this position, Perrin will “support efforts created and facilitated by different department and profit centers, including the Bloodworks Live Studio, creative services, and promotions departments.  She will work closely with all departments to design and develop marketing strategies… and be responsible for coordinating and executing all these strategies on-air, online, and on-site.”  Alpha Media Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker comments, “Sara is a dynamic leader with 25 years of experience creating ingenious strategies, effective solutions, and unforgettable tactics to attract, activate, and retain target audiences.  Her vast experience working with the biggest brands in Portland, along with her innovative, imaginative, and resourceful problem-solving abilities make her uniquely qualified for this position.  We are thrilled to have Sara join the Alpha team.”

Westwood One News Wins National Headliner Award. The news organization was honored with first place honors for its reporting and coverage of the Parkland school shooting in Florida last year in the “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” category.  The National Headliner Award judges stated Westwood One News’ reporting was “precise and eloquent coverage of the Parkland shooting.  Radio at its best: the sound and the actualities tell the story; clear and compelling writing.”  Westwood One News also won third place in the category for its coverage of Hurricane Michael. The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City to recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry.

Radio News Pro Steve Swenson Joins Nashville Public Radio.  Radio executive Steve Swenson is named the president and chief executive officer for Nashville Public Radio, effective April 29.  Swenson served with CBS RADIO for years as vice president and general manager for New York all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  He was most recently SVP and market manager for CBS’ Washington, DC stations prior to the radio division’s sale to Entercom.  Before joining CBS RADIO, he served as general manager for all-news WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Nashville Public Radio board chairman Bill Carpenter says, “We are delighted to have attracted Steve Swenson to Nashville Public Radio during this period of accomplishment and opportunity for our stations WPLN and ‘91Classical.’  Steve is well-recognized for bringing engaging content rooted in community partnership to grow the markets he has served.  Nashville Public Radio’s award-winning team is known for their ingenuity in providing in-depth reporting and programming that engages our long-standing and new listeners.  We believe that Steve’s proven abilities will be a terrific complement to our station and our broader community as we continue to expand our offerings throughout Middle Tennessee.”

St. Louis Radio Host Don Marsh Says ‘No Thanks’ to Lifetime Achievement Award. Regular TALKERS readers remember the story about St. Louis public radio host Don Marsh we published a few weeks ago.  Marsh resigned from his job at St. Louis Public Radio’s KWMU-FM after being called out by management for telling his guest (iconic St. Louis TV newswoman Karen Floss) that she “looked great.”  Floss did not complain, in fact, she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people of her age often greet each other with such a compliment.  The complaint to station management was made by the show’s producer.  After being told by his boss that his greeting bordered on being inappropriate, Marsh quit the station.  Fast-forward to today, Marsh was scheduled to receive the 2019 Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Louis Public Radio on May 2, however, he tells the Post-Dispatch he won’t be there and accepting the award now would be “inappropriate.”  KWMU tells the paper that as a result, no one will receive the award this year.

Release of Mueller Report Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 15-19.  The public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the migrant crisis at the Southern border and the related political maneuvers.  Coming in at #3 was the politics and the people surrounding the 2020 presidential election, followed by the Notre Dame Cathedral fire at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Joe Madison Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the top 10 ranking members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America, Joe Madison, who hosts mornings on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Urban View” channel, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Longtime friends and colleagues, the two seasoned broadcasters engage in a spirited conversation about Madison’s TV appearance this month on the season finale of the highly acclaimed PBS program, “Finding Your Roots.” The show delves into the biological ancestry of interesting and famous people.  The touching episode, which opens with audio, and later video, of Madison (also known as The Black Eagle) broadcasting from his SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC, follows the broadcaster as he discovers ancestral secrets with the help and support of his dear friend (and host of the show), Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   Some of the surprises revealed include identifying his biological father; his lineage’s shocking connection to the Tuskegee experiments; and his relation to the Confederacy – as he jokes he may “join the Sons of the Confederacy” because it would “shake things up.”  The episode will re-air throughout April on PBS.  Commenting on the podcast, Harrison says, “The first time I had the Black Eagle on this program was about four years ago and he supported my view then and now about the diversity of opinion, lifestyle and humanity that exists within the African American population of the United States.  But he also keenly understands those elements, characteristics, and common experiences that tie these 46 million-plus people into what we refer to as the African American community.   In my opinion, this is a man who has transcended the role of simply being a radio entertainer or personality and has become over the years a political, cultural, and inspirational leader.  A watchdog and defender of a people.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Bo Matthews can add rhythm format captain to his c.v. after Alpha Media promotes him.  Matthews serves as Ohio operations manager (Dayton and Canton/Akron markets). He continues to oversee his respective stations there but now is responsible for assisting in the growth of all stations in the rhythm music format.  He comments, “The first station I ever programmed was a rhythm station – WBTT, Fort Myers – which was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my programming career. I am super excited to be working with our rhythm stations and creating some magic with the many talented people we have.  Thanks to [EVP of content] Phil Becker for the confidence and continued partnership and collaboration.”…..At Cox Media Group’s WALR, Atlanta “KISS 104.1,” Dyron Ducati is officially named the midday personality.  He’s been with the station since last year filling in on weekend and in middays.  WALR director of branding and programming Terri Avery says, “It’s good to know that after searching all over the country, the person for the job was right in our camp.  Dyron brings a smooth, unobtrusive sound to the ‘KISS 104.1’ midday.  We are proud to have him represent us.”…..Cumulus Media appoints Alana Lynn midday host at country KIZN, Boise “Kissin’ 92.3.”  She was most recently with Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as music director and morning host.  KIZN program director Hank Aaron states, “When I heard Alana Lynn was coming back to the Treasure Valley, I had one thought: She needs to be on my team at ‘Kissin’ 92.3!’ Alana is going to be a great fit in middays on ‘Kissin’ 92.3.’”…..On-air pro Rick Adams announces he’s exited iHeartMedia’s WMSI-FM, Jackson, Mississippi “MISS 103” after more than three decades with the station.  He’s pursuing a new career in the real estate field…..Another radio pro is out after more than 30 years at the station.  This news is from Los Angeles as urban AC KTWV “94.7 The Wave” midday personality Talaya Trigueros is the victim of budget cuts at the Entercom station…..Rock radio history buffs will want to see the new documentary about the early years of Boston’s WBCN from producer/director Bill Lichtenstein.  The two-hour film, WBCN and The American Revolution, debuts next weekend (4/27) at the Somerville Theatre as the Centerpiece Spotlight Documentary at the Independent Film Festival Boston.  You can read WBUR-FM, Boston’s preview of the film here.

March 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. March 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. 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.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – On the heels of January/February’s nine-tenths’ gain  (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, Alpha Media news/talk KXL surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (4.7 – 3.9, -.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#6 to #11). Immediately prior to January, “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” was -1.5 via three straight negative moves (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s KEX returns February’s one-tenth increase (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” progresses from #19 to #18. Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (.9) and 6+-rank (#25).

Co-owned sports talk KXTG “The Game” is without a loss the third report in a row for a net gain of four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, #23 to #21, 6+). That follows four consecutive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” overtakes Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” (#22 to #23), whose November 2018 through March 2019 (6+) topline is 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2. A gain of three-tenths takes iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” to .8 (#28 to #26), the highest 6+-showing for the Portland Trailblazers flagship since June 2018 (.9).

Even though it is a combined -2.0 in February/March (9.3 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB repeats in the runner-up slot, after a one-month (January 2019) stay at #1. It previously was on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and -1.6 (February).

Portland Music Formats – Not only is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS a whopping (combined) +2.3 in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+), “104.1 The Fish” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #6). The last time KFIS reached the four-share level (6+) was November 2018 (6+). By way of perspective, “The Fish” ranked #18 in January. Trending 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.4 (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” posts a +.9 to 3.3 (#18 to #16), its best 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.3, as well). Powered by three consecutive positive spikes, classic hits-oldies sibling KLTH nets a robust +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+) with “106.7 The Eagle” repeating at #1. Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) nearly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). Improving by eight-tenths in addition to “The Eagle” are Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5” (tenth to fifth) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “The Northwest’s Hottest Country – 99.5 The Wolf” (3.4 – 4.2, #14 to #9, 6+). “Live” is now +1.1 in three consecutive increases (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), while “The Wolf” logs its best 6+-stat (4.2) since July 2018’s 4.6. Posting its highest 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018, KWJJ’s format foe – Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” – is a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). It continues to be a rollercoaster ride for Entercom-owned KGON. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” was a collective -1.0 through four straight July through November decreases (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). It followed with a cumulative +1.2 in three gains in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+) before faltering by a full-share in February. Wiping away half of that -1.0 with a +.5 to 5.3 (6+), KGON advances from fifth to fourth. The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP was a steady 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupted with a +1.3 in January to 3.3 (6+). In February/March though it is a combined -1.4 (3.3 – 3.0 – 1.9, #17 to #19, 6+). Returning in full February’s increase of seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which was -9.2 in January, drops from a second-place tie to third. In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9); KKCW was on top in April 2018, September, December, and “Holiday” 2018. Faltering by seven-tenths as well are Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” and All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland.” Significant shifts continue for KINK, which has been a collective -1.7 (October 2018/November); +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); -.8 (February); and -.7 in March (4.7 – 4.0, sixth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to dropping seven-tenths in March (3.7, #8 to #14, 6+), KQAC was up or flat four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2. Off six-tenths following February’s +.7 (3.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). When Mount Hood Community College District’s KMHD displayed a “Holiday” 2018 increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (6+), it erased its -1.0 via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+) and began a successive string of increases that netted a +1.4 (.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+). In March, however, the jazz outlet regresses by one-half share to 1.0 (#20 to #24, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – After back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT slips by one-tenth to 4.3 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#9 to #11).

With a March increase of two-tenths, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” makes up half of February’s -.4 (1.3 – 1.5, 6+) and repeats at #18. Entering the February report, the Charlotte Hornets flagship logged seven straight positive or flat moves that nearly tripled (+1.1) its 6+ share (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” returns roughly half that increase (2.3, -.6, 6+) and continues at #16. While it remains at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is up one-tenth to .3 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat trends accounting for a one-half share loss (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without an increase by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS resulted in a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+); however, “Kiss 95.1” is now a combined +1.5 in February/March (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). By notching a +1.0 to 5.5 (6+), adult contemporary sibling WKQC not only advances from eighth to sixth, “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” ends a January/February slide that resulted in a -8.4 (12.9 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Entering the November 2018 sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.2 in January; lost three-tenths in February; and answers with a +.8 in March (5.3 – 6.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). There’s more good news for the country format in “The Queen City” as Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” adds two-tenths (6.8 – 7.0, 6+) and takes sole possession of first-place. It was tied for the lead in February with urban AC cluster-mate WBAV “V-101.9.” Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Meanwhile, “V-101.9,” which notched a collective gain of nine-tenths via three consecutive increases (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), drops six-tenths to 6.2 (first to third, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); and +.5 in March (6.3 – 6.8, third to second, 6+). Immediately in advance of that “Holiday” 2018 -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. A combined January/February +2.1 (3.9 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” forfeits eight-tenths to 5.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+); February’s 6.0 is its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 6.5. Slipping by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “HIS Radio” (1.0 – .3, flat at #20, 6+) and Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” (3.4 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” drops one-tenth to 4.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The July 2018 – March 2019 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is extremely steady: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Unchanged at #28, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth for the third time in a row (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), doubling (+.3) its 6+-stat in the process.

Following a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is off three-tenths to 3.4 (#11 to #12, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – Within 4.0 – 4.6 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group KISS “Rocks San Antonio” hangs out a +.9 to 5.0 (6+) and leaps from eighth to fourth. Hot AC sibling KSMG wiped away nearly half of January’s +1.2 with a February loss of one-half share, but “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” rebounds with a +.7 in March (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to sixth, 6+). Despite returning February’s gain of one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot the past five sweeps. Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. Dropping out of the penthouse and segueing to third-place is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (8.1 – 6.2, -1.9, 6+). Hefty fluctuations are common for “KJ-97” as evidenced by +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); a mammoth +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). The same may be stated about Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which has been +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.6 in March (7.5 – 6.9, third to second, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Country rivals “KJ-97” and “Y-100” were tied in June 2018 and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. After bouncing back from January’s colossal -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February increase of four-tenths to 4.6 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” sputters by six-tenths (4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). Without an increase the sixth straight time for a collective -2.6 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM Que Buena 92.9” drifts from #13 to #16.

Sacramento

 Spoken-Word Formats – Following February’s loss of six-tenths iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK further falters by eight-tenths (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was tied for first in January. Steady at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” has a December 2018 through March 2019 topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 (6+).

This is the third time in the last five sweeps that Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” logs a .9 (.9 – .9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .9, #20 to #21, 6+). In four successive down or flat reports, Entercom’s KIFM-AM spiraled by more than 50% (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+) but “ESPN Radio 1320” is up one-tenth to .8 (flat at #25, 6+).

As a result of four consecutive decreases, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ is -2.7 (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+), although December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through March 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 (#25 to #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Owing to three consecutive improvements, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is an overall +1.4  (4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Its recent fluctuations include a combined -.9 in August/September; a collective +1.5 in three straight September–October–November-December gains; -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.8 (February). Having posted a 4.1 in three of the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” explodes with a +1.2 to 5.3 (tenth to sixth, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat since May 2018’s 5.6. Albeit down one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+) after February’s +1.0, co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is on top for the third month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with news/talk KFBK). In the lead ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.0 (February 2019). A combined +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” has that streak broken with a two-tenths drop to 4.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary in early-November (2018). It was up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. The market’s incumbent AC, Entercom-owned KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” is up two-tenths (6.2, third to second, 6+), after being a combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). For the 13th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5; “101.9 The Wolf” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (2.1) and 6+-rank (#15).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady in ninth-place, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM  is a combined -.8 in February/March (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). “News Radio 1020” was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018) and +1.1 (January 2019).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” remains in fourth-place but is -.7 in February/March (7.1 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), after notching a +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019. If you are looking for consistency, consider iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” whose September 2018 through March 2019 topline is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 (unchanged at #17, 6+).

Off one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” continues at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only does WDVE replicate February’s eight-tenths’ increase (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned rocker repeats at #1. Its December loss of one-half share suspended three straight gains that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE tumbled by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. An uptick of one-half share to 7.4 (unchanged at #3, 6+) by Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.8 (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Frozen on 6.1 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by six-tenths to 5.5 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. Co-owned alternative (and Pittsburgh Penguins flagship) WXDX “105.9 The X,” which had been up eight-tenths in January/February (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 4.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). While it remains in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” is off one-tenth to 4.8 (6+), thus ending at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); February’s 4.9 is its best 6+-number since July 2018 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #12, Steel City Media’s similarly-programmed WLTJ “Q-92.9” is a combined +.5 in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three of the last four sweeps, Bonneville’s KSL has logged a 5.2 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+) but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” sputters in March by seven-tenths to 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #6. KSL was -.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January, Four-tenths behind is iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know,” which had been +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), but plummets by -1.0 to 4.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). KNRS eliminated “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January +1.4.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted for the third month in a row.

In February, KUER had its largest 6+-stat (3.1) since August 2018’s 3.5, but the University of Utah news/talk facility slips six-tenths to 2.5 (#12 to #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Applying the brakes to January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” roars back with a +1.5 to 8.9 (6+) and is on top for the fifth consecutive ratings period. Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Flashing gains of eight-tenths are co-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow,” which repeats in the runner-up slot, and independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (3.6 – 4.4, #11 to #7, 6+). “The Arrow” is now an overall +2.1 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8, 6+), while “Z-104” has its highest 6+-stat (4.4) since November 2018’s 4.7. Owing to three straight positive spikes (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” nets a +2.9 and remains in third-place. Three successive gains by Cumulus Media country KUBL yielded a +1.7 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), but “K-Bull 93” erodes in March by -1.3 to 3.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to this particular streak, KUBL was an overall -2.8 via five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a decrease the third month in a row for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” repeats at #15 with its best 6+-performance (2.4) in two years (2.8, February 2017). That figure more than doubles the 6+-stat of Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+).

In addition to being +1.1 in three straight improvements (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR reenters the top ten (#11 to #7).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Recapturing the one-half share it squandered in February (5.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” repeats at #4. In eight straight up or flat survey periods prior to February, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance since October 2016 (5.9). Notching a gain of one-half share as well is Nevada Public Radio’s KCNV “Classical 89.7” (.5 – 1.0, #25, 6+), which reaches the one-share level (1.0, 6+) for the first time in nearly three years (1.1, July 2016). The 1.6-share advantage (6+) that Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” held over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” in February is cut roughly in half as KKLZ (+1.2 in February) erodes by nine-tenths (8.3 – 7.4, 6+) while “Sunny” (-.8 in February) remains flat at 6.7 (6+). They repeat at #1 and #2, respectively. The 8.3 in February marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history; it hadn’t been at #1 since August 2018. A combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), “Sunny” is now -6.1 in three straight down or flat moves (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Following five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE has that streak curtailed with a one-half share dip to 3.4 (6+); “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), following a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.6  (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is off three-tenths to 5.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Up seven tenths in January/February (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), directly after five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” forfeits one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). Completing the theme, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF, +1.0 in January/February (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+), sheds three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15). Its January gain of four-tenths suspended three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

In six consecutive down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WYGM lost roughly 70% (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share but “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” picks up one-tenth to .5 (flat at #22, 6+). For the second straight sweep, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” has its 6+-stat carved in half (.8 – .4 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+).

In three straight positive moves (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is a collective +1.3 and reaches the top ten (#12 to #8).

Orlando Music Formats – It took Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” just three reports to build a mighty +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “Sunny” was a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in succession (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” rolls out a gain of eight-tenths (7.0 – 7.8, 6+). The combination of iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” gaining six-tenths and co-owned WRUM “Rumba 100” showing a decrease of that magnitude (9.5 – 8.9, -.6, 6+) results in “XL-106.7” shifting from second to first and “Rumba 100” segueing from first to second. This represents WXXL’s fourth improvement in a row for a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+). Preceding its January/February +1.7 (7.8 – 9.3 – 9.5, 6+), Rumba was -1.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). The Spanish tropical outlet spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top, before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. A one-half share boost to 2.6 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom-owned WQMP “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” fully clears out three straight (modest) declines (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Erasing half of February’s +1.2 with a March loss of six-tenths (4.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO slips from eighth to ninth; “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” was off eight-tenths “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). An overall -8.5 in three straight setbacks (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – flat at #5, 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in February (9.9 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW continues in second-place, immediately after a one-month (January) stay at #1. The Reds’ flagship was –2.1 in “Holiday” 2018, followed by a +2.4 in January. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” regains the one-tenth it surrendered in February (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+) but exits the top ten (tie at #10 to #11).

Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, sports talk WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+), falling from #17 to #18.

A collective +1.1 via three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior, it lost nine-tenths in five successive sweeps without an increase, (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Winning ways continue for Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR, which is not only an impressive +3.0 in three successive upticks (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR eroded by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). The three latest shifts for Hubbard-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” are +1.0 (January); -.7 (February); and -.8 in March (8.7 – 7.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” drops seven-tenths (6.4 – 5.7, 6+) but carries on in fifth-place. Immediately after plummeting by -8.2 (14.6 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM answered with a February gain of four-tenths. “Warm 98,” however, relinquishes six-tenths in March (6.8 – 6.2, flat at #4, 6+). Owing to three straight increases, Radio One urban AC WOSL was +1.0 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), but “100.3 R&B + Old School” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). February’s 3.6 is its best 6+-number since 3.6 in March 2017. It has been an interesting November 2018 through March 2019 topline for Educational Community Radio-owned WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone”: 1.1 – 0.2 – 0.0 – 1.3     – .9 – .4 (#19 to #24, 6+). Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country 105.9 & 106.7,” which was an overall +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), forfeits four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and remains at #15. WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the eighth time in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” returns roughly half that increase with a -.6 to 4.9 (flat at #8, 6+). Leading up to that, WTAM was an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+).

Making up one-third of February’s -1.2 by notching a +.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains at #10.

Anchored at #13, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN posts a 3.2 for the third month in a row; WCPN was +1.1 in January after “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1.

Cleveland Music Formats – The four most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); and +1.0 in March (9.8 – 10.8, 6+). “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the fourth sweep in succession. Tacking on nine-tenths to February’s +.8 (6.0 – 6.8 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” continues in third-place. “Star” was a combined +4.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+) but eroded by -4.3 in January. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); -.5 (February) and is now +.6 (6.4 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). By gaining three-tenths to 3.9 (flat at #11, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” interrupts three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). Notwithstanding that it nets +2.4 in three improvements in a row (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” backslides from fourth to fifth. WGAR had been a cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive losses (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Following five straight up or flat reports for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), Ideastream’s WCLV “Classical 104.9” has a setback of eight-tenths to 1.4 (#14 to #15, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October 2018, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” is unlisted for the third straight month.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #4, KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is off two-tenths to 5.4 (6+). The Entercom news/talker was a +2.2 in January/February (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), following a -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). On the heels of January/February’s +.9 (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned KMBZ-AM drops two-tenths to 2.0 (#18 to #19, 6+). “Talk 980” lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). In February, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM doubled January’s .7 (1.4, +.7, 6+); “Talk Radio 710 AM” repeats that 1.4 (6+) and advances from #22 o #21.

Leveling off at 3.8 (6+) after February’s -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” slips from #11 to #12. A combined -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), WHB erupted in January with a +1.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KCSP regains all but one-tenth of February’s loss of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.8, +.5, #17 to #16, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, “610 Sports Radio” faltered by nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but was up three-tenths in January.

As a result of three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR nets nine-tenths, more than compensating for the -.7 logged in “Holiday” 2018.

Kansas City Music Formats – There is another significant monthly shift for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, which has been +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and is +1.1 in March (6.6 – 7.7, 6+). There is a bonus for “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” as it progresses from third to first. Picking up one-tenth in December curtailed eight successive March through November declines that accounted for an overall -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Departing the top spot after ten consecutive sweeps there is cluster-mate KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which erodes by -2.8 in February/March (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, first to second, 6+). January’s 10.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3. December’s seven-tenths’ decrease by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight positive or flat sweeps that yielded an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Still in that Cumulus Media cluster, urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” responds to February’s -.8 with a +.6 (4.2 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #10). “Magic,” which was +2.0 in four consecutive gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), lost one-half share in January. Trending 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), Entercom country outlet WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” sputters by eight-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#9 to #14, 6+). Cumulus Media adult hits KCMO-HD2, which was +.5 in three straight (modest) gains (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+) returns that increase in its entirety (1.2, -.5, #22, 6+). Four upticks in a row by Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” accounted for a +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), but “Hot 103” forfeits three-tenths to 6.6 (6+) and segues from second to third. February’s 6.9 is its highest 6+share since July 2018’s 7.1. Through five consecutive positive or flat moves (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ was +1.4 but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is now a collective -1.5 via three successive downturns (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #5, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN is -1.5 in February/March (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+); “News Radio 610” was +1.3 in January (5.7 – 7.0, 6+).

This is the third time in a row that RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted. Among fluctuations for the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship since reappearing in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December); and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+).

While it returns the two-tenths it scored in February (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU continues in sixth-place; WOSU was +1.1 in January.

Columbus Music Formats – On a roll, Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” logs its third increase in succession for a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+) and repeats at #2. Locked on 7.8 (6+) in January and February, co-owned adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” posts a +.2 to 8.0 (fourth to third, 6+). Hot AC cluster-mate WVMX “Mix 107.9” is without a loss the fourth report in a row for a net increase of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, unchanged at #12, 6+). Four straight gains by classic hits-oldies sibling WNND nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+) but “Rewind” surrenders three-tenths to 2.2 (6+), falling from #12 to #13. Albeit off three-tenths (12.1 – 11.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 16th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January +.8 halted six straight setbacks that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); and +.7 (February). Two especially long (positive) streaks continue. More than tripling (+1.3) its 6+-figure, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” hasn’t had a loss in nine straight sweeps (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. Meanwhile, Ohio State University’s WOSA “Classical 101” doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in five consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, tie at #15 to #16, 6+). Immediately after recording a February improvement of seven-tenths, One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” surrenders that increase in its entirety (3.3 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+) but remains in eighth-place. February’s 4.0 is its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 4.1. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive spikes which netted eight-tenths end at three (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5” (2.8, -.3, 6+) leaves the top ten (#9 to #11).

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

| April 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files with SEC for Initial Public Offering. As the company wends its way through the final stages of Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files with the Securities Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its Class A common shares.  In the SEC filing, the company set a placeholder of $100 million but didn’t disclose the size of the offering or a price range.  The company intends to use proceeds from the IPO to pay off debt. Last year’s Chapter 11 reorganization allowed iHeartMedia to trim its onerous debt from about $20 billion to about $5.75 billion and forced the spin-off of Clear Channel OutdoorGoldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are listed as underwriters for the IPO.

Scott Mahalick to Resign from Alpha Media; Phil Becker to Assume EVP of Programming Role. After almost 10 years as the executive vice president of programming for Alpha MediaScott Mahalick is resigning from the company and handing the EVP of programming post to current vice president Phil Becker, effective April 8.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “Scott’s contributions are far too numerous to mention but suffice it to say that Scott’s work ethic, competitiveness, and passion are woven into Alpha in many ways.  Scott is and will always remain a huge Alpha fan, cheerleader, and significant shareholder in the Company.”  Mahalick comments, “It’s been a pleasure to contribute to Alpha for the past decade and lead our high-performance team.  I want to thank Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, Donna Heffner, our regional presidents, and John Grossi for supporting my innovative crazy ideas.”  Speaking about his new role with the company, Becker says, “I can’t thank Scott enough for bringing me into Alpha and for letting me work alongside him for the last 5 years.  The two of us have accomplished some remarkable things together and I want to thank Bob for allowing me the opportunity to continue to do so.  Alpha is a ‘think differently’ kind of company and I look forward to working closer with all departments.”

Bernie & Sid in the Morning Celebrates First Anniversary at WABC, New York AM Show. Yesterday, the team of Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk celebrated their one-year anniversary as the morning show on Cumulus Media’s legendary news/talk station “77 WABC Radio” in New York.  The “Bernie & Sid In The Morning” show launched on April 2 of 2018 after the retirement of Don Imus.  Among the celebrities joining the show to celebrate the anniversary was actor Chazz Palminteri, pictured above (center) with Rosenberg (left) and McGuirk (right).  Others appearing on the show were Bill O’Reilly, Congressman Peter King, Bo Dietl, Lisa LampinelliJim Breuer, Sukanya Krishnan and Jenn Lahmers from Fox 5 NY “Early Good Day,” WAXQ’s Jim Kerr, Michael Kay, John Batchelor, FOX News Channel’s Tom Shilue, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “We congratulate Bernie and Sid on an incredibly successful first year of what is now New York City’s destination morning talk show.  Bernie and Sid have created a great show that listeners love, with the biggest guests and the most entertaining talk in town.”  Station PD Craig Schwalb adds, “Bernie and Sid took on a huge task in replacing the legendary Don Imus.  Not only has the year been successful for our listeners and advertisers, it’s been very exciting to see it all happen.”

All-Newser KCBS, San Francisco Freshens its Image. Bay Area all-news outlet KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco reveals its new audio and visual “refresh.”  The Entercom news station debuts enhanced audio imaging featuring female voiceover pros Randy Thomas and Roberta Solomon as co-voices of the station along with its new logo that marks the first visual refresh in more than a decade.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “KCBS is an iconic news brand and it’s only fitting that our new image is of an equal caliber.  These changes are part of the KCBS evolution that elevates our connection with our broad Bay Area audience.”  KCBS-AM will celebrate its 51st year as an all-news station in May.

Share of Ear: Pureplay Listening Accounts for 35% of Audio Consumption. Internet pureplays are gobbling up more of the audio listening pie, rising from 22% of audio consumption in 2014 to 35% of in 2018, according to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study.  “Pureplays” include such services as Pandora or Spotify, the streams of radio stations, streams of SiriusXM, podcasts, or music from YouTube.  Edison Research director Laura Ivey says, “While the more established modes of audio delivery, such as broadcasting and listening to owned music, remain strong, with each update we show more audio is delivered through the internet.  These trends are especially pronounced among young people.”

Entercom Promotes Six Executives. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field reveals six promotions for company executives.  Michael Martin is now SVP of programming & head of music initiatives, Tim Murphy is EVP of corporate business development, Pat Paxton takes on the new title chief programming officer, Dave Richards is promoted to SVP of programming for Seattle, David Rosenbloom is appointed VP of corporate business development, and Esther-Mireya Tejeda is now SVP and head of corporate communications.  Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom and we are fortunate to have a highly talented team across the country leading us forward in pursuit of our transformational goals and working to capitalize on our many outstanding opportunities.”

Obamacare Vote Delayed, U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bill, Chicago Elects Black Lesbian Mayor, Mar-a-Lago Intrusion, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2). The announcement by President Trump that the vote to nullify the Affordable Care Act will wait until after the 2020 election; the migrant population status at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump’s threat to close the border; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the controversy over Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill affecting abortion access in the state; the election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s first Black, lesbian mayor; the case of the Asian woman gaining access to Mar-a-Lago with a hard-drive containing malware; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as iHeartMedia and on-air pro Bob Buchmann part ways just a year after the classic rock KGB-FM morning personality inked a new, multi-year deal.  Buchmann revealed his surprise by the move in a Facebook post: “I’d prefer you hear this from me first, as I’m a bit in shock.  My position has been eliminated at iHeartMedia San Diego as of today.  I work for wonderful people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right. Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB-FM operations director last August.  In the afternoon drive Bob and Coe Show, the February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market.  Come to think of it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock!  Thank you for being there for me day in and day out.”…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Joe Browning operations manager for its four-station cluster in Melbourne, Florida that consists of CHR WAOA (for which Browning will serve as PD and afternoon host as Joe Kelley), classic rock WROK, country WHKR and sports talk WLZR-AM.  He was most recently with Corpus Christi-based Hometown Media as corporate program director for its 16 stations. Cumulus Melbourne vice president and market manager Gary Mertins says, “We’re super excited to have Joe joining our team as operations manager.  We also look forward to having him lead our heritage top 40, known along the Space Coast as ‘WA1A.’  Joe is a tremendous talent, an experienced broadcaster, and I’m certain he will be an asset to our cluster.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

| March 5, 2019

Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins.  Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him.  Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.”  Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge.  “It’s a dark tunnel.  I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk.  I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”

Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes.  She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive.  Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season.  The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units.  iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks.  The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee.  Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1.  She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization.  McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.

Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations.  EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia.  iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).

House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops 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. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF.  Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11).  Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado.  Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’  Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native.  Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.”  She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel.  Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

| February 7, 2019

Midwest Communications Paying $21.6 Million for Peoria Stations. When broker KALIL & Co. announced the deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications on Tuesday, it did not include the price. Now that the contract is showing up in the FCC database, we know that Midwest will pay Alpha $21.6 million for the six-station cluster in the Peoria market that includes: news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM.

Media Exec Peter I. Morris Named CEO of PodcastOne. Media and business executive Peter I. Morris joins PodcastOne as chief executive officer in a new role in which he’ll manage all day-to-day operations while exploring growth opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new content initiatives.  He joins the management team led by executive chairman Norm Pattiz and president Kit Gray.  Morris comes to PodcastOne with 10-plus years of experience in senior management, business development, and business affairs across film, television, and digital media. He was most recently EVP of Barstool Sports.  He’s also served as EVP of entertainment at IMAX, and head of business affairs & strategy and general counsel at Funny or Die.  Morris says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of podcasts and a strong believer in the power of the fan communities this medium champions.  The opportunity to work with a legend like Norm Pattiz at PodcastOne, a market leader, is one I couldn’t pass up.  I look forward to leading PodcastOne’s evolution and next chapter of growth.”

Entercom’s Radio.com Strikes Deals with CNN and Bloomberg. This content sharing deal between Entercom and CNN and Blomberg Media provides for Entercom’s RADIO.com platform to air 10 live simulcasts of CNN and Bloomberg programs, in addition to making podcasts from Turner Podcast Network available on the platform.  Simulcast content will include: CNN International, CNN en Español, and HLN from CNN and Bloomberg Radio National as well as New York, D.C., Boston, Bay Area, and London editions.  Entercom chief digital officer JD Crowley says, “We are thrilled to welcome CNN and Bloomberg to RADIO.COM as we increase our premium content offerings.  Through our deep roster of industry-leading radio stations and premium live and on-demand content, RADIO.COM is quickly becoming an important part of the daily audio habit for the tens of millions of listeners we reach per month.  These agreements further cement RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content on a national scale.”

ABC News to Launch ‘The Investigation’ Podcast. Beginning next Tuesday (2/12), ABC News is tackling the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in podcast form.  The new podcast, “The Investigation,” is hosted by ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by senior executive producer Chris Vlasto.  ABC says it will provide a weekly, behind-the-scenes look at Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and will focus on the lead-up to the highly anticipated report and explore its aftermath, analyzing the potential fallout and political consequences.   ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “We’ve provided extensive coverage of the Mueller probe on our daily podcast ‘Start Here,’ but there’s so much more that Kyra Phillips and our investigative team can provide, that launching a dedicated podcast made spectacular sense.  ‘The Investigation’ will break news, offer context, and make our growing ABC Radio podcast network even more attractive for advertisers hoping to reach an informed and engaged audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Last Saturday evening, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM officially moved from its Idaho Ave studios in Northwest DC to its new studios on Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Check out the video of the station making the flip from the old studio to the new one here…..WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia announces a special Saturday program to address the political scandals affecting Democratic politicians that have the state in the national discussion.  WJFN is operated by conservative talk radio personality John Fredericks and he has been determined to broaden the conversation about Virginia politics by adding Democratic talk hosts to the program schedule.  This weekend, Democrat Susan Platt, who hosts the “Find Your Roar” hourly interview program Saturdays at 9:00 am and Democrat Gene Rossi, host of the “Gene Rossi Show” on Saturdays at 12:00 noon, will team up for a special, two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to address the scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring.  Fredericks says, “At WJFN, our mission is to provide listeners with timely updates, behind-the-scenes details, and clear analysis about the world of Virginia politics.  In the past week, Virginia has been rocked by three distinctive scandals related to race relations and sexual conduct.  These are serious and sensitive subjects involving prominent public officials.  Many Virginians are reeling from these revelations.  In such highly charged moments, we recognize our responsibility to accurately inform our listeners as they put these events into context.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT is losing the host of its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily program as Los Angeles-based Norman Goldman’s program will end in the near future. Goldman has told his listeners that the show will end because it is losing money and has “no more money to lose.”…..A new podcast called “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna” is launching on the LadyGang on PodcastOne Network.  The program features “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and musician Jenna Parris as Sigler, a working and traveling mother, and Parris, a stay-at-home mom and avid researcher, bring together their different perspectives and delve into parenthood with celebrity guests…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WERC, Birmingham is partnering with the Alliance of American Football club the Birmingham Iron to air all 10 of the team’s games.  The inaugural season of the new football league begins on Sunday (2/10).  Veteran broadcaster Thom Abraham serves as the play-by-play voice with former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson as the color commentator.

Trump-Russia Investigation, House Intel Committee Investigation, State of the Union Address, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren Native American Issue, AOC’s Green New Deal, Virginia’s Political Chaos, Border Wall Battle, Chicago Cubs Racism Troubles, Venezuela Unrest, James Brown Murder Allegation, and NBA Trade Deadline Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s expansion of his committee’s investigation into President Trump; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address; the Democrats intending to run for president in 2020 and the related story of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American; freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislative agenda; the issues of racism and an allegation of sexual assault dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, attorney general Mark Herring, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the racist emails associated with Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs; the political unrest in Venezuela; the allegation that both James Brown and the legendary performer’s wife were murdered; and the deals taking place at the NBA’s trade deadline 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 Atlanta, Cumulus Media names Corey Dylan co-host of the “Caddy & Corey” morning show on country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” alongside Cadillac Jack.  Dylan has worked in radio at hot AC WMTX, Tampa and news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  She most recently has been on television’s TMZ and HSN as a guest host.  WKHX program director Brian Thomas comments, “I feel so fortunate for Corey to join Cadillac Jack in mornings.  Her multi-media experience will create one of the best country shows in radio.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

Friday, January 18, 2019

| January 18, 2019

News/Talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska Honored with NAB Crystal Heritage Award.  The Lincoln, Nebraska news/talk station will be honored at this spring’s 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas at the “We Are Broadcasters Celebration” on Tuesday, April 9.  The NAB Crystal Heritage Award recognizes stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Seven other stations have received this honor in the 32-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.  Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Julie Gade says, “KFOR AM/FM has proudly served the Lincoln, Nebraska region for over 94 years, and our commitment to the community has never wavered.  We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”

FSR’s Clay Travis Hits 300-Affiliate Mark with ‘Outkick the Coverage’ Program. The Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio-syndicated “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” program hits the 300-affiliate mark with the recent additions of stations including: KKSE-AM/FM, Denver; WGFX-FM, Nashville; WEEX-AM/WTKZ-AM, Allentown; and WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte.  Travis is entering his third year with the network. He also recently joined FS1’s first-ever, daily gambling TV show “Lock It In” as a co-host alongside Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and Todd Fuhrman.  In a joint statement, Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the growth of ‘Outkick the Coverage.’  Clay and his team have consistently set new listening records, which promises for continued momentum and a lot more success in the future.  We are excited to share many more achievements with our affiliate partners around the country.”

Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Tonight. The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards show will take place tonight in Los Angeles and the evening’s ceremonies will be streamed live via Twitter.  Hosts for the 90-minute event will include Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Bobby Bones, Charlamagne Tha God, and Mario Lopez, as well as podcaster Holly Frey.  There are 22 categories with 17 having been voted on by listeners while the remaining five will be decided by a panel of judges.

Blass to Leave Pirates Broadcast Booth After 2019 Season. At the end this year’s baseball season, former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and longtime play-by-play crew personality Steve Blass will retire from his role with the team.  Blass has been working with the team’s radio and television crews since 1983.  The 76-year-old Blass has been calling only home games on radio and TV since 2005.

WTOP, Washington Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine Saves Woman from Drowning.  Washington, DC traffic reporter Dave Dildine was out in last Sunday’s snowstorm taking photos in Rock Creek Park when he heard a woman struggling in the creek under one of the park’s bridges. He called out to her and told her to swim to shore.  But as he prepared to call for help on his cell phone, he saw her go under and made the decision to walk out onto the ice to try to pull her in.  The ice broke and he fell into the creek but was able to drag 27-year-old Sarah Kirkpatrick out of the water and stay with her until emergency crews arrived.  Read the whole story at WTOP’s website here.

The Battle Over the Border Wall Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18. The battle between President Trump and House Democrats over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the related federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation tied with the allegations of campaign finance violations against the Trump campaign, followed by the House Democrats’ legislative agenda and the potential 2020 presidential candidates tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SPOTLIGHT CHINA: Award-Winning Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Is the world’s most populous country, with a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, a friend or foe to the United States?  Joshua Philipp is one of America’s most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of China and the existential threats it poses to US interests in the arenas of politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense.  He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare and subversion.  Philipp is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  His on-the-ground investigations in 2008 onward into connections between Chinese consulates, spy networks, and organized crime circles in New York City – and more than a decade of research and investigations on this and related topics – give him unique insight into the global threat presented by today’s repressive Communist Chinese government.  Harrison and Philipp take a deep dive into the subversive ways in which China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operate both domestically and behind the scenes on the world stage giving clear insight into such lightly covered news topics as the nefarious activities of its telecommunications giant Huawei and its recently arrested CFO, Meng Wanzou, in Canada.  Harrison states, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization founded by Chinese-Americans as an objective counterpoint to Communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media host interested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”  To listen to this extremely important podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Lansing, Michigan jock Deb Hart is retiring from the radio business and her morning drive gig with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WMMQ to pursue a career as a full-time yoga teacher.  Hart has worked in the market for decades.  She’s currently co-host of the WMMQ morning show with Joey Pants – who will continue with the station hosting mornings – and previously served with Midwest Communications’ crosstown rock WJXQ.  Her last show will be January 24…..iHeartMedia Atlanta is working with the Super Bowl Host Committee to open its iHeartRadio BoomBox Stage to activities from January 26 through February 2 during the 2019 Super Bowl LIVE week taking place at Centennial Olympic Park. The week-long stage of events will feature sets from iHeartRadio DJ’s and on-air personalities from the Atlanta cluster…..SiriusXM and legendary rock band KISS are presenting an invitation-only show for SiriusXM subscribers and VIPs on Monday, February 11 at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  The exclusive performance will air on KISS’ exclusive SiriusXM channel, KISS Army Radio.  KISS’ performance at Whisky a Go Go will launch SiriusXM’s “The Party Continues,” a new, live series that will feature music’s top artists performing in an intimate venue for SiriusXM subscribers following music’s biggest night at the Grammy Awards…..Pictured below is Columbia Nashville star Maren Morris (center) appearing on the syndicated Ty Bentli morning show in which she discussed her newest song “GIRL” and the coming GIRL: The World Tour.  With her is Ty Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).

Thursday, December 20, 2018

| December 20, 2018

Late Night Legend Jim Bohannon Renews with Westwood One. Nationally syndicated, late night talk radio legend Jim Bohannon signs a multi-year extension with Westwood One to continue hosting his “The Jim Bohannon Show.”  Westwood One says the show – a “unique mix of topical issues, newsmakers, and pop culture which informs and entertains a loyal audience” – airs on more than 250 affiliate stations.  Bohannon (the self-proclaimed “militant moderate”) says, “I’m honored to be continuing the apex of my career, working with the wonderful professionals at Westwood One.  As ‘The Jim Bohannon Show’ approaches the 26-year mark next month, I promise that we’ll continue to offer the best in news, analysis, and sometimes, just pure fun every weeknight.”  During his career, Bohannon has been the recipient of numerous awards.  He’s been a member of the TALKERS magazine “Heavy Hundred” every year since 1995; he’s been given the RTDNA First Amendment Award; was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2003; and this year won his second prestigious Gold Medal Award from the New York Festivals Radio Awards for the Westwood One News retrospective, “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later.”  WWO executive vice president, news and talk Bart Tessler says, “Jim is the gold standard of a talk show host.  I’ve traveled with him on assignment to Moscow and Tokyo and from New York to California and I continue to learn and laugh listening to him nightly.  The evening wouldn’t be the same without the breaking news coverage and perspective from ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’”

Skyview Networks Enters Sales Partnership with Alpha Media. Radio operator Alpha Media enters into an agreement with Skyview Networks for the company to lead Alpha’s network audio sales efforts, beginning in the New Year.  Skyview has eight sales offices across the country (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Miami) and Alpha says its stations reach more than 127 million listeners per week.  Skyview EVP/general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “We’re excited to deliver Alpha’s strong network reach to clients.  Alpha has a powerful footprint that delivers key stations, markets, and impressions that will make a difference for agencies.  We are thrilled to partner with Alpha and be part of their amazing success.”  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We are excited to work with Skyview.  This partnership will allow Alpha to compete in the network arena.  The Skyview team has been very professional, transparent, and aggressive which fits very well with our operating philosophy.”

WXOS-FM, St. Louis Renews ESPN Affiliation. St. Louis sports talker WXOS-FM “101 ESPN” signs a five-year extension with ESPN to continue its affiliation with the sports giant.  The Hubbard Radio sports talker debuted back in 2009 and celebrates its 10th anniversary next month.  The renewal means WXOS will continue to air ESPN Radio programming, including: “Sports Center,” “First and Last,” “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “Freddie and Fitzsimmons,” in addition to its stable of local shows that air from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The station also airs ESPN Radio-produced play-by-play for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA athletics.  WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “Hubbard Radio management and the ‘101 ESPN’ team want to thank our listeners and the St. Louis community for their continued support over the last 10 years. Our entire team is looking forward to the strengthening of our partnership with the ESPN Radio Network and the opportunity to offer innovative content and exclusive interviews, analysis and coverage for St. Louis’ sports fans.”

Laura Walker to Leave New York Public Radio in March. Non-profit public media organization New York Public Radio operates public radio news/talk WNYC-FM, classical WQXR-FM, the New Jersey Public Radio network and more.  NYPR president Laura Walker– called a “prolific fundraiser” by former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller – announces she’ll leave the organization at the end of March, three months before the end of her contract. According to the story on WNYC.org, Walker became president of NYPR in 1996, as it had just become independent of the city.  Under her leadership, listenership grew exponentially, its budget grew from $1 million per year to $93.7 million and it became an early leader in digital content such as podcasts.  Read the WNYC.org story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The rebuilding in Florida’s panhandle is the subject of a series of reports from CBS News Radio’s correspondent Peter King (pictured at right with students and faculty members of a local school). The news organization says that King spent time in Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Tallahassee speaking with residents, officials, and volunteers ahead of the holiday season.  Short-form reports and long-form, in-depth interviews will be made available on newsfeed every morning and afternoon of next week…..Pictured at left is Bold Gold Media Group general manager Michael G. Stanton taking a shower on Main Street in downtown Honesdale, Pennsylvania for his 17th annual “Shower For Charity.”  Stanton stayed in the show for four hours in nothing but his swim suit until listeners and local businesses helped him meet his goal of raising $20,000 for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau.  Bold Gold is based in Northeast Pennsylvania operating a number of stations in the Pocono Lake Region.  The station group also held a very successful toy drive to benefit the area’s children in need.  Bold Gold founder and president Vince Benedetto says, “It’s profoundly moving how generous of a community we have in Northeast PA and how much they support our stations’ efforts.  Several years ago, when we made the decision to attempt to do two large fundraising efforts concurrently, we wondered if both could be successful… but our listeners rally every year and the promotions continue to get bigger.  Live, local radio is alive and booming in Northeast PA.”…..At right are two KLIF-AM, Dallas staffers with school officials from Charles Nash Elementary School in Fort Worth holding the ceremonial check for funds donated to the school.  The Cumulus Media news/talk station teamed with Ed Wallace of the Saturday car show “Wheels with Ed Wallace” and Kwik Kar Industries for the 30th Annual KLIF Kids Toy Drive.  Listeners and auto dealerships contributed more than $46,000 for kids at two different schools in Dallas and Fort Worth…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) is pictured below with magician Penn Jillette (left) promoting the importance of blood donations via the “13 Bloody Days of Christmas” campaign.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trumps Orders Troops Out of Syria, Putin Presser, Dow Dips 350 Points/Fed Raises Interest Rates, Border Wall Battle/Short Term Spending Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Tuesday’s related sentencing hearing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; President Trump orders the swift exit of all U.S. troops from Syria; Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference in which he addressed issues including the threat of nuclear conflict; the Dow drops 350 points and concerns about a recession as the Fed raises interest rates; the battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related short-term spending bill; 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.

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end this Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits KONO-FM and oldies KONO-AM, San Antonio director of programming Roger Allen announces he’s retiring from the Cox Media Group duo, effective January 11.  Allen started his radio career right out of high school at KONO-AM in 1981, working in research and weekend overnights.  He worked in markets including Dallas, Austin, and Salt Lake City before returning to KONO-FM in 1998.  Allen comments, “We have an exceptional team at KONO-FM and AM – a group that delivers great content with passion and emotion.  It’s been a humbling experience serving the San Antonio community, the Cox family and our loyal listeners.”  This opens a plum programming position in San Antonio.  If you’re interested, contact CMG regional vice president of radio Rob Babin at Rob.Babin@coxinc.com…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that when iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT puts the wraps on its holiday programming, it will change its branding from “The Best Variety From the 80’s, 90’s and Now for Chicago!” to “Relaxing Favorites.”…..With the departure of Nancy Stevens from Hubbard Radio’s alternative KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ,” operations manager David Moore adds program director duties for that station.  Moore also programs sister stations classic rock KSLX and oldies KAZG-AM.  The station also names afternoon drive personality Dustin Carlson music director…..Radio pro Jenna Tucker joins Cumulus Media Indianapolis to serve as digital director for its country WFMS, classic hits WJJK, and CHR WYRG.  She’ll also host middays on WFMS.  Tucker comes to Indy from her most recent position at Bonneville’s country KNCI, Sacramento where she was midday jock…..Griffin Communications announces that country KVOO, Tulsa adds Amber Glaze to the morning drive program hosted by Marty Young.  The new “VOO Crew with Marty and Amber” launches on January 2.  Young comments, “From the moment I met Amber, I knew that she would bring a dynamic to the show that was amazing.  After working with her for a week, I was sold.  I cannot wait to get to work with Amber every morning on ‘The VOO Crew.’”

Friday, December 14, 2018

| December 14, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth.  Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million.  The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local.  We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8.  The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us.  ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.”  Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions.  She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.”  Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11).  More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa.  Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet.  I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give.  Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary.  Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective.  It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz.  Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC.  Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government.  It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard.  The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution.  Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC.  Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background.  He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill.  Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada.  His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The Guardian.  In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17).  Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.”  She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years.  About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again.  Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way.  Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger.  However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years.  Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show.  The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

| November 15, 2018

Alpha Officially Files to Sell West Palm Beach Cluster to Hubbard for $88 Million.  When the Agreement in Principle was announced back in late September, Alpha Media said it was divesting of some of its stations to lower its debt leverage.  Today we learn that it has filed to sell the West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio for $88 million.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL-AM, sports talk WMEN-AM/WIRK-HD2; adult contemporary WEAT-FM; hot AC WRMF; country WIRK-FM; and urban contemporary WMBX-FM. Alpha Media’s Bob Proffitt states, “While we are sad to see these great stations leave the Alpha family, we are equally happy for Elizabeth Hamma and her excellent and dedicated team to join Hubbard Radio.”  Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris adds, “This is an exciting opportunity for Hubbard Radio.  West Palm Beach is a terrific market and the Alpha Media radio stations set the standard for excellence in south Florida.  We feel honored to welcome these great radio stations into the Hubbard Radio family.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Minihane Remains with Entercom for RADIO.COM Presence; Callahan and Mut Continue in WEEI, Boston Mornings. Sports media personality Kirk Minihane has been off the “Kirk & Callahan” morning drive show at Entercom’s WEEI, Boston since taking a medical leave back in early September.  Recent social media posts by Minihane hinted there may have been problems between he and the company but that no longer appears to be the case as Entercom announces Minihane will launch a new digital radio show, podcast, and column on the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  A press release states, “The new platform will expand Kirk’s reach to a national audience and explore wide-ranging topics in addition to sports.  Kirk’s podcast and column are expected to launch in January 2019 and his new, daily, weekday radio show, which will include a co-host to be named at a later date, is expected to launch in early 2019.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “As an industry leader in compelling, proprietary content, Entercom is making sure RADIO.COM is populated with the very best programming available. Kirk Minihane fits this model perfectly.  His ability to entertain and engage is second to none, and there is no question Kirk will become a highly successful national audio personality.  He already conquered Boston.  Now on to the rest of the world!”  In Minihane’s absence from the morning drive program, Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been co-hosting with Gerry Callahan and the two will continue to host the morning program with “with a rotating cast of Boston’s most charismatic and intriguing sports personalities.”  And it sounds as though there will be less talk of politics on the program as the press release adds, “The WEEI morning show is being re-envisioned as a more sports-centric show consistent with the station’s brand and position as Boston’s sports leader. For more than 25 years, WEEI has entertained and informed Boston sports fans with engaging, must-listen sports content and analysis in the country’s greatest sports city. Going forward, the morning show will focus predominantly on sports.”  For his part, Minihane states, “I’m extremely excited to return to the air and reach a national audience, with greater autonomy to focus on a variety of topics, and even more digital platforms to connect with my fans.  It’s been awesome to be part of WEEI and I know Gerry and Mut will continue to put on a great show.  I want to thank the listeners for their patience and loyalty over the past several weeks, and I can’t wait to get started on RADIO.COM.”

Hammerschmidt Named News Director at KYW, Philadelphia. All-news KYW, Philadelphia announces Kristina Hammerschmidt is the new news director, effective November 19.  Last year, the Philly native joined the station as an editor and writer from KYW-TV where she was a producer and writer.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Kristina is a talented and dynamic leader with expertise that will take the KYW Newsradio team to the next level.  Her strong track record producing live newscasts will help us deliver on our mission of telling compelling stories and setting the agenda for news coverage in the Delaware Valley.”  Hammerschmidt says, “I am excited to lead such a talented and dedicated team of journalists.  KYW Newsradio has a rich history and plays an important role in the lives of nearly a million listeners in the Delaware Valley each week.  I look forward to helping KYW continue to serve our community with the news, weather, sports and traffic information they depend on.”

AWF Honors Seven at Gracies Leadership Awards Luncheon. On Tuesday (11/13), the Alliance for Women in Media hosted the inaugural Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon, formerly called Women Who Lead, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The program featured keynote speaker FOX Sports television sideline reporter Pam Oliver and honored seven female leaders in media. Oliver (right) is pictured here with honoree Beth Neuhoff, owner of radio company Neuhoff Communications. AWMF board member and Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen states, “Now more than ever before, we have a responsibility to create conversation and shine the spotlight on the success and progress of women in media.  We not only want to honor those deserving recognition but show the next generation what is possible.  Our purpose at AWM is to bring intelligent, accomplished, dedicated women (and men) together to share ideas, experiences and some ‘you go, girls!’”

Hofstra University Communications Students Produce Multi-Platform Election Coverage. Pictured above are some of the 200-plus Hofstra University students who played a role in the midterm election coverage, dubbed “Hofstra Votes Live,” that operated from two studios, three control rooms and six remote sites to gain “unprecedented reach” on the school’s radio station WRHU-FM, Hofstra TV, and Facebook (via Livestream).  The programming was led by students in the journalism master’s program at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, a Hofstra alumnus and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, says, “I am so proud of the work being done at Hofstra to provide a fully prepared next generation of media professionals.  The school is a role model for what academia must do to be a vital link in the chain of American broadcasting greatness from generation to generation into the 21st century.”

All in the Family.  Legendary New York City rock personality Jim Kerr – heard in mornings on iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q104.3” – visited the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program on sister news/talk WOR to talk about his induction (taking place this evening 11/15) into the Radio Hall of Fame.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Riedel, iHeartMedia chairman Bob Pittman, Kerr, and Berman.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago talk radio host William J. Kelly – heard nightly on WCGO, Evanston on “The Citizen Kelly Show” – is embarking on a multi-city live event called the “Listen to Me (Listening to You) Listening Tour” taking place this month through March 2019.  He’s scheduled 16 stops in cities around Chicagoland and Southern Wisconsin.  He says, “I’m very excited to bring the Citizen Kelly listening tour to cities and towns throughout Illinois and the Midwest.  America is at a crossroads and we need new leadership more than ever.  My fellow citizens deserve to have their voices heard and that is exactly what the Citizen Kelly revolution is all about.”…..Sun & Fun Media inks a deal to represent Digital Sound & Video in offering its radio imaging, commercial production, and video production services to stations across the country via barter.  Sun & Fun chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “Sun & Fun Media prides itself on associating with top-notch companies that provide superior products and services to stations. Digital Sound & Video checks all the boxes and we are proud to be working with Ed and his team to give stations the option to obtain DSV’s first rate imaging and production services on a barter basis.”

CNN-White House Suit, House Democratic Leadership Battle, FLA Recounts/GA Gov. Race, Melania Ousts Ricardel, Trump-Russia Investigation, Deadly California Wildfire, Homeless GoFundMe Scam, Avenatti Domestic Violence Arrest, Brexit Chaos, Dow Dips, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). The suit against the White House by CNN seeking the return of reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the battle within the Democratic party for the next Speaker of the House; the election recounts in Florida and the yet-to-be-decided Georgia governors contest; First Lady Melania Trump fires deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russian agent connections and talk of a bill to protect Mueller from being fired; the California wildfire that has claimed 56 lives; the allegation by authorities that the homeless man and couple who started a GoFundMe campaign that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars was a scam from the start; Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti is arrested on domestic violence charge; the political chaos surrounding British Prime Minister Theresa May; the stock selloff continues as the Dow drops another 200 points; 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. Radio station owner Steel City Media files a Plan of Reorganization in Federal Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis as the next step in its exit from Chapter 11.  Steel City owns hot AC WLTJ “Q 92.9” and adult hits WRRK “BOB FM 96.9” in Pittsburgh and country KBEQ “Q104” and KFKF “Country 94.1,” hot AC KMXV “Mix 93.3” and adult contemporary “KCKC” KC 102.1” in Kansas City.  The Plan has been approved by a majority of the company’s creditors and leaves the Frischling family in control of the company.  Steel City vice president Michael Frischling states, “In an environment where equity in radio companies is being wiped out, we are gratified that we have reached a consensual agreement with our creditors that enables us to maintain equity and operational control that sets the stage for future growth and profitability.  We look forward to emerging from Chapter 11early next year and we want to thank our employees and advertisers for their continued support.”…..Westwood One is offering country stations a four-hour, holiday weekend program called “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Brett Young,” featuring Young and his friends, including: Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and many more. The program is available for airing any time between Thursday, November 22 and Sunday, November 25.

Monday, October 15, 2018

| October 15, 2018

iHeartMedia Appoints Greg Millard to EVP of Event and Experiential Partnerships Post. This new position is under the watch of iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli.  New EVP of event and experiential partnerships Greg Millard comes to the company from his most recent position with Turner Broadcasting as vice president of partnerships and branded programming.  In his new role, Millard will spearhead the go-to-market strategy for all of iHeartMedia’s national sponsorship sales efforts, including the company’s roster of nationally recognized marquee events; the iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles; custom events and partnership opportunities; and local events in more than 150 markets nationwide.  Castelli says, “iHeartMedia has the biggest, culture-defining events in music across every genre.  Greg will leverage these events and culturally relevant moments to connect brands with their consumers.  With our unique access to data, insights, artists, moments and airwaves, iHeartMedia’s one-of-a-kind partnership opportunities help brands shape pop culture – not just chase it.”

Alpha Media’s ‘640 The Hurricane’ Names Andy Slater Afternoon Host. West Palm Beach sports talk outlet WMEN-AM “640 The Hurricane” announces the addition of the Andy Slater show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot, effective today.  Slater was most recently hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s WINZ, Miami.  He’d served with Alpha Media’s WMEN for six years prior to that.  WMEN program director Paul Mason states, “Nobody has their finger on the pulse of the South Florida Sports scene like Andy Slater.  His proven track record of breaking local sports stories, inside sources, and his massive poker tournament is a huge win for ‘640 The Hurricane.’”

KLBJ-AM, Austin Weekend Talk Host Sued by Local Police Commander. Austin police commander Jason Dusterhoft is suing gun shop owner and weekend talk personality Michael Cargill and retired police officers group members Lyndon Lueders and Kevin Fisk for defamation. Dusterhoft claims that the trio defamed him by talking on the radio about his being put under criminal and internal investigation for allegedly assaulting a woman at a local nightclub. Dusterhoft is currently on restricted duty.  He claims the three made false statements about him.  Cargill tells the Austin American Statesman that the matter is a free speech issue.  Cargill’s one-hour, weekly show, “Come and Talk It” airs Sundays at 4:00 pm on Emmis-operated news/talk KLBJ-AM.

TALKERS News Notes. Conservative media icon Bill O’Reilly won a round in his legal battle with fellow, former FOX News Channel colleague Laurie Dhue, who is suing O’Reilly for allegedly breaking the terms of a previous sexual harassment settlement by speaking publicly about those past allegations.  O’Reilly’s team had filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and/or Dismiss the Complaint and U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ordered the two sides to arbitration, citing the clause in the settlement providing for dispute resolution.  Dhue argues that in a series of media appearances in 2017 prior to and leading up to FOX’s firing of O’Reilly, he made categorial denials of any wrongdoing even though, she argues, the settlement terms forbade him from doing so.  Dhue complains that these “false statements” cause her harm because “no employers will hire her if they believe that [Plaintiff] has previously made false allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.”…..iHeartMedia and Einhorn’s Epic Productions are teasing their new original scripted mystery podcast call “Lethal Lit.”  “Lethal Lit” is a six-episode scripted podcast that follows teen detective Tig Torres as she returns to her small hometown of Hollow Falls where her aunt was framed as a serial killer ten years ago.  It’ll debut October 29 with two episodes and subsequent episodes will air each Monday on the iHeartRadio platform.  iHM says this is a “new type of storytelling format” for iHeartRadio.  Check out the official trailer here…..The photo below is a shot of the KKOB, Albuquerque hot air balloon that flew during last week’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Station PD and director of AM Operations for Cumulus Albuquerque Pat Frisch says the now-world famous balloon festival was started back in 1972 to celebrate the heritage station’s 50th anniversary.  The balloon below is being piloted by Ron Curry.

Trump ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Sears Declares Bankruptcy, U.S.-Saudi Tensions, November Midterms, Kanye West White House Visit, Portland Patriot Prayer Violence, American Pastor Andrew Brunson Released, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to President Trump’s sit-down interview with ’60 Minutes’ reporter Lesley Stahl; iconic American retailer Sears files for bankruptcy protection; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the November midterms and the battle for control of congress; Kanye West’s Oval Office meeting with President Trump; the violence at the Portland, Oregon Patriot Prayer rally; Turkey releases American pastor Andrew Brunson; the aftermath of Hurricane Michael; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball league championships series were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Beaumont, Texas market, Cumulus Media names Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo program director for CHR KQXY “Q94.”  Muzzillo has been serving as assistant program director and music director, as well as afternoon personality at the station since 2010.  He rises to this position with the recent retirement of former OM and PD Brandin Shaw.   Muzzillo says, “I am thrilled to be programming the station I helped put on the air back in 1993!  And the funny thing is, our VP/market manager Bo Brown, who took the reins at the stations about three months ago, was with me when we kicked off ‘Q94’ back in 1993!  He and I work very well together and we have a really solid team at Cumulus Beaumont, plus having great Cumulus leaders and great minds like Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Leslie Whittle, and Louie Diaz to bounce music and ideas off of makes us even stronger as we take the station into the future.”…..Director of programming Jerry McKenna exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s four-station cluster – including country WKPE and adult contemporary WOCN – as the company eliminates his position…..Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host, Emmy Award-winning television personality, and best-selling author Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles.  The Merge Gala Awards recognize those making an impact in bridging the worlds of faith and entertainment.  Harvey was joined by fellow award recipients Laila Ali, DeVon Franklin, and Chad Johnson & Michelle Williams.  (Photo: Von Jackson, Vlex Photos)…..Detroit radio duo “Rat and Puff,” a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, respectively, are launching the 3rd annual “Terror Tour” – showcasing three of the biggest and scariest haunts that Michigan has to offer. Friends of the “Rat and Puff” show have the opportunity to win free tickets on their social media accounts and go along with the show as they document each experience. Despite not having a radio home at the moment, the show wanted to continue its yearly tradition.   They say, “We are really excited about our ‘Terror Tour’ this year because we personally, hand-picked all three stops.  We are super fans of haunted attractions and Michigan has some of the scariest in the country.  We encourage everyone to follow along with us on our social @RatAndPuffShow as the tour is bigger and scarier than ever.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville’s CHR WRVR “107.5 the River” announces the lineup for its second annual “Live. Life. Love.” concert taking place on Monday, December 10 at Marathon Music Works.  The concert will feature performances by Why Don’t WeDan + Shay, Lauv, and Kim Petras.  All proceeds from the event will benefit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit organization that supports mental health and suicide prevention resources nationwide.

PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC. Compared to the August 2018 PPM survey, 49% of the hot AC stations on this panel were down (6+ AQH share) in September with 42% up and 9% flat.  Year-over-year, 50% were down with just 45% of stations up.  Just two hot AC outlets ranked #1 in their market in September – iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach – while nine hot AC outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

| September 27, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell West Palm Beach Cluster to Hubbard Radio. The press release notes that a definitive sales contract between Alpha Media and Minneapolis-based Hubbard Radio has yet to be signed, but they have reached an agreement in principle to transfer Alpha’s six stations in the West Palm Beach market to Hubbard for a yet-to-be-disclosed sum.  Alpha says it employs about 105 people at the cluster that includes: news/talk WFTL; sports talk WMEN-AM/WIRK-HD2; adult contemporary WEAT-FM; hot AC WRMF; country WIRK-FM; and urban contemporary WMBX-FM. Alpha acquired the cluster in February of 2016 with its purchase of Digity LLC.   After the deal is consummated, Alpha will own 213 stations in 46 markets.  The company says it has been selling off assets to lower its debt leverage.

Good Karma Announces Investors in WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM, Milwaukee Acquisition. The recently announced acquisition of E.W. Scripps’ Milwaukee duo – heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM/W277CV and country WKTI-FM – by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands LLC is being fleshed out a bit more from the financial perspective.  Good Karma announces that Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media – owner of WISC-TV, Madison and WKBT-TV, La Crosse – is investing in the deal along with a group of local investors that includes: Ted Kellner, chairman and CEO of T&M Partners, LLC; Gale and Judi Klappa (Gale Klappa is chairman and chief executive of WEC Energy Group); David Marcus, CEO of Marcus Investments; and Greg Marcus, CEO of Marcus Corporation.  Morgan Murphy Media EVP and COO Brian Burns states, “Craig and his team at Good Karma Brands truly understand what it means to serve a local community.  We are excited to be in business with a group of people we’ve known for years who have an outstanding track record of success.” It’s already been announced that upon closing, Milwaukee broadcasting management pro Steve Wexler will assume the vice president and market manager role with the two stations as well as Good Karma’s sports WAUK, Waukesha “540 ESPN,” ESPN Digital, the Wisconsin Sports Awards, and the Tundra Trio.  Craig Karmazin adds, “We’re thrilled to welcome longtime friends, business partners, and members of the community to the Good Karma Brands team.  The addition of prominent local investors will further our relationship with the Milwaukee community and, paired with Steve Wexler’s leadership, will help guide our businesses to greater heights.  Good Karma’s focus has always been serving our marketing partners, fans and teammates, and today’s announcement is a huge boost for all three.”

Rich Zeoli Hosts FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) with FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett (right) after Zeoli interviewed Jarrett at the sold-out WPHT Speaker Series live event that included a discussion of Jarrett’s book The Russia Hoax.

Seen & Heard at the Radio Show: Day 2.  The National Association of Broadcasters reports that attendance at this year’s 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show is up 8% with 2,130 persons registered.  TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay is in Orlando reporting from Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  McKay says that monetizing podcasting, the connected car, the state of news/talk radio and more were topics of discussion.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. From a report in Variety comes news that FOX News is unveiling a new tagline for its subscription service FOX Nation: “Opinion Done Right.”  The story says, “The slogan would suggest the new service, said to be aimed at FOX News ‘superfans,’ will emphasize the opinion programming that brings top ratings to the 21st Century FOX cable news network’s primetime lineup.”  FOX TV will promote the new service during tonight’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcast…..The NBA’s Boston Celtics and Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” announce a multi-year extension for the station to continue serving as the official flagship for the club’s radio broadcasts.  Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell continue their play-by-play duties while Celtics general manager and president of operations Danny Ainge will appear on the “Toucher & Rich Show” Thursday mornings at 9:00 during the season and head coach Brad Stevens will join “Zolak & Bertrand” each Wednesday around 12:00 noon…..The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas acquires the papers of reporter and columnist Paul Colford – a journalist who, in addition to numerous accomplishments, wrote biographies of Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern.  During his career, Colford reported for New York Newsday and the New York Daily News and served as vice president for media relations at the Associated Press.  The papers include considerable research materials on the subjects of his biographies, The Rush Limbaugh Story (1993) and Howard Stern: King of All Media (1996).  Colford says, “As a media columnist and biographer, I’ve often found gold and indispensable details in libraries and archives around the country, including the Briscoe Center.  I’m honored and thrilled to know my files, photos, clippings, and other documents will be preserved and made available before long to media historians, students, and other journalists for their work in years to come.”  The Briscoe Center’s news media holdings include the papers of New York newspapermen Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett, as well as those of social columnists Walter Winchell and Liz Smith…..ESPN senior writer Mina Kimes agrees to a multiyear extension with the sports media giant.  Along with news of the signing comes the launch of her NFL-themed podcast, “Bootleg with Mina Kimes.”  Kimes continues to write for ESPN The Magazine as well as continuing to appear on shows such as “Around the Horn”; as a co-host on “The Morning Roast on ESPN Radio with Domonique Foxworth and Clinton Yates”; guesting on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” and “Highly Questionable”; as a debater on “First Take”; as a contributor to “E:6”; appearances on “Get Up”; and more…..iHeartMedia, in collaboration with HowStuffWorks, is launching a new, original podcast on October 3 called, “Unobscured,” that focuses on the Salem witch trials.  Aaron Mahnke – host of the popular podcast “Lore” – is hosting “Unobscured.”…..California-based not-for-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation is acquiring another Chicagoland signal – this time it’s WCPT-FM, DeKalb from WDEK Inc – and the purchase price is $1.6 million.  Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive broker.  If you recall, EMF was the recent surprise buyer of heritage Windy City FM WLUP, for which it paid $21.5 million.  WCPT-FM has been airing progressive talk, also heard on WCPT-AM, Willow Springs, Illinois…..SiriusXM is airing live, hole-by-hole coverage of the 2018 Ryder Cup tomorrow through Sunday from Le Golf National near Paris.  Listeners will hear a combination of SiriusXM’s exclusive broadcast featuring calls by Earl Forcey, Mark CarnevaleFred Albers, John Maginnes and Carl Paulson, as well as the IMG-produced broadcast led by longtime European golf broadcaster Richard Kaufman.  After each day’s play, listeners will hear post-match shows hosted by SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour, John Maginnes and Ron Green…..Pictured below are some of the participants on the Wednesday Headliner Session at the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  The panel, moderated by PodcastOne founder and chairman Norm Pattiz, was titled, “The Podcast Boom.”  From left to right are: Elaina Smith, co-host, “NASH Nights Live”; singer-songwriter Jewel; Suzanne Grimes, president, Westwood One and EVP, corporate marketing, Cumulus Media; and Kaitlyn Bristowe from television’s “The Bachelorette.”

Kavanaugh Hearing, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Trump’s China Election Interference Accusation/Press Conference, China Trade War, Midterm Elections, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26). Today’s Senate hearing for the accusation made by Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; President Trump’s claim during his UN speech that China is trying to interfere with U.S. elections and the president’s subsequent press conference; the tariffs being placed on U.S. and Chinese goods; the November midterm elections and which party will control congress; the Fed raises interest rates again and speculation about the strength of the U.S. economy; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Another entrant into the world of podcasting is iHeartMedia personality Mario Lopez.  iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis says that the “iHeartRadio Countdown” host will launch a new podcast network this fall that will be available on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network platform.  The network will feature several iHeartRadio Original podcasts including an up-close-and-personal look into the life of Mario Lopez.  He’ll also executive produce an additional slate of podcasts to roll out in the near future…..Air personality Heather Davis joins Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh to host middays and serve as APD and music director.  She comes to Curtis from Cumulus Media’s WKDF, Nashv