Tag: "Alpha Media"

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, Nashville…..At E.W. Scripps’ rock KQXR, Boise “100.3 The X,” morning personalities Jeremy “Nic” Nicolato and Jeremi “Big J” Schlader sign new, two-year deals to continue hosting “The Morning After.”  Nic, who also serves as program director, says, “It’s an honor to wake up every morning and deliver this show to the Treasure Valley.  Knowing we will be able to mark 13 years of doing it feels fantastic.”

Friday, September 21, 2018

| September 21, 2018

iHeartMedia’s Fourth Chapter 11 Re-Org Does the Trick. When it comes to eliminating billions of dollars of debt in a Chapter 11 re-organization, someone is not going to be happy with what they get (or don’t get). Certain debt holders are likely to feel they’re not getting what they deserve.  But Houston Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur liked what he saw enough to approve iHeartMedia’s fourth crack at its Joint Chapter 11 Re-Organization Plan.  Yesterday’s approval of the adequacy of the disclosure statement sets the stage for more deadlines and court dates as iHeartMedia still hopes to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this year.  The deadline for voting on this plan is set at November 9.  The Plan Objection deadline is November 28.  A pre-trial conference is set for December 7 and the Confirmation Hearing is set for December 11.

Hannity Talks with President Trump in Las Vegas. The screenshot above is from FOX News Channel and the “Hannity” show’s coverage of President Trump’s rally in Las Vegas last night (9/20).  After the president addressed the crowd he spoke with host Sean Hannity about a number of issues, including the allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughRobert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the midterm elections.

iHeartMedia Adds FM Translator to WLAC, Nashville; Expands Steve Gill Reports. Nashville news/talker WLAC has an FM presence now that iHeartMedia adds translator W252CM at 98.3 FM to WLAC’s broadcast.  The station is also being transmitted on WSIX-FM’s HD-2 signal.  As the company says, the 250-watt translator is heard “across the southern portions of the Nashville area, including Williamson County and the Franklin area.” The translator had been carrying country WSIX-FM’s broadcast.  At the same time, the station announces that it is expanding the “Tennessee Star Report” so that the Steve Gill-hosted program now airs from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.  Tennessee Star executive editor Michael Patrick Leahy co-hosts the program with Gill, who comments, “It’s been great being back on the air in Nashville over these last few weeks.  Adding a big booming FM signal on WLAC will be a great opportunity for us to reach voters in the final month of this election season and we will be right in the thick of things.”

Tony Howard Named Interactive Sales Manager for Alpha Media Portland. Digital sales pro Tony Howard joins Alpha Media to serve as interactive sales manager for the company’s Portland operations that include news/talk KXL “FM News 101”and sports talk KXTG-AM/FM “102.9 The Game.”  Howard was most recently with Clip Interactive as VP of sales and affiliate partnerships. He’s also served with TribuneCBS RADIO, and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Portland VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tony Howard when he was at CBS RADIO and again when he handled affiliate partnerships at Clip Interactive.  Tony is creative, competitive, and has a drive to succeed – all qualities that correlate with Alpha’s core values.  I am looking forward to having Tony join the Alpha Portland team.”

KBOI, Boise’s Paul J Schneider to Retire After 51 Years. Incredibly, Paul J Schneider has been working on the air at KBOI, Boise since June of 1967.  Back then he worked on both TV and radio.  He was a news anchor and voiced the TV replay of Boise State football games. He shifted to radio only in 1976. Now, after 51 years on the station, he’ll retire after his December 14 program to finally sleep in for a change. During his career at KBOI he enjoyed one of the country’s largest radio audience shares as a part of “Dunn & Schneider,” that aired from 1973 to 1993. Since 2001, he’s hosted “Idaho Talks Live” with Chris Walton.   and throughout his career, Paul J and his morning partners have been at the top of station ratings.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”  Schneider plans to produce weekly features and blog for NewsTalk 670 KBOI as well as continue covering Boise State football for Learfield Sports.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Diego Reader is reporting that local photographer Jesse Cuevas has received a settlement from Entercom over talk host Kevin Klein’s unauthorized use of his photo of San Diego’s Coronado Bridge in the ill-advised social media post that derailed his gig as morning host on what is now sports talk KWFN.  If you recall, Klein’s post teased his debut as the station’s new AM host with the phrase “Jump to a new morning show.”  The Coronado Bridge has been the scene of hundreds of suicides during its existence.  Cuevas can’t reveal how much he was paid but the paper speculates that settlements in cases like this are usually in the five figures…..PodcastOne reports that award-winning investigative journalist and WTOP, Washington national security correspondent J.J. Green recently spoke with a former Russian internet troll named Marat Mindiyarov on his podcast “Target USA.”  Mindiyarov served with the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg where his job was to “trick Americans on Facebook,Twitter and other social media platforms.”  During the interview Mindiyarov says one of the main objectives was to impact the U.S. presidential election by promoting Russian government views to Americans by pretending to be Americans on social media.  Listen to the episode here…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley is launching a brand-new podcast series.  In the premiere episode, Beasley speaks with Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of the best-seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate (Regnery, 2015).  Beasley says, “Podcasting is an area of growth in the audio space that I am personally very passionate about as we continue to grow as a company.  It was such a privilege to speak with Shawn and hear his valuable thoughts about the future role of smart cities, the transformation of automotive industry and more!”  Listen to the podcast here.

Talk Media Public Relations Pioneer Richard Strauss Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who literally opened the White House doors to talk radio and gave the medium top tier access to the executive branch of the Federal Government for decades to come, Richard Strauss, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Strauss, the founder and president of Washington, DC-based Strauss Media Strategies was the first-ever White House radio director, appointed at the age of 23 and serving between 1993 and 1996, the first three years of President Bill Clinton’s administration.  During that time, Strauss elevated the burgeoning medium of news/talk radio to equal status with newspapers and television in enjoying access to the presidency.  Prior to that, radio was a second-class citizen in that arena – at least during the modern era going all the way back to the Eisenhower years.  According to Michael Harrison, “What Richard Strauss did for talk radio, while still a kid, is a major piece of the medium’s colorful history and should serve as an inspiration for aspiring youngsters looking to make their mark in this industry going forward.   I am so glad we have a chance to tell his story on this week’s program.”  Media freaks, historians and audiophiles will not want to miss this podcast!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 17-21. The allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. Coming in at #3 was the growing trade war between the U.S. and China, followed by the GOP spending bill and President Trump’s criticism it provides no funding for a Mexican border wall 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.

Noted Record Producer and Social Commentator Robbie Stevens Launches Short-Form Series on TalkersRadio.  TALKERS magazine is pleased to welcome noted record producer and iconoclastic social commentator Robbie Stevens to its experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio, beginning today (9/19).  Stevens is launching a series of short-form features titled “I Don’t Do Podcasts” in which he randomly shares his views and experiences about a variety of subjects including politics, media, education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, sports and, of course, music.  He is well-known for decades in the record business for his prolific contributions as a musician, recordist, mixer, and/or producer on records by such artists as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late Gil-Scott HeronJohn Lydon a.k.a. Johnny RottenAfrika Bambaataaa, the posthumous John Lennon catalog, and many more.  Stevens most recently headed up the production of Yoko Ono’s remarkable run of 13 Billboard #1 dance singles with her EDM band, ONO and just concluded the exciting 2018 surround sound re-mix of key elements from John Lennon’s “Imagine” album called “Raw” as a soon-to-be released box set titled “John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection” (Universal).  A Columbia University graduate, this fascinating raconteur was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now resides in the Bronx.  Bringing what can be described as an “outer-borough” grit to the microphone, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has referred to Stevens as the “Bronx Philosopher” as well as the “Rogue from Riverdale.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations David Bernstein says, “I first became aware of Robbie almost a decade ago when he came to my attention as a successful record producer who liked to dabble in news/talk radio.  He briefly did some interesting work on WNYM in New York and WOR’s short-lived online ancillary talk show platform where his well-informed, ‘streety’ take on hot topics generated a positive buzz.  I am beyond thrilled that he is clearing the time in his busy schedule to get back to trying new things in spoken word programming on TalkersRadio.  This guy is an original and that’s what TalkersRadio is all about.”   TalkersRadio was launched in 2013 as an experimental radio workshop/lab where new ideas in talk programming could be tested and showcased by newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros looking to expand their repertoire.  Since then, a number of shows have been developed on TalkersRadio that have gone on to achieve success in terrestrial radio and/or podcasting.  To listen to the first episode of “I Don’t Do Podcasts with Robbie Stevens” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting enters into an agreement to sell CHR WPFM-FM to religious not-for-profit broadcaster Educational Media Foundation……….Programmer Candy Cintron is promoted to program director for Entercom’s Spanish pop outlet WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9.” She’s been morning show producer and assistant program director since 2015.  SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Candy has invested close to a decade of her career in making ‘El Zol’ a vital, vibrant voice in DC’s Hispanic community.  This promotion honors her past, present and, most importantly, her future contributions to the ‘El Zol’ legacy.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on the unexpected death of Chicago radio sales pro Laura Hangren, who died after a heart attack on Saturday (9/15) at age 56.  She’d most recently been an AE at Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM.” She’d also worked at such heritage Windy City signals as WLS-FM and WLUP-FM…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated alternative morning program “The Woody Show” hosted Foo Fighters Dave Grohl (left) and Taylor Hawkins (right) recently.  They’re pictured below with show host Woody (center).  During their visit, they talked about how they met, the evolution of rock music, the upcoming Foo Fighters-curated “Cal Jam 18” festival, being parents, and more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; 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. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season 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.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Down 1.8%. The 2018 second quarter financial report from Cumulus Media Inc. comes a bit late – the company had let the SEC know its first post-bankruptcy report would be tardy.  Net revenue for Cumulus (reflecting the combined results of the Successor and Predecessor Companies in connection with the emergence from Chapter 11) for the second quarter was $285.2 million, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago.  For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Cumulus reported net revenue of $548.9 million, down 1.0% from the first six months of 2017.  Cumulus reports in two segments: the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The radio station group reported net revenue of $203 million – down 2.5% from a year ago, and Westwood One’s net revenue was $81.2 million – up 0.1%. President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In the second quarter, we emerged from Chapter 11 with new and supportive ownership, a billion dollars less debt and results that demonstrate our operational and financial momentum, despite industry challenges and the distractions posed by our Chapter 11 proceedings.  Normalizing those results for $4.8 million of write-offs related to United States Traffic Network’s well-publicized financial problems, our Adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter by 5.5%.  Looking forward, we are excited about the potential of our digital products, improved pricing, and inventory management across the entire platform and our young but fast-growing podcasting business to supplement the performance of our core business.  These growth drivers, combined with our continued focus on operating fundamentals, our reduced debt load, our ability to generate significant free cash flow, and our renewed focus on optimization of our portfolio of assets, position us well to build substantial shareholder value in the quarters and years to come.”

Cumulus Signs Traffic Deal with TTWN. On the same day it announces its second quarter financials and references the $4.8 million write-off related to its deal with United States Traffic NetworkCumulus announces its new deal with iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Network to be the exclusive provider of traffic content.  This is an addition to the existing deal for TTWN to provide weather content.  TTWN will provide real-time traffic reports and data to Cumulus’ 441 radio stations nationwide.  Additionally, TTWN’s 24/7 News division will provide news support, including anchored news and reporting services.

Quinn & Rose Back on Pittsburgh Airwaves. The Pittsburgh radio duo “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant – is returning to the air in the Steel City, this time on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH “ESPN Pittsburgh” on September 24.  The two enjoyed a long stint on the company’s former Pittsburgh FM news/talk WPGB (now country music) but exited the station in 2013.  The two have worked separately since then on various platforms.  Their show on WBGG will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am daily.

New Boston Operations Center for iHeartMedia.  The photos above are of the new studios and offices of iHeartMedia in Boston.  At left is a lounge area outside an on-air studio and at right is a portion of the all-news WBZ-AM newsroom.  It’s a 43,000-plus square foot state-of-the-art facility that also includes news/talk WRKO-AM, talk WXKS-AM, and seven music outlets.  iHeartMedia says the “innovative space is designed to invoke collaboration and to embody the iHeartMedia brand.  In addition to cutting-edge design elements, the studios will feature digitally advanced technology and resources for talent and programmers that will help them connect even faster and easier with listeners delivering even more great content to the Boston community.”  The facility was designed by Michael Beneville.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball teams. As the 2018 season unfolds, see how the 6+ weekly AQH shares of flagship stations are affected. Among some of the comparisons presented are flagship stations ratings fluctuations from June 2018 to July 2018 as well as from July 2017 to July 2018.  Based on July 2018 PPM data, flagships with the largest market shares (6+) are: WLW, Cincinnati (Reds); WTMJ, Milwaukee (Brewers); and KMOX, St. Louis (Cardinals). See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio icon Mike North is the subject of a new film being developed by Chicagoans Jeremy Morrison and Adam Rifkin.  The biopic of the hot dog vendor-turned sports talk radio giant is set for production in 2019…..It may seem elementary to industry insiders but the how and why of the appeal of sports talk radio to male consumers is the focus of a recent piece in The New York Times.  Writer Jason Notte speaks with representatives of ESPN Audio and Entercom, as well as marketers who’ve had success advertising on sports talk radio.  That includes a law firm specializing in divorce that’s been a regular advertiser on Portland, Oregon’s three sports talk stations.  Read the piece here…..Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is moving into new studios in Chevy Chase, Maryland in December or January.  According to a piece in Bethesda Magazine, the new location at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. on Wisconsin Circle is just over the Washington, DC line in Maryland.  The Hubbard Radio all-news station has been at its current Idaho Ave. location since 1989.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season 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. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Friday, August 17, 2018

| August 17, 2018

WBAL, Baltimore Adds Dan Joseph Show for Nights. Charm City news/talk WBAL announces the launch of a new nighttime show hosted by Dan Joseph.  The Hearst station says he comes with “a unique background” that “includes acting, politics and media.”  He’s previously served with Media Research Center producing man-on-the-street videos used by FOX News.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Providing Baltimore and Maryland with the most local news and talk is job one at WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090.’  With Dan’s new 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm program, WBAL now is the area’s only destination weeknights for live and local conversation and insight.”  Joseph adds, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be here at WBAL and I’m so grateful to discuss the issues of the day with the people of Baltimore, each night.  It’s an honor to be part of the WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090’ lineup.”

Moyer to Lead Sales Efforts for Alpha Media’s Portland Talk Stations. This is a promotion for Alpha Media sales pro Geoff Moyer as he rises from local sales manager to general sales manager for the company’s Portland talk stations – KXL “FM News 101.1,” sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH “102.9/750 The Game,” talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” as well as the 22-station Radio Northwest Network.  Alpha Media VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “Geoff is an excellent coach and talent developer who has rapidly become one of Alpha Media Portland’s most effective leaders.  I’m excited to watch Geoff excel in his newly expanded role.”  Moyer says of his promotion, “I am happy and excited about this great opportunity to continue growing at Alpha.  It’s always exciting to work alongside so many great people.  Every day brings new adventures and I am excited about our future.”

Johnson to Host Afternoons at ’94.3 The Game’ in Greenville, NC. Air personality Patrick Johnson is joining Inner Banks Media to host the afternoon show on sports talk WRHD-FM, Greenville, North Carolina “94.3 The Game.”  He’ll also host the Eastern Carolina University football pre-game show this season. Johnson takes over on-air duties from Josh Graham who recently exited to join WSJS, Winston-Salem.  Inner Banks Media vice president Hank Hinton says, “We are so excited that Patrick has agreed to return to Greenville.  He is the perfect addition to our great sports talk lineup.  He’s a real pro and quite a fun guy to listen to.  ECU Pirate fans will love his new show on ‘The Game.’”

VSiN to Provide ‘The Sports Hub’ with Boston-Focused Updates.  Continuing to expand its relationships with sports talk radio stations, VSiN – the first network dedicated to delivering daily information about sports gambling – signs a deal with Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” to provide it with Boston-focused updates.  Beginning Monday (8/20), the station will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Boston’s sports teams.  VSiN will supply one report at 12:13 pm ET and another at 6:13 pm ET each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas says, “Sports gambling laws are changing across the country and ‘The Sports Hub’ is proud to have a relationship with VSiN and the Musburger team to give our listeners the latest and most accurate information.” VSiN CEO Brian Musberger comments, “‘The Sports Hub’ joins a growing list of more than 25 terrestrial radio stations across the country bringing ‘VSiN Action Updates’ to their listeners – including ‘670 The Score’ in Chicago, KNBR in San Francisco, ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego and ‘101 ESPN’ in St. Louis.”

Omarosa’s ‘Bitchiness’ Provoked Radio Producer to Use the F Word and Hang Up on Her.  It happened back in 2009 during what was then referred to in the radio business as a “satellite tour.”  It is a series of radio interviews in which a hot guest appears in brief interviews on one show after another across the country from a central location via telephone, ISDN or satellite hook-up.   Famous radio producer Bernadette Duncan was coordinating one such tour on United Stations Radio Networks’ roster of client morning shows for Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (Stallworth was her first husband) who was promoting her book, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off (Phoenix Books, 2008).  The theme of the book was to inform women how to locate and properly use their “inner bitch.”  According to a segment titled “Talk Show, Freak Show” in Duncan’s popular radio book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016), Omarosa was extremely nasty and difficult to work with.  She called the usually affable producer a “fucking moron.”  In retaliation, Duncan writes, “I flung an F-bomb back at her, the first and only time I ever did so with any guest.”  Then Duncan hung up on Omarosa and fulfilled the remaining scheduled interviews herself, telling the story on the air about what had just happened.  To read the entire excerpt, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Heidi Harris program on Kemp Communications’ KMZQ, Las Vegas is expanding by an hour.  Previously heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am each day, the show starts an hour earlier beginning Monday (8/20) and will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  Harris has hosted talk shows on numerous signals in the market, including KXNT and KDWN…..Former talk radio host Jerry Klein has died after a battle with esophageal cancer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.  Klein had been in hospice care for the past 10 days.  He was a talk host on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte during the mid-1990s, later moving to WMAL-AM, Washington where he was an air personality and assistant program director.

Omarosa Recording and Book Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 13-17.  The secret White House recording made by former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Marigault Newman and her tell-all book were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing Trump-Russia Investigation and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok.  Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primaries, followed by the Pennsylvania Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a morning show change at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM, Cincinnati “WARM 98.5” as Jim Day and Amanda Orlando launch “The WARM Morning Show with Jim and Amanda” on Monday (8/20).  They take over for Bob Goen and Marianne Curan who exit the station.  Day has hosted morning shows on WHKO-FM, Dayton; KWEN-FM, Tulsa; and WSM-FM, Nashville.  Orlando comes to WRRM from sister country outlet WNNF “NASH FM 94.1.”  WRRM program director Brian Demay says, “Sometimes you just know!  Jim and Amanda have obvious chemistry.  They have both been a part of very successful morning shows. It’s time to put them together on ‘Warm 98.5.’…..Entercom is putting Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM format on the HD2 channel of WMYX, Milwaukee.  This format is syndicated by Envision Networks and is heard on flagship WRME-LP, Chicago.  The format has been making news in the radio industry since achieving very good ratings for a signal at 88.7 FM…..Cumulus Media and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” announce the NASH Next 2018 New York City Country Challenge Showcase – a live country music talent competition – taking place Tuesday (8/21) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Opry City Stage in Times Square.  NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Katie Neal will host Tuesday night’s competition with live music performances by 10 area country artists.  The NASH FM 94.7 judging team includes: Country artist Jessie Chris; Dolly Chandler, talent buyer, Opry Entertainment Group; Leslie Slender, VP, brand partnerships, Cumulus Media; NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Kylie Keene; and NASH FM 94.7 producer and on-air personality Jason Goldstein.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; 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.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Monday, July 30, 2018

| July 30, 2018

Larry Wilson Steps Down from Alpha Media Chairman Role. The Citadel Broadcasting chief launched Alpha Broadcasting in 2009 with stations in Portland, Oregon.  The company would merge with L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting in 2014 and become Alpha Media.  Now, Larry Wilson will step away from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Media but will remain a member of the board.  A press release from the company says that under Wilson’s guidance, “Alpha Media has become the largest privately-owned radio broadcast company in the United States, operating 225 radio stations in 48 markets across the nation.  Wilson is also known for his work within the country music industry, having served on the board of directors for the Country Music Association from 1991 to 2001 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.” Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Wilson is a respected colleague and pioneer in the broadcast industry.  His vision helped craft today’s broadcast and radio landscape.” Alpha Media will elect a new chairman at its next scheduled board meeting.

Brett Winterble Re-Ups with KFMB-AM, San Diego. San Diego talk show host Brett Winterble signs a new contract with Tegna-owned news/talk KFMB-AM, San Diego to continue hosting the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Winterble originally joined KFMB-AM in 2012 as part of the Roger Hedgecock show and began hosting afternoons in 2015.  In addition to his radio show and podcast productions, he recently began hosting a two-hour show for Newsmax TV.  KFMB-AM program director Dave Sniff states, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Brett!  His ability to digest the daily news cycle and make it relevant for the San Diego community is unmatched and truly impressive.  Brett will play a key role in creating unique content, not only for KFMB-AM, but also for our various digital platforms.”

David Haugh Assumes AM Co-Host Role on WSCR, Chicago Today.  After 26 years with WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” Brian Hanley did his last regular morning show with Mike Mulligan on Friday (7/27) and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh debuts on the new “Mully and Haugh” show today.  Haugh says in a statement, “I’m excited to join The Score’s morning show.  Brian Hanley is a good friend and class act who set a high standard for me to meet.  Mike Mulligan has gone from fierce competitor to trusted confidante over the years, a relationship I’ve always valued.  I will continue to have the privilege of writing columns for the Chicago Tribune, where I have spent the last 15 years trying to serve the best interests of Chicago sports fans.  The job only gets better now.  Thank you to The Score for the opportunity, to the Tribune for the support and to everyone who will listen to “Mully and Haugh” do our best to entertain you every morning.”  Read Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s story on the changes here.

United States Traffic Network Sues Entercom for $5 Million.  Alleging that Entercom entered into negotiations with United States Traffic Network to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business based on information gathered during the discovery process, USTN is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.”  The complaint, filed  the District Court in Harris County, Texas, states, “During the transaction of the sale of equity in USTN, in April and the failed transaction, Defendants (Entercom) made false representations of fact, false promises or benefitted by not disclosing that a third party’s representations or promises were false.  The false representations or promises, set forth above, were made for the purpose of inducing Plaintiffs to enter into a contract regarding the equity of USTN.  Plaintiffs relied on the false representations or promises.  The reliance on the false representations, promises, and failures to disclose caused Plaintiffs injury and benefited Defendants.”  The suit further alleges that Entercom intentionally induced USTN to miss a scheduled debt payment to Entercom under the pretenses that this payment would be unnecessary due to the planned closing of the purchase transaction. USTN is owned by Fair and Equal LLC. For its part, Entercom issues a press release saying it has ended its reseller agreement with USTN and calls the suit “entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting.  Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues.  Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.”  Entercom says it “has successfully sold traffic and other short duration advertising on its own for many years.  In April, Entercom took back a portion of its broadcast inventory from USTN and is achieving great success selling that inventory through its own sales channels.  The Company expects to build on that success as it begins to monetize the remaining inventory taken back from USTN.”  CEO David Field says, “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger.  We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory.”

A Visit to WRKO’s New Digs.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to legendary outlet WRKO, Boston on Friday (7/27) to check out its new location and pristine, one-week-old studios at the iHeartMedia broadcasting complex in Medford, Massachusetts (a bustling area on Boston’s north side).  Until recently, WRKO was an Entercom property, but it was sold to iHeart after Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, significantly re-shuffling the playing deck in Boston.  While there, Harrison sat in from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the morning show’s regular co-host, Doug “VB” Goudie – something he occasionally does on the station.  Harrison (left) is pictured with the WRKO morning show’s co-anchor Kim Carrigan (center) and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin (right).  Carrigan will be the guest on the next installment of the award-winning podcast “The Michael Harrison Interview” set to be posted tomorrow (7/31).

Final Radio Talent Institute of the Summer Taking Place at Northwest Missouri State.  This week begins that final 10-day Radio Talent Institute of the summer. Students from 11 different universities are converging on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. MBA president Mark Gordon says, “This was made possible by the financial commitments from Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Broadcasters board of directors and broadcast companies that include: Hubbard Radio St. Louis; Eagle Communications St. Joseph; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; Alpha Media of Missouri: Union Broadcasting Kansas City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield.  We are pleased to bring this program taught by industry professionals to Missouri that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Founder and president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, comments, “To have so many students from so many different universities is a tribute to Mark and the MBA and their efforts as we work together to discover and prepare young talent for the industry.  These are the talent we will be hiring now and will be the leaders in our industry tomorrow.”

RI Talk Host John DePetro and Sean Spicer at Book Signing. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) returned to his home state of Rhode Island to promote his new book The Briefing (2018, Regnery Publishing).  He’s pictured here with WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro (right), who hosted him on his radio show and attended several of the book signings with him.  DePetro also emceed a private VIP event in Spicer’s hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island.

New Affiliates for ‘Our American Stories.’ Now airing in the evenings on iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHO, Des Moines is Lee Habeeb’s “Our American Stories.”  Additional new affiliate stations include: iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston and Inspiration Time’s WXTE, Erie.  Program host Lee Habeeb is a vice president of content at Salem Media Group and a contributing editor of the weekly essay series “Across America” for Newsweek Magazine and Newsweek.com.  “Our American Stories” airs on 139 radio stations across the U.S.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump’s Mueller Tweets, Trump-Sulzberger Fake News Meeting, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump Trade Wars, Facebook Value Plummets, California Wildfires, Les Moonves Allegations, New Mission: Impossible Film, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with President Trump’s weekend tweets about the matter; Trump’s meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger over the president’s fake news charges; Trump threatens to let federal government shut down unless border wall is funded; the effects of Trump’s trade wars on U.S. businesses; the plunging value of Facebook; the deadly California wildfires; allegations of sexual harassment against CBS chairman Les Moonves; the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NuVoodoo Study Reveals Listener Misconceptions.  Calling the results “startling new insights for radio stations,” NuVoodoo Media Services says its 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of more than 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets will reveal the findings in a series of free webinars for radio professionals, beginning Wednesday (8/1).  Register at http://www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars.  The study was fielded this June and indicates that about half of all radio listeners under age 35 believe radio’s tight playlists are a cost-saving measure to avoid paying licensing fees.  Among those respondents who are likely to accept a diary or meter, the perception jumps to more than 2/3 among 14-24-year-olds. The study also shows that nearly 60% of all respondents and close to 70% of likely diary and PPM participants conclude that radio stations play the music that record companies pay them to play.  NuVoodoo says the webinar series is part of its ongoing effort to inform the industry of emerging trends and to help uncover opportunities for stations to improve programming and marketing efforts.  The primary focus is on those who have accepted or are more likely to accept a ratings diary or become part of the PPM panel, since this small segment of radio listeners holds the key to any station’s financial success.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and iHeartMedia announce a renewed and expanded relationship in which Bones takes on the title vice president, creative director of iHeartCountry.  In addition to continuing to host his daily morning show and the weekly “Country Top 30,” Bones will executive produce a new, one-hour weekend program, “Women of iHeartCountry,” co-hosted by Amy Brown from the Bobby Bones show.  The program will feature music from established female artists and up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on air personalities. Bones says, “This is the opportunity I’ve been chasing my entire career.  Thanks to Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and Kevin Legrett for their years of support and for the space to build this partnership.”…..LARadio.com reports that CHR legend Rick Dees is joining KQLH-LPFM, Yucaipa, California to host the afternoon drive show.  KQLH-LPFM serves parts of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs.  It is a non-profit station but accepts sponsorships as tax deductible donations…..Entercom names Toshamakia Acevedo music director and afternoon drive personality for hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  Acevedo transfers from the company’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 Jamz.”  Entercom Denver SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team. We believe her on-air energy and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.”  Acevedo succeeds former APD, music director, and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM, Sacramento as program director and afternoon drive host…..Cumulus Media appoints Megan Stone co-host of WEBE, Westport, Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven markets) “WEBE Wake Up Morning Show with Jay Michaels.”  Operations manager Danny Lyons states, “It is exciting to welcome Megan to the Cumulus family.  I know her enthusiasm for radio, as well as for her listeners, will shine through every morning on WEBE 108.”…..At CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “ENERGY 93.9,” Robert “Sid” Sidloski takes over the program director role on August 6.  Cumulus Media Indianapolis operations manager Boomer says, “In seeking the next leader for WYRG I had the opportunity to speak with several skilled programmers from around the country, most with career credentials that would certainly be suitable for the role of PD.  However, I kept coming back to Sid’s positive attitude and seemingly relentless drive and determination to succeed in this situation along with his vision for the brand to pursue and achieve aggressive success right away.  Sid has an understanding of our obstacles and has shared impressive plans to seize upon our opportunities here in Indianapolis.  I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing his leadership in action as PD of ENERGY 93.9.”…..The nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” – led by Bert Weiss – enters into an agreement to be produced and distributed by Westwood One.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re excited to welcome ‘The Bert Show’ to Westwood One.  His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade.  Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.” The program was previously syndicated by YEA Networks…..In Detroit, Mildred Gaddis – host of the “Mildred Gaddis Show” on Radio One’s “Detroit Praise Network” is named community affairs director for Radio One’s Detroit cluster. The new “Praise Network” replaces gospel WPZR-FM that was recently acquired by EMF. As part of that transaction, Radio One acquires translators W228CJ at 93.5 and W252BX at 98.3 from EMF and plans to marry them with W260CB at 99.9 to build the new “Detroit Praise Network.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary star Delilah is publishing her latest book, One Heart At a Time (2018, RosettaBooks).  In the book, Delilah uses “stories from her extraordinary off-air life – full of trials, forgiveness, faith, and adventure (along with select well-executed pranks)” in calling on us to “connect, one heart at a time, to lift others, and in the process, our communities and ourselves.” Rosetta CEO Arthur Klebanoff states, “In her easygoing style and characteristic, beloved voice, Delilah shares the real woman behind the microphone. She tells her deeply moving story as the series of miracles and prayers it is.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

| June 5, 2018

Cumulus Media Emerges from Chapter 11. The company said it would emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization during the second quarter of this year and that turns out to be the case.  In a statement, Cumulus Media says it has “successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 having reduced its debt by more than $1 billion.  The Company plans to utilize its enhanced financial flexibility to continue its ongoing business transformation and drive value creation on behalf of all its stakeholders.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Over the last two years, we have been relentlessly focused on our plans to turn the Company around, and the completion of our financial restructuring process is a monumental step forward on our turnaround path.  We emerge today as a stronger and more competitive Company, with the financial foundation that we need to move forward decisively with the initiatives that will produce the greatest benefits for the Company.  With this financial restructuring now behind us, we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish with all of our resources and energy fully focused on our operating business.”  In the statement, Cumulus reports that it reduced its total debt balance from $2.34 billion to $1.30 billion, consisting entirely of a term loan bearing interest at LIBOR plus 450 basis points and due May 15, 2022.  “Also, pursuant to the terms of the financial restructuring, the Company’s previously outstanding equity was cancelled and certain former stakeholders are being issued 11,052,211 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, 5,218,209 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock and warrants to purchase 3,729,589 shares of common stock in exchange for their prior claims. Except with regard to voting and conversion rights, shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical in all respects.  Generally, the holders of shares of Class B common stock are not entitled to vote on any matters, although such shares are convertible into shares of Class A common stock, subject to FCC rules and regulations and the Company’s governance documents. We have applied to have our Class A common stock listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CMLS and, until such time, expect that such shares will be quoted on the OTC Pink Sheets under the symbol CMIA.”

Kathy Smith to Lead Cumulus Eugene, Oregon. At Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group, Kathy Smith is the new VP/market manager.  She was most recently Alpha Media Portland’s general sales manager.  Cumulus Eugene includes news/talk KUGN and sports talk KUJZ-FM and four music outlets.  Cumulus EVP Bob Walker says, “We are very pleased to have Kathy leading our team in Eugene.  Her deep experience and true passion for the Pacific Northwest region make her an incredible asset to our six great stations and the community they serve.”

‘97.9 ESPN Hartford’ Names Bob Joyce UConn Sports Executive Producer. At sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” Bob Joyce is named executive producer for University of Connecticut Athletics content.  Joyce’s duties include serving as the radio voice for Women’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey, handling play-by-play, and working closely with “The Rob Dibble Show.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia Connecticut program director for sports and talk Ben Darnell.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited to have Bob Joyce on our team.  Bob brings continuity and a high-quality professionalism to our UConn content.  He is well known in the market and with UConn fans and we are confident he will bring UConn sports broadcasting to new levels.”

Hayley Tenpas Named WHBY, Appleton Talk Host.  In the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin market, Woodward Communications names Hayley Tenpas host of the afternoon drive “Focus Fox Valley” program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tenpas formerly served as news anchor at Scripps’ WGBA-TV, Green Bay.  She is a native of the Fox Valley, having grown up in Hortonville.  She earned her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  WHBY brand manager Justin Hull says, “We are excited to welcome Hayley to the WHBY team.  Her passion for the community will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”

TALKERS News Notes.  On Monday (6/11), 77 WABC Radio in New York is hosting the first GOP primary debate between U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm.  The station says the two are locked in a “tight and heated race” for New York’s 11th Congressional District.  The one-hour live debate will take place at WABC Radio studios in New York City at 12:00 noon ET and veteran journalist and WABC Radio host and political editor Rita Cosby will serve as moderator as part of the first hour of her talk show with Curtis Sliwa, “Curtis + Cosby.”…..The legal case of St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman against Emmis Communications and Entercom is being moved from Missouri state court to federal court.  RegularTALKERS readers remember that Allman is suing the two companies for breach of contract after Allman was let go from his KFTK-FM radio show in the aftermath of social media comments he made about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  At the time of his firing from KFTK-FM, Entercom was LMAing the station from Emmis as it waited to close on the purchase of the station…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the program schedule at KBDB-HD3, Forks, Washington…..Longtime KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Doug Wright said a final farewell to his listeners on Friday, June 1.  Wright retired from the Bonneville-owned news/talk station after more than 40 years on the air in the market.  To fill the air time left open by Wright’s retirement, Bonneville is expanding the “Dave and Dujanovic” show to 9:00 am to 12:00.

Joe Brewer Promoted at Katz Media Group.  Twenty-two-year staffer Joe Brewer is promoted to president of business operations at Katz Media Group.  Brewer – who started with the company in 1996 – was most recently chief administrative officer.  In this position, Brewer will increase his focus on business operations across Katz Radio Group, Katz Television Group and Katz Digital with the goal of streamlining company processes and aligning all technology and innovation initiatives with company goals.

AWMF to Honor Judy Woodruff at Gracies Awards Luncheon. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour,” will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 27 at Cipriani 42ndStreet in New York. The annual Gracies Luncheon honors individual achievement and outstanding programming at the local level for TV and radio, public level for radio, and student level for TV, radio and interactive media.  CNN’s Erica Hill will host the luncheon.   AWMF chair Christine Travaglini says, “The Gracie Awards celebrate the female storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  Since the beginning of her journalism career in 1976, Judy Woodruff’s connected, well-researched approach is consistently present and illustrates why she is so worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award. We at AWM and AWMF, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to honor and celebrate outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, Trump Uninvites Eagles to White House, SCOTUS Cake Ruling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Clinton NBC Interview, North Korea Summit, Dwight Clark Dies, NBA Finals, and Major League Baseball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and allegations that Paul Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses; President Trump uninvites the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; the Supreme Court rules in favor of Denver baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; Bill Clinton’s reaction to being questioned about Monica Lewinsky on “Today” show interview; the status of the U.S.-North Korea summit; San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark dies at 61; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; 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.

BFoA Establishes Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has established the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund in honor of the broadcaster who died this past Friday (6/1) at age 69 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Joe was a friend and champion of the Broadcasters Foundation and our industry. He devoted time and energy to advancing broadcasting and to helping colleagues in need.  He will be missed by many, personally and professionally.”  Bilotta spent more than 40 years at Buckley Broadcasting where he helped build the group’s standing through such noted stations as WOR-AM, New York and WDRC-AM and WDRC-FM in Hartford.  Bilotta was saluted by his colleagues in April with the coveted Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award, given by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at a breakfast ceremony held during the 2018 NAB Show.  To donate to the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Joining Envision Networks as assistant marketing manager is Kelsey Shawgo.  She comes to Envision with a background in writing and music journalism.  She has been published in Substream Magazine, Fashion Meets Music Festival Magazine, and was a staff news writer and features writer for Alternative Press before joining Envision Networks. She also has worked in promotions for the now-Entercom-owned Cleveland station cluster.  Envision says, “Kelsey’s acumen for millennial sentimentalities with a focus on new media and creative content will enhance Envision Networks’ marketing team.  She aims to strengthen the brand voice of Envision Networks in all written and graphic content including public relations, social media, and the monthly journalistic Envision Insider newsletter…..iHeartMedia announces the primetime lineup for its iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place in Las Vegas September 21 and 22.  Performers include: Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, and more…..iHeartMedia Chicago announces that market radio pro Lisa Dent is joining country WBGG “BIG 95.5” to host weekend programs.  Dent previously co-hosted mornings on Entercom’s crosstown WUSN-FM in Chicago for 10 years before launching her first business, Lisa Dent Speaks, LLC, and building her own studio, The Radio Farm…..Cumulus Media’s Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q100” launches a new online destination called Q-U at quatlanta.com.  Cumulus says Q-U “puts listeners first with video content that brings together the ‘Q100’ listening community in a new way and includes original content from listeners who share their lives with others who have a passion for hit music.  Q-U tackles issues affecting young adults on a daily basis, including relationships, jobs, college loans, family and activism.”  Cumulus Media Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon adds, “Q-U builds the ‘Q100’ brand and elevates and transforms the standard ‘we talk, you listen’ format to a truly integrated conversational fan experience.  We couldn’t be more excited to launch this innovative new destination for Atlantans who love hit music.”…..Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” program is broadcasting live from the George Jones Museum in Nashville during this week’s CMA Fest.  Each morning’s live broadcast inside The George Jones is free and open to the public.

Friday, May 4, 2018

| May 4, 2018

KNX, Los Angeles Celebrates 50 Years as All-News Station. Los Angeles all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” is celebrating its 50thanniversary as a news outlet.  In a press release, Entercom states that “more than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX 1070 News Radio every week for its comprehensive coverage of local, national and international news in addition to its trademark traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes on the 5s.  Traffic and news content is provided daily by the area’s largest team of dedicated professionals.”  KNX Director of programming Ken Charles says, “Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and six mayors.  Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity, trust, and credibility.”  Pictured above receiving an official proclamation from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center) are (from l-r) KNX anchors Frank Mottek, Julie Chi, Charles, Charles Feldman and Dick Helton.

Jamie Allman Begins Streaming Show on Monday.  St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman is launching a new, daily morning drive talk show on Monday (5/7) called “Radio Free Allman” that he’s streaming via his website.  His site says, “They tried to silence the Allman voice but he is back!  We are so excited to announce that the ‘Radio Free Allman’ show will officially launch May 7th, 2018 from 6am-9am.  ‘Radio Free Allman’ isn’t bound by a radio dial, it’s digital radio available on ANY cell phone, desktop, or laptop in the WORLD!” Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Allman is suing Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from KFTK-FM last month.

Cumulus and Entercom Settle $11.6 Million Claim.  This settlement is the result of an agreement between Cumulus and Entercom over numerous contracts between Cumulus’ Westwood One and CBS RADIO that Entercom inherited with its acquisition of CBS.  Cumulus is agreeing to cut a check to Entercom for $11.6 million to settle this pre-petition claim.

TALKERS News Notes. In San Antonio, Rob Thompson is the new program director of Alpha Media’s sports talk KZDC-AM/K233DB “ESPN San Antonio.” Thompson is the afternoon drive co-host of “The Blitz with Jason and Rob” with Jason Minnix…..Next Friday (5/11), KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101.1” talk show host Lars Larson is moderating a live GOP Oregon primary gubernatorial debate with the three front-running Republican candidates for Oregon governor: Knute Buehler, Sam Carpenter and Greg Wooldridge.  The debate will take place in the Bloodworks Live Studio in downtown Portland from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and be live on the Lars Larson show. It’ll also be heard on the 24 affiliate stations of the Radio Northwest Network…..Salem Media Group welcomes Carolyn Cassidy back to the company as general manager for its Columbus operations that include news/talk WTOH “98.9 The Answer” and two sister religious outlets. Cassidy was general manager for Salem’s Denver stations prior to her joining the Denver cluster of Wilks Broadcasting…..Entercom announces that it is acquiring the rights to University of Oregon sports play-by-play after inking a four-year deal with the school.  Games and related programming will air on sports talk KFXX, Portland “1080 The Fan” and will include football, basketball and baseball.  Alpha Media’s crosstown KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game” holds the rights through the end of the baseball season…..Today is day two of the 20th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany and sister hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River.” Proceeds from the two-day radiothon broadcast from Albany Medical Center will benefit the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center…..Entercom makes a call letter change for new sports talker “97.3 The Fan” in San Diego.  The former CHR station drops KEGY-FM for KWFN-FM.

The Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 30-May 4.  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal.  Coming in at #3 was the Stormy Daniels case, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security and the related caravan asylum seekers at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Christine Hassler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, master coach, podcaster and TV host Christine Hassler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A world-renowned evangelist for the nascent field of “Spiritual Psychology,” Hassler is the co-host and relationship expert on TLC’s “The Spouse House,” in addition to hosting a weekly podcast titled, “Over It & On With It.” Harrison and Hassler engage in a deep-dive conversation about the intersection between mind and soul, including social media addiction, the characteristics of Millennials, and dealing with life’s major disappointments. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hip hop is back on the 93.3 FM frequency in Seattle as iHeartMedia flips CHR KPWK and returns the KUBE calls to the station.  The company is keeping Carla Marie & Anthony in the morning drive slot and the rest of the jock schedule includes Shay, Eric Rosado, and Bootleg Kev.  It is playing 14,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  iHM region president Robert Dove says, “An iconic brand has been missing in Seattle radio.  KUBE is a name that’s been part of Seattle’s music consciousness and lifestyle for over 20 years.  Listeners have spoken how they’ve missed KUBE.  Well Seattle, KUBE is back!”…..Programming pro Smokey Rivers joins Entercom to serve as program director for the company’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound.”  Rivers has been serving as director of operations and PD at Scripps’ AC KMXZ, Tucson.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Smokey joins ‘The Sound’ at a great time as we are already experiencing phenomenal growth with the station.  Our on-air hosts John Fisher and Delilah are just getting started.  We are thrilled and excited Smokey will be joining our talented team of program directors here in Seattle.”  Prior to joining Scripps, Rivers served as VP of programming for iHeartMedia Phoenix and, before that, as VP of AC stations for CBS RADIO…..Afternoon air personality Ryan Nelson exits iHeartMedia’s country WFUS, Tampa.  Nelson also served as APD and music director for the station…..At Scripps’ country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri, Nancy Simpson moves out of the newsroom at the cluster and joins Cash Williams as co-host on the morning show.   Simpson says, “I felt that a change might be good for my soul, but I really love it here at KTTS.  This is my work family.  With this move into the morning show, I get to show the lighter side of my personality, but still be at home.”

Monday, April 23, 2018

| April 23, 2018

Possible Deal Brewing in St. Louis Involving KTRS and KFNS. As reported in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, (mostly) sports talk KFNS owner Randy Markel is ready to sell KFNS and he’s in talks with crosstown news/talk KTRS owner CH HoldingsDan Caesar’s piece reports that this is in the early stages as the full CH Holdings board has not yet been presented with details of a deal and Markel says he’s had talks with others about acquiring KFNS.  Markel told the paper he’s spent about $3 million to resuscitate KFNS after buying it out of bankruptcy.  An interesting twist to the story is that a number of former KTRS staffers – including former afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion – now work at KFNS and a reunion of them with KTRS management might be less than smooth.  For now though, KFNS is on the block and only time will tell if there’s a serious buyer for the signal.

Laura Ingraham in Legal Battle Over Fired Former Assistant.  The suit against Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio host and FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham was filed in Washington, DC Superior Court by former Ingraham assistant Karolina Wilson and claims that Ingraham and her company violated anti-discrimination laws and DC’s Family and Medical Leave Act. The suit alleges that Wilson worked for Ingraham with “proficiency” for 16 months prior to becoming pregnant. After notifying Ingraham over her condition, Wilson says Ingraham’s attitude toward her changed with Ingraham becoming “distant and angry with her work performance.”  The two sides also allegedly argued over proper maternity leave time after Wilson’s child was born.  Upon returning to work, Wilson was fired from her position.  In a response to the Washington Post, about the suit, Ingraham’s attorney denies the allegations and in response to the suit, rejects Wilson’s contention that her work prior to becoming pregnant was “extremely efficient.”  The two sides are expected in court for a hearing on May 11.

Daria Dolan Expresses Gratitude and Optimism to the Radio Industry.  As reported in TALKERS (4/18), pioneering financial talk show host Ken Dolan of the legendary husband-wife team “The Dolans” passed away last Tuesday (4/17) after a long battle with lymphoma. Readers wanting to reach out to his media partner and wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, were advised that they could do so through longtime family friend Michael Harrison via email at michael@talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “The huge amount of heartfelt emails and phone calls from all ends of the industry expressing love and support for Daria has been truly wonderful. However, I’m not at all surprised by the stunning outpouring of love and emotion.  The Dolans are a truly special part of radio’s golden history.”  Daria Dolan has written the following note of gratitude to the radio industry:  When Michael Harrison asked to do a tribute to Ken I was touched and thrilled.  Ken Dolan lived and breathed radio and was so good at it. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride. I often characterized myself as the guy at the end of the parade with the can, shovel and broom.  But the response of so many of you surpasses touched and thrilled.  Too many people these days say radio is dead or simply on its last legs.  Nothing could be further from the truth. From the on-air personalities to the support staff in the booths and the copy editors and traffic managers in the ad departments, your overwhelming reaching out to me confirms my belief that no industry with heart that beats as strongly as I have seen and heard in emails and phone calls could possibly be dying.  Your heartfelt responses show me an industry that has plenty of life left. Radio may certainly be evolving but it is NOT dying. So please keep the wonderful spark you all have alive and continue to give it your all every day. It’s true that part of my heart has gone to another place, but the other piece is here with all of you in solidarity. It will remain so until I join Ken again.  Thank you so much for caring about my Ken and saving some of the concern for me as well.

–          Daria Dolan

McMahon: Why Radio (and TV) Newscasts Sound the Same.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the “sameness” of radio (and television) news reporting. Using the case of the media coverage of the execution of convicted murderer Cal Brown as his case study, McMahon illustrates how numerous news outlets can send crews to the same news event and the resulting reporting is pretty much the same.  Read McMahon’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. At Saga Communications’ Ithaca, New York news/talk WHCU, the station goes from a local morning show to the Compass Media-syndicated “This Morning with Gordon Deal” program.  Lee Rayburn has been the morning drive host at the station for the past six years and announced his departure via Facebook in which he says that the morning show position at the station has been eliminated…..New England Sports Network studio host and anchor Marc James is doing some fill-in work at Entercom’s sports talker WEEI-FM, Boston.  James sat in over the weekend with Trenni Kusnierek and John Tomase on the “Trenni & Tomase” show.  Tomorrow (4/24), he’ll be a cast member on the afternoon drive on the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe.  James previously hosted on sports talk outlets WFNC, Charlotte and WZGC-FM, Atlanta…..Monticello Media names Ralph Salierno vice president and general manager of the company’s Charlottesville, Virginia cluster that includes news/talk WCHV and four music-formatted stations.  Salierno was most recently serving with Alpha Media as market manager for the company’s Fredericksburg, Virginia cluster…..Yesterday (4/22) was the debut of the venerable “CBS Sunday Morning” television program on the radio.  CBS News Radio began making the audio of the 9:00 am ET television news magazine available to radio affiliates. CBS News Radio says that in addition to the Jane Pauley-hosted show being available to radio stations, it is also being made available as a podcast at Radio.com…..The FOX Sports Radio lineup is getting cleared in the Chicago market as DuPage Radio’s suburban simulcast of WCKG-AM, Elmhurst and translator W272DQ at 102.3 FM turn into a sports talker featuring Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Rich Eisen.  The station plans to add a local afternoon show to the station soon.

Trump -Russia Investigation, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Nuclear Program, Waffle House Shooter, Bloomberg Climate Accord Payment, Barbara Bush Tribute, Macron’s U.S. Visit, Romney Senate Bid, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the Trump administration’s threat to leave the Iran nuclear deal; North Korea’s overtures to the U.S. and whether it really would end its nuclear weapons program; a man shoots four dead at a Nashville Waffle House; UN special envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg pledges to write a $4.5 million check to cover the U.S.’s financial commitment to the Paris climate accord; former presidents and first ladies pay tribute to the late Barbara Bush; French president Emanuel Macron’s impending visit to the U.S.; Mitt Romney to run in Republican primary for Utah senate seat; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Travis Daily is named operations manager and program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa. Daily was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations.   Speaking about his new gig, Daily says, “I could not be more thrilled to be joining what I feel is the most exciting media company in America.  From the moment I started talking to George Toulas, Justin Chase, DJ Stout and Brian Beasley, I knew this was the team I had to be on.  I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to be part of such an awesome group in Tampa.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad” program adds two more affiliate stations to it roster as WAFN-FM, Huntsville “FUN 92.7” and WNXT-FM, Portsmouth, Ohio “MIX 99.3” add the show to their programming lineups…..Buffalo adult standards WECK is adding another FM signal to its simulcast.  It’s new FM translator at 100.5 joins WECK-AM’s 1230 AM and fellow translator W275BB at 102.9 FM.  Station owner Buddy Shula says the additional translator will give improved FM coverage for Buffalo and its northern suburbs. Shula says, “The response to our full-service, local personality-based adult standards format has been incredible. Adding FM coverage for rapidly growing parts of our metro is important to WECK’s overall growth strategy – and to the service to our communities.”…..Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia is celebrating its 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Philadelphia on Sunday (4/29).  During this week’s build-up to Sunday’s anniversary, legendary host Pierre Robert– a fixture at the station for all but 13 of its 50 years – will host a daily, 90-minute feature focusing on the five decades of music and Philadelphia events, beginning each day at 12:00 noon. On Saturday (4/28), the station will play the top 50 live performances culled from the “MMaRchives,” featuring hundreds of live performances recorded at the WMMR studios, as well as local venues and the venerable Sigma Sound recording Studio…..iHeartMedia is kicking off the summer with the “2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring performances from today’s hottest artists including: Ariana Grande, Shawn MendesMeghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NFMiguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, with more to be announced.  The “iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” will be the first concert held at the all-new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 2…..Los Angeles alternative rock outlet KROQ announces the lineup for this year’s “26th Annual KROQ Weenie Roast.”  Acts will include: Blink – 182, Panic! At The Disco, Rise Against, Dirty Heads, Mike Shinoda, Cold War Kids, The War On DrugsAwolnation, Bishop Briggs, Alice MertonManchester Orchestra, James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, and Mt. Joy.  The show takes place at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday, May 12.

Friday, April 6, 2018

| April 6, 2018

Damon Bruce Renews with ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco. Sports talk pro Damon Bruce and Entercom Communications agree to a new multi-year contract to keep him hosting afternoon drive on KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz comments, “Damon Bruce is an iconic Bay Area sports voice who has been an important part of The Game’s surge in popularity.  We are beyond thrilled that with this new extension Damon will continue to keep us growing and thriving.”  Bruce started his sports talk career at crosstown KNBR.  He’s served with SiriusXM, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and CBS Sports Network.  He joined KGMZ in 2014.

Dan Bickley Is ‘All-In’ at Bonneville’s ArizonaSports.com and KMVP-FM.  Phoenix sports media pro Dan Bickley (left) is digging in at Bonneville’s operations in the Valley.  The longtime local sports columnist is moving his columns and all of his written content to the company’s digital platform, ArizonaSports.com.  Simultaneously, Bonneville is adding two hours to the “Bickley and Marotta” sports talk show he co-hosts with Vince Marotta (right).  The program airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm currently but will start at 10:00 am, effective April 23. (It appears this move means the current 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show “The Blitz with B-Train and Jurecki” [Bertrand Berry and Mike Jurecki] is cancelled.) Bickely states, “I’m ecstatic to join a team as talented and powerful as Arizona Sports.  It’s a blessing to have an on-air partner like Vince Marotta, to work alongside the most engaging personalities in Arizona, and to bring my column to one of the fastest growing platforms in the country.” Bickley has been covering sports in the market for 20 years with the Arizona Republic and AZCentral Sports.

Mike Hartel Rises to EVP for Alpha Media’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Radio management pro Mike Hartel is promoted to executive vice president for Alpha Media’s Mid-Atlantic Region that includes the Dayton, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Canton, Ohio; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Hagerstown-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and Bluefield, West Virginia markets.  Spoken-word stations in that region include: sports talk WOIC-AM, Columbia, news/talk WNTX, Fredericksburg, and sports talk WING-AM, Dayton.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt says, “Mike has demonstrated leadership skills surpassing our expectations from day one of joining the company and he has the unique ability to inspire and mentor those around him.  I’m delighted to promote him into this role working side-by-side with our other regional EVP’s: Bill McElveen, Larry Bastida, and George Pelletier.”

Why Does Talk Radio Struggle? Answer: It Doesn’t.  Talk show host and Talk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine that talk radio is as strong as it ever was.  He says that when moments of controversy on a talk station arise, the only “sales problems” stations have are created because “we allow sales departments to run our programming in moments like these.”  Furthermore, Crabtree says no one can sell conservative talk radio better than the people who understand it and those people are the hosts.  “I was recently having a philosophical conversation with a programmer in a top-50 market who told me that ‘we generally don’t want our talent out doing any sales [activities] in markets this size…so they can focus on their shows.’ I was stunned!”  Read Crabtree’s entire piece here.

PodcastOne Announces Three New Publisher Deals. Podcast giant PodcastOne announces the network’s newest talent partners. The entertainment site Collider teams with PodcastOne to amplify distribution and advertising sales for their five movie and television-themed podcasts. Three-time NBA champ BJ Armstrong joins PodcastOne SportsNet to host “In the Key” with Sirius XM’s Gerald Brown. That weekly show provides insider conversation on the cultural beats of the moment, from basketball to hip hop. Finally, “Bubba’s Exotic Motorsports” launches featuring the award-winning, father-and-son car-building team, Bubba and Tom. Their weekly podcast for car enthusiasts debuts April 15.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York morning hosts Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg were paid a visit by President Donald Trump.  POTUS called the station to chat with “Bernie & Sid” about a number of hot topics. He also congratulated the two on succeeding the “Imus in the Morning” program on the legendary Cumulus Media station. Listen to the segment here…..Houston-based Patrick Creighton begins hosting the late night “Straight Heat with Patrick Creighton” on SB Nation Radio from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET beginning Monday (4/9).  Creighton co-hosts the midday “Nate and Creight” show on Gow Media-owned KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Creighton says, “I am really excited to bring my unique blend of sports, entertainment, and fun every night to SB Nation Radio.  It’s an incredible challenge, but one I am eagerly awaiting.  I’d like to thank David Gow and Craig Larson for this amazing opportunity.”

Price: Are You Ready for Today’s 10 Plagues? Broadcast continuity expert Howard B. Price – who served with ABC/Disney for many years as director of business continuity & crisis management – says you can use the 10 plagues Biblical story as metaphor for what a concerned broadcaster must prepare in order to prevent an unstoppable event from ruining your ability to serve your listeners and, of course, advertisers.  Price says the tale “mirrors our ongoing struggles to convince managers that at one time or another, very bad things will have dramatically negative impacts on their operations.  And more likely as not, those bad events will cascade, causing even more catastrophic business impacts. Which is why we really should listen to and act upon the warnings we’re given, whether we like them or not.”  Read his piece here.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 2-6. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ‘immigrant caravan’ making its way through Mexico tied with President Trump’s order to have the U.S. military protect the Southern border.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-China tariff threats and the related financial markets activity, followed by the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KXNT, Las Vegas, Afternoon Drive Host Alan Stock Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  It has been slightly more than six months since the terrible Las Vegas shooting rocked the nation.  However, in today’s rapidly accelerating, increasingly frenzied news and communications environment, it might as well have been six years ago.  This observation is especially apt considering the continuing series of events involving senseless and random violence assaulting the public’s collective consciousness.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison catches up with veteran talk show host of Entercom news/talker KXNT, Las Vegas, Alan Stock.  Together they revisit the tragedy of October 1, 2017 and discuss it from the perspective of a talk station where the event was a mind-numbing local news happening and one that still permeates the thoughts and memories of its audience.  On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” Alan Stock recounts the radio station’s response on the night of the massacre and the days, weeks and months that followed.  Harrison and Stock also talk about the impact Donald Trump is having on news/talk radio, the state of journalism and the American conservative movement.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that hip hop jock and VJ Ed Lover is destined to be the new morning personality on Entercom’s urban contemporary WBMX “104.3 Jams.”  Lover rose to prominence as host of “Yo! MTV Raps” back in the 1990s. Most recently he was serving with Radio One’s “Boom 102.9” in Atlanta as morning host.  Feder says the station will make the announcement next week…..“Brooke & Jubal” co-host Brooke Fox (pictured below) was honored at 425 Magazine’s “Women to Watch” event at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated personality was among five women who were recognized as “change-makers for their dedication to moving the needle forward and making America stronger and more adaptable for the next generation.”

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. 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 below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive.  After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2.  Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.

WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show.  A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram.  The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’  Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows.  He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area.  His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.”  Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”

Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies.  In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort!  His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”

Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup.  Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup.  Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community.  The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.”  “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland.  We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.”  The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show.  The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.”  Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters.  New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment.  New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future.  The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it.  Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9.  The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Stormy DanielsDonald Trump relationship and legal actions.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview.   Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet.  Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews.  Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show.  His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show.  Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM.  Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield.  She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show.  She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”

Thursday, February 22, 2018

| February 22, 2018

Sports Talker KABZ-FM, Little Rock Changes Name of ‘Babe Bracket’ Contest.  “The times they are a changin’” and Signal Media’s decision to rename the “Babe Bracket” contest after pressure from the public is evidence of that.  The contest asks listeners to rate 16 local, female television personalities in a tournament fashion – hence the “bracket” part.  But now, KABZ-FM “103.7 The Buzz” has decided to call the promotion “The Bracket with No Name” a riff on the station’s “The Show with No Name” hosted by Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott and RJ Hawk.  The station says, “The goal of this event has always been to let ‘Buzz’ listeners get to know local TV journalists and celebrities better and allow the contestants to have an open forum to show their personality, share what they are passionate about, and talk to members of our great community. It is of the utmost importance to hosts Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott and RJ Hawk that the women who are part of the event are treated with respect and celebrated for all of the things that make them so popular with our listeners and their viewers.”  The winning TV personality gets a spa package and the station makes a $500 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.

With Clock Ticking, iHM Senior Lenders Try to Woo Junior Bondholders.  According to a report by Bloomberg, the Franklin Resources-led senior lenders are preparing to pitch a new term sheet to junior bondholders in order to get all creditors on board for a debt restructuring for iHeartMedia.  iHM skipped a $106 million interest payment on February 1, kicking in a 30-day grace period before default on the loan can be claimed.  It’s expected that iHeartMedia will declare bankruptcy before the 30-day grace period lapses and senior creditors hope a deal can be struck with all creditor groups to arrange a pre-packaged bankruptcy.  What’s the sticking point?  Bloomberg writes, “The senior group is betting that a shared desire to deny current equity owners any stake in a restructured company will get junior creditors on board with their latest proposal…Cleansing documents filed by the company on February 9 showed that iHeart’s insistence on retaining equity stakes for its current owners remains the main obstacle to a consensual deal.”

Kevin Rolston to Host Daily Sports Show on WMEN-AM, West Palm Beach.  West Palm Beach morning drive personality Kevin Rolston is adding an afternoon shift to his duties with Alpha Media.  Already a co-host on the “The KVJ Show” on the company’s hot AC WRMF, Rolston will launch a 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm daily show on sister sports talker WMEN-AM “The Hurricane,” beginning February 26.  Titled, “Kevin’s Other Show,” the program will feature “local topics as well as national sports conversations.”  Alpha Media Palm Beach SVP/market manager Elizabeth Hamma adds, “We’re excited to bring something unique, fresh and local to South Florida’s sports fans.  ‘640 The Hurricane’ has the largest sports signal in the Palm Beaches, so adding talent the caliber of Kevin Rolston, with his passion for sports and entertainment, make it a natural winner.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Tavis Smiley is suing PBS for breach of contract after the company fired him in December after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.  The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, DC, contends that Smiley’s firing by the public broadcaster was due in part to racial bias…..The NAB has announced the finalists for this year’s Crystal Radio Awards.  Spoken word stations that have made the finalists list include: all-news WINS-AM, New York; news/talk WOR, New York; all-news WWJ, Detroit; WSB-AM, Atlanta; WTMJ, Milwaukee; KFTK-FM, St. Louis; news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix; news/talk KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; KSRO, Santa Rosa, California; and WSOY-AM Decatur, Illinois…..Scripps news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting a special program to address school safety in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida massacre.  The one-hour special airs tomorrow (2/23) at 3:00 pm.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks states, “WTMJ is ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ and we’re honored to provide an on-air town hall for local leaders to discuss the importance of securing area schools.  It’s our duty to provide a forum on such an important subject which has taken on added urgency following the Parkland shootings.”

Florida School Massacre Aftermath/CNN Town Hall, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian Meddling in U.S. Elections; DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Billy Graham Dies at 99, Middle East Tensions/Syria Violence, Twitter Accounts Suspensions, CPAC, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21).  The gun control debate spurred by the deadly Florida school shooting and Wednesday evening’s CNN Town Hall addressing gun issues; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the intelligence information pointing to Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the 2018 mid-term elections; the status of the DACA and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99; tensions between Iran and Israel and the attacks on rebels and civilians in Syria’s eastern Ghouta; the suspension of numerous Twitter accounts as the company attempts to sweep out bots; this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference; and the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Broadcasting from CPAC. The 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference got underway yesterday at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland and Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher is broadcasting from the event.  Among the conservative leaders expected to speak at the conference are: President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and NRA president Wayne LaPierre.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Lexington, Kentucky country outlet WVLK flips to adult hits, using the JACK format.  Cumulus Media is position the new station as “101.5 JACK FM.”  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier says, “We are looking forward to introducing ‘JACK FM’ to Central Kentucky.  Jack is the #1-branded radio format in the country and the programming energizes listeners with its truly original brand and “we will play anything” attitude.”…..Programmer Dennis Martinez exits Entercom’s Orlando cluster where he’d been programming hot AC WOMX “MIX 101.5” and alternative rock WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Martinez joined the stations in 2015 when they were owned by CBS RADIO…..SiriusXM is celebrating the career Lynyrd Skynyrd as the band embarks on its farewell tour with a special invitation-only show for SiriusXM on Thursday, March 15 at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.  Also, SiriusXM will dedicate the month or March to Skynyrd with its own Southern Rock channel called, appropriately, “Freebird.”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Bon Jovi to the lineup of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles on March 11.  The band will be honored with the iHeartRadio Icon Award.

 

Round Two of January PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Each faction under the spoken-word umbrella claims a big January 2018 victory. Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP segued to second-place in “Holiday” 2017, but with a +1.3 (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), it reclaims the top spot with its best 6+-stat in nearly seven years (10.6, March 2011). Moreover, the Hubbard all-news operation applies the brakes to three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). An even larger sweep-to-sweep increase is notched by American University-owned news/talk WAMU (7.6 – 9.3, +1.7, third to second, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. Off by a cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Without an increase in each of the last three reports for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL recaptures all of it plus one-tenth more (4.8, +1.1, eighth to sixth, 6+) as it registers its strongest 6+-performance since March 2015 (4.8, as well). Down or flat the past four survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” bounces back with a +.6 to 2.4 (6+) and continues at #18. A gain of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) takes iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5 DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” to its highest 6+-performance since September’s 4.4, while a +.5 (3.3 – 3.8, tenth to ninth, 6+) enables Radio One urban contemporary WKYS to log its best 6+-stat since October 2016’s 3.9. Down or flat the past 11 sweeps for a combined -.8 (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” picks up one-tenth to .4 and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). After six straight increases (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH surrenders all but six-tenths of that collective +5.6 (4.7, -5.0, 6+) and tumbles from first to seventh; 9.7 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. A loss of one-tenth to 5.6 by Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic 102.3” (fifth to fourth, 6+) halts four straight up or flat moves that netted +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Similarly-formatted/Howard University-owned WHUR picks up three-tenths of the -1.1 from “Holiday” 2017, inching up from fourth to third (7.1, 6+). It recorded a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing but forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, WHUR was in third-place for each of the previous 12 ratings periods.

2) Boston – Rebounding from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 (6.4 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” progresses from second to first. “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Surrendering the top spot after back-to-back stays there is Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (13.6 – 5.4, -8.2, first to fourth, 6+), which was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+). Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat since 5.1 in January 2011, the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. As the New England Patriots were marching toward another Super Bowl, The Hub’s January 2018 (6+) sports talk share bloats by +2.6, nearly equally divided between Entercom’s WEEI-FM (5.4, +1.4, ninth to fourth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.9 – 7.1, +1.2, third to second, 6+). The +1.4 by Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM curtails three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WWBX (formerly WBMX) was off by one full-share, but “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” picks up four-tenths to 3.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). Improving by seven-tenths each and displaying identical 4.2 – 4.9 steady at #7 (6+) profiles are fellow public news/talkers Boston University-owned WBUR and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH. In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+) – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). In addition to “The Sports Hub,” classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” (5.5 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” (4.6, unchanged at #10, 6+) post gains of +1.2, as well. The latter ends six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). An overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), WZLX urban AC cluster-mate, WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B,” regains all but one-tenth of that loss (2.6, +.8, #18 to #14, 6+), while Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Independent Boston Radio” adds one-half share to 2.1 (#20 to #17, 6+), erasing its -.5 from three straight down or flat moves (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). Even though it is +.2 to 2.1 (6+) thus curtailing five consecutive declines for an overall -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” backslides from #16 to #17. In advance of the aforementioned decline, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). After four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB is now a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #22, 6+). In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+).

3) Miami – In addition to climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WXTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits” registers its fourth increase in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7, 6+). A gain of one-half share takes Entercom-owned adult contemporary WLYF to its strongest 6+-stat (7.4) since September 2016’s 8.4. Moreover, “101.5 Lite FM” repeats at #1 and is a collective +1.8 in five successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+). Elevating by one-half share as well are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” (5.6, flat at #4, 6+) and Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (2.4, #20 to #19, 6+). Prior to January 2018, “Amor” was -1.1 in three straight down or flat moves (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), while WLRN was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Up a combined seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss, Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country” climbs from #17 to #16 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Following four increases in succession that yielded a +1.0 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WRTO “Mix 98.3” relinquishes six-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Off by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Miami’s Rhythm From the ‘80s to Now” (2.5 – 1.9, #18 to #20, 6+), which had been within 2.0 – 2.5 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods. Returning in its entirety the +.4 from “Holiday” 2017 plus one-tenth more (4.6 – 4.1, -.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” slips from seventh to eighth. Unchanged at #3, its urban AC cluster-mate, WHQT “Hot 105,” is -1.6 in four decreases in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WFLC “Hits 97.3” carries on at #11. Its format competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2017 (4.1 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August.

4) Detroit – Two-tenths of a share (6+) separates the Motor City’s top three January 2018 finishers. Included in that trio is Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC, which improves by six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+) to progress from second to first. This is the best 6+-stat for “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2016’s 7.1. WOMC succeeds iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which plummets by -9.2 (15.8 – 6.6, first to second, 6+). Immediately prior to this drop, however, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market pacesetter from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). Among the stations benefitting from its -9.2 are Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (5.1, +1.0, seventh to fifth, 6+); co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” (5.6 – 6.5, +.9, steady at #3, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (4.1, +.6, #12 to #11, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2, while WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). WWJ had been within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Led by Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (3.8 – 4.9, +1.1, tenth to sixth, 6+), the market’s (6+) country share improves by +1.7. Immediately after picking up three-tenths in November to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” which was without an increase in eight consecutive sweeps for a -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), gains six-tenths (2.7, #18 to #15, 6+). Frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” regains 80% of its -1.0 from “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 4.8, 6+) and remains at #9. Leaping by eight-tenths as well is Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” (4.9, seventh to sixth, 6+), which ends three straight declines that accounted for a -1.0 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, Detroit Classical and Jazz Educational Radio-owned WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days – Jazzy Nights” explodes with a +1.0 to 2.4 (#21 to #18, 6+). Following three straight dips that accounted for a -1.2 (6.6 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 Detroit’s Classic Rock” gains one-half share to remain at #4 (5.9, 6+), while co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” bounces back from a -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, 6+) and stays at #6. An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picked up two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but drops six-tenths in January 2018 (2.0 – 1.4, #19 to #21, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – By dropping six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+); however, the news/talk outlet roars back with a +1.5 (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) to advance from second to first. Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. After back-to-back stays at #1, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” returns all but two-tenths of its combined +6.5 from December and “Holiday” and falls to third (11.8 – 5.5, -6.3, 6+). The 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). It now has a new format opponent, Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound,” which is +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, 6+) and zooms from #17 to #11. Country KMPS became KSWD “The Sound” on December 4 (2017). Those are the same call letters and identity Entercom formerly used for its Los Angeles classic rocker, which is now Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Down or flat the past three reports for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers with a +1.0 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from fifth to second. Adding a +.9 to its +.7 from “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” proceeds from sixth to third with its best 6+-stat since 5.7 in August 2015. A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” regains roughly half that loss with a +.9 to 4.3 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). This represents the third increase in a row for hot AC cluster-mate KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety,” which is +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) as well. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), co-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is +.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). Eroding by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) as a result of being down or flat the past five ratings periods (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), Hubbard’s KVRQ “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country” picks up one-half share to 1.5 (6+) and stays at #23. The station flipped from “Rock 98.9” on December 4 (2017). Immediately after rolling out a +2.3 in “Holiday” 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” forfeits all but two-tenths of that bounty (5.7 – 3.6, -2.1, 6+) and drifts from #3 to #12. In “Holiday” 2017 (5.7), “Star” reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016.

6) Phoenix – Owing to three straight increases, Entercom-owned KMLE is a cumulative +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in March. Even so, “Country @ 107.9” backslides from sixth to eighth. Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country and All Time Favorites” hauls out a +1.1 (4.1 – 5.2, 6+) to climb from fifth to third. More than quadrupling its 6+ AQH-share (+3.7) in four straight gains (1.0 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “88.3 Campesina Radio Network” enters the top ten (#11 to #6). Following three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.5 (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” recaptures two-thirds of the loss with a +1.0 to 4.0 and is back in the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied at #9 with Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM, which erases its -.6 from “Holiday” 2017 with a +.8 (3.2 – 4.0, four-way tie at #11 to #9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and now +.9 in January 2018 (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). Having logged three straight decreases for a combined -1.2 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” regains half that loss with a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) yet drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11). Improving by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMXP “Mix 96.9” (up or flat for the fourth time in a row, 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, third to fourth, 6+); co-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” (1.6 – 2.1, #21 to #20, 6+); and Sierra urban-rhythmic oldies KAJM “Mega 104.3” (1.3 – 1.8, #22, 6+). Despite returning the bulk of its combined +10.2 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.4 – 7.3, -9.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is #1 for the third time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. In the runner-up slot – also for the third consecutive time – is Hubbard’s KSLX, which is up three-tenths to 5.8 (6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight decreases that generated a combined -2.4 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). “Classic Rock 100.7,” which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8, exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Without a loss in five successive sweeps for an overall +.9 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” is anchored at #19. Up one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders six-tenths to .9 (#24 to #28, 6+). As the result of four consecutive negative trends, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” has lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5, #21 to #24, 6+). It faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Answering a -.7 in “Holiday” 2017 with an increase more than double that margin (5.8 – 7.6, +1.8, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” catapults from fifth to first. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/similarly formatted KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” advances from #14 to #12. The station “KS-95” replaces at #1 – “Cities 97” classic hits-oldies sibling KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” – returns in its entirety the combined +.7.8 it garnered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.2 – 6.4, -7.8, first to third, 6+). KQQL’s 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. While steady at #3, CHR sibling KDWB, a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+), gains four-tenths to 6.4 (6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Several news/talk outlets do well this sweep, including iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” (2.5 – 3.4, +.9, #15 to #14, 6+); Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW (5.9, +.7, sixth to fifth, 6+); and Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” (4.4 – 5.0, +.6, tenth to eighth, 6+). The September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending for KNOW was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” hangs out a +.9 to 5.9 (seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since 6.0 in August. This survey period proves to be a mixed bag for the two country FMs, as iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +1.1 (4.5, #12 to #10, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” is -.5 (4.0 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+). The +1.1 by “K-102” applies the brakes to six straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). When KMNB gained four-tenths to 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017, it halted three consecutive declines that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+).

8) San Diego – Following four straight upticks for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY relinquishes all but two-tenths (4.0, 4.0, -5.5, 6+) and sinks from first to tenth. KYXY’s 9.5 in “Holiday” 2017 exceeded by four-tenths its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. It is replaced by two stations at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which records its fourth straight gain for a net +1.4 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, third to first, 6+), and San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, actually off one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, second to first, 6+). A December gain of four-tenths by KPBS pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that it was on top. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By logging a +1.1 to 4.7 (6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” recaptures the full-share (plus one-tenth more) that it lost in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+) and leaps from tenth to fifth. Bouncing back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” posts a +1.0 (3.3 – 4.3, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). News/talk cluster-mate KOGO, which eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), responds with a +.8 to 5.0 (seventh to third, 6+). When KOGO “600 News Radio” lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. An overall -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.8 – 2.7, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM posts a +.7 to 3.4 (#14 to #13, 6+). Prior to December, “100.7 KFM – BFM” was a combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+); November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT returned seven-tenths of that increase in “Holiday” 2017; however, “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” regains six-tenths to 2.5 and is in a five-way scrum at #16 (6+). After improving by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to halt three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.5 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” forfeits one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) and is part of that logjam at #16. In addition to being without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective -1.1 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5” departs the top ten (#8 to #11).

9) Denver – Via its third improvement in succession for a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR marches from third to first. Dislodged from the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there is Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety,” which is -6.1 (11.5 – 5.4, first to second, 6+), following a combined +6.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017. KOSI’s 11.5 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to KCFR, KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” improves by +1.0 as well (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. When “KOOL” added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it stymied three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” posts a +.9 to 4.2, its best 6+-performance since 4.3 in December 2016. Classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” rebounds from a -.5 to a +.7 (3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, seventh to fourth, 6+) takes iHeartMedia classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” to its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 5.2, while a gain of one-half share by triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” (5.1, fifth to third, 6+) halts four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). Flat at #14, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is up four-tenths to 3.6 (6+), ending three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 (June through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ KWOF “92.5 The Wolf New Country Now” falters by nine-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #22). Meanwhile, Bonneville’s similarly-formatted KYGO is down or flat for the ninth month in a row for a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.5, second to sixth, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia news/talk KOA (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to ninth, 6+) with its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March, and Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.2 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+).

10) Tampa – The Cox Media Group Tampa adult contemporary that generally gets the most attention is WDUV, but in January 2018, that honor has to go to WWRM. Not only does “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” haul out a +1.8 to 5.7, rocketing from #12 to #4, it pulls the plug on three straight down or flat trends that generated a -1.2 (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+). Speaking of WDUV, albeit that is -3.1 (11.9 – 8.8, 6+), it is the market’s pacesetter for the 65th successive ratings period; “Lite Favorites” was a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s adult contemporary arena, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+), surrenders all but one-half share of that increase (1.7, -2.3, 6+), freefalling from #9 to #19. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best-ever 6+-stat in the format. Meanwhile, in hot AC, iHeartMedia’s WMTX “Mix 100.7” improves by seven-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+), ending three straight (slightly) down or flat moves that resulted in a -.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a November – December – “Holiday” 2017 topline trend of 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 (6+), urban contemporary sibling WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a +.8 to 5.2 (seventh to fifth, 6+). An overall +1.0 in five successive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WSUN “97-X Your New Alternative” progresses from #19 to #16. It is tied there with news/talk cluster-mate WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio,” which gains three-tenths to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+), curtailing four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Picking up one-half share (in addition to WSUN) are Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” (5.3 – 5.8, unchanged at #3, 6+); co-owned rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1 The Bay’s Party Station” (4.0 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+); and iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA (2.7 – 3.2, #16 to 14, 6+). When “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” improved by four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Baltimore – Boasting the highest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” (4.6 – 7.1, +2.5, fourth to second, 6+). The iHeartMedia-owned property was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+) and was within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). In a bit of irony, this market is responsible for producing the loftiest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease by any PPM-market station to this point, as well. That dubious distinction goes to Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” (16.3 – 6.1, -10.2, first to third, 6+). It has been a wild ride lately for “Today’s 101.9,” which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and is now -10.2. Taking over for WLIF at #1 is Radio One urban AC WWIN (10.4 – 10.6, +.2, second to first, 6+). “Magic 95.9” occupied the top spot for four months in succession, before segueing to #2 in December. It is without a decrease for the seventh sweep in a row for a combined +2.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, 6+), Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” answers with a +1.0 in January 2018 to 3.8 (#12 to #11, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Erasing its -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.8 in January 2018 (3.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from eighth to seventh. Up by eight-tenths as well (3.4, #13 to #12, 6+) is Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine FM,” which was -.7 in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). Improving by seven-tenths each are Entercom CHR WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” (4.2 – 4.9, steady at #5, 6+) with its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.0, and Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR (3.5 – 4.2, unchanged at #8, 6+). Having sputtered by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.2 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” recoups one-third of that loss (4.0, +.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well and remaining at #6 is Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (4.0 – 4.6, 6+). When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU improves by one-half share in Baltimore (1.3, #17 to #16, 6+); WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). The 11 most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Jumping by +1.0 each are Entercom news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (6.4, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KYKY “Y-98 Today’s Best Music” (ninth to seventh, 6+). As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KMOX was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “Y-98 continues a down/up pattern that began in August (4.3 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nearly wiping out its -1.1 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 to 4.2 (6+), Emmis’ KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” jumps from #12 to a tie at #8 with KYKY. When “The Point” lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+), is up seven-tenths to 3.3 (#17 to #16, 6+). In a similar context, by registering a half-share increase to 3.5 (steady at #13, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU ends three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). A combined -.7 since November (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” regains all of it and an extra one-tenth (4.0, +.8, #13 to #10, 6+). Simultaneous with WXOS cluster-mate WIL “New Country 92.3” picking up eight-tenths (5.4 – 6.2, steady at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which had been trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 (6+), improves by one-half share to 4.0 (#11 to #10, 6+), its best 6+-stat since July’s 4.2. The five most recent fluctuations for Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” are -.6 (October); +.8 (November); +.6 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2017); and now +.5 in January 2018 (6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+). December’s increase concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, Emmis CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” bounces back with a +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, #15 to #14, 6+). Up six full-shares via three successive positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (4.2, -5.9, 6+), drifting from first to eighth. The 10.1 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It is replaced at the top by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which actually falters by -1.6 (9.5 – 7.9, 6+), but nonetheless advances from #2. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Setting the pace in January 2017, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. Via three negative moves in a row (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL is a combined -1.2 as “Hot 104.1” departs the top ten (#8 to #14). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted KATZ-FM “100.3 The Beat” (formerly KMJM) is off by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #17, 6+).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies 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. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 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, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 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 new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

E.W. Scripps Puts Radio Stations Up for Sale.  We’d call this a “shocker,” but there have been rumors in the industry recently that E.W. Scripps is not happy with the performances of its radio stations and is looking to sell.  Today’s announcement seems to verify that.  Saying that it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings,” it is also planning to sell its 34 radio stations and has “retained Kalil & Co., Inc. to handle the process.”  In the press release, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “Today, Scripps is a dynamic leader in the media industry through its strong local TV station portfolio, its growing multicast network, its national news network, and its podcasting business.  The enterprise-wide restructuring positions us well for continued growth while maintaining high-quality journalism as our central focus…Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”  Scripps got into the radio business as a result of the merger between Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps back in April of 2015.  The two companies merged and spun off their newspaper assets as Journal Media Group with E.W. Scripps keeping Journal’s TV and radio stations.  Adding more insight into Scripps’ restructuring plans, the press release says, “During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge.  The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.  The annual cost savings are driven by reductions in head count and operating expenses over the next 12 to 18 months.  These include centralization of services and technology; sharing of resources; elimination of redundant positions and services; and other expense reductions.”

McKay and Barks Out at KNZR, Bakersfield.  According to a report at Bakersfield.com and KERO-TV, Bakersfield, KNZR talk radio personalities Jaz McKay and Inga Barks have exited the Alpha Media news/talk station.  The moves happened within a week of each other but little else is known since Alpha Media is not commenting publicly about either change.  Barks hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and she’s been replaced by former Bakersfield city councilman Terry Maxwell.  McKay’s departure is a little more interesting.  McKay shot a Facebook Live video of himself sitting in his car going up the dial of his radio and commenting on the large number of Spanish-language stations, eventually using the word “spic.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is now being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

Cumulus WYAY, Atlanta Completes Transition from Newsradio to Talk. It may appear to be just a formality at this point, but Cumulus Media has taken the final step is transitioning WYAY-FM from its former all-news format to news/talk.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Rodney Ho reports that station program director Tom Lee says, “The whole concept is personality-driven radio.  People can get news anywhere.  They can’t get Shannon [Burke] or the Kimmer [Kim Peterson].  Our goal is to have four morning shows, one after another.”  The station canceled its remaining newsy program – the morning drive show featuring Rob Stadler – at the end of 2017.  It’s currently seeking a talk host for morning drive.  Read Ho’s piece here.

‘Markley & van Camp’ Expand Syndication Effort.  The WMBD-A, Peoria-based “Markley & van Camp” show is spreading its syndication wings by signing a deal with Compass Media Networks to handle syndication of the program, effective April 2.  The program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David van Camp – airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It’s also heard on other Alpha Media stations, including: KXL-FM, Portland; WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City; and WBRP-FM, Baton Rouge.  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “Thank you Alpha Media for developing MVC! ‘Markley & van Camp’ bring a unique mix of humor and fun to current events that will retain core talk radio listeners while gaining the hearts and minds of millennials searching for compelling daytime entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. Willamette Week reports that Portland radio personality Sheila Hamilton is no longer with Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM where she was co-hosting the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  She had also been heard in the market on the company’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland in morning drive with co-host Cort Johnson, but their show was replaced in May of 2017.  Hamilton told the Willamette Week she’s waiting until “final negotiations have been resolved” before explaining her departure.  There are rumors in the industry that Alpha Media is undergoing a company-wide, cost-cutting measure and some speculate that Hamilton’s departure from KXL and the recent actions taken at the company’s KNZR, Bakersfield – among others – support the theory…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group is collaborating with Cape Fear Valley Health to present a cluster-wide, commercial-free program to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic titled, “Fayetteville Fights Back.”  The program will air on January 30 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the company’s five stations in the market.  Physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, and addiction specialists – along with local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio) – will participate in the simulcast.

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI 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.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018).  The vast majority of (but not all) major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. See all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9