Tag: "Alpha Media"

Monday, September 14, 2020

| September 14, 2020

Monday Memo: ‘Better Be Nice to the Boomers.’  Remember 25-54? In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke says, “Forget it!” He shares fresh research on “radio’s real money demographic,” and a video full of specific leads for sales. Read it here.

Presidential Race/Trump Rally, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Western Wildfires, TikTok Deal, Compton Cop Attack, Federal Deficit, U.S.-China Relations, ‘Cuties’ Controversy, NFL Season Opens, and Tropical Storm Sally Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election and the indoor Donald Trump rally held in Nevada; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for future cases, and the race for a vaccine; the wildfires burning out of control in California, Oregon, and Washington; the bid for the U.S. arm of TikTok is won by Oracle; two police officers fight for their lives after being ambushed in Compton; the federal budget deficit hits $3 trillion; U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to resign post amidst diplomatic tensions; Republican senators ask DOJ to investigate Netflix’ “Cuties” film for sexualizing young girls; the NFL season opens with no fans in most stadiums, and Tropical Storm Sally aims for the Gulf Coast among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: What’s a Beat Book? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about the “Beat Book” – a journal of sales data and notes to help you beat your previous best. Read about it here.

Bill O’Reilly to Host Nightly One-Hour Show on WABC, New York. Beginning this evening (9/14), talk media superstar Bill O’Reilly will host a nightly talk program on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The program is called “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” This show is in addition to O’Reilly’s daily feature – the Key Networks syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” that is heard at 7:25 am and 11:54 am daily on WABC – as well as his weekly, Thursday morning appearance on the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program.

KPCC Radio Reporter Arrested After Compton Police Ambush. Radio reporter Josie Huang was arrested on Saturday night by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies outside of St. Francis Medical Center where two officers ambushed in Compton were being treated. The Los Angeles Times reports that the KPCC Radio and LAist reporter was tackled to the ground and handcuffed after approaching a police line where protesters had gathered. Authorities say Huang did not identify herself as press and did not have proper credentials as she approached officers attempting to arrest a disorderly protester. Huang, who appeared to be wearing her press credentials on a lanyard around her neck, says she’ll speak about the incident later.

ESPN Radio Unveils Fall Weekend Lineup. The fall weekend lineup for ESPN Radio is official and most of the new programs have launched. Premiering yesterday (9/13) was the new Sunday “Primetime” team of Field Yates and Alyssa Lang (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET) while Saturday’s edition hosted by Emmett Golden will debut later this month. Each day culminates with “GameNight on ESPN Radio” (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight). The new Sunday team of Tyler Fulghum, Monica McNutt and Ashley Brewer will make their debut September 20. Saturday’s edition, featuring the team of Jeff Dickerson and RJ Young, began last month. “GameDay” – the start of ESPN Radio’s afternoon lineup this fall – made its season debut last month as well, led by Matt Jones, Myron Medcalf and Joe Fortenbaugh on Saturdays and ESPN Radio’s first-ever married hosting duo of Jordan Cornette and Shae Peppler Cornette on Sundays.

TALKERS News Notes. Auto manufacturer General Motors and SiriusXM announce an extension of their long-term agreement through 2027.  As part of the new agreement, GM will increase vehicles equipped with SiriusXM to nearly all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles beginning with model year 2021. SiriusXM EVP, sales and automotive Steve Cook comments, “General Motors was the first automaker to begin factory-installing SiriusXM on select Cadillac models in 2002, and we are very proud to be extending and expanding that longstanding relationship into 2027. GM, forever a leader in delivering innovative technology to their customers, has produced tens of millions of vehicles with SiriusXM installed over the course of nearly 20 years and will deliver SiriusXM to more of their customers than ever as part of this new agreement.”…..The portfolio of podcasts produced by AdLarge’s cabana will be ranked in Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics Reports when data is released for the August 3-30 reporting period. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics Report is highly regarded by the advertising community for independent measurement and comparative data on podcast networks and titles. We are confident that our debut will affirm the strength of the cabana podcast portfolio and its value to advertisers.”…..Sports Garten Network’s flagship program “Wanna Bet?! Weekend Edition” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated nationally as part of a deal with United Stations Radio Networks and Gow Media’s SportsMap Radio Network. The program airs live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET on Sundays…..Andi McDaniel will not be assuming the president and CEO role at Chicago Public Media after all. McDaniel, who was hired for the position in May and was to start at the end of this month, came under fire for her role in the handling of complaints of sexual misconduct against a reporter who worked under her while she was chief content officer at WAMU in Washington. McDaniel posted a letter announcing her decision to her Facebook page and in it she says that while she accepts responsibility for what happened on her watch, she denies keeping any staffer on who had endangered fellow staffers – a reference to allegations pertaining to former WAMU reporter Martin Di Caro. Chicago Public Media, operator of WBEZ-FM, Chicacgo, will continue its search for a new president and CEO.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSC-FM “Kiss 103.5” morning personality Angi Taylor will leave the CHR outlet and become the solo host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s new rock station WCHI “Rock 95 Five.” Taylor is currently hosting the “Kiss” morning show with Christopher “Fred” Frederick.  Taylor says, “I’ve been working 22 years for the moment that I could host my very own morning show. I can’t express how much it means to me that my dream is coming true on Chicago’s ‘Rock 95 Five!’ Thank you, iHeartMedia, 103.5 Kiss FM, and all the listeners for letting me into your lives every day.”…..Alpha Media promotes Amanda “ICE” Habrowski content director for CHR KBFF-FM, Portland “Live 95.5” KBFF-FM in Portland, Oregon. She says, “I am beyond thrilled to be named content director of ‘Live 95.5.’ I’ve believed in this station and vision since moving to Portland six years ago and can’t wait to continue to grow our brand and make waves in the Rose City. I am proud and honored to be an example for women in this industry that if you put your mind to it, you can do it all. Thanks to Phil Becker for everything. And all of you who believe in me and helped coach me to be the best I can be, here’s to another 16 years, radio!”…..WTPT, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina morning hosts “The Rise Guys” have launched two new Rise Guys craft beers in partnership with Thomas Creek Brewery. Mattman’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Rooster Red Ale and Fat Boy’s Prowlin’ Growlin’ Golden Ale will join the Rise Guys P1 Pilsner as part of the collection, which was launched in July 2018. The new beers are inspired by the relevant and irreverent rocking personalities on “93.3 Planet Rocks.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “With question marks surrounding college football season, we decided to create our own rivalry in the form of two new, easy-to-drink ales. Matching their namesake’s unique style and taste, these beers will go head-to-head, and we look forward to our audience responsibly enjoying these new varieties on gameday.”

Thursday, September 3, 2020

| September 3, 2020

Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets. iHeartMedia’s WLW-AM, Cincinnati puts up the biggest gain of any station (all formats) in the PPM markets, rising 2.3 shares from July to August to an 11.5 share and jumps from #2 to #1. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM Portland dips six-tenths to a 5.9 share and slides to the #4 rank. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is flat at a 5.9 share but falls from the #3 rank to #5. iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM, San Antonio rises by a half share to remain ranked #2 with a 6.0 share. Check out Mike Kinosian’s complete report from these 12 markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

Nielsen Informs Clients of New Headphone Listening Policies. During Tuesday’s webinar for subscribers, Nielsen Audio laid out its new policy for attributing listening to streams via headphones – a longstanding problem for the technology that requires the PPM unit to “hear” a station’s embedded signal. Nielsen has been providing an adapter for wired headphones to panelists, but usage is believed to be spotty at best and the technology doesn’t account for wireless headphones/earbuds. Nielsen surveyed 5,000 former PPM panelists to get data on listening habits. It concluded that while the majority of radio listening (78.3%) is over the air with no headphones, 12.3% is listening to a stream without headphones, 4% is stream listening with wireless headphones, and 3.5% is stream listening with wired headphones. The formula devised to account for this becomes effective for the October PPM survey in which Nielsen will adjust PPM streaming data that is likely to result in a 2% to 5% increase in total average quarter hour Persons Using Measured Media (PUMM).

CBS News Radio Announces 148 New Affiliates. The CBS News Radio service is being added to 148 radio stations, according to CBS Audio. CBS News Radio VP and general manager Craig Swagler says the stations signed up over the past six weeks include news/talk stations owned by Cumulus Media and music stations owned by Neuhoff, 7 Mountains Media, Big Radio, SummitMedia and others. Cox Media Group’s Atlanta news/talk juggernaut WSB-AM/WSBB-FM also adds the news service, marking a return of CBS News to the station’s air. Swagler says, “Now, more than ever, listeners are demanding the kind of trustworthy, credible reporting provided around the clock by CBS News Radio journalists. We’re delighted to welcome these new affiliates to the CBS Audio family. Our award-winning content is unsurpassed with CBS garnering more Edward R. Murrow Awards than any other commercial radio network. We look forward to supplying high-quality journalism to our affiliates.”

Washington Talk Host OK After On-Air Medical Scare. Aberdeen, Washington talk show host Doug McDowell was rushed to the hospital after listeners noticed that he was having trouble making sense while hosting the “Coffee Talk” program on Jodesha Broadcasting’s KBKW, according to a report in The Daily World. Initial concerns about a heart attack or stroke proved unfounded as doctors determined that McDowell was suffering from a potassium deficiency. McDowell’s wife tells the paper that her husband actually did go into cardiac arrest in the ambulance as it left for the hospital but that as of Wednesday, he was doing well and he expects to go home sometime today.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Sarah Spain inks a new, multi-year deal with ESPN in which she’ll continue in her role as a featured reporter and columnist on multiple platforms including espnW and ESPN. She’ll also continue in the regular rotation on “Around the Horn” and “Highly Questionable,” as well as her role as host of the popular “That’s What She Said” podcast. Spain has also reunited with Jason Fitz to co-host the daily ESPN Radio “Spain & Fitz” show from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. She says, “Ten years and counting with ESPN, and excited to sign on for more. I love being a part of this team, especially the support and guidance I’ve received from amazing mentors and the friendships I’ve formed with brilliant, hilarious, talented colleagues. I love going to work every day and I never take it for granted.”…..Entercom announces the debut of a new podcast called “After Hours with the Rise Guys,” featuring WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 The Planet” morning show co-hosts Mattman and Nine. Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “Plain and simple, the Rise Guys’ creative style and unique synergy are unduplicatable. Their national appeal is a driving force for ‘93.3 The Planet’ and we’re proud to expand their brand with original content via a must-listen podcast to further meet the demand of their ever-growing legion of P1s.”…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. Through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network, SiriusXM is airing all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network and produced in partnership with HRRN.

WWO: Podcast Advertising Grows 2.5X in Five Years. In an advertiser perceptions study that Westwood One will present at next week’s Interactive Advertising Bureau Podcast Upfront, the company says this fifth annual report continues it tracking of buy-side podcast advertising consideration and intention. This study evaluates the past five years and looks at the industry today. Key takeaways include that since 2015, podcast advertising consideration among brands and agencies has grown 2.5X and spend intention has grown nearly 4X, according to Advertiser Perceptions; Two-thirds of buy-side decision makers are discussing podcast advertising and one-third are actively spending; and podcasting’s audience share of ad-supported audio has nearly tripled since 2016, according to Edison’s “Share of Ear.” See more here.

Presidential Race/Trump in Kenosha, Protests/BLM Movement, Russia Election Interference/Navalny Poisoning, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Pelosi Salon Flap, and Tom Seaver Dies at 75 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/2). The November presidential election, President Trump’s trip to Kenosha and Joe Biden’s planned Friday visit; the protests in Portland, Kenosha, and Los Angeles and the Black Lives Matter movement; U.S. intelligence reports on Russian election interference and poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over school openings and the outbreaks at numerous college campuses; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim she was set up by the San Francisco salon owner where she violated the law to get her hair done; and baseball great Tom Seaver dies at 75 were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Teacher Advocate/Education Visionary Lisa Mozer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Retired United States Air Force master sergeant and former Weather Channel meteorologist/anchor-turned-radio talk show host Lisa Mozer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A native of Statesville, North Carolina – she’s an African American veteran who served a number of years in the Air Force, retiring with the rank of master sergeant. She’s also a highly trained meteorologist who served for seven years back in the late 90s/early 2000s as afternoon anchor on cable TV’s The Weather Channel. In 2016, she added to her various academic credentials by receiving a doctorate in education from Kennesaw State University specializing in Instructional Technology. Today, she is primarily a teacher who operates along the leading edge in education through the platform and facilities of a non-profit organization, Up Wind Project, designing curriculums, and organizing teacher support groups, forums and projects to enhance the ability of educators to meet the tremendous challenges of this new era, not to mention cope with their own personal problems that mount up day by day. She is a champion of teacher health, well-being and appreciation. Dr. Mozer is an advocate of a system of thought within modern education called STEM – S for Science, T for Technology, E for Engineering, and M for Mathematics that she employs to help girls and disadvantaged youth have the opportunity to get jobs and forge careers in this new unfolding era of the 21st century. In addition, she hosts a weekly radio show and podcast called “Teacher Talk” on her hometown radio station, news/talk WSIC in Statesville, North Carolina which is part of the greater Charlotte market. Harrison and Mozer discuss America at the crossroads regarding the crisis in education, race relations, and politics, plus a number of other contemporary issues. Upon posting this podcast, Michael Harrison states, “As part of my job as publisher of TALKERS, I have both the opportunity and obligation to constantly scan the horizon and dig deep into the grass roots of media to identify and shine the spotlight on individuals making a difference in both the talk media and our society’s most challenging frontiers. I’ve been following the work of this unique woman for the past couple of years and it gives me great satisfaction to introduce the talk media industry to her at a time when her voice is monumentally pertinent.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio management pro Val Maki is named to the market manager position for Bonneville International’s San Francisco cluster that includes adult contemporary KOIT, CHR KMVQ, urban contemporary KBLX, and classic rock KUFX. Maki assumes the role after longtime market manager Carl Gardner’s recent retirement. Bonneville president Darrell Brown says, “Val is a dynamic and innovative leader who knows how to grow business and strengthen brands. I believe her experience and track record will position our stations for long-term success in the Bay Area.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints John Larson program director for rock WRXK-FM and adult contemporary WJPT-FM “Sunny 106.3.” Larson will also serve as morning drive host for WJPT. Larson was most recently with Cox Media Group’s Tampa cluster as director of branding and programming at adult contemporary WWRM, classic hits WXGL, and adult contemporary WDUV. Beasley Fort Myers operations manager Adam Star says, “John is a brilliant programmer. To have him on our team is a game-changer. I am confident that his knowledge and experience will take these two incredible brands to the next level and beyond!”

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

| August 12, 2020

Sumner Redstone Has Died. According to a statement from ViacomCBS, its chair emeritus and chief executive officer of controlling shareholder National Amusements, Sumner Redstone, has died. Redstone served as Viacom CEO from 1996 – 2005, and was executive chair of the Viacom and CBS boards from 2005 – 2016. He since was chair emeritus for both companies. A statement reads, “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator, and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today.” Sumner Redstone was 97 years old.

Beasley Study: Boston Consumers Optimistic. Results of Beasley Media Group Boston-commissioned/ Strategic Solutions Research-conducted polling indicate the majority of Boston-area consumers remain optimistic even during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, a large percentage feel their spending is – or will soon be – back to normal. Beasley Media Group Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna comments, “The company’s study is meant to help guide marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state-of-mind and planned future behaviors. It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients. People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows true ‘Boston Strong’ grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners – nine of ten – support wearing a mask, and they expect others to do so as well.” Strategic Solutions Research partner Hal Rood notes that, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, “It does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.” The survey was conducted July 6 – 16 among 1,532 listeners of Beasley Media Group Boston’s five radio stations: sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”; classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 ’80s & More”; WKLB “Country 102.5”; WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9”; and rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.”

Local Ad Revenue Estimates Lowered. Continuing economic fallout owing to the coronavirus crisis has led BIA Advisory Services to adjust its estimate for 2020’s total local advertising market to $140.4 billion, which is down from April’s $144.3 billion. Albeit with this year’s anticipated strong political advertising, BIA’s updated forecast estimate represents a 6.1% decline from 2019. BIA’s senior vice president/chief economist Mark Fratrik explains that, “To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals. We believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that, after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive, but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.” As political campaigns continue to drift to online rallies and events, presidential and down-ballot candidates are spending significant dollars in local broadcast and digital advertising. Ever since its April prediction, BIA increased the expected political ad spend from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion. Distributed share to different media includes $5 million to terrestrial radio; $138 million to over-the-air TV; $40 million to cable TV; and $26 million to online/digital.

COVID-19 Concerns Cause BFA Golf Tourney Cancellation. Owing to coronavirus-related safety fears, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has scrubbed its celebrity golf tournament fundraiser. Another big BFA money driver – the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament traditionally held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas – was cancelled as well a few months ago. Broadcasters Foundation chair Scott Herman remarks, “Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help. This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.” Broadcasters Foundation president Jim Thompson adds, “We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them. Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America.” The two golf fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. In hopes of negating the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation is launching a plea for donations. Personal contributions can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate offerings are accepted through the Angel Initiative, while bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Mr. Master Marks Milestone: Million Spots Per Week. The company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) – Mr. Master – has processed and provided compliance for one million network spots per week nationwide. This coincides with Mr. Master announcing new AIM agreements with Neuhoff Communications (five markets/20 stations) and Forever Communications (three markets/26 stations). It has AIM renewal contracts with Entercom (44 markets/453 stations); Alpha Media (46 markets/226 stations); SummitMedia (nine markets/51 stations); and Forever Media (16 markets/63 stations). Mr. Master president Stu Jacobs states, “We are very proud that AIM has become such a widely accepted, and useful tool that helps networks, stations, and advertisers to quickly get the accurate information they need, whether they are working in-office or remotely. One million national network spots a week – 52 million spots a year – is a huge milestone for our company. We couldn’t have done it without our first-class team and the amazing clients who trust us with their accountability.”

Albuquerque’s KQTM Aligns With Cage Side Seat MMA Media. The multi-layered broadcast relationship between Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” and Cage Side Seat MMA Media includes weekly Jim “Gries” Grieshaber-hosted longform programming; daily UFC/MMA commentaries/features; and weekly guest appearances on live programming. KQTM president Joe O’Neill comments, “It’s great to work with Jim. He’s a national-level talent connected to the pulse of UFC/MMA. We look forward to bringing “Gries” to New Mexico.” Grieshaber adds, “We’re so pumped to partner with our friends at ‘The Team’ and the great MMA fans of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is hallowed ground in our sport. It is home of the mecca of MMA gyms Jackson-Wink MMA, the GOAT Jon Jones, and legends like Holly Holm, Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. We’re coming strong with the best in MMA/UFC sports talk programming.”

Key Networks And Virtual Jock Partnering. In the barter basis arrangement, New Generation Radio product Virtual Jock will provide syndication company Key Networks access to its on-air talent and programming services. Virtual Jock founder/president/chief executive officer Jason Kidd explains that right before launching Virtual Jock five years ago, “Many stations were downsizing and losing strong local talent in the process. Fast forward to now and the need is greater than ever before. Teaming up with Key Networks will allow us to take things to an even higher level, expanding and offering our major market talent roster to radio stations across all formats. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.” Key Networks president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins comments, “The ongoing disruption from COVID-19 has severely impacted every radio company. All have eliminated some on-air positions and daypart shifts as cost-cutting moves in order to retain financial stability. Virtual Jock can now assist these groups and others by offering a no-cost barter option to fill some of these numerous holes and to also reconnect with those disenfranchised listeners. We want to work closely with stations to fill this void as radio is beginning to rebound.” Chief revenue officer Dennis Green notes, “Jason [Kidd] and his team have developed a concept that offers stations a chance to bring top-notch talent across all formats to markets from coast-to-coast. Key Networks is delighted to partner with Virtual Jock to provide a marketing opportunity that is cost-effective for stations both large and small to have dynamic and proven talent on their air.” In addition to 24/7 formats, Virtual Jock currently offers 40 full-time/in-house voice talents, as well as fully-produced audio programs and imaging. New York and Orlando-based Key Networks is a Sun & Fun Media-affiliated company.

Shondaland Audio, iHeartMedia Release Original Podcasts. As part of an arrangement between iHeartRadio and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland Audio, three podcasts will debut this month: “You Down?”; “Criminalia”; and “Go Ask Ali.” Future podcasts will include “#Matter,” “American Coup,” and “Black Girl Lost.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Shonda Rhimes is an absolute creative powerhouse. Developing these first few shows together has indicated what a strong partnership iHeartMedia and Shondaland have formed with Shondaland Audio. The breadth and depth of content that’s in progress as part of this partnership is unparalleled. We’re thrilled to work beside the Shondaland team to bring Shonda’s unique storytelling magic to podcast listeners everywhere.” Shondaland Audio chief design and digital media officer Sandie Bailey states, “Podcasts allow for innovative and intimate storytelling and that’s exactly what this slate offers – deeply human stories through a range of genres and formats aimed to engage the varied and ever- growing podcast listenership. iHeartMedia has been an incredible partner in forming Shondaland Audio. I’m thrilled that audiences will soon hear more from our collaboration with this new offering of shows.” Rhimes oversees development of the slate; Bailey manages day-to-day operations. Previously launched “Katie’s Crib,” a bi-weekly podcast following “Scandal” and “Waitress” actress Katie Lowes joined the slate three months ago. It releases a new episode tomorrow (Thursday, 8/13) that features actress Gabrielle Union.

Veritone One Signs On With Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Audio advertising and media agency Veritone One is now subscribing to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Veritone One senior vice president of strategy and investment Conor Doyle comments, “As one of the largest podcast advertising agencies serving over 100 active clients across 15,000 podcasts, Nielsen’s research will help us refine our current placements and unlock market opportunities for new advertisers wanting to enter the medium. Access to consumption and audience data will attract brand advertisers who have been previously hesitant to enter the largely direct-to-consumer space. Integrating Nielsen’s unique insights along with our proprietary AI-based analytics and decades of experience will enable us to set a new industry standard in podcast advertising.” Nielsen Global Media executive vice president/managing director David Hohman notes, “Veritone One is an agency that is on the cutting-edge of advertising. We are excited to empower them as they turn their data into actionable intelligence with real-time campaign optimization. With more brand advertisers coming into the podcast medium, and Nielsen’s ability to analyze over 150 podcasts, Veritone One will be able to reach even greater success as an innovative industry leader.”

TALKERS News Notes. “Women To Watch” joins the lineup of Red Apple Media New York’s WABC “Talk Radio 77” this Saturday (8/15) at 8:30 am. It will commence as a 30-minute show, expanding to 60 minutes three weeks later (9/5) at a yet-to-be-determined time. The show’s founder/host Susan Rocco remarks, “I always wanted ‘Women to Watch’ to be the go-to media network for all stories related to women’s leadership and success. We are building a woman-owned, women-run media company to amplify the voices of women who are leading across all industries.” WABC’s senior vice president of programming Dave LaBrozzi notes his station, “is proud to support strong women by bringing this lively and inspiring weekly show to the NYC market.” The first guest featured on WABC will be The Weiss Agency executive vice president Heather Cohen, who comments, “‘Women To Watch’ is the place to go to hear inspiring stories by inspiring women. Susan [Rocco] is the consummate professional and her interviews are spot-on.  I’m honored to be the first guest in the NY market.” Rocco states, “Heather Cohen is an exciting first guest for our new market. She’s a New Yorker, has worked in the industry and was recently elected chair of The Alliance For Women in Media.” Originated and still heard on Entercom Philadelphia’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Women To Watch has expanded to a national podcast and digital platform … Separate from his duties as 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm host on Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM, Erick Erickson today (Wednesday, 8/12) celebrates the one-year anniversary of doing self-syndication. His first affiliate was in Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Twelve months later, Erickson is on more than a dozen Georgia news/talk outlets. A one-man band, he does affiliate relations, and ad sales. Describing the experience as rewarding, Erickson explains, “Georgia’s swing state status makes a statewide program focused on the state a unique selling point. I try to be upfront, though, that I want to stretch outside the state after the election and keep growing nationwide.”  … As noted yesterday (TALKERS, 8/11), president Trump chatted on-air with Salem Media Networks host Hugh Hewitt. That wasn’t yesterday’s only radio stop for the chief executive though as he visited with Fox Sports Radio’s (6:00 am – 9:00 am, ET) “Outkick The Coverage” host Clay Travis. Regarding college football and the coronavirus, Trump told Travis, “People don’t realize it’s a tiny percentage of people that get sick and they’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with bad hearts, diabetes, some kind of a physical problem or a weight problem. These football players are very young, strong people. Physically, they’re in extraordinary shape, so they’re not going to have a problem. You’re not going to see people dying. You can’t have empty seats. I’m not sure college football can do it, but we’ll have to see.” On the return of the NFL and the NBA, he commented, “Well, they want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government. I would say this – if they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open. Other than that, I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible to get them open. They can protest in other ways. I don’t think they should protest our flag or our country. Basketball ratings are down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re going up for the shot. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in big trouble — bigger trouble than they understand.” … Taking the place of annual in-person tours that SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio” channel usually conducts, it will present 32 virtual NFL training camp shows – one for each NFL franchise. Starting today (Wednesday, 8/12), “NFL Radio” channel hosts will interview players, coaches, and team executives via video conferencing. SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen states, “Like all NFL fans, we look excitedly ahead to the 2020 NFL season. Even amid these very unique circumstances in which teams are reporting to camp, we remain dedicated to giving our listeners the most in-depth and comprehensive preseason preview of their favorite teams. Our experts include some of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people covering the game today. They will deliver a level of analysis on teams and players that you can’t get anywhere else.” …  Numerous lineup changes next Monday (8/17) at Disney-owned/Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk WMVP will find “ESPN 1000 Chicago” airing two hours (5:00 am – 7:00 am) of ESPN Radio’s new national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti. Shifting from 6:00 am – 9:00 am to 7:00 am – 10:00 am is David Kaplan. He will partner with Jonathan  Hood, who segues from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Meanwhile, Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic transition from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm to 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, as ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg-hosted “Greeny” takes over the vacated 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm slot. Weekend hosts Chris Bleck and Adam Abdalla advance to 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, while Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman remain in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) … Citing pandemic-caused budget issues, Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” parts ways with morning host Jim Villanucci and producer/host Sam Hauser. The station’s afternoon program – “Team Talk” – is being handled by a revolving set of hosts. Formerly an on-air talent at Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM, Villanucci joined KQTM two years ago. He previously worked at news/talk stations in Portland (KXL) and Las Vegas (KXNT). Before coming to “The Team” last year, Hauser served as sports director in Austin, Minnesota at KAUS and was a producer/board op in Miami at sports talk WAXY “790 The Ticket.”

Kamala Harris Receives VP Nod, Mail-In Voting Debate, School Opening Struggles, and Chicago Unrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11).  The selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as Joe Biden’s running-mate topped the TALKERS list of most-discussed stories on news/talk radio across America yesterday (8/11).  It was followed by the debates over mail-in voting and the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other major topics included Chicago unrest, Russia’s vaccine, stimulus relief, and the cancellation of Big 10 and Pac-12 college football according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With Ryan Seacrest’s television partner Kelly Ripa taking yesterday (Tuesday, 8/10) and today (Wednesday, 8/11) off, his “Live With Kelly & Ryan” co-host those two days is Sisanie, his radio partner. The two work together  on Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” heard around the country from iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR flagship KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM.” Sisanie has filled in for Ripa several times the past few years … Last summer, Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” asked David Rush, the world’s fastest juggler and breaker of over 150 Guinness World Records, to attempt shattering the record for most balloons popped in one minute using chopsticks. Rush established that mark in 2018 with 28 balloons, but that feat was subsequently broken. Rush set out to regain the title this past Sunday (8/9) – this time using hand pump-inflated, COVID-free balloon targets bearing “The Bob & Tom Show” logo. Halfway into the attempt, Rush recounts that he was “just barely on pace to beat the record,” but began throwing the chopsticks a little faster to pop 40 balloons in 60 seconds – a new world record. A big promoter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, Rush dedicates all his world records to that cause … WBVX “Classic Rock 92.1” names Dennis “Dead Air” Dillon program director/afternoon personality of the LM Communications Lexington (Kentucky) outlet. LM Communications owner/president Lynn Martin remarks, “We are pleased to welcome Dennis Dillon, who has a long history of presenting the very best classic rock music and now can present it to the best classic rock audience in Lexington. By introducing him to our locally-owned and operated radio group, we once again show that being a local voice rather than just a cog in a national wheel lets us provide something truly unique to the classic rock audience in Lexington. Dillon notes, “In a time when big corporations are moving away from local DJ’s in the community, I’m ecstatic to have found a home in the city I love with a locally-owned and operated company. I’ve always loved this genre and I’m already discovering that the ‘Classic Rock 92.1’ fans share that same passion.” Dillon previously worked in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chattanooga … Former MusicMaster vice president of sales Jerry Butler joins Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala as local sales manager for a cluster that includes alternative WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz”; country WPLL; rhythmic CHR WTGM “Magic 101.3”; classic hits-oldies WXJZ; and contemporary Christian WTMN & WRZN. Marc Radio general manager Dave Cobb comments, “Jerry brings the perfect mix of leadership, marketing, on-air personality, and programming savvy. He knows the radio industry inside and out. He is great at advising clients and introducing them to new products. He’s a great asset to our team.” Butler adds, “Our goal is to guide the local advertising community on how best to earn impressive returns on their investments in any, or all, of our radio station formats.” … After stunting by playing a weekend of all-Christmas music, Zimmer Midwest Communications Springfield, Missouri flips sports talk KWTO “The Jock” to adult contemporary “98.7 The Dove.” ZMC co-owner John Zimmer remarks, “It’s a great day for our company to enter the greater Springfield market with stations featuring the most powerful signals and largest coverage areas to serve the Ozark region. The greater Springfield region has been a great driver of growth in Missouri – we are proud to be of part of the expansion. We look forward to making a positive impact and difference for the community and businesses with our local solutions and stations to promote the economy of the Springfield region.” Kevin Howard and Liz Delany (“Kevin & Liz”) debut in morning drive next Monday (8/17). Core artists on “Lite Rock Favorites The Dove” include Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, and Sting.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

| August 6, 2020

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Declines 47%. In line with the other broadcast companies that have reported Q2 2020 data so far, iHeartMedia’s revenue of $488 million represents a 47% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. Breaking it down into segments, iHM reports that broadcast revenue declined 57% ($561 million to $244 million), networks revenue was down 38% ($156 million to $96 million), digital revenue increased 2% ($91 million to $93 million – led by a 103% increase in podcasting revenue), sponsorship and events declined 65% ($42 million to $15 million), and audio & media services dropped 33% ($59 million to $39 million). iHeartMedia is reporting an operating loss of $159 million in Q2 of 2020 compared to an operating income of $182 million in the second quarter of 2019. Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “The challenges that we have faced due to COVID-19 were unprecedented and had a severe, negative impact on our revenue in the second quarter. Despite those financial challenges, we retained our strong relationship with the consumer as the #1 audio company in America and the #1 media company in America by reach. As the advertising marketplace is recovering, we are working hard to ensure that we have the products and services to fully capitalize on the opportunity while proactively taking steps to fortify our balance sheet and our liquidity. Finally, I want to thank our employees for their commitment and creativity under such difficult and challenging circumstances.” Company president, CFO and COO Rich Bressler adds, “In response to COVID-driven market weakness, we acted rapidly and decisively to further streamline our cost structure and capital-spending programs, while continuing to implement pre-COVID cost savings programs through our modernization initiatives. These actions played an important role in minimizing the negative impact on our free cash flow results against the backdrop of the significant revenue declines we saw in the second quarter. We believe that these actions, in combination with our proactive capital structure management provides the company with sufficient liquidity to operate effectively even in an extended period of economic weakness.”

Round Three of July PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM tacks on one-tenth to finish the July survey with a 6.5 share good for the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte dips one-tenth to a 5.9 share but rises one spot to the #3 rank. Despite losing a full share and finishing with a 5.5 share, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI, San Antonio remains ranked #2 in the market. In Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds three-tenths and wraps the survey with a 5.4 share good for the #4 rank. iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City jumps by half a share to claim the #5 rank with a 5.8 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers Without Buying Clicks.  Noted media consultant, TV talk show host, and TALKERS contributing columnist, Holland Cooke has written an informative new E-book titled, Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) that is now available to TALKERS readers. Cooke states,“With Spotify paying Joe Rogan a reported $100 million to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounced the former ‘Fear Factor’ host and MMA commentator ‘the new Mainstream Media.’ This is a whack-on-the-side-of-the-head to broadcasters, who marginalize podcasters as a shadow medium, or ‘the future.’ At these prices, the future is now.” Cooke advises radio broadcasters to step up their efforts in making podcasting an effectively monetized part of their expanding communications platform stating, “There are an estimated 260 million smartphones in the USA. With that many of us walking around with a device that can broadcast live video, instantly, worldwide – and with nearly a quarter billion of us on Facebook and nearly 50 million active Twitter users in the USA – We The People are now, measurably, ‘the Mainstream Media.’”  Cooke says one of the keys to broadcasters succeeding, where such a large percentage of the 850,000 active podcasters out there fail, is in their ability to promote TSL (time spent listening). In this new E-book, Cooke details the strategy to prompt listeners to share podcasts with friends by employing the fundamentals that are second nature to broadcasters, but often lacking in podcasts. To purchase Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) for $9.00 or get more information, please click here.

Giuliani Suggests Salem’s Hewitt and Elder Serve as Debate Moderators. On behalf of the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign, Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani submitted a list of potential presidential debate moderators to the Commission on Presidential Debates that includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated hosts Larry Elder and Hugh Hewitt. The list of moderators the campaign would find acceptable also includes David Muir of ABC News and Norah O’Donnell of CBS News. Salem Media Group SVP spoken word programming Phil Boyce says, “We are so proud to see Hugh Hewitt and Larry Elder mentioned as possible moderators of a presidential debate. Frankly all of our SRN national hosts are capable of doing this, and these two especially are. We hope they get the nod.” Hewitt served as co-moderator of four 2016 Republican Primary debates co-produced by CNN and the Salem Radio Network.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on some news from Nexstar’s WGN-AM, saying that the station is not talking with market legend Garry Meier about replacing Roe Conn in afternoon drive when his contract ends this year as previously reported. His sources say serious talks with Meier never got off the ground. In other WGN news, Feder says that if John Records Landecker’s fill-in stint for morning host Bob Sirott goes well next week, Landecker may be in line for the permanent evening show position…..Cadence13 – a part of Entercom’s podcast network – is partnering with NBA star Kevin Durant and entrepreneur Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures to create The Boardroom Podcast Network. The network will launch with two podcasts. In “The Boardroom: Out Of Office,” Kleiman hosts and digs deep into guests’ career trajectories, the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, and the stories they’ve gathered along the way. In September, Durant launches the monthly podcast “The Etc’s with Kevin Durant.” He says, “I’m really excited to be launching both of these podcasts and this partnership with Cadence13. We’re really invested in making both of these pods different than anything else out there, and I’m personally looking forward to having in-depth conversations about some of my favorite topics.”

NAB’s Gordon Smith Suffers Stroke. A statement from the National Association of Broadcasters reveals that its president and CEO Gordon Smith suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital. The statement adds, “He is responding well to treatment, is stable and alert, and is resting comfortably. His prognosis is good, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race, Portland Protests, TikTok Deal/U.S.-China Relations, Beirut Explosion, and Pro Sports Leagues’ Struggles Among Top News/Talk Story Yesterday (8/5). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the November presidential election and President Trump’s statements about the validity of mail-in ballots; the controversial BLM protests in Portland; the deal to allow Microsoft to acquire TikTok and the tenuous U.S.-China relations; the investigation into the ammonium nitrate-caused explosion that rocked Beirut; and pro sports leagues struggle with positive COVID-19 cases were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Venerable Multimedia Personality Shadoe Stevens Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Los Angeles-based radio and TV personality Shadoe Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens is an extraordinarily talented and creative individual who has succeeded to one degree or another in just about every phase of performance media in a career that has spanned five decades. He remains on the leading edge with the debut of a 12-part podcast series titled, “MentalRadio,” that pulls out the stops on imaginative writing, complex production, and audio theatrics. During the course of his career, Stevens has served as program director and/or air talent at legendary radio stations including LA’s KROQ and KMET. He was the first successor to Casey Kasem as the voice of “American Top 40” which he hosted for seven years. He’s been a television announcer and personality on such shows as “Hollywood Squares” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” He was also producer, writer, and talent on hundreds of successful radio and television commercial campaigns – highlighted by his celebrated creation and performance of the outrageous character, Fred Rated, for the Federated Group home appliance chain. As an actor, he appeared on such TV programs as “Baywatch,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Dave’s World,” “Max Monroe: Loose Cannon,” and he performed in the movie “TRAXX,” plus more. Harrison and Stevens recount their days in Los Angeles radio (both served as PD of KMET), the intricacies of Stevens’ colorful career, and the unlimited potential of modern podcasting as a platform for 21st century audio theater. Radio and media freaks will really enjoy this interview! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio and music business legend Pat O’Day died on Tuesday (8/4) at age 85. As a DJ, O’Day was arguably the most popular air personality in the market in the mid-1960s when he was the afternoon jock on KJR-AM. He eventually became PD of the station, then general manager in 1968. O’Day ran a lucrative teen dance events business. He was also a concert promoter, founding the firm Concerts West. O’Day also eventually became a station owner. Read more about his colorful career here…..Rochester classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” announces its new afternoon drive show is “The Big Show,” hosted by Earl David Reed, Megan Carter, and Pat McMahon. Reed is a nationally recognized stand-up comedian. Carter most recently served as the afternoon host on iHeartMedia’s sister CHR “KISS 106.7.” McMahon has been with iHM Rochester for six years. Program director Joe Bonadonna says, “Earl, Megan and Pat clicked from the minute we put them together. They are the three friends you want with you when you’re getting a garbage plate, grabbing a Genny Light or spending the day at Seabreeze.”…..Entercom promotes Emily Ward to general sales manager for the Chattanooga station group that includes CHR WKXJ-FM “103.7 Kiss FM,” adult hits WLND-FM “98.1 The Lake,” WRXR “Rock 105,” country WUSY “U.S. 101,” and country WUSY-HD2 “Real 961.” Ward has been serving the cluster as local sales manager and digital sales manager.

Friday, June 10, 2020

| July 10, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled, “Statues, Statutes, Face Masks and Facebook!” looks back at this past week of July 6 – July 10, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneJennifer Horn, talk show host, Salem Media Group / VP, CRN Digital TalkJamie Metzl, consultant, World Health Organization; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Westwood One News to Cease Operations on August 30. TALKERS magazine has learned that Westwood One News affiliates have been notified that the company will cease operations of the Westwood One News service after the 11:30 pm newscast on Sunday, August 30 due to “extraordinary circumstances in the current marketplace.” In the memo, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “As you can imagine, this was an extraordinarily difficult decision not only given the strength and quality of our award-winning news product, but also the depth and experience of the impeccable Westwood One News team.” Westwood One EVP Bart Tessler adds, “Thank you to our 962 stations and the Westwood One affiliate sales team. It has been a pleasure leading this division of great broadcast journalists. In just 5 and ½ years, Westwood One News went from launch to winners of leading industry honors, including Edward R Murrow, Sigma Del Chi, National Headliner, New York Radio Festivals, and Golden Mike awards. We are very proud of the coverage and programming we provided, as well as your support and participation in our success.” The memo further adds that “Westwood One remains enthusiastically committed to our strong portfolio of talk personalities including Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Michael Savage, Jim Bohannon, Chris Plante, Dan Bongino, Clark Howard, and Red Eye Radio.”

Outer Banks Rocker WZPR-FM Flips to Talk. WZPR-FM, Nags Head, North Carolina will flip from classic rock to news/talk, effective July 13. Station owner Jam Media Solutions says the station will feature a live and local morning drive show called “The OBX Today” hosted by Sam Walker. He says, “I’m excited to be able to bring to the Outer Banks a news-oriented radio show every morning that will be able to expand on our coverage at OBXToday.com of what’s happening not only locally, but across all of North Carolina.” The rest of the lineup includes: FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade, Westwood One’s Chris Plante and Ben Shapiro, The Dave Ramsey Show, Ramsey SolutionsKen Coleman, and WWO’s “Red Eye Radio.” Jam Media Solutions owner Jonathan Mason adds, “We are very excited to introduce the all-new, news/talk WZPR to the Outer Banks. We believe it is exactly what the market needs. Our on air lineup will be informative and engaging from the time you get up to the time you go to bed.”

Midway Broadcasting Announces Launch of VON-tv. The acquisition of an OTT digital streaming platform by Midway Broadcasting Corporation gives the company a video component when it launches VON-tv in August. Midway says VON-tv “will deliver culturally relevant content to its new television audience. With the launch of VON-tv, the company will conduct a nationwide search for a new morning host. The newly designed live morning show will originate from Chicago and will be simulcast on VON-tv and WVON Radio.” Midway chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper comments, “We are excited to be in the digital space, originating from our hometown of Chicago. Having earned a reputation for cultivating nationally recognized programs and talent, Midway Broadcasting Company will continue to use its expanding platforms to showcase the many voices throughout Black America.”

Round Three of June PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ ratings info from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this batch of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM inches up four-tenths to finish ranked #3 with a 6.4 share. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte sheds three-tenths to finish with a 6.0 share and the #4 rank. iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio loses six-tenths to wrap June with a 6.5 share and the #2 rank in the market. Although dropping a half share for an 8.9 share finish, iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento remains ranked #1 in the market. As the result of Bonneville news/talk KSL-AM/FM’s half-share dip to a 5.5 share and #6 rank, there’s a close race between it and iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM (5.3 share, #7 rank). See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” here.

Talk Host Jay Severin Dead at 69. TheBlaze reports that longtime conservative talk radio personality and Republican operative Jay Severin has died at age 69 after a battle with cancer. After years of working as a Republican political consultant, Severin began his talk radio career in the mid-1990s filling in for Gene Burns on the WOR Radio Network, eventually becoming the afternoon drive host, calling himself the “rock ‘n’ roll Republican.” He briefly hosted evenings at WRKO, Boston before joining crosstown news/talk WTKK-FM, where he would work hosting afternoons until 2011. In 2012, he joined Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network where he would host a program until 2016.

TALKERS News Notes. After a 14-hour fundraiser for the families of a fallen officer and a second injured officer Cox Media Group Tulsa, the Tulsa Police Department, and the Tulsa Police Department Foundation announce they raised more than $515,000 dollars for the Johnson-Zarkeshan Family Fund. Cox Tulsa’s news/talk KRMG, its four music-formatted sister radio stations and sister TV station KOKI-TV “FOX23” broadcast live from LaFortune Park on Wednesday to encourage donations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Midway Broadcasting Company has hired former KADN-TV, Lafayette, Louisiana reporter Hannah Neely as the new morning news anchor for news/talk WVON, Chicago. Neely is a Chicago native who is taking over for Annette Flournoy, who resigned from the position…..ABC Audio announces that in the aftermath of the arrest and charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse, it is releasing a bonus episode of the podcast “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein,” featuring details about Maxwell’s arrest and charges. The podcast is hosted by ABC News’ Mark Remillard.

IBA Says It Will Be Active Within Two Weeks. Broadcasters spearheading the foundation of Independent Broadcasters Association say they will officially form the organization within the next two weeks. Adams Radio Group president Ron Stone has been leading the movement to form the IBA. He says that there will be a conference call scheduled for all members in the next few weeks with him and the initial board to discuss the mission and goals. Issues that have already been broached are revenue generation, digital services, shared resources, proprietary systems and services, and group employee benefits. Stone says, “We have 496 owners/operators representing just under 3,000 stations that have signed up supporting the idea of the organization. The next step is the actual formation of the IBA into a legal entity, forming an initial board and getting to work on all the elements we have been discussing that will benefit independent operators choosing to be members of the IBA.” Cromwell Group president Bud Walters says, “Independent broadcasters outside the major markets have a lot in common as we seem to be in a different business than large market broadcasters. There is good reason to explore this idea of working more closely together.” Interested owners/operators can sign up here.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 6-10. The spiking cases of COVID-19 in many states and projections for future infections remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was health care, the mask debate and the search for COVID-19 meds. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s school opening order and the CDC’s guidelines, followed by the economy and the re-opening of America at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a regular basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes experts on the Chinese Communist Party, police abuse, race relations, psychology, doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic and much more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

| June 11, 2020

Beasley Media Group Extends Furloughs and Pay Reductions. In a memo to company employees, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley announced that the furlough and pay reduction program begun in April and set to expire at the end of June is being continued through the end of the calendar year. In early April Beasley eliminated 67 positions, furloughed some staffers, and cut hours for full-time employees. Beasley told her employees, “No one could have ever anticipated that several of our markets would not begin the first phase of the reopening process until June. As a result, we must continue to adapt to the new financial environment we are facing within each of our individual markets.” Beasley herself continues taking her 20% pay cut while the 10% salary reduction and pared-back hours for full-timers continues through December. Beasley did say if circumstances change, some furloughed employees could return to work sooner.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Tackles the COVID-19 Education Crisis in Two-Hour Special.  WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210” presented its midday host Dom Giordano’s timely education special titled, “The Looming Learning Crisis.”  The two-hour special talk program, written and hosted by Giordano – a former Pennsylvania public school teacher – aired on June 4 and 6 and featured U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, Philadelphia superintendent of schools William Hite and other top officials debating whether students will return to schools in September and how parents can make up for the lost academic ground experienced this year. A variety of opposing views were presented but all agreed that this is a critical issue that is not being debated and discussed enough in the media. The program received rave reviews from listeners and sponsors alike for its even-handed and highly informational approach to the subject.

Alpha Media to Present Companywide Broadcast on Racial Tensions. Tomorrow (6/12) at 10:00 am, Alpha Media will present “United For Justice – A Day of Discussion” that will air on its 65-plus radio stations as well as on the website UnitedForJustice.com. The company says that “The Day of Discussion” will “address the pain that communities are going through due to racial tensions in America. It will feature prominent national and local voices and figures on the front lines in the fight for equality and justice.” Along with radio personalities in Alpha markets, hosts will include Skyview NetworksNick Cannon and Dana Cortez, Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez, Tino Cochino, Big Boy, Jubal Fresh, and Radio Hall of Fame host Tom Joyner. Joining anchor host Nick Cannon will be Snoop Dogg, T.I., Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada (D-29th Dist.), and Black Lives Matter co-founder Dr. Melina Abdullah. Apple Music host Ebro Darden will speak with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) about how the nation is being impacted and the steps we can take towards progress. Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt says, “The events of the last few weeks are reminding us that this is not a new problem but one that needs to be addressed right now. We have what many other companies do not have, a real medium for change. We should not and cannot allow it to go unused. We are united in that we love the communities we live in. We are united in our love for broadcasting. We are united in the comfort that we have each other’s support. And today, I’m asking that we are united for justice.”

Round Three of May PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets noting the slight erosion of weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers that so many all-news and news/talk stations built up over the March and April sweeps. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM lost a full share, finishing the month with a 6.0 share and the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte loses seven-tenths but remains in the #3 spot with a 6.3 share. In San Antonio, iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM sheds eight-tenths to wrap the month with a 7.1 share and the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento falls 2.2 shares to a 9.4 share but remains ranked #1. Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City drops 2.8 shares and falls from #1 to #4 on the strength of a 6.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Police Reform Protests/De-Funding Movement, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race/Elections, Recession/Financial Markets, and NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10). The ongoing police reform protests, the destruction of Confederate and colonial-era statues, Seattle’s “autonomous” zone, and the related de-fund the police movement; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the spike in case numbers in some states; the November presidential election and procedural problems at some primary and local elections; the U.S. officially enters a recession and activity in the world’s financial markets; and NASCAR bans Confederate flag images in all its sanctioned events were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Public media organization WNYC announces that San Francisco Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper is named the newest editor-in-chief for WNYC. Corporation chief content officer Andrew Golis tells staffers that in this role, Cooper “will oversee our local news operations: the WNYC newsroom (radio and Gothamist) and our local talk shows, ‘The Brian Lehrer Show’ and ‘All of It.’ News director Sean Bowditch, Gothamist executive editor Jen Chung, and head of live radio Megan Ryan will report to her.” He adds that at the Chronicle, Cooper “guided a 200-person newsroom through dramatic growth in its ambition and audience, all while sharply increasing the diversity of its staff. As CJR wrote a few years ago, under Audrey’s leadership there’s been ‘a near consensus, inside and outside the Chronicle, that the paper is doing its best work in years, perhaps ever.’”…..Hartford, Connecticut outlet WFSB-TV and Connoisseur Media’s radio stations are joining forces to deliver a live broadcast about race and justice featuring community leaders in Connecticut this evening at 7:00 pm.  The program is being co-hosted by WFSB-TV’s Dennis House and urban AC WYBC OM and afternoon host Juan Castillo. Featured on the program will be Chaz from the “Chaz & AJ in the Morning” show that airs on rock WPLR and WFOX “95.9 The Fox.” The conversation will include Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut NAACP president Scot Esdaile, Milford police chief and Connecticut Police Chiefs Association president Keith L. Mello, and assistant United States Attorney Ndidi N. Moses. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “This is a vital topic for our communities, and profoundly important to Connoisseur Media. We continue to commit resources to helping our society move forward to a brighter future together.”…..ESPN announces it is using Megaphone publishing and ad insertion for its network of podcasts, beginning in July. The Megaphone suite will offer ESPN enterprise-level podcast hosting, publishing, dynamic ad insertion, campaign management, forecasting, and analytics tools in supporting podcasts such as: “Fantasy Focus Football” with Matthew Berry, Field Yates, and Stephania Bell; “The Lowe Post” with Zach Lowe; “The Woj Pod” with Adrian Wojnarowski, “The Hoop Collective” with Brian Windhorst, The “SVPod” with Scott Van Pelt, and “ESPN Daily” with Mina Kimes.

Salem Radio Network Star Larry Elder Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. African American conservative talk show host Larry Elder of Salem Radio Network is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Elder is an LA-based attorney, author, and documentary filmmaker who represents the conservative African American view that, in many ways, runs counter to the popular political narrative that there is systemic and institutional anti-black racism in America in 2020 as so vividly depicted in the disturbing George Floyd video. Elder believes that message is overblown and sensationalized by liberal politicians, the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, and professional lifelong race baiters – and actually keeps African Americans down, casting them in the role of perennial victims. Harrison states, “Last week on the podcast we presented an in-depth conversation with SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘Urban View’ channel personality Joe Madison who presented a passionate and compelling case for the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. But anyone who listens to news/talk radio knows that is not the only perspective on the topic and not all African Americans are of the same mind when it comes to the issue. Having Larry Elder on the podcast this week rounds out the conversation that exists among African Americans about the issue.” To listen to the podcast with Larry Elder in its entity as well as last week’s conversation with Joe Madison, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Singer-songwriter H.E.R. debuted a brand-new song titled, “I Can’t Breathe,” – written in response to racial injustice – on Wednesday evening’s iHeartRadio Living Room Concert Series Presented by State Farm. The performance streamed on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and across iHeartMedia urban and urban AC stations across the country and benefitted Meals on Wheels and Urban League…..Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Dede McGuire is hosting a Facebook Live Community Conversation about race in America this evening (6/11) at 8:00 pm ET. She’ll be talking with some of her “DeDe in the Morning” affiliate stations about what is happening in their cities. Representative cities are Dallas; Pittsburgh; Milwaukee; Tyler, Texas; and New Haven, Connecticut…..Next week (June 15-19) the ladies are once again taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” show after a successful first round last month. Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum, Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Lauren Alaina, and Runaway June will each take the mic one evening and take the fans into their living rooms for a night of country music fun. Elaina Smith says, “I am so excited and thankful to be doing this again. The ladies of country continue to prove that they are not only insanely talented with their music, they are also hilarious, brilliant, genuine women that do such an amazing job of connecting on every level with our listeners.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

| June 10, 2020

iHeartMedia Extends Furloughs for 90 Days. As first reported by Billboard, iHeartMedia announces to staffers that it is extending the companywide furloughs for another three months due to the coronavirus pandemic that has “had a significant impact on advertising revenue.” The company says it will be some time before radio station staffing levels will return to full status. This extended furlough for certain staffers will now last through September.

Pennsylvania Attorney Targets Townsquare Media with Investigation. Bensalem, Pennsylvania attorney Howard G. Smith announces an investigation “on behalf of Townsquare Media, Inc. investors concerning the Company and its officers’ possible violations of federal securities laws” in which he’s seeking qualified clients. This comes a day after the company filed a Form 8-K with the Securities Exchange Commission in which it disclosed that it had discovered an error in projected cash flows that were utilized in its valuation model. As a result, the company is reporting an impairment charge of approximately $39.4 million for its licenses and an impairment charge of approximately $69.0 million for its goodwill. It reported that certain financial statements for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 should no longer be relied upon and would be restated due to the error. Townsquare says it is “reassessing its previous conclusions regarding the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures. Based on this assessment, the Company expects to report material weaknesses in the Company’s internal controls and therefore conclude that internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls are not effective.”  Smith says in a press release that “on this news, the Company’s share price fell $1.20, or nearly 19%, to close at $5.28 per share on June 9, 2020, thereby injuring investors.”

KXL, Portland Promotes Three, Adds On-Air Personality. At Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk KXL “FM News 101,” spoken word content director Bruce Collins announces the promotion of three news team members and the addition of another. Current morning and afternoon drive news and traffic reporter Brett Reckamp moves to the co-anchor chair on the station’s “Portland’s Morning News” program. He’s joined by co-anchor Veronica Carter. Previously, she’s served as West Coast regional news director for iHeartMedia and news anchor/reporter for Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and Nexstar Media’s WGN-AM in Chicago. KXL assistant news director Jim Ferretti is promoted to news director and Jeremy Scott is promoted to full-time morning and afternoon drive traffic reporter. Collins says, “It’s awesome to have such a strong staff and be able to promote from within. With the addition of Veronica Carter and the promotion of key personnel, it puts KXL in an extremely strong position.”

WGN-AM, Chicago Adds ‘Sunday Standards with John Williams’ to Weekends. Chicago heritage news/talker WGN-AM adds a second music program to its weekend programming schedule beginning June 21 with the launch of “Sunday Standards with John Williams.” The Nexstar Media Group station says that following the success of “The Sinatra Hours with Dave Plier,” which ranked #2 with adults 25-54, it’s adding the new program hosted by midday talk personality and Great American Songbook aficionado John Williams to air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The show will feature a wide range of artists, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, and Burt Bacharach, along with more modern artists like Linda Ronstadt, Barry Manilow and Amy Winehouse covering those songs. Williams comments, “Some of the hits we play go back 85 years, others go back 15 years. The music is really nice to listen to, and that’s the idea. I think there’s something really big about WGN Radio, a 50,000-watt AM station, energizing this music all over again – and getting people something they need right now.” Left out of the new Sunday program schedule is “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” that’s been airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm weekly. WGN general manager Mary Boyle says, “The success of ‘The Sinatra Hours’ has proven there is an appetite for nostalgia. This music is hard to find, and certainly not on free, over-the-air radio. John Williams has a passion for this kind of music, so it’s a natural fit.”

Kevin Wall Takes Over Afternoons on KMZQ, Las Vegas. Talk show host Kevin Wall is joining Kemp Broadcasting’s KMZQ, Las Vegas to handle the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. The station says that “together with morning drive host Heidi Harris, the addition of ‘Live and Local with Kevin Wall’ gives Las Vegas Valley radio listeners more local talk than any other Vegas radio station.” Wall – who has served with such talk outlets as KFI, Los Angeles and KSFO, San Francisco – was most recently hosting a talk show on Royce International Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas. Prior to that he was the afternoon personality on Entercom’s crosstown KXNT. Kemp EVP Marty Basch says, “Now more than ever with what’s happening in our country and locally, KMZQ will have Las Vegas’ only live and local morning show with Heidi Harris, and now afternoons with Kevin Wall. It’s Las Vegas radio’s ‘Dream Team,’”

Bob Adams Exits Saga’s Portland Station Group. According to a story in the Portland Press Herald, Bob Adams has exited his general manager role at the Portland cluster of Saga Communications stations that includes news/talk WGAN-AM and seven music brands. The paper says that a memo sent to station staffers from SVP of operations Chris Forgy and Saga president and CEO Ed Christian indicated the reason for Adams’ departure was the need for a “more defined growth pattern” and that “a change was necessary.” The company expects to name a new general manager within the next few days. Adams’ exit comes after a number of high-profile air talent were recently laid off, including WGAN-AM talk host Ken Altshuler and music programmer and jock Randi Kirshbaum.

Round Two of May PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and he reports that a number of all-news and news/talk stations that saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares go up in April as a result of coverage of the coronavirus pandemic are starting to see those numbers fall. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington dropped seven-tenths to a 9.3 share but stays in the #1 position in the market. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington adds three-tenths and climbs into the #2 spot. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston gives up a half share to finish May at a 4.8 share and the #6 rank. Sister all-news WBZ-AM also forfeits a half share for a 5.9 share finish and the #4 rank. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle bucks the trend, adding three-tenths to wrap the May survey with a 7.2 share and the #1 rank. Meanwhile, Entercom’s all-news WWJ, Detroit drops seven-tenths to a 5.7 share and falls into the #2 rank in the Motor City. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that the status of ESPN Radio personality Trey Wingo is up in the air as the sports media giant mulls its options. He currently co-hosts the morning drive show with Mike Golic. Marchand says ESPN is “reshaping its radio and NFL presentations” and with Wingo’s contract up, it’s not clear what his status with ESPN is. He says the company would like Keyshawn Johnson – who’s currently heard on O&O KSPN, Los Angeles – and Max Kellerman on its national radio platform. Johnson’s contract is up at the end of the summer…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco announces it raised more than $100,000 for Bay Area hunger relief partnering with Giving in Motion for last week’s fund drive. The money raised will provide more than 6,500 family meals, plus 1,300 bags of school supplies and household essentials to Bay Area residents impacted by COVID-19. The KNBR staff will deliver the meals to people in need at specific locations in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Walnut Creek…..Cox Media Group Tulsa announces that it has helped its community partners raise more than $2 million in the first half of 2020. The cluster – including news/talk KRMG-FM, four music brands and three TV signals – says that figure does not include non-monetary fundraising efforts it has pushed through its channels. The cluster partnered with the Community Food Bank to collect more than 774 pounds of food for its annual Spread the Love campaign, collected 220 pints of blood through a drive with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, and diverted more than 93 tons of recyclable items from the dump through the inaugural Big Spring Clean. CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “During times of great uncertainty, like now, people rely more than ever on the support of community partners to help them get through. This is why we have not only upheld our commitments to our current partners but have gone a step further and added a number of new events to try and help our partners jump-start donations to serve more people who are now reliant upon them.”

George Floyd Funeral/Protests, Police Reform, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race, Georgia Election Problems, Russia Probe Review, Financial Markets Activity, MLB Negotiations/NFL Racism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9). The funeral of Minneapolis police violence victim George Floyd and the ongoing protests taking place across the country; the calls for the reforming and de-funding of police departments; the rising and falling of confirmed COVID-19 cases as states continue the re-opening process; the November presidential election; the troubles Georgia faced holding efficient voting on Tuesday; the review of the Russia probe being led by John Durham; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. unrest; and the negotiations between the MLB’s players and the league and the state of racism in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a weekly basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes an expert on how to generate lost revenue due to COVID-19 via online marketing, an author who writes about Islamic matters, and an expert on finance who puts the race-oriented protests, demonstrations, and riots into perspective from an economic standpoint – plus a whole lot more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle classic hits outlet KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” announces the debut of its new morning show, “95.7 The Jet Mornings with Jodi & Bender.” The iHeartMedia station notes that Bender previously served as a morning host on its KBKS “106.1 KISS FM” where he “became one of the most impactful on-air personalities in the Seattle region.” Jodi has served with KJR-FM since 2011. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Robert Dove says, “Putting Jodi and Bender together gives ‘95.7 The Jet’ a dynamic morning show that will be entertaining and provide civic values to our great city of Seattle. Whether it’s Seafair or Seattle Children’s Hospital, Jodi, Bender, and KJR will be there to shine a light on the good things happening in the Emerald City.”…..iHeartMedia announces that Mark Manuel is the new program director for classic rock KCQQ, Quad Cities. He’s been serving the station as APD and webmaster. He says, “I’m really grateful for the opportunity. After chasing a morning host dream for two decades, I found that I really enjoyed the programming aspect of radio for the past five years. I especially want to thank iHeartMedia for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I’m happy to continue to be part of the team for years to come.”

April 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| May 15, 2020

April 2020 PPM Data – Information for the April 2020 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from fourth to third, Waterloo Media Group-owned KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590” is +2.8 in four consecutive gains and crosses the six-share level (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+). In a bit of a statistical oddity, Entercom’s KJCE has logged either a .3 (6+) or a .4 (6+) in each of the past 15 ratings periods. Flat at #26, “Talk Radio 1370” records a .3 (6+) the third time in a row.

Off one-half share in March/April (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” repeats at #21. Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is up one-tenth in March/April (.5 – .5 – .6, flat at #25, 6+).

Following three successive spikes for a +2.9 and hitting double-digits for the first time in its PPM-history (7.4 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned public radio news/talk outlet KUT forfeits one-half share to 9.8 (6+) but is #1 the fourth month in a row. Recent (6+) fluctuations include: -2.0 (April 2019); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); +1.2 (August); +2.0 (October); -1.9 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.5 (January 2020); +.6 (February); and +.8 (March).

Austin Music Formats – A combined +1.0 in March/April (1.2 – 1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #15). Sinclair Telecable-owned regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” continues an alternating up/down pattern that began last August and includes its current increase of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Up four-tenths in March (3.4 – 3.8, 6+) co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” is down six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). A March increase of one-tenth to 6.4 (6+) by Entercom-owned adult contemporary KKMJ followed its January/February -5.5 (11.8 – 6.7 – 6.3, 6+). In April, however, “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” falters by -1.2 to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+). KKMJ was a combined +6.7 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (5.1 – 6.3 – 11.8, 6+) and had a “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1. In that sweep, KKMJ became the first Austin station to record double-digits (11.8, 6+) since it did so in “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Sinclair Telecable’s similarly-formatted KGSR “Star 93.3” follows “Holiday” 2019’s increase of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.7, 6+) with four downturns in a row for a -1.2 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+). In addition to being -2.6 in six straight decreases and falling below a four-share (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” departs the top ten (#7 to #13). Co-owned rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” has lost eight-tenths in three straight slips (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being down eight-tenths in March/April (7.6 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” progresses from fourth to third. WTKK was a combined +2.3 in January/February (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). After dropping two-tenths in March, Curtis Media Group’s WPTF answers with a +.9 to 2.7 (#16 to #15, 6+). “News Radio 680” was unlisted in January and reappeared in February with a 2.0 (6+).

As a result of three consecutive slips, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is –2.6 and falls under a two-share (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.1, #15 to #17, 6+).

Following three straight spikes that generated a +1.1 (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” falters by -1.0 to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Doubling (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 4.2, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” climbs from #14 to #11. Displaying increases of eight-tenths each are Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (eighth to fourth) and Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life/Your Music” (5.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “The Light” continues an alternating up/down pattern of 6.2 – 7.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 6.1 (6+). Entering the April sweep, WBBB was off one-half share in three losses in a row (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In the country skirmish, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM. “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” improves by one-half share (unchanged at #2) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” notches an increase of six-tenths (#12 to #11). WQDR-FM follows February’s loss of six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) with a combined +2.4 in March/April (5.2 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). Unlisted in January, WQDR-FM was previously a collective -1.9 through five successive decreases (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, WNCB logs its fifth sweep in a row without a loss for a net gain of +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+). By posting a +.6 to 4.4 (steady at #10, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” pulls the plug on seven consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). In six straight down or flat trends, Curtis Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPLW-FM “Pulse FM” is a collective -2.2 (5.2 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+). Not only is Radio One urban AC WFXC +2.5 through four consecutive gains (7.2 – 8.7 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.7, 6+), “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 the fourth time in a row. After four straight sweeps on top, WFXC shifted to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019. January 2019’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. A combined -2.7 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 4.8, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” stumbles from fifth to ninth. “Mix” was +2.2 (“Holiday” 2019) and -1.7 (January). As a result of five consecutive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia Greensboro’s similarly-programmed WMAG is -2.0 (2.2 – 1.9 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+). After being +1.1 in three straight bumps (2.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 3.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Carolina’s Greatest Hits KIX 102.9” falters by eight-tenths (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK was an overall -2.5 in four straight downturns (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In April, “K-97.5” sputters by one-half share to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Down one-half share as well is iHeartMedia alternative WDCG-HD2 (.9 – .4, #19 to #21, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not quite doubling (+4.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight upticks, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” achieves double-digits (6+) and progresses from second to first (5.4 – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 10.3, 6+). Its recent (6+) shifts include: -1.2 (April 2019); +.9 (June); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2019); +2.2 (January 2020); +.8 (March); and +1.5 (April 2020).

Its sports talk cluster-mate WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” however, is -1.2 via three straight slips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 1.8, #14 to #15, 6+). Regaining the two-tenths it lost in March (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” repeats at #17.

Three straight improvements by WFYI led to an overall +1.6 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3 , 6+), but the Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk station spirals by -1.3 to 4.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – The wild ride plays on for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which boasts an April +2.2 (6.9 – 9.1, fifth to third, 6+). Having occupied the top spot 11 sweeps in a row, WJJK dropped to second in December. Its 11.1 (July and September) represents the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Among WJJK’s recent (6+) fluctuations are: +1.7 (April 2019); +1.4 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.1 (September); -2.2 (December); -1.4 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.1 (January 2020); -1.0 (March); and +2.2 (April 2020). Bettering March’s +1.4 with an April +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” reaches the ten-share level (7.2 – 8.6 – 10.1, third to second, 6+). A combined -1.1 in February/March (6.9 – 6.6 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” erases that deficit with a +1.3 to 7.1 (6+) and continues in sixth-place. Off two-tenths in March (7.5 – 7.3, 6+), WFMS’ format rival – Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank-FM” – dials up a +1.0 to (8.3, 6+) and remains at #4. Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM purges February/March’s half share decrease (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+) with a +.7 to 6.0 (steady at #7, 6+). On top the past five reports, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” segues to fourth (9.5 – 8.3, -1.2, 6+). WYXB was an overall +10.8 through three increases in succession (7.4 – 8.8 – 10.2 – 18.2, 6+), but was then -9.3 in January/February (18.2 – 9.1 – 8.9, 6+). Its 18.2 (“Holiday” 2019) represents the strongest 6+-performance by any Indianapolis station in the PPM-era. Regressing by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are Cumulus Media hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (#10 to #14) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A “WTTS “92.3 Experience The Music” (#10 to #11). In an alternating down/up sequence that began last August, “The Mix” is 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.0 (6+). As a result of three drops in a row, WTTS is -1.6 (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Despite being down two-tenths to 4.3 (6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” advances from ninth to eighth. The loss, however, suspends three straight gains that yielded a +1.3 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a 3.4 (6+) in June but is unlisted the eleventh time in a row.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The news/talk station on top in this Wisconsin market in April 2020 is iHeartMedia’s WISN. “News/Talk 1130” is an astonishing +5.3 via four straight spikes including April’s mammoth +3.5 and crosses the nine-share level (4.0 – 4.2 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 9.3, fourth to first, 6+). Replicating March’s +.6 (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ jumps from sixth to third. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was off eight-tenths in January/February (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). In six straight sweeps without a loss, Alpha Media’s Kenosha-licensed WLIP doubles (+.3) its 6+ AQH share (.3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, #20 to 18, 6+).

It’s a mixed-bag for the market’s four sports talkers. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” is up one-tenth (.6 – .7, #17 to #16, 6+) and Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is flat at .6 (#17 to #18, 6+). Dropping one-tenth are Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (.6 – .5, #17 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” (.4 – .3, flat at #22, 6). The latter has lost four-tenths in seven straight sweeps without an increase (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

As a result of four straight gains, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.0 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, eighth to fifth, 6+). Repeating March’s 1.4 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD climbs from #13 to #12.  

Milwaukee Music Formats – In the Magnum Radio cluster, WVTY “92.1 VTY Country” more than triples (+1.8) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.8 – 1.6 – 2.6, #12 to #11, 6+); however, WMBZ “92.9 Buzz Country” surrenders all but one-tenth of March’s +.8 (2.1 – 1.4, -.7, #11 to #12, 6+). The December 2019 through February 2020 topline for WVTY was .9 – .7 – .9 – .8 (6+). Prior to March, “Buzz Country” hadn’t had an increase the previous four sweeps for a net loss of four-tenths (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+). An overall -3.0 in three straight setbacks (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” falls from second to eighth. WMYX had a January-only stay at the top. After posting an increase of seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.6, 6+), it faltered by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2019 before notching a +1.8 in January (6.1 – 7.9, 6+). Co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” is in an alternating up/down pattern which includes April’s -1.1: 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). In March, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” each plummeted by -1.2. Now in April, both falter by eight-tenths. After spending the past six reports at #1, WRIT segues to #2 (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Previously, “Big FM” spent four straight months on top before slipping to the runner-up slot in October. “Holiday” 2019’s 11.8 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its recent (6+) moves include: -1.5 (May 2019); -1.3 (October); +4.0 (“Holiday” 2019); -3.9 (January 2020); +1.0 (February); and -1.2 (March). Meanwhile, in four straight downturns, “B-93.3” has lost roughly 56% (-6.4) of its 6+ AQH share (11.4 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 5.8 – 5.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). “B-93.3” was a cumulative +6.2 as a result of three bumps in a row (5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 11.4, 6+). With their “Holiday” 2019 (6+) AQH share and market rank information in parentheses, the following Saga Communications stations are unlisted the fourth month in a row: WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (5.6, fifth, 6+); WHQG “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” (4.7, eighth, 6+); urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (3.2, #13, 6+); and rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.5, #15, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is up seven-tenths in March/April (4.7 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WWTN was -.7 (December/“Holiday” 2019) and then +.7 (January 2020). Up one-half share in March/April (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” progresses from #16 to #13.

Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is an overall -2.8 in three drops in succession (4.7 – 3.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In that same timeframe, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” has lost more than half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.0 – .6 – .4 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

Following January’s +1.1 (4.6 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” forfeits -1.7 in three straight slips (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Not only is Midwest Communications-owned adult hits WCJK an overall +3.0 in four straight spikes allowing it to cross the nine-share level (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 9.2, 6+), “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” advances from second to first. The last time Nashville’s version of “Jack-FM” occupied the top spot was November 2019. Knocked out of the penthouse after five consecutive sweeps there is WCJK’s adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (9.7 – 8.1, -1.6, first to second, 6+). A combined +8.3 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.5 – 9.7 – 15.8, 6+), WJXA has been: +1.0 (May 2019); -1.6 (October); +2.2 (December); +6.1 (“Holiday” 2019); -5.5 (January 2020); +1.3 (February); -1.9 (March); and -1.6 (April). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 The Rock,” which more than doubles (+3.4) its 6+-stat via four successive upticks including April’s hefty +2.1 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 6.7, tenth to fifth, 6+). Advancing from fourth to third, co-owned urban contemporary WUBT 101.1 “The Beat” posts its fifth straight spike for a collective +2.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+). As a result of three straight boosts, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” is +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #7).  Middle Tennessee State University’s WMOT “Roots Radio 89.5,” which lost three-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, 6+), triples March’s .4 and enters the top twenty (1.2, +.8, #18, 6+). Three straight down or flat moves by Educational Media Foundation’s WLVU resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is +.9 in March/April (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Drifting from fourth to tenth, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -3.1 in March/April (7.1 – 6.4 – 4.0, 6+), following January/February’s +1.5 (5.6 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). Just prior to the December 2019 report, WRVW netted nine-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+), but was then -.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+). Without an increase the past eight reports for a -1.2 (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .7 – .5 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), TBLC Media’s Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” disappears from print.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight positive or neutral trends – highlighted by April’s +2.3 – WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” has more than doubled (+3.6) its 6+ AQH share. The Cumulus Media-owned outlet  crosses the six-share level (2.5 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 6.1, 6+) and advances from seventh to fifth. Gaining nine-tenths in five straight sweeps without a loss (.4 – .6 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” progresses from #16 to #14. Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #20 to #19, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a cumulative -1.7 in three straight slumps (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+).

Following three improvements in a row for a +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” surrenders 70% of the windfall (1.5, -.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

After three straight up or flat moves yielded nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH drops two-tenths to 3.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.9 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Rhode Island Public Radio news/talk WNPN progresses from #13 to #11.

Down three-tenths in February/March (.7 – .6 – .4, 6+), The Wheeler School-owned news/talk WELH “89.3 The Public’s Radio” regains two-tenths to .6 (#20 to #19, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On the heels of regressing six-tenths in March, Hall Broadcasting’s WCTK roars back with a +1.9 (7.9 – 9.8, third to second, 6+). “Cat Country 98.1” was +2.1 in January/February (6.4 – 7.8 – 8.5, 6+), directly after “Holiday” 2019’s -1.9 (8.3 – 6.4, 6+). Up two-tenths in March (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). After being an overall +2.6 through three successive increases (8.0 – 9.4 – 10.2 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY drops four-tenths to 10.2 (6+). Nonetheless, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 the fourth time in a row. On top four consecutive months, WHJY segued to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019, when it was -1.3. The three latest shifts by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” are: -8.3 (16.8 – 8.9 – 8.5, January/February, 6+); +1.3 (8.5 – 9.8, March, 6+); and now -1.9 in April (9.8 – 7.9, second to third, 6+). Sputtering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are WWLI’s rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” (#10 to #12) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (#15 to #17). “Hot” is off eight-tenths in March/April (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), while WJMN is down the third time in a row for a -1.0 (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Unlisted the 11th month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from #11 to #13, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” is down or flat the seventh straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Expunging February/March’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+) with an April +1.1 to 7.5 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WOWI “103 Jamz” continues in the runner-up slot. More than five full-shares ahead of WOWI is Entercom urban AC WVKL (13.6 – 12.6, -1.0, 6+), which is #1 the 17th consecutive ratings period. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” was –1.5 in February and +.7 in March. Just prior to February, WVKL was an overall +2.7 in three straight gains (11.7 – 12.7 – 14.1 – 14.4, 6+). Its August 9.1 (6+) marked the first time since January 2014 (9.8) that WVKL failed to log double-digits (6+). The 15.5 it posted in August 2018 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After losing more than 60% (-7.7) of its 6+ AQH share through three straight downturns (12.4 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” picks up one-tenth to 4.8 (6+) and continues at #3. Faltering by seven-tenths each are Max Broadcast Group country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” (fourth to fifth) and iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN’ 107.7” (1.0, #11 to #14, 6+). “The Eagle” is without an increase the third time in a row for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+); WMOV was up six-tenths in February/March (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). Off one-half share each are Entercom rhythmic CHR and hot AC cluster-mates WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” (fifth to sixth) and WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #7). In March/April, “Z-104” is down seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while “The Point” has lost nine-tenths in the same stretch (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). In three consecutive increases, Max Broadcast Group CHR WVHT was +1.6 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6, 6+) and crossed the three-share level (3.6) for the first time since July (3.1). While down one-tenth in April to 3.5 (6+), “Hot 100 Today’s Hits Now” nonetheless advances from sixth to fourth. These three Saga Communications-owned properties are unlisted the third month in a row: WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock”; WNOR “FM 99 Rocks”; and adult standards WJOI “Joy FM – Great Songs/Great Memories.” WAFX was -1.5 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.3 – 6.7 – 5.8, #4, 6+); WNOR lost basically half (-4.5) its 6+ AQH share via four consecutive downturns (9.1 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+), finishing fifth in “Holiday” 2019; and WJOI logged a .2 in “Holiday” 2019 (#17, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A whopping +5.3 through five consecutive upticks (8.1 – 8.3 – 9.8 – 10.4 – 11.8 – 13.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1.

A combined +.6 in March/April (.8 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” advances from #17 to #15. After posting a .3 (6+) in February and March, Cox Media Group sports talk WOKV-AM “690 AM ESPN Jacksonville” is unlisted in April.

Public radio news/talk WJCT follows March’s half-share improvement (3.4 – 3.9, 6+) with a loss of seven-tenths and exits the top ten (3.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Augmenting its March increase of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) with an April +1.0, iHeartMedia’s rock-formatted WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio” enters the top ten (3.8, #13 to #9, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was -1.3 in March (6.1 – 4.8, 6+), rebounds with a gain of six-tenths (5.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 1.3 (#17 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” applies the brakes to nine consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -1.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share softens by -2.0 as Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is -1.4 (sixth to eighth) and iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1 is -.6 (ninth to tenth). WGNE continues its alternating down/up pattern: 4.0 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 4.0 (6+). Without an increase the third time in a row, WQIK is -1.0 in that period (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). Flat in seventh-place, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.0 in March/April (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.9 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from fifth to fourth. Following February’s -1.2 (2.9 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is a combined +.5 in March/April (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2, steady at #11, 6+). Without an increase the sixth time in a row for a one-third loss (-1.4) of its 6+ AQH share (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” nonetheless climbs from #21 to #16. Tied with WFTL in a four-way scrum at #16 is iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD “610 News Radio” (.6 – .7, +.1, #22 to #16, 6+).

The November 2019 through April 2020 topline for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” is: .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#25 to #22, 6+).

Despite being an overall +.9 in four straight reports without a loss (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Dade County School Board public radio news/talk WLRN backslides from eighth to ninth. WLRN was +.8 (December) and -1.0 (Holiday” 2019).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four latest fluctuations by Hubbard Broadcasting urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” are +1.8 (January); -2.3 (February); -1.5 (March); and +.8 in April (5.0 – 6.8 – 4.5 – 3.0 – 3.8, steady at #7, 6+). Nearly doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH stat in three straight spikes (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” continues in eighth-place. Co-owned CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains eight-tenths in three successive sweeps without a loss and reaches the four-share level (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). The three stations deadlocked at #1 in March all experience April erosion. Emerging in sole possession of first-place is Hubbard Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (7.7 – 7.2, -.5, 6+). “Sunny” was up three-tenths in February/March (7.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+). It now has a half-share lead over iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL (7.7 – 6.7, -1.0, first to second, 6+). Immediately prior, “Today’s Kool 105.5” was +3.1 as a result of three consecutive improvements (4.6 – 6.3 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), which directly followed five downturns in succession for an overall -2.8 (7.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). The third part of that March #1 triangle – Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” – falters by -1.2 (7.7 – 6.5, 6+) and falls to third. Off -1.0 in March, WRMF had been on top three straight months. WRMF dropped one-tenth in February, following January’s +1.1. After spending 12 ratings periods at #1, WRMF slid to #2 in “Holiday” 2019 (-1.5). It substituted November’s -.6 with December’s +.6  (9.2 – 8.6 – 9.2, 6+). Plummeting by -1.0 each are iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” (4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WZTU “Tu 94.9” (#16 to #20). A collective +1.9 in three bumps in a row (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 5.0, November 2019 through January 2020, 6+), WKGR erased February’s loss of six-tenths with a March +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WZTU continues an alternating down/up sequence: 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .9 – 1.8 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .4 (6+). Remaining at #10, Hubbard-owned WIRK “New Country 103.1” is down or flat the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.8 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of four straight bumps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a collective +2.6 (3.0 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) and pushes up from seventh to sixth.

Unlisted in January, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .7 – .8 – -.5 (February – March – April, flat at #15, 6+).

Off four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD exits the top ten (#10 to #11). It had been an overall +1.3 as a result of three successive increases (2.1 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). The “Holiday” 2019 through April 2020 topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public radio news/talk WUNC is: 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 (flat at #14,  6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Off three-tenths in March (3.0 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” answers with an April uptick of eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Adding six-tenths to its half-share gain in March (7.2 – 7.7 – 8.3, 6+), Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR “Rock 92” jumps from fourth to second. In addition to being a collective +1.2 in three straight spikes (9.9 – 10.5 – 10.8 – 11.1, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. This directly follows three consecutive losses that resulted in a -1.1 (11.0 – 10.9 – 10.1 – 9.9, 6+). In 2019, WQMG was #1 in January, February, April, May, July, and December. An overall -1.6 in three successive setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.1, 6+), Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” falls from eighth to ninth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM All The Hits” has lost eight-tenths in March/April (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.0, unchanged at #12, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (second to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (flat at #5, 6+); and Entercom’s country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (sixth to seventh, 6+). In three straight drops, “Simon” is -2.8 (10.4 – 8.9 – 8.1 – 7.6, 6+). Its recent (6+) fluctuations include: -1.6 (April 2019); +1.1 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.4 (September); +1.0 (November); -1.2 (December); -2.2 (“Holiday” 2019); and +1.9 (January 2020); In November 2019, “Simon” hit the eleven-share level (11.9, 6+) for the first time since February 2018 (11.4). After improving by seven-tenths in February (7.4 – 8.1, 6+), WMAG is -1.0 in March/April (8.1 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). Following its “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1, WMAG plummeted by roughly 54% (-8.8) of its 6+ AQH share (16.2 – 7.4, 6+). Immediately before that, four successive spikes netted WMAG a +9.9 (6.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 10.2 – 16.2, 6+). In an alternating up/down pattern that started in December, “The Wolf” is: 4.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 4.8 (6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.6 via four consecutive spikes, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” hits the seven-share threshold (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Repeating at #13, Entercom’s WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is -1.6 in three straight slips (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+). Locked on .3 (6+) in February and March, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” drops one-tenth to .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH stat by notching five straight up or flat moves (1.9 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). A combined +1.3 in March/April (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), WDIA’s urban contemporary sibling – WHRK “K-97” – continues in third-place. “K-97” was -1.0 in January/February (7.8 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). In six down or flat reports in a row, urban AC cluster-mate KJMS was -3.0 (10.5 – 10.5 – 9.7 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.8 – 8.5, 6+); however, “V-101” pulls the plug with a +.2 to 8.7 (6+) and continues at #2. In February, KJMS exited the top spot after 16 consecutive times there. The alternating up/down sequence by Shelby County Schools urban AC WQOX “The Voice of SCS” includes April’s half share increase: 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). While adult contemporary endured a very harsh April 2020 sweep, both of Memphis’ ACs notch modest increases: Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” gains four-tenths (5.0 – 5.4, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, #15 to #16, 6+). “The River” had been -4.0 as a result of three consecutive downturns (9.0 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+). The Bridge” was up three-tenths in February and down one-half share in March. In addition to being #1 the third month in a row, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO is +2.8 in three straight jumps (8.3 – 9.1 – 11.0 – 11.1, 6+). In March, “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” hit double-digits (11.0) for the first time since November 2018 (10.7). Entering the January sweep, WRBO was +1.4 in three straight increases (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+). A cumulative -3.1 as a result of three successive setbacks (8.3 – 7.8 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned gospel WHAL falls from fourth to seventh. “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” was off six-tenths in December and +1.8 “Holiday” 2019/January 2020. Including its current -.8, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” continues an alternating up/down pattern: 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 3.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+). In the country battle, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Today’s Best Country Kix 106” is down eight-tenths (#9 to #11), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” loses seven-tenths (2.2, flat at #12, 6+). The last four moves by “Kix 106” are +.9 (January); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); and -.8 in April (4.1 – 3.3, 6+). WGKX was -1.7 in December/“Holiday 2019.” Meanwhile, “The Wolf” gained one-half share in February and was -.6 in March (3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #4, Entercom-owned WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective  +1.9 through four consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2 – 7.6, 6+). After doubling its 6+ AQH share in February/March (.6 – .8 – 1.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” forfeits one-half share to .7 (#13 to #14, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WPOP  (.2 – .7, +.5, #15 to #14, 6+).“News Radio 1410” logged a .1 (6+) 21 straight times and then posted a .2 (6+) in back-to-back reports.

In three straight slumps, WPOP’s sports talk cluster-mate, WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” loses eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is -1.6 in March/April (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.0, #9 to #10, 6+). As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” loses half (-.2) is 6+ AQH share (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, #15 to #16, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats –  A combined -.5 in February/March (7.9 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” explodes with a +2.4 to 9.8 (6+) and storms from third to first. As a result, it ends at 46  Entercom adult contemporary WRCH’s consecutive string of #1 finishes. A combined -2.1 in March/April (11.0 – 9.9 – 8.9, 6+), “Lite 100.5” segues to the runner-up slot. WRCH was a combined +8.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (9.8 – 11.5 – 18.4, 6+) and -7.7 in January; 18.4 is the best 6+-showing of any Hartford station since WRCH’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2018. Recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: -1.3 (April 2019); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.2 (September); +1.7 (December); +6.9 (“Holiday” 2019); -7.7 (January 2020); -1.1 (March); and -1.0 (April 2020). Off three-tenths in February (6.8 – 6.5, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale” counters with a +2.4 in March/April (6.5 – 7.6 – 8.9, 6+) and is tied with WRCH at #2. Unchanged at #8, Entercom-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” continues an alternating up/down pattern that includes April’s -1.5 (6.2 – 7.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 4.1, 6+). Three drops in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” result in a -2.6 (7.4 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 4.8, flat at #7, 6+). Reaching the market from New Haven, co-owned/similarly-formatted WKCI “KC-101” is off six-tenths in March/April (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.5, #12, 6+). Without an increase the tenth time in succession for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Kool Radio – Good Times/Great Oldies” drops from #14 to #16.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

| May 14, 2020

Entercom Reports First Quarter Net Revenue Down 4%. On revenue of $297 million, Entercom reports a drop of 4% for the first quarter of 2020 compared to Q1 2019 in which net revenue was $309 million. Digital revenue was up 41% year-over-year for the quarter, “propelled by strong audience and revenue growth in podcasting and digital audio advertising.” Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $34.5 million, down 19% compared to $42.7 million in the first quarter of 2019. Whereas Entercom reported a net gain of $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2019, it is reporting a net loss of $9.1 million for Q1 2020. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I want to salute the outstanding work and dedication of the Entercom team, which has risen to the unique challenges of these unprecedented times to serve the American public, our customers and our communities. Entercom began the year on a strong note driving revenues up over 7% through February before facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken important actions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and are well positioned financially to operate effectively through the crisis. Strategically, we are well positioned to fully participate in the recovery and the attractive growth opportunities in the audio space, with strong leadership positions in broadcast radio and podcasting, the fastest growing digital audio platform, unparalleled leadership in news and sports, and strong data and analytics capabilities.”

Round Three of April PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets and notes some of the following moves of significance: In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM tacks on three-tenths to finish with a 7 share and moves up to the #2 rank in the market; Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte adds another 1.4 shares to its March total for a 7.1 share and a rise to the #3 rank; iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio busts out with a 2.1 share increase, climbing to a 7.9 share and the #2 rank; In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK continues its climb adding 1.3 shares to finish #1 for the fourth straight survey with an 11.6 share; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City rockets up 2.8 shares into first place with an 8.8 share; and iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati also rises 2.8 shares to repeat at #1 with a 12.9 share. See all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Rod Blagojevich to Host WLS-AM-Produced Podcast. Titled, “The Lightning Rod,” former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich begins hosting the weekly podcast for Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. Blagojevich was sentenced to prison after the feds recorded phone conversations of him trying to “sell” Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat – a charge he denies to this day. President Trump commuted his sentence after serving almost eight years in a Colorado federal prison. The new podcast launches on May 20. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “Blagojevich is a polarizing political figure who served his time and now he’s serving up the truth, only on WLS-AM. It will be messy; it will be raw, and it will be Rod as you have never heard him before.” Blagojevich comments, “After a long exile, I made it home. It’s a brand-new day. I’m finally free and fired up to speak my mind, provide insights from the inside, and share what I’ve learned from the school of hard knocks.”

Michelle Franzen Named Midday Anchor at ABC News Radio. Rising from correspondent at ABC News Radio is news pro Michelle Franzen, who is named midday news anchor, joining Cheri Preston, Daria Albinger, and Rich Cantu in the weekday lineup. ABC Audio director of news programming Scott Goldberg says in a memo to staffers, “Michelle is a trusted journalist with top-notch storytelling skills. Just yesterday she, along with a stellar producing team, won a Gracie Award for their heartwarming story on NICU cuddlers, volunteers who spend time swaddling and hugging newborns when parents or nurses aren’t around. Michelle began her ABC News career in 2014, reporting for all platforms, and joined our ABC Audio family in 2015 as a correspondent. Since then she’s been instrumental in our coverage of so many major stories, including the 2016 presidential election, the tragic mass shooting in El Paso and the impeachment of President Trump. Last year Michelle’s story on organizations working to feed the hungry during the holiday season was featured in our special ‘America’s Bounty.’ She’s currently back in touch with one of those organizations, reporting its shift in efforts to fill the need during the pandemic.”

Radio Hall of Fame Opens Nomination Process. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee is now accepting suggestions for 2020 nominees and will continue to accept them until May 29. Inductees will be honored at the annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is returning to Chicago in late October 2020. The exact date of the gala will be announced shortly. Suggestions for Radio Hall of Fame nominees can be made in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The annual Hall of Fame ceremony is a traditionally heartfelt event that evokes emotion from inductees and attendees. These talented radio broadcast individuals are honored for accomplishments that most only dream of. Being the 100th anniversary of radio makes this year’s celebration even more special.” The Radio Hall of Fame says that 100th anniversary of the radio industry will be part of this year’s celebration and notes that KDKA, Pittsburgh is often cited as the first commercial radio station in the United States for broadcasting the 1920 presidential election returns. The first national radio network was NBC in 1926, followed by CBS in 1927. ABC became a spin-off of one of NBC’s networks in the 1940s. You can make a nomination suggestion by visiting www.radiohalloffame.com and clicking on the NOMINATE tab.

Raiders Continue Relationship with Compass Media Networks. The Las Vegas Raiders sign a multi-year extension with Compass Media Networks in which the company will continue to produce and broadcast all Raiders’ play-by-play-audio for distribution on terrestrial radio, Raiders.com, SiriusXM, TuneIn, and Verizon Mobile. Raiders president Marc Badain states, “The Raiders are thrilled to continue our decade-long partnership with Compass Media Networks. We look forward to Brent Musburger and Lincoln Kennedy bringing all the action to a passionate audience of Raiders fans nationwide on game day.” Compass says that in this coming season, it will offer expanded pre-game and post-game coverage – in addition to all of the play-by-play action.

Statistics and Projections, Re-Opening Controversy, Financial Markets/The Economy, Bright Testimony, Michael Flynn Case, Presidential Election, GOP Special Election Victories, Burr Investigation, and Sports Leagues’ Plans Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13). The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future infections; the controversy over re-openings in various states; the financial markets react to coronavirus news and Fed chair Jerome Powell’s warning about the effect on the U.S. economy; Dr. Rick Bright’s Thursday testimony before a House panel; Judge Emmet Sullivan’s oversight of the case of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; the November presidential election and the allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden; the GOP wins seats in California and Wisconsin in special elections; the investigation into Senator Richard Burr’s sale of stocks; and the various sports leagues’ plans to play games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHP, Harrisburg PM Drive Host Ken Matthews Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s heritage station WHP, Harrisburg, PA, Ken Matthews, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Matthews, a staunch conservative in the capital of a key battleground state, is also on the select roster of fill-in hosts who sit in for Rush Limbaugh. A member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred, Matthews describes himself as having a passion for people, politics, pop culture, pistols, pianos, and alliteration. He’s a 35-year veteran of radio whose career has been marked by tremendous ups, downs and ups again.  Harrison and his guest candidly discuss the politics of COVID-19, the presidential race, and the years Matthews has spent in the trenches of both music and talk radio. It is a fascinating overview of the times in which we live and the “real world” life of one of the industry’s hardest-working professionals.  Don’t miss it!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro James Kurdziel is named program director for Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis, taking over for Scott Jameson. Kurdziel serves as regional VP of programming-rock – a position he’ll continue to hold – and PD/midday personality for the company’s alternative WEDG-FM, Buffalo. He’ll continue in that role until a successor is named. He says, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m beyond grateful. Being at the helm of KQRS and working with Tom Barnard and the talented staff there is humbling and I am thrilled.”…..Cumulus Media’s hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” drops the Christmas music it’s been playing for the past month and re-positions as “107.9 The Mix from the ‘80s to Now!” It also unveils a new jock lineup that includes Nikki Reed in afternoon drive…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, a talent shuffle takes place at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX. Both producer Cynthia DeNicolo and social media manager Melissa Dever exited recently as part of the company’s COVID-19-related cuts. Now, traffic reporter Violeta Podrumedic begins handling social media duties for the morning show as morning personality Melissa McGurren adds traffic duties.

Monday, May 11, 2020

| May 11, 2020

Monday Memo: Talkers, Listening. Cable television talk legend Larry King taught us that great talkers are good listeners. So, in this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke asks a quartet of our talk media cohorts what they’re hearing as listeners cope. HC speaks with Westwood One nationally syndicated star Jim Bohannon, Providence radio and TV news and talk pro Gene Valicenti, and two hosts working in recreation meccas – Harry Hurley at WPG, Atlantic City and Heidi Harris at KMZQ in Las Vegas. Read it here.

Statistics and Projections, Re-Opening and Second Wave Threats, COVID-19 at the White House, U.S.-China Relations, Ahmaud Arbery Slaying, Michael Flynn Case, and Jerry Stiller Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the number of deaths, and projections for future infections; some U.S. states cautiously begin re-opening amid concerns about a second wave of infections; the reports of White House staffers testing positive; the war of words between the U.S. and China over the origin of the coronavirus; the arrest of Gregory and Travis McMichael in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery; the DOJ drops the Michael Flynn case and allegations of the Obama administration’s role in implicating Flynn; and comedian Jerry Stiller dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Masks, Appointments, and Social Distancing. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that it’s important to be smart about what and how you are selling. “As local business categories slowly come back to life, dealing with restrictive guidelines never before anticipated, marketing dollars may take a more cautious path to recovery. Some of your advertisers are dealing with the logistics of government-funded loans to bridge the gap and the new challenges that will arise. Will hours and operations ever be the same as before the coronavirus pandemic?” Read his column here.

Beasley Media Group Announces Re-Opening. The company says that today (5/11) it is beginning the approved gradual Phase One implementation of re-opening its radio properties in states that have reopened for business.  Beasley Media Group states that “both the timing and safety measures for these re-openings will be based upon approved CDC, individual state, and local government recommended guidelines. During Phase One, no more than 25% of each cluster’s individual workforce will be in the workplace at any given time.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “We have taken a very conservative, thorough and thoughtful approach to our company’s gradual reopening plan to provide, first and foremost, a safe and healthy work environment for our employees. Our market managers have done an incredible job working closely with their individual state and local governments to ensure a safe transition process as we all continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”

Evening Show Change at WLS-AM, Chicago. Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel leaves her early evening talk show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM and a sports-themed show hosted by Rob Martier debuts in its place. Chicago media writer Robert Feder breaks the story here. Martier has been with WLS-AM since joining as evening news anchor in 2018. He also hosts a weekend auto show and Illini football broadcasts. Weigel came aboard last March as a part of the Mancow Muller morning show before transitioning to late night host and then early evening personality.

Bob Matthews Retires from WHAM, Rochester. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports that longtime WHAM sports talk host Bob Matthews did his last show for the legendary iHeartMedia signal on Friday. Matthews tells the paper he was not fired nor furloughed but that at age 73 and after serving with the station for 35 years, he admits “the coronavirus got the best of me.” He adds, “It’s been very difficult the last two months. It’s been tough talking sports for two hours when there’s no sports. I’ll be OK.” Matthews, a longtime columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle who left the paper in 2012, says he’s recently been diagnosed with diabetes and knows he’s susceptible to the virus. The station will replace Matthews’ 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show with Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage.

iHeartMedia Adds New Voices to ‘Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020’ Podcast. A podcast addressing students graduating this year titled, “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” is being produced by iHeartMedia and will be published on Friday (5/15) ahead of National Graduation Day on the 17th. The company announces that Bill and Melinda Gates; singer, songwriter and actor Becky G; actor and gender equality ambassador Freida Pinto; stand-up comedian George Lopez; director and actor Henry Winkler; New York Times bestselling author John Green; Mary J. Blige; T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert; actor, producer, singer and songwriter Rita Wilson; acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson; T.I.; Apple CEO Tim Cook; and Emmy award-winning news anchor Tom Brokaw have joined the podcast event featuring commencement addresses from some of the most inspiring and accomplished thought leaders impacting culture today. “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” will also feature speeches from iHeartRadio personalities Ryan Seacrest, Enrique Santos, Angie Martinez, Bobby Bones, Jake Brennan, Angela Yee, Woody, and J Cruz. The speeches will be produced specifically for the podcast, through the iHeartPodcast Network, and are dedicated to all the graduating classes of 2020 who will miss their commencement celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard.

Alpha Media Presents ‘Tools for Difficult Times’ for Staff and Clients. Last Thursday (5/7), Alpha Media held a virtual keynote titled, “Now What? Tools for Difficult Times,” featuring author and Ted Talk alum Greg Bell and special guest Meghan Trainor. Alpha CEO Bob Proffitt states, “The goal of the event was to offer our employees and clients positive and actionable planning strategies to maximize personal and professional opportunities as we begin the re-entry phase of this crisis.” Close to 1,000 guests virtually attended to hear motivational speaker Greg Bell provide key insights and incredible tools for moving forward in this new era. Grammy Award winner Meghan Trainor discussed with Skyview Network host Dana Cortez how she is using her platform positively to help feed those in need at this time. They also tackled how to handle the pressure and fatigue from the constant influx of social media during the pandemic. Alpha Media says that it believes that innovation, creativity and connection are important now more than ever. To meet that need, the company says its Virtual Keynote series will continue throughout the year with new speakers and guests to be announced.

Radio One Philadelphia and MyPhillyLawyer Salute Frontline Workers. In an effort to give back to the front-line workers of the COVID-19 pandemic, Radio One Philadelphia joined MyPhillyLawyer for the “Salute on the Front Line” campaign that features video tributes and special lunch deliveries to men and women nominated by members of the community. Listeners to Radio One’s Philadelphia stations can submit video tributes to the radio stations highlighting the work and contribution of friends or family members who are essential workers in the Philadelphia area. The radio stations will feature the videos and each day will have lunch delivered to the workplace of the honorees to thank them and their co-workers for their service. Radio One Philadelphia general manager Ezio Torres says, “This partnership with MyPhillyLawyer recognizes not only the front-line workers who immediately come to mind, but also those who work in the grocery stores and drug stores, along with the delivery drivers, postal workers, SEPTA personnel, and many others. It’s just a great way to acknowledge those who continue to allow us to move forward. We want to send them a big thank you!”

Westwood One: Radio Listening Levels Ramping Up. The data presented in this week’s Westwood One Blog are culled from “a brand-new study of consumer COVID-19 sentiment and spending intentions” as well as “just-released audience data from the 45 Portable People Meter markets. The PPM data covered the period of March 27, 2020 through May 6, 2020.” The PPM data indicates that Americans are listening at a rate of 82% or pre-COVID-19 levels.  A study conducted by Nielsen found that 32% of adult Americans consider themselves in the “ready to go” category and they have a greater intent to resume their spending habits. Read the blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated radio program “Our American Stories” begins airing on iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston, effective June 1. Lee Habeeb is the show’s host and CEO of program producer American Private Radio. He says, “The Astros, Johnson Space Center, NASA, and KTRH. We are thrilled to join this town of giants. After announcing our partnership with Entercom last week in Dallas on KRLD-AM, and now this partnership with the leading talk station in Houston, we are truly humbled. There are milestones and we have just crossed two really big ones.”…..NPR has struck an agreement with SAG-AFTRA that will allow it to temporarily reduce employee compensation due to an expected budget shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic. As reported at Current.org by Tyler Falk, employee salaries will be reduced on a sliding scale beginning next week, with a maximum cut of 9%. However, the move does not affect employees making less than $80,000. It will be in effect through the end of NPR’s fiscal year in September. The pact also prohibits NPR from laying off any workers for the rest of the fiscal year.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” promotes J. Steele to assistant program director. He joined the station in April of 2019 and hosts the afternoon drive show. Beasley Detroit director of programming Jerry Tarrants comments, “J. Steele brings extensive programming background to the position and has proven to be a valuable member of the team since joining the station last year as our afternoon drive talent at ‘The Bounce.’ I know J. will bring the same energy and dedication to this role as he does with his very entertaining afternoon show for his listeners in the Motor City!”…..The Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated “Big D and Bubba” show is named the new morning program at country WCLT-FM, Columbus “T-100.” To make room, program director Wild Walley gives up the AM show and becomes host of the afternoon drive program…..At Max Media’s hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1,” the morning duo of Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J are out. The company has made no official announcement, but the morning show’s info is gone from the station’s website.

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