Tag: "Armstrong & Getty"

Monday, August 31, 2020

| August 31, 2020

Monday Memo: Announcers, You Have Been Replaced…for $47.  Seldom at a loss for words, consultant Holland Cooke admits he “won’t even TRY to describe” what he regards as a breakthrough, “after what we, as an industry, have suffered from failed consolidation, and as pandemic remote-broadcast mode has obsoleted the station workspace as we knew it.” Read it here.

Pending Business: The New-Talk of Sports Talk. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about the dramatic changes in what sports talk hosts are discussing today compared to just a year ago. “Today, players and on-air personalities are tackling complex issues with newer topics up for discussion everywhere from social media to your station’s dial position. Let’s be clear, this is not about play-by-play, this is about selling your local sports talker hitting on topics that last year at this time weren’t up for consideration on a sports talk show sheet.” Read more here.

Madison Advertiser Pulls Ads from News/Talk WIBA-AM. A piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Daniel Bice indicates that Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin has pulled its ads from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison after talk host Vicki McKenna voiced support for Kyle Rittenhouse – the 17-year-old Illinois resident charged with homicide in the deaths of two protestors. Group Health Cooperative chief business development officer Allan Wearing tells Bice that McKenna has a right to her opinions and his  company has the right to pull its advertising. McKenna – whose show is also heard on sister station WISN-AM, Milwaukee – says she’s being “smeared” by the newspaper and that Bice wrote that she’s encouraging people to “murder protesters.” Bice says he wrote no such thing.

Cleveland, Tennessee Sportscaster Suspended After Insensitive Comment. Play-by-play broadcaster Gary Ownbey has been suspended by Hartline LLC for a comment made during a high school football game broadcast last week on “101.3 The Buzz” in Cleveland, Tennessee. After Ownbey stumbled over some of the players’ names during the broadcast, he said, “I don’t know where they’re getting these foreigners from.” Hartline and Bradley County Schools issued a joint statement that read, in part, “Now more than ever, it is critical for our organizations to reinforce our public commitment to equity for all. ‘101.3 The Buzz,’ Bradley County Schools, and Bradley Central High School will not condone this type of action or behavior. We believe this is contrary to our overall goals of empathy, affirmation, and creating a culturally responsive environment for all.” Hartline LLC owner Steve Hartline added, “The comments made during Thursday night’s game do not in any way reflect the culture nor views of the station. We respect our student-athletes, and their families and are proud to showcase their accomplishments on and off the field.”

Civil Unrest/Deadly Portland Shooting, Presidential Race, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Hurricane Laura Destruction, Actor Chadwick Boseman Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The civil unrest in cities where protests are ongoing and the shooting death in Portland; the November presidential election; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools to students and the outbreaks on numerous college campuses; the destruction in Louisiana after the landfall of Hurricane Laura; and the death of actor Chadwick Boseman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartMedia Expands Black Information Network Across On-Air Signals. The new BIN: Black Information Network launched last month by iHeartMedia is adding four on-air signals to the group of radio stations carrying the 24/7 national audio news service “dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” The company has entered into Local Marketing Agreements with M-10 Broadcasting for WQLL-AM, Baltimore; Alexander Broadcasting Company for W257DC, Montgomery, Alabama; Beasley Media Group for WTEL-AM, Philadelphia; and an LMA with an Asset Purchase Agreement with Potomac Radio Group for WUST-AM, Washington, DC. BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN’s goal has always been to be the most trusted source for news in the Black community, and part of that strategy is of course to be available on both broadcast and digital stations across America. We’re thrilled to bring BIN, a full-time news service by and for the Black community, to Baltimore, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and provide millions of listeners there with both the national and local news that impacts their lives.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Springfield, Illinois, Mid-West Family Communications announces that effective tomorrow (9/1) news/talk WMAY-AM begins airing on the 92.7 frequency in the market. Currently the home of country WUSY-FM, the move will put the company’s heritage news/talk station on three signals: 970 AM, 94.7 FM via W234CC, and the full-market class B1 FM WUSY. Station general manager Mike Paterson says in a press release, “Now more than ever, people across Central Illinois are relying on WMAY for breaking news and insightful coverage and commentary of important local, state, and national issues. Moving WMAY to 92.7 FM expands its reach into downtown office buildings and to inform consumers in surrounding counties. The pandemic, the rebuilding of the local economy, the election, statehouse scandals, and more – these are all reasons why people need a reliable way to stay informed and stay connected. Expanding our on-air reach, in addition to our streaming audio and our extensive online and social media presence, brings that vital information to every place that our audience needs it.”…..“The Armstrong & Getty Show” adds a new affiliate station to its roster as Starnes Media Group’s KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” begins airing the KSTE, Sacramento-based program. Starnes Media Group president Todd Starnes comments, “I’ve known Armstrong & Getty since my days at KFBK in Sacramento. I have no doubt that our KWAM listeners across the Mid-South will be thoroughly entertained by their show. Armstrong & Getty are making talk radio fun again.”…..In conjunction with the Seattle Police Foundation’s “Got Your Six” fundraising campaign, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s talk KVI, Seattle helped raise more than $50,000 earmarked for protective eyewear for Seattle police officers. The effort began on August 18 as KVI morning host John Carlson encouraged his listeners to donate funds in the aftermath of reports that police were being targeted with potentially eye-damaging laser pointers…..Former Georgetown University basketball coach and former WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” sports talk host John Thompson is dead at age 78. Thompson led the Georgetown Hoyas to the 1984 NCAA Championship. After leaving coaching in 1999, he began a 12-year career as a radio sports talk host on WTEM’s midday show alongside Rick “Doc” Walker and Brian Mitchell

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Baltimore hot AC WWMX-FM “Mix 106.5” announces its new morning drive team of Steve Kramer and Jessica Dutra, who will host the “Kramer & Jess” show beginning September 14. Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “Kramer and Jess are both optimistic, energetic and downright entertaining, which is exactly what Baltimore listeners are craving to start their day. Their undeniable passion will be a welcomed addition to our morning drive, and we look forward to introducing them to our audience, both locally and nationally.” The pair were most recently with iHeartMedia’s KHTS-FM, San Diego where Kramer was a morning co-host while Dutra served the station as co-host, producer, and social media coordinator for the morning show…..A new program is being offered in syndication from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, in partnership with Oceanic Tradewinds and T & T Creative. The show, “Winning with Jekalyn Carr,” features hit music popular in both the inspirational and urban formats as well as interviews, creative features, and a plethora of video lifestyle content. The show premieres on Labor Day (9/7) in both video and audio formats and then launches with a regular hour-long, daily radio program and a two-hour-long weekend offering. All programs are barter free through September 27.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

| June 2, 2020

KFI, Los Angeles Front and Center in Coverage of Chaos. Los Angeles is another American city in which authorities are trying to quell civil unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. KFI, Los Angeles – which, on the strength of a 5.5 share in Nielsen’s April PPM survey, shot to #1 in the market – has been front and center in covering the story. Program director Robin Bertolucci tells TALKERS that KFI “was and will continue to be wall-to-wall on this story. KFI’s news team, led by Chris Little, was all over this, covering the protests and the ensuing chaos. One of our reporters, Kris Ankarlo, was so close to the action in the Fairfax district that his tires were slashed. In addition to covering it for KFI, we covered it with updates all weekend long for all of our iHeartMedia LA stations.” Bertolucci shared with TALKERS the content of a memo to all staffers sent Sunday. “I want to remind everyone that as this situation unfolds, we are in NEWS mode. This goes for all shows, news or talk. This is the time to tell people what’s happening and explain all the sides of the story. This is a dynamic situation and we need to cover it clearly, first and foremost. We should try to refrain from drawing grand conclusions, making pronouncements or adding to the overall tension and confusion. The tone is INFORMATION and CLARITY. There are many different factions at play in this story… business owners, antifa, police, looters, the national guard, and let’s not forget the original focus of this… the protest about race and police brutality that launched this moment in history. This has become something very different and awful, but we need to stop talking about this as if it’s an us/them situation. We are all part of the same community and we need to find a way to talk about what is going on. Let’s get the whole story and let’s talk to different members of our community. No, I’m not condoning any bit of this horror show but I am asking us not to simplify this, not to paint everyone with the same broad brush and to find the nuances and tell the stories.”

WSB, Atlanta’s Drew Anderssen: Proud of WSB and CMG News/Talkers. WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m very proud of the work that WSB and frankly all of our Cox Media Group news/talk stations have done in response to local market protests. In Atlanta specifically, our 95.5 WSB news center was staffed around the clock and we aired wall-to-wall coverage of the protests throughout the weekend. ‘The Show’ with Shelley Wynter and Malanikai, which features a predominantly black cast, were integrated into our news coverage and helped facilitate conversations about how we move forward each night as a community while protests continue. We added 22 hours of local programming this weekend focused on the impact of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement, featuring talk with prominent Atlanta leaders in government, civil rights, entertainment, and faith. We continue to monitor the developments of the historic protests happening across the country and are making real-time decisions on adjusting programming to meet the needs of our listeners and to serve our community.”

KPCC, Pasadena Reporter Shot with Rubber Bullet. As reported by LARadio.com, KPCC-FM, Pasadena reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was shot in the throat (at right) by a Long Beach police officer. LARadio.com notes that the law allows reporters access to protests in order for them to do their jobs and KPCC had “confirmed with officials from L.A. County and the cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica that journalists were among those exempt from the curfew.” Guzman-Lopez tweeted that he’d just finished interviewing a man with his iPhone when he saw a police officer take aim and shoot. He tweeted, “The rubber bullet hit stings like a mf, and is starting to hurt, talked to doctor friends, said if not having trouble breathing then ok. Going home.” He later tweeted that an ER doctor confirmed no damage to his windpipe.

New York Landmark Boarded Up. In New York City, WABC talk host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS he’s been “leading the Guardian Angels patrols at night to stop the looting in Soho and return in the morning to broadcast on WABC about what I just experienced hours before.” The photo above is a still from video Sliwa shot of the Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square – all boarded up. Sliwa adds, “The NYPD seems unable to address these safety issues.  So, the Guardian Angels have stepped in and are now patrolling these hot spot areas around the clock. It is uncertain how long the mayhem will last but we are in it for the long haul. We have been here since 1979 and we don’t intend on going anywhere.” You can see Sliwa’s eerie video of the Macy’s storefront here.

Rush Limbaugh and ‘The Breakfast Club’ Air Conversation About Race. In a first for the Premiere Networks personalities, conservative talk star Rush Limbaugh and “The Breakfast Club” hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God had a 30-minute conversation about race relations in America that aired on both of their programs. The point of contention between Limbaugh and the “Breakfast Club” cast was the issue of white privilege. During the conversation Limbaugh said he doesn’t believe in the concept of white privilege, calling it a “construct of today’s Democratic Party.” Charlamagne called Limbaugh “delusional” for his stance on the matter. You can hear the exchange here.

Dimes Media Launches ‘K-NEWS 98.5’ in San Luis Obispo. The San Luis Obispo market has a new news/talk station as Dimes Media unveils “K-NEWS 98.5 The Power of Information” on KWWV-HD2/K253BR. Dimes Media president and CEO Eric D. Fahnoe says, “‘K-NEWS 98.5’ now provides San Luis Obispo county residents with a voice and perspective they didn’t have before. We look forward to enhancing the diversity and dialogue regarding issues ranging from local to national which our resident’s face daily. The importance of hearing and considering other perspectives cannot be overstated during these current times. Our culture will best evolve and compromise through informed discussions and we look forward to ‘K-NEWS 98.5’ contribution to the conversation every day.” The station’s weekday lineup includes: “The Armstrong & Getty Show,” “The Glenn Beck Program,” “The Savage Nation with Michael Savage,” “The Andy Caldwell Show,” “The Larry Elder Show,” “The Dennis Prager Show,” “Red Eye Radio” and “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” Weekend programs include: “Handel on the Law,” “Free Talk Live,” “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” “Townhall Review,” “Meet the Press,” “Armed American,” and “The Christian Outlook.”

George Floyd Protests, Trump vs Governors/Military Threat, Trump Church Visit, Facebook ‘Walkout,’ COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, and Limbaugh-Breakfast Club Conversation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1). The ongoing violence and looting accompanying the protests over George Floyd’s death; President Trump calls U.S. governors “weak” for failure to stop protests and threatens the call in the U.S. military; Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in DC; Facebook employees stage a virtual “walkout” over Trump posts; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future cases; and the radio conversation between Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and the syndicator’s “Breakfast Club” hosts were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Salem Media Group Reports Q1 Revenue Down 3.7%. Reporting its financial data from the first quarter of 2020, Salem Media Group says total revenue was $58.3 million, down 3.7% from the same period in 2019. After reporting net income of $322,000 in Q1 of 2019, Salem reports a loss of $55.2 million this year. Breaking down the company by segment, net broadcast revenue decreased 2.0% to $45.2 million. Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 0.6% to $44.3 million. Digital had a tough quarter, dropping 11.1% to $9.1 million.  Speaking during Monday’s investor conference call about the company’s strategy for surviving the economic impact of COVID-19, CEO Ed Atsinger said, “First of all, we’ve reduced discretionary spending such as travel and entertainment, which of course has been easy so far. We’ve eliminated open positions, we’ve instituted a hiring freeze, we’ve made request for discounts or forbearance from vendors and landlords, and we laid off and furloughed about 10% of our employees. We have limited capital expenditures to emergency expenses only, we suspended the quarterly dividend, we suspended the 401(k) match, and we’ve taken advantage of the ability of deferred payroll taxes of approximately 3.6 million under the CARES Act, and we’ve reduced base salary for every employee with salary cuts ranging from between 5% and 10% depending upon the salary levels.” Company EVP and CFO Evan Masyr says the company will not be offering Q2 guidance but delivered some April data. “April revenue is down 24%. I’ll break that decline down in a little bit more detail. Broadcast revenue in total declined 24%; local spot advertising was down 49% and national spot advertising was down 38%; local programs were down 26% while national programs were down 2%; local digital revenue was up 30%; national digital revenue declined 11% and publishing revenue declined 45%; and in May, revenue was down just around 23%.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. You can read the whole conference call transcript here.

TALKERS News Notes. KXTV-TV, Sacramento reports that KHTK-AM, Sacramento sports talk host and Sacramento Kings play-by-play voice Grant Napear has been placed on leave by station owner Bonneville after a Twitter exchange with former King’s player Doug Christie in which Napear said, “all lives matter.” The Sacramento Kings issued a statement saying they are investigating the incident with broadcast partners KHTK and NBC Sports California…..This Thursday (6/4), Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in a series of COVID-19-related Town Hall broadcasts. This edition is titled, “NJ Back to Business.” The station says, “Even as more New Jersey businesses are permitted to reopen, the road to economic recovery will be long. With unemployment at record levels and the state facing a multi-billion-dollar deficit due to lagging tax collections, critical decisions will be made in the months ahead that will determine how quickly businesses will recover, or if they will recover at all.” Vice president, senior political director and director of special projects Eric Scott leads the discussion with New Jersey State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. LARadio.com reports that Muerelo Media has let a number of staffers go from classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles. Frosty Stillwell – who had been on furlough from the Frosty, Heidi & Frank morning show – is let go permanently. Joining him are afternoon drive host Gary Moore, as well as Jim ‘JD’ Daniels, Steve Jones, Frazer Smith, and Greg Beharrell.…..On-air pro Matt Ryan – assistant brand manager and afternoon host at Townsquare Media’s hot AC WJLK, Asbury Park, New Jersey “94.3 The Point” is named host of “Pop Crush Nights.” He takes over for Lisa Paige. He’ll continue his role with WJLK.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

| March 24, 2020

CLARIFICATION: WABC, New York Adds Bannon’s ‘War Room: Pandemic’ Show TFN; Local Expert Guests Throughout Week.  Clearing up some confusion from an earlier press release sent out by Red Apple Media, news/talk WABC, New York announces it is adding Stephen K. Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” syndicated program to its daily lineup at 5:00 pm until further notice.  The station is also bringing in a series of expert guests for special local coronavirus programs between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.  On Monday (3/23), former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani hosted with Tony Carbonetti for an hour. Today (3/24), famed attorney Arthur Aidala hosts at 3:00 pm and Bill O’Reilly does a customized hour for WABC at 4:00 pm.  Tomorrow (3/25), “Curtis & Juliet” extend their show until 4:00 pm, when FOX NewsBrian Kilmeade hosts a customized hour for WABC.  Thursday, its former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and New York Governor George Pataki hosts from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

iHeartMedia Announces KFMB-AM, San Diego Lineup.  Six days after taking over operation of San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM under an LMA from Local Media San Diego, iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the talk station that it intends to buy for $1.2 million.  Local talk hosts Mark Larson and Mike Slater have been hired to continue their programs on the station as the station retains most of its programming.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show will hold down morning drive, followed by Larson from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Slater from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, Premiere NetworksBuck Sexton in PM drive, followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin in evenings, “Red Eye Radio” in overnights, and “America in the Morning” in early mornings.  Local host Brett Winterble left KFMB-AM and recently was named afternoon personality at Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest states, “We are proud to add this iconic talk station to iHeartMedia San Diego’s portfolio of market-leading brands.  We look forward to working with AM 760’s talented, well-respected hosts and their listeners.”

WTZA, Atlanta Talk Station Folds Under Weight of Coronavirus Pandemic. According to a report by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, entrepreneur Will Regan has ended the talk format on WTZA-AM/W271CV, Atlanta “Talk of Atlanta” because interested investors pulled out due to the coronavirus and advertisers putting a halt to campaigns.  Regan was building the station around afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson – formerly with Cumulus’ crosstown WYAY-FM – prior to its sale to Educational Media Foundation – and a longtime host at iHeartMedia’s WGST – now airing all syndicated programming.  Also let go from WTZA are Peterson’s co-host Pete Davis, Mike Brooks, Shannon Burke, and Kara Stockton.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York personality and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa is front and center in a New York Post piece about the work the Guardian Angels are doing to assist the city’s homeless.  The story says that Guardian Angels have been working at Penn Station and in the subways giving the homeless care packages that include a sandwich, fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers, and hand wipes.  Sliwa is quoted saying that the homeless population is especially at risk because they are not following the advisories. “It’s the only way you are going to get them to follow the guidelines and no one is doing it.  The city acts like they don’t exist, the homeless and emotionally disturbed.”…..Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea, has agreed to a settlement with Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa and various individuals involved in the release of a sex tape that shows Bollea having sex with Bubba The Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem.  The settlement terms have not been disclosed.  Bollea first sued digital gossip sheet Gawker and won a $141 million judgement (he settled for $31 million) that put Gawker out of business.  This most recent suit named defendants: Cox Media Group, WHPT morning host Mike Calta, former Bubba the Love Sponge cast member Matt “Spice Boy” Loyd, Loyd’s ex-wife Tasha Nicole Caraga, Lori Burbridge, Don Buchwald and Associates, Buchwald agent Tony Burton, and attorney Keith Davidson…..Entercom announces that as part of its annual, yearlong “I’m Listening” mental health awareness initiative it is presenting, “I’m Listening: Stay Connected,” a multiplatform, live daily show focused on mental health in the midst of the global health pandemic.  The program is hosted by licensed therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, who will offer resources and tips and answer questions from listeners to keep overwhelm at bay.  It airs Monday through Thursday from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm ET.

Coronavirus Status, Stimulus Package Debate, Trump Considers ‘Reopening’ Economy Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The spread of the coronavirus, the death toll, and predictions about overwhelmed emergency rooms; the debate in congress over the components of an economic stimulus package; and President Trump’s concerns about the “cure” being worse than the virus and his considering “reopening the economy” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Mayo Clinic and Radio America Offer COVID-19 Info. As syndication partner for Mayo Clinic, Radio America is helping the health organization responding to the coronavirus pandemic clinically and with the latest public information by adding resources for stations.  Mayo Clinic’s News Network is providing free information that stations are welcome to use.  Find it here.  Mayo Clinic offers a daily radio feature called “Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minutes,” as well as an hour-long weekend radio show, both of these are available from Radio America Network.  Stations interested in interviewing a Mayo physician about COVID-19 can request an interview with Dr. Tom Shives (host of Mayo Clinic Radio) by reaching out to Radio America at affiliates@radioamerica.com.

RAB Launches “Business Unusual.”  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces a new section on its RAB.com website to assist radio salespeople during the coronavirus pandemic.  Titled, “Business Unusual: Best Practices for When It’s Not Business As Usual,” the section “includes a newly released white paper titled ‘Advertising During Difficult Times,’ pertinent articles and blogs, Radio It’s On social media campaign, relevant research studies, creative resources, and other marketing and training tools that RAB members can use and share with their advertising clients.”  The section is being updated regularly with new materials posted for RAB members as they become available.  The RAB is also offering a professional development webinar series called Business Unusual featuring three distinct webinars free to RAB members.  The three in the series are: Business Unusual Requires Exceptional Communication – How To Talk To Your Advertisers Now; How To Craft Your Messaging In Times of Uncertainty; and Work From Home (WFH) Strategies To Maximize Productivity In Your New Office.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In order to help entertain and soothe Americans whose daily lives have been upended by COVID-19, Entercom’s RADIO.COM is launching “RADIO.COM Live: And the Beat Goes On,” a new 24/7 channel that will stream and broadcast live epic events for 30 straight days, including new and never-before-seen archived performances from some of the biggest artists in the world.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo states, “As we practice social distancing, music fans everywhere can stay connected with ‘RADIO.COM Live: And the Beat Goes On’ for live, exclusive performances right in their homes.  We have opened up our archives from a variety of genres and also partnered with new artists to bring fans some of our biggest shows all in one place.  We hope everyone enjoys a nightly couch tour with us.”  Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “Music soothes the soul and as we navigate these unchartered waters our souls have never needed to be soothed more.  Our stations nationwide have partnered with incredible artists for one-of-a-kind performances. We have always wanted to dig deep into our archive and this seems like the absolute best time to do so.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

| March 17, 2020

Salem Radio Network to Present ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: An SRN News Special Report.’  Tomorrow (3/18) at 6:00 pm ET, Salem Radio Network is producing and broadcasting a live, one-hour special report on the COVID-19 pandemic on most SRN affiliated stations.  SRN says the program will feature the latest updates on what is unfolding with this major breaking news story and provide listeners with critical, hands-on information.  The program will be co-hosted by SRN talk hosts Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Hugh Hewitt and will originate live from the SRN News studios in Washington DC.  It will also be streamed on Facebook Live.  SRN senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “The country has been shaken by the fast-changing news events of this important story and SRN is uniquely qualified to carry out this task with a live, one-hour special report.  We’ll rely on the expert commentary of both Gorka and Hewitt, with SRN News coverage from Greg Clugston at the White House.”  SRN hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager will also participate in the program that will include reports from major SRN affiliate locations.  Stations wishing to carry this important live broadcast should contact their regional affiliate relations manager at the Salem Radio Network – East: Jim Bligh 212-419-4663; Central: Kelli DeShan 972-707-6882; and West: Jim Watkins 239-470-9297.

Armstrong & Getty Make Show Available to Stations in Need. KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based, syndicated news/talk program Armstrong & Getty – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces it is willing to assist radio stations trying to get through the COVID-19 crisis.  Effective immediately, the program is available to any station in need of a replacement show (as long as the program doesn’t already have an affiliate in that market).  The show airs live from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and stations do not need an affiliation agreement.  Interested stations can contact Craig Whetstine at Armstrong & Getty Media at 503-975-6153.

ABC Audio Offers COVID-19 Digital Text Feed to Stations. As a public service, ABC Audio is offering a COVID-19 digital text feed to interested radio stations.  The company says that regardless of a station’s current affiliation with ABC Audio or ABC News Radio, it can utilize the new RSS feed to auto-populate their websites and apps with stories related to COVID-19 without a fee.  ABC’s feed will feature a selection of important news stories, including the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak and updates from health authorities and medical providers, as well as entertainment stories about the impact COVID-19 has on the industry.  ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Deshishku says, “In these uncertain times ABC Audio is trying to help all radio stations keep their listeners informed.  As more station staff members work remotely, we want to offer ready-made material for as many platforms as possible.  This new digital feed and social media content will enable stations to concentrate on their audio operations secure in the knowledge that their listeners and readers are up to date with the latest COVID-19 information.”  Interested stations should email Christopher.Venice@abc.com or Mary.E.McCarthy@abc.com.

Beasley Initiates ‘Operation Gift Card: New England.’  In an effort to assist local businesses affected by the mandatory shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Beasley Media Group’s Boston-based radio cluster is unveiling Operation Gift Card: New England.  As part of the company’s “We Are All in This Together” campaign, the stations are inviting area restaurants, free of charge, to submit links to feature their gift card pages on all Beasley Media Group Boston websites. The sites currently receive over two million page views and have 750,000 unique users on an average monthly basis.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna comments, “With local restaurants and small businesses experiencing a number of restrictions, including restaurants moving towards a take-out/delivery only model, we wanted to show our support during these challenging times.  Our company is committed to being there for those in need. We are all in this together!”

Westwood One: Who’s Listening to What at Home? Working from home is becoming required for more Americans as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.  This week, the Westwood One blog looks as data about listening to the radio from home, mostly via smart speakers.  Based on recent Edison Research “Share of Ear” data from the third quarter of 2019, 24% of listening (persons 13+) is to AM/FM radio.  That tops streaming services, satellite radio and podcasts by a substantial margin.  As people work more from home, additional data will be available in the future.  According to Triton Digital, over the past week, online shares for public radio and commercial news/talk radio have grown.  See the blog here.

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Application Window Open. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces that the application window for its MIW Group 2020 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is officially open.  This is the 19th year in which this notable experience pairs women working in radio with female professionals who are recognized leaders from all aspects of the broadcasting industry.  Four candidates will be selected for the 2020 program. Women with a minimum of five years of radio experience, and currently working in sales, marketing, programming, digital and/or engineering, are encouraged to review mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply.  See the mentee application here. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2020.  Lindsay Adams is a former mentee, is currently VP of national agency partnerships with Entercom, and serves as the mentoring committee chair for the MIW.  She says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for ambitious, experienced women in the industry to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and grow their professional network.  This program truly does propel the careers of women forward in our industry.  It is rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

Coronavirus Changes American Life, Financial Markets Battered/Recession Looms, and Biden vs Sanders/Ohio Postpones Primary Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The restrictions in place in most parts of America to prevent the spread of COVID-19; the world’s financial markets take another big hit on Monday and experts say the conditions are ripe for a global recession; and the Democratic presidential primary race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders plus Ohio’s postponement of its primary election were some of the top aspects of the coronavirus pandemic story discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

| February 13, 2020

Cumulus Media Re-Vamps Mornings at KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. Station air personality Nikki Medoro is being promoted from her role on KGO’s Chip Franklin show in afternoons to host of her own “The Morning Show with Nikki Medoro” on KGO, effective March 2.  Medoro will be joined by station news pro Bret Burkhart.  The new show takes over for the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty” program that is moving over to mornings at sister news/talker KSFO.  That daypart at KFSO opened up when Brian Sussman chose to retire from the station last month.  Cumulus San Francisco operations manager Lee Hammer says, “Nikki has done a tremendous job working with Chip Franklin in afternoon drive, and she’s earned this opportunity to host mornings on KGO.  Nikki and Bret will bring a fresh approach to the day’s news, both locally and nationally.  They’ll also invite the Bay Area’s listeners to join the conversation and share their opinions.  I’m also excited that Armstrong and Getty will be staying in our station family, just moving down the dial to KSFO.  Joe and Jack are fantastic entertainers, super knowledgeable and they’re not afraid to share their opinions.  They’ll be a great addition to the KSFO lineup.”

Bonnie Lucas to Retire from WHO-AM, Des Moines Morning Show. After serving at iHeartMedia’s heritage news/talk WHO-AM, Des Moines for the past 25 years, Bonnie Lucas – one half of the “Van and Bonnie in the Morning” show – will retire after the March 6 program.  Lucas told listeners to Wednesday’s program that she’s been thinking about retirement since last fall.  She said she’s looking forward to spending time with her spouse, doing some traveling, and not getting up at 2:30 am on weekdays.  Lucas joined co-host (and station PD) Van Harden in the early 1990s after Connie Murad left the morning show co-host role.

Presidential Race, Wuhan Coronavirus, Roger Stone Sentencing, Antarctic Iceberg/Global Warming, and Trump Budget/Growing Deficit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12). The aftermath of the New Hampshire Democratic primary; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact; the controversy over the sentencing phase of Trump attorney Roger Stone’s trial; the report of a large iceberg breaking off Antarctica and the related ongoing climate change debate; and the Trump administration’s fiscal 2021 budget and the U.S.’s growing deficit were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer to Host Newsmax TV Show. The latest addition to the Newsmax TV program lineup is “Spicer & Co.” – hosted by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.  The program will debut on March 3 at 6:00 pm ET from broadcast studios near the White House.  Newsmax Media says Spicer “will lead an ensemble of Washington insiders, experts, journalists, and power brokers to analyze the day’s top headlines from the Beltway and the key news from the U.S. and the world.”  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Sean has been on the inside of how decisions are made in a way so few have.  He was a success as White House press secretary because he connected to ordinary Americans.”  Ruddy notes that Spicer’s press conference ratings were “off the charts, a phenomenon that hasn’t happened before or since.”  Spicer comments, “We are going to offer viewers a unique perspective and insights into what’s really happening – who is up, who’s down – and most importantly how it’s going to affect their lives.  I’ve had a front row seat to how Washington works at the highest levels – in the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, and K Street.  We are going to invite our viewers into a conversation that is totally unique.  We will ask the questions and cover the topics that everyone in America is thinking about, but no one is asking or talking about.”

MIW Radio Group Releases Results of 20th Annual Gender Analysis Study. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group is releasing the results of its 20th annual MIW Gender Analysis Study that analyzes the number of women in radio broadcasting rising to management ranks.  The data specifically tracks the progress of female professionals holding general manager, sales manager, and program director positions.  The study reveals that 19.5% of 2,189 stations in the study had women holding the general manager position in 2019, an increase of almost a half of percentage point from 2018.  This number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%.  MIW says the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management as 33.1% of 3,715 stations had a woman sales manager in 2019.  But, the study also concludes that the greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of program director.  Women currently program only 11.62% of 1,304 stations in the study versus 10.6% last year.  However, on a positive note, this is the first time this number has grown in 14 years.  MIW national spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The MIW Gender Analysis Study is the impetus for the MIW’s mentoring programs that serve female professionals in all aspects of the radio industry.  When the numbers on our annual analysis rise, as they did slightly this year, we work even harder to encourage and mentor our female colleagues who are striving for, and/or have achieved, management positions in radio.”

Joe Pags Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the hardest-working, fastest-rising stars in syndicated talk radio, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Syndicated by Compass Media Networks and seen on Newsmax TV,  “The Joe Pags Show,” broadcasts live weekdays 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and is carried on more than 125 radio stations across America.  Plus, his weekend show, “The Weekend with Joe Pags” is carried on more than 200 stations.  Pags is ranked 14th on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  In a free-wheeling conversation that sounds like a chat between two friends from Long Island, Pags – the grandson of immigrant Italian bricklayers – discusses his blue-collar roots and their impact on his view of today’s hot issues.  Harrison and Pags talk about politics, polarization, and the president as well as music, pop culture, and social media in the digital era.  In addition to being a world-class talker, Pags is also a professional saxophone player and musician – skills that are utilized in his broadcasts that include satirical song parodies and occasional appearances playing the national anthem at sporting events.  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.

Stigall Billboards Adorn Philly Roadways. Commuters in the Philadelphia market are likely to see billboards like the one above for Chris Stigall’s new morning drive show on Salem Media Group’s WNTP-AM, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer.”  Stigall tells TALKERS magazine, “At a time radio companies are scaling back, I’m so excited to work for Salem Media who thinks enough of their people and their products to tell the community at large about them!  It’s a true investment – not just in me and my show – but in radio as a whole.  What a statement!  Salem believes in what they’re doing, and they put their money where their mouths are!  In this case, where my mouth is.”

Lunching with TALKERS Convention Videographer Art Vuolo. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (l) had lunch with “radio’s best friend,” legendary videographer Art Vuolo (r) yesterday (2/12) in Jupiter, Florida to discuss plans for the forthcoming 23rd annual TALKERS Convention set for New York on Friday June 5.  Vuolo will again be contracted to produce the video recordings of the event which is destined to be another historic industry milestone.  Harrison states, “We are honored to have a radio-savvy artist of Mr. Vuolo’s caliber in charge of preserving the priceless content of this conference for posterity.”  Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station is only open to members of the broadcasting industry, related fields and communications students.  It is again expected to be an advance sellout and non-refundable registrations can only be obtained via telephone with credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Chicagoland radio personality Mark Zander is joining Good Karma Brands-operated sports talker WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” as a part-time and weekend host.  Zander was most recently program director at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX-FM and sports talk WNTA-AM in Rockford…..On-air pro Rob Carson is auditioning for the late morning gig at WTZA-AM/W271CV, Atlanta all this week.  Station co-operators Will Regan and Jamie Chapman are leasing the signals from K&Z Broadcasting.  They have already launched the station with Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton in morning drive, Mike Brooks in early afternoon, and Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson in afternoon drive…..FOX Sports Radio says it set a “new benchmark in January, reaching more than 13 million podcast listens – an increase of +88% over the previous year.”  It adds that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” podcast was the strongest performer, up +59% year-over-year.  The FSR stream also experienced its best month ever in January, increasing +25% year-over-year.  FSR is a division of Premiere Sports Network…..Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The Fan” and the MLS’ FC Dallas agree to a deal in which the station will assist in producing soccer shows for the 2020 season.  KRLD-FM will host the “The Luchi Gonzalez Show,” on Thursdays at 1:30 pm during the 2020 MLS regular season, offering exclusive insight from the FC Dallas head coach…..Motor Racing Network is “throwing the Green Flag” on its 50th season of NASCAR coverage with almost 30 hours of programming originating from the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway from February 8-16.  Commonly known as Daytona Speedweeks, MRN announcers and production crew are producing six race broadcasts, three editions of the signature program “NASCAR LIVE,” five separate NASCAR Cup Series practices, and qualifying for the “Great American Race.”  MRN Daytona programming culminates with the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 16 that will be carried live on more than 400 radio station partners across the country.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s hot AC KRSK-FM, Portland “105.1 The Buzz,”  Liz Luda and Mike Vezzola join as morning show co-hosts.  At the same time, Jamie Tanchyk comes aboard as assistant program director and afternoon drive host.  Prior to joining Entercom, Luda served as a morning show co-host and promotions director for Flinn Broadcasting in Memphis.  Vezzola was previously an on-air personality at WODS-FM, Boston; WTIC-FM, Hartford; and WZMX-FM, Hartford.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez says, “Building a strong on-air team is why Entercom Portland is the platinum standard for our listeners and advertisers.  Liz and Mike’s fun and energetic chemistry coupled with Jamie’s exuberant on-air style and programming prowess cements ‘105.1 The Buzz’ as the go-to for young, active listeners in Portland.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

| December 11, 2019

Entercom Announces Sale of $100 Million in Second Lien Senior Secured Notes. These notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $325 million in aggregate principal amount of Entercom Media Group’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  Net proceeds from the additional $100 million offering will be used to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.  They have the same terms as the existing notes.  They are offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.

AJ Lurie Assumes New Post with Beasley XP. Sales and management pro AJ Lurie is promoted to the newly created position of director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley XP, Beasley Media Group’s recently created esports division.  Lurie began his career with Beasley Media Group in 2007 in Fort Myers and most recently served as the as vice president and market manager of its Wilmington, Delaware radio cluster.  In his new role, Lurie will be responsible for overseeing all of Beasley Media Group’s local market esports and gaming revenues by leveraging the company’s content and local market gaming-oriented events.  He says, “Beasley Media Group’s entrance into the esports industry is transformative for our company and I am honored to be a part of this initiative.  Leveraging our company’s assets will present tremendous growth opportunities.  I’m excited to work with some of Beasley’s best to help build this division for our organization.”  As Lurie moves to his new position, BMG Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell will add the Wilmington radio cluster management duties to his current responsibilities under the new structure.

Fatherly Talk Radio Advice from Bob Lonsberry. WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk radio personality Bob Lonsberry’s son Lee begins his new talk radio show on Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City today (12/11).  In the time honored tradition of fathers imparting advice to their sons, Bob Lonsberry offers his son his views on what it takes to become a successful talk radio host.  He says, “Be you. Know who you are, what you stand for, what your values and priorities are, and build a genuine radio character around that.  Don’t pretend, don’t act.  Entertain, yes.  Accentuate, absolutely. Pose, no.”  Read all of his advice here.

House Files Articles of Impeachment, Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally, Deadly Jersey City Shooting, USMCA, 2020 Presidential Race, Patriots Video Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Democrat-led House files articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump; the president appears at a rally in Pennsylvania; a shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City claims the lives of six, including a police officer and the two shooters; the House agrees on the Trump administration’s US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the controversy over the taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines by a film crew hired by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rush Limbaugh Announces $5 Million-Plus Raised for Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning program, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced that sales from his “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” merchandise surpassed $5 million dollars.  All proceeds benefit The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides financial assistance to military heroes and their families, as well as first responders.  Limbaugh first launched the line of merchandise with a single T-shirt in July and quickly raised $2 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers.  It paid off the home mortgages of six fallen American heroes.  Limbaugh subsequently decided to expand the merchandise and continue the fundraiser through the end of 2019.  On the program, Limbaugh said, “Our fulfillment center is working around the clock.  The orders have not stopped coming in.  We owe a debt to the people who have participated in this.”

Armstrong & Getty Raise More Than $1 Million for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Sacramento-based, syndicated morning drive duo Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announce that the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station Radiothon” raised approximately $1.2 million to benefit the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station charity that purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families.  Getty says, “We feel compelled to give back to those who served our country.  We owe it, as Americans, to support these guys.”  Armstrong adds, “In all kinds of different ways, WFFS creates a buffer zone between combat and civilian life, providing our injured warriors with sanctuary, a sense of community and the tools they’ll need to rejoin society.”

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated late morning talk radio show hosted by Erick Erickson begins airing on Cumulus Media’s WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia, effective December 16.  Erickson hosts the afternoon drive show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and he launched the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show in September to focus on Georgia politics and issues.  He says, “Macon is home.  My family goes to church in Macon.  Our kids go to school in Macon.  I broadcast from Macon.  We live here.  Now, I finally have an answer for people when they ask when they can hear me on the radio here.”…..iHeartMedia’s  news/talk KFI, Los Angeles raised a new record of more than $435,000 and 109,000 pounds of pasta during the ninth annual “KFI PastaThon” to benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 25,000 underprivileged children, five days a week in more than 30 cities throughout Southern California.  During the 17-hour live broadcast on December 6, all KFI – including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money along with pasta and pasta sauce to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen…..Count former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Gerry Callahan as the latest radio host to move into the podcast space.  Callahan, who was let go from his longtime morning gig in at the Entercom sports talk station in July, will post new shows Monday through Thursday, beginning January 6.  He announced the new venture on Kirk Minihane’s podcast.  Callahan and Minihane co-hosted the WEEI morning show for several years before Minihane’s exit from Entercom last year.  Callahan says the subtitle of his show will be “Politics, Sports, and Revenge.”…..cabana announces it has inked a deal with Critical Frequency Network to exclusively handle podcast ad sales representation.  Critical Frequency was founded by science and gender writer and journalist Amy Westervelt and features a diverse community of hosts – all women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ…..Condolences to the family and friends of former KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning news anchor Bob Kopler, who died yesterday (12/10) at the age of 81.  He worked in the Pittsburgh market for more than 40 years and at KDKA from 1988 through his retirement in 2007.

Talking Cryptocurrency on WBZ-AM. On Tuesday (12/10), iHeartMedia all-news WBZ-AM hosted some of Boston’s foremost experts in cryptocurrency to help explain what the savvy businessperson needs to know about the future of commerce.  More than 300 WBZ listeners joined the panel for breakfast as WBZ business reporter and AM drive news anchor Jeff Brown moderated the conversation.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Brown; Sir John Hargrave, author of Blockchain for Everyone; Christian Catalini, head economist at Calibra; Manasi Vora, head of product strategy at Sia; and Frank Makrides, founder & CEO of Tunnel.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside “HOT 103.9,” midday host Sabrina Ruiz takes on music director duties, effective immediately. Station PD Rick Shaw comments, “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Sabrina has accepted the position of ‘HOT 103.9’ music director.  Sabrina’s knowledge and passion for the music that we play on ‘HOT’ makes her the perfect person for the task.”…..On-air pro Kayla Morgan joins SummitMedia’s CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Morgan was most recently with Entercom’s Detroit cluster as a personality on adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  SummitMedia Knoxville market president Chris Protzman states, “We are delighted to welcome Kayla to Knoxville and ‘Star 102.1’ nights.  Her personality and passion for the music is infectious. Knoxville is in for a real treat!”

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

| July 10, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with a Special Address by Bill O’ Reilly.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/10) post presents the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly.  Posted yesterday: A one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, served as facilitator.  Already posted: A panel discussion titled “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  The page also presents a video of the convention’s keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Salem Radio News to Feature ‘Religious Freedom’ Series. A weeklong series titled, “America’s Fight to Preserve Religious Freedom” is being presented by Salem Radio Network’s SRN News to its 2,200-plus affiliate stations, beginning on July 15.  Salem says, “The multi-part broadcast focuses on threats by secular activists and politicians to drive Christianity and other religions out of the public square in America.” It features exclusive interviews with Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia (pictured at right with SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup); Michael Farris, president & CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom; Texas attorney general Ken Paxton; Daily Wire talk host Michael Knowles; and David French, senior writer at National Review.  Tradup says, “From gender-bending activists to outright hostility by states and local governments, religious freedom in America is under more attack in 2019 than at any other time in our history.  Our series will shine the white-hot light of public scrutiny on the very real dangers facing one of our most fundamental rights as American citizens.  And we hope it will fuel a national dialogue on how men and women of faith can mobilize to reverse recent trends which have created hostility toward faith-based businesses and organizations here is the United States…which nevertheless remains the beacon of religious freedom around the globe.”

Five Podcast Publishers Sign Up for Nielsen’s ‘Podcast Listener Buying Power Service.’  A new tool for podcasters is launched called the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service from Nielsen Scarborough and podcast publishers iHeartMediaCadence13, Midroll-Stitcher’s advertising arm, Westwood One and cabana are its charter clients.  Nielsen says, “For the first time, clients will be able to profile shows using program titles collected from our subscribers in order to connect specific types of listeners with particular advertisers and specific program-level insights…Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service has an effective sample of close to 30,000 respondents, with the ability to capture results for specific programs.  It also uses targeted questions on podcast listening with more than 12 podcast genres, over 2,000 retail/plan-to-buy categories and hundreds of advertisers with specific brand names such as insurance companies, automotive, quick service restaurants, home improvement retailers and more. These easy-to-use reports are generated from web-based software and have a two time per year data release.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York City sports media figure Michael Kay is off the air for the next month after having surgery on his vocal cords.  The WEPN-FM “ESPN NY 98.7” afternoon drive host and Yes Network Yankees broadcaster tweeted that he’d seen a doctor in Boston and surgery was recommended…..The KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated “Armstrong & Getty” program is now airing in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot at Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM, Kansas City.  This latest affiliate signing comes after last December’s announcement by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty that affiliate relations pro Craig Whetstine is working with Armstrong & Getty Media to take the program beyond its Western U.S. affiliation base…..CBS News is offering affiliate stations a one-hour Apollo 11 special titled, “One Giant Leap Revisited,” staring July 11, ahead of the July 16 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  CBS correspondent Peter King takes listeners from the Apollo 11 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida to the Johnson Space Center in Houston where he talks with the brave men and women who made the mission possible…..A new iHeartRadio Original podcast is launched titled, “Noble Blood,” presenting “the salacious, secret, and tragic stories of monarchs like you’ve never heard them before.”  Dana Schwartz, entertainment writer for publications including Entertainment Weekly and Marie Claire hosts the program…..Envision Networks announces that registration is open for the next “Coffee with Envision” webinar, this edition titled, “Demographics for a New Age of Radio,” on July 16 at 1:00 pm ET.  Brand consultant/No Borders Radio “Brandfather,” Brian Burns, and Radio Consulting Services president Jon Holiday, will present and promise to “separate facts from the radio listening myths of Millennials and Baby Boomers.”  Envision president Danno Wolkoff says, “There’s so much misinformation out there about Millennials and Baby Boomers and their listening habits that we want to dispel.  Brian and Jon will cover the top myths and then provide the facts that programmers can reference when working to attract these valuable audiences to their stations.”…..Talk radio pro Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his usual afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and fills in Wednesday through Friday in morning drive on the company’s WFLF-AM/W226BT, Orlando.  Conway used to work in the market and is looking forward to reconnecting with his old listeners.

Census Citizenship Question, Immigration/Detention Facilities, 2020 Presidential Race, Jeffrey Epstein Case, Ross Perot Dies, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).The Trump Administration’s battle to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census; U.S. immigration policy and the controversy over conditions at border detention camps; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the sexual trafficking charges facing billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein; the death of business tycoon and former independent presidential candidate H. Ross Perot at 89; and the pay discrepancy issue brought up by the U.S. Women’s National Team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, a big change takes place at classic hits WCBS-FM.  Longtime midday personality Dan Taylor exits after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office broadens its investigation into workplace misconduct dating back to CBS’ ownership of the station. Read the New York Post’s coverage here.  Meanwhile, WCBS-FM owner Entercom brings former WPLJ personality Race Taylor aboard to handle the midday show, effective July22.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We are extremely excited to welcome Race to WCBS-FM and to reunite him with some of our most legendary on-air personalities.   We are thrilled to offer former WPLJ fans a new place to call home at our station and to offer Race’s loyal listeners more of the absolute best on-air listening experience for which we are known.”  Race Taylor spent more of the last 20 years with former hot AC WPLJ, prior to its sale to Educational Media Foundation…..Cumulus Media moves rock radio pro Axel Lowe from his position as PD and afternoon drive personality at WFTK-FM, Cincinnati “96 Rock” back to his hometown of Atlanta to program the company’s rock WNNX-FM.  Cumulus Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon says, “Axel may well be the longest, continuously employed, full-time talent in Atlanta as he started in 1992 and has never been off the air since, even when he relocated to Cincinnati for the company nearly five years ago.  That said, we are thrilled to welcome him home to Atlanta as program director for ‘Rock 100.5,’ a station and a format he knows inside and out.  It will be terrific to have his leadership and passion for ‘Rock 100.5’ back at work here in our Atlanta studios.”…..J.D. Justice joins Midwest Communications’ country KTCO, Duluth “Kat Country” as brand manager.  He was most recently with Trending Media Inc’s country KXIA, Marshalltown, Iowa as PD and morning show host.  He takes over for Justin Henrickson, who exited to relocate to the state of Washington.  He’ll also co-host the morning show with “Brookie the Rookie.”…..Classic rock WBPT-FM, Birmingham, Alabama announces the passing of award-winning morning show personality Lisa Mason, after suffering health complications.  She served with WBPT for the past 17 years.  The station says, “While we mourn the loss of a very special woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young and old alike.  For those who may ask what they can do to honor Lisa, you may donate funds in her name to the ASPCA at the following link: https://secure.aspca.org/donate/memorial.”

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Americans, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, video, mobile, social media, and more.”…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the air at Beasley Media Group’s WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Talk” in the mid-afternoon daypart…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show starring Georgetown University head basketball coach Patrick Ewing.  He’ll co-host “Center Court with Patrick Ewing” with broadcaster and former NFL player Rick “Doc” Walker on ESPNU Radio.

The Government Shutdown and Postponed SOTU Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 21-25.  The ongoing federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation, including Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Subcommittee subpoena and Roger Stone’s indictment, followed by the Covington Catholic Washington, DC incident at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Cool News Gig in Los Angeles; KNX Seeks Full-Time Anchor. All-news KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles is looking for a full-time news anchor who can tell relevant, compelling stories with a credible and empathetic style. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, all-news environment and cover every type of story, including breaking news. Must be a strong writer of engaging content and have an authentic, conversational sound. This person will also be proficient in editing and packaging news, audio, and interviews. The next KNX anchor will understand how to integrate social media and digital assets into their daily routine. Must have a minimum of 5-plus years’ experience anchoring or reporting news. For details and to apply, click here.

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

Calling All Missouri Broadcasters. The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is trying to get the word out that it is seeking aircheck recordings of any Missouri station as part of its radio history preservation project.  Radio pros who worked in Missouri wishing to donate personal airchecks can contact Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.  Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK brings market radio pro Gordy Dysinger aboard to serve as production director, effective March 4.  Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula says, “I grew up listening to Gordy as a kid in Buffalo and his knowledge and professionalism will be a great help to our company, listeners, and advertisers.  Gordy believes in truly creative radio, not cookie-cutter material.  I am honored to be working beside him.”  Dysinger’s radio career in Buffalo began in 1977.  He worked for a long period as creative services director at iHeartMedia’s crosstown classic rock WGRF, rock WEDG, and classic hits WHTT…..Programming pro Jay Michaels announces he’s been named program director for Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana “Q93.7.” He takes over for Gary Nolan, who exited the post last year to move closer to family…..At Rubber City Radio Group’s country WQMX, Akron, morning personality Sarah Kay adds assistant program director duties to her responsibilities at the station…..The United Stations Radio Network-distributed “Billy Madison Show” is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s rock WYYX, Panama City, Florida “97X.”…..Pictured below is Seton Hall University alum Christina Stoffo (fifth from the left) at the school’s student-run station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey with members of the station’s staff.  Stoffo is a Total Traffic & Weather Networks air personality who is heard regularly on WHTZ “Z100,” WKTU, WAXQ “Q104.3,” WWPR “Power 105,” WKXW “NJ 101.5,” and more.  Her visit to her alma mater was arranged by WSOU news director Bob Towey and is the first in a series of talks and workshops by industry professionals taking place throughout the spring semester.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – As a result of three down moves in succession (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is a collective -1.5 and falls from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.2 in October and November – its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well) – iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” is off by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #19. A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” forfeits a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

A combined +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is now an overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). It remains tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”), is down for the fourth consecutive time, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.7 – .6 – .7, #27 to #26, 6+).

While it repeats in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB sputters by -1.2 to 8.1 (6+), thus completely erasing the collective +1.2 it earned in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). December 2018’s 9.3 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018 (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); and now -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018).

Portland Music Formats – Topping December’s +3.2 with a +4.8 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” continues at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). Prior to a November 2018 loss of six-tenths, “K-103” was +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). Powered by a (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase half that of KKCW, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” (3.2 – 5.6, +2.4, 6+) catapults from #14 to #3. A December -1.1 by “Charlie” obliterated its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). It is tied at #3 with co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which replicates December’s half-share improvement (5.1 – 5.6, fourth to third, 6+). Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). By displaying an increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (#34 to #22, 6+), Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD wipes away its full-share loss via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+). All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is up seven-tenths to 3.4 (#16 to #11), its best 6+-showing since August (3.4, as well). An erosion of -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+) by KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” takes the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.5. Faltering by -1.2 (each) are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.9, fourth to eighth, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” (3.6 – 2.4, 6+), which fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). “Live 95.5” had been a collective +1.1 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), “The Fish” dropped four-tenths in December. Within three-share range in each of the last ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). Immediately following its December gain of seven-tenths, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, KINK was a collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s 6+ country share shrinks by -1.2: Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” is a cumulative -1.9 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7,#11 to #15, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is off one-half share to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). With the loss, “The Bull” suspends three straight upticks that netted +1.4 (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Before the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a combined +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders half that gain (-.7) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, flat at #12, 6+). November’s 4.3 is the highest 6+-share for the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since February 2018 (4.3, as well).

Nearly tripling (+1.0) its 6+ share through six straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is anchored at #19. This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Off nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” nonetheless continues at #17. Via three straight decreases, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is down four-tenths (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC an overall +7.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+),“K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” repeats at #1. This (12.9) is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. In a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” (ninth to fifth) is 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7 for a collective gain of six-tenths. In addition to WOSF, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “His Radio” is up one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (.3 – .8, #20, 6+). At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted  WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Entering the December sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 6.1 (steady at #4, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” pulls the plug on five straight negative moves that accounted for a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; -1.2 in June; and +1.2 in July. Following eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty (6.6, -1.2, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Trending  4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (seventh to tenth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Entering the November sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It has been a dramatically different story though in December and “Holiday” 2018 as “The Kat” is a combined -2.3 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, while it remains at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s WRFX is a collective -1.7 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from December’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 (6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight report for a -.4 (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops from #28 to #29.

After four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – A “Holiday” 2018 boost of +5.4 by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT surpasses its December +5.2 as “Q-101.9” repeats at #1 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+). Especially noteworthy is that KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. Prior to December, “Q-101.9” was down a collective two-tenths through three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” dials up a +1.0 (2.2 – 3.2, 6+) and zooms from #18 to #13. Substituting December’s one-half share loss with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of the same magnitude (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” advances from #18 to #16. December’s 2.2 is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2018 (2.2, as well). Regional Mexican sibling KROM “Que Buena 92.9” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive down or flat survey periods (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+). In back-to-back reports, Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” slumps by a combined -1.8 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, seventh to tenth, 6+). Slipping from fifth to sixth, Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” has a setback of one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+). The wild country ride continues in this Texas market as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” was +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); and now -1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.2 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Its format foe – iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – was +.5 (September; -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.0 – 6.0 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). After all that, the two combatants, which were separated by two-tenths in December, are now one-tenth apart. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 via four straight setbacks (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” lost one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK progresses from fourth to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). An overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” erases that margin completely in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #23 are Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #22 to #23, 6+) and Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without an increase for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, #25 to #23, 6+). After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), KIFM-AM surrendered six-tenths in December.

Five successive sweeps without a loss netted KXJZ a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk station forfeits one full-share to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI returns the one-tenth it gained in December (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Off four-tenths in November, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” nearly doubles December’s +2.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 +5.0 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. This (13.8) is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. As of early-November (2018), “Mix” has a new direct competitor. That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). In the “Holiday” 2018 report, “The Breeze” dials up a seven-tenths’ increase to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #13. While KBEB is no longer in the country arena, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” carry on there. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), KNCI followed with three straight gains for an overall +1.5 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+). That instantly vanishes though in “Holiday” 2018 as “New Country” is 5.7 – 4.2 (-1.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, KNTY returns the three-tenths it gained in December (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #15. December’s 2.3 is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. On top for ten (10) consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is off one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording its best 6+-stat (4.7, December 2018) since February 2018’s 5.3, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” forfeits seven-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” a combined -.9 in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.8 and carries on at #5. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in 19 consecutive ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG was up one-tenth in December to .3 (6+), but “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” returns it in “Holiday” 2018 (.2, -.1, #23 to #19, 6+).

Even though it wipes away December’s four-tenths’ increase with a one-half share loss (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” remains at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Without a loss for the third time in a row for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. This (13.6) is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An overall +4.6 as the result of five straight upticks (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” progresses from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (9.9) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. A one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) takes WQED Classical Multimedia’s WQED “Classical 89.3” from #16 to #14. A December loss of one-half share by WDVE suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the iHeartMedia-owned rocker plummets by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+) and segues from third to fourth. WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Three significant shifts in a row find Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” going from a -.5 (November); +1.7 (December); and now a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.7 – 7.7, second to third, 6+). In December 2018, “Bob” had its best 6+-performance (8.7) since December 2017’s 9.0. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.1 as Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” is off one-half share (ninth to tenth), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” sputters by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+). “Y-108” is now a collective -1.6 via four straight dips (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). With their (6+) December 2018 info in parentheses, four Forever Media properties once again disappear from print: country WOGG (1.4, #16); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.2, #18); country WOGI (1.2, #18); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (1.1, #20).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Faltering by -.6 and -1.4, respectively, are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.2 – 4.6, stable at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 3.3, 6+), which departs the top ten (#6 to #12). KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

A combined -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picked up one-tenth (November); forfeited two-tenths (December); and dips three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 2.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Emphatically underscoring its approval of the all-Christmas music strategy, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” registers its third straight increase and repeats at #1. Its overall improvement since October is a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) and KSFI is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets whose information we’ve seen so far to reach the 20-share level (6+). As astonishing as these numbers are, “FM 100.3” is actually down from a year ago (23.2, “Holiday” 2017). Among the many SLC outlets impacted by its “Holiday” 2018 stats is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) yet actually improves from tenth to ninth. Its December decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). In four successive sweeps without a loss, cluster-mate KHTB gains nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), as “101.9 Alternative Utah” enters the top twenty at #16. In addition to adding two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) thus applying the brakes to five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). There is another wild fluctuation for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); and now -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 4.4, second to sixth, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Its September gain of three-tenths halted three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). It has been an interesting period as well for co-owned hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” which was a combined -.8 in October and November (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); +.7 (December); and now -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). Flat at #5, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Sliding by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is Broadway Media-owned adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” (2.8 – 2.2, #13 to #16, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” regresses by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Z-104” has been -.7 (June); -.5 (July); +1.1 (September); and +.5 (November).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 1.9 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is off three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). In three (slight) dips in a row (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is off by a collective four-tenths and carries on at #25.

Having doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” falters by a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .8 – .7, #26 to #28).

In six consecutive increases, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR netted a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), but is now off an overall three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – On top for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is a combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through “Holiday” 2018, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. This (12.8) is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Without a loss in seven straight survey periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” progresses from fourth to third; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A boost of six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Spanish adult hits sibling KWID “La Buena 101.9” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths to 2.7 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” are -.5 (November); +.6 (December); and now -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.0 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” has now surrendered a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, flat at #10, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is -1.6 in five straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Its +1.0 in August curtailed three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now a cumulative -.9 in three successive slips (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #15, 6+).

After faltering by eight-tenths in December, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is unchanged in 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#23). It is again tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in four straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6, steady at #23, 6+).

Down eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” slips from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Outdistancing December’s +4.0 with a +4.5 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat (14.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” erases that deficit with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). When Entercom hot AC WOMX lost three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Mix 105.1,” however, bounces back in “Holiday” 2018 with an increase of seven-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ loss (7.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” spirals by -1.1 to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+). In November 2018, WMMO was up seven-tenths to 7.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. Skidding from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). By regressing eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” ends its repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 sequence of 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” is off six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” repeats in the runner-up slot, after spending the previous 11 ratings periods at #1. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off by one-half share as well in “Holiday” 2018 is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.3 – .8, #17 to #20, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recent shifts for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); and now a whopping -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.6 – 7.4, second to fourth, 6+). The flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) yet improves from #11 to #10. July’s eight-tenths’ increase stopped four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from December in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#17).

Continuing at #13, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has lost nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the strength of an astonishing +.6.3 (8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” – which was +3.1 in December – jumps from third to first. Furthermore, December 2018’s 14.6 by “Warm” is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. Displaced from the top spot – after a December-only stay – and segueing to third is co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR (9.9 – 8.1, -1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to its current -1.8, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. By dialing up a +.7 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” puts an end to its October-November-December 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (6+) trending. Despite being a collective -2.6 owing to five successive down or flat trends (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues at #5. The last three fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) and now (another) -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). This is the third successive sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappears from print. In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Regaining the four-tenths it lost in December (5.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK  jumps from tenth to seventh. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After gaining two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN plummets by -1.1 to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #14.

Cleveland Music Formats – A robust +2.8 (7.9 – 10.7, 6+) boosts iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI from third to first as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 10.3. Even though WZAK is up three-tenths (8.4 – 8.7, 6+), the Radio One urban AC shifts from first to third. A collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK dropped four-tenths in December. Nearly matching December’s +2.6, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is +2.1 (8.2 – 10.3, 6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. “Cleveland’s Star 102” is one-tenth shy of its 10.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” is trending 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#11 to #7, 6+). In July, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 popped on with a .1 (6+), but then failed to appear in the next five reports. It is back though in “Holiday” 2018 with a .7 (#17, 6+). Co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Immediately after posting a December increase of seven-tenths, adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by -1.2 (6.9 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” has its third setback in succession for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.3, #13 to #12, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (5.2 – 4.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Entercom cluster, news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+), while co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share over the course of the last two sweeps (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Climbing from #23 to #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+).

Flat at #12, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, is a combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Following an October gain of four-tenths, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” loses nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The collective eight-tenths that University of Missouri news/talk KCUR picked up in November and December is all but wiped away with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – A December gain of nine-tenths by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC is followed by a +1.9 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.0) is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. By picking up one-tenth in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM applied the brakes to eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” – which was #1 in March 2018, April, and May – is +1.6 to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). There is plenty of activity in the country contest with Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (#14 all the way to #5, 6+); cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” a +.5 to 4.6 (steady at #9, 6+); and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” a -1.1 to 4.2 (#4 to #11, 6+). “Q-104” had been an overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), while “Country 94.1” was a collective -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). “The Wolf,” meanwhile, was a cumulative +1.3 in November and December, after being an overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). December’s 5.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). In addition to being #1 for the eighth ratings period in succession, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” counters December’s -.7 with a one-half share increase (9.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its December decrease suspended six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +2.0 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). These last three sweeps have seen Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” crater by a collective -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, second to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+).

Columbus

 Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” has lost a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and now -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, third to seventh, 6+). Continuing at #18, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Even though it is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ improvement, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC tacks on a +2.9 (5.8 – 8.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” drives from seventh to third. Its December increase curtailed three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” yield a +4.0 (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.9, steady at #2, 6+). This (9.9) is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. Bouncing back from December’s -1.3 with a gain of nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.5 – 3.4, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Notwithstanding that it is a collective -5.7 through six straight downturns (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 13th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); and -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018). Four straight increases by Radio One’s WCKX netted a +1.2 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), but “Power 107.5” surrenders one full-share to 2.9 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

| December 18, 2018

Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’  In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent.  Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill.  It’s all about corporate control.  Taking him off the air is not a business decision.”  Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.”  Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night.  “The only reason I can see is because of politics.  It makes no sense.  I have a loyal, large audience.  Why not at least do reruns at night?”  Read the Times piece here.

Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.  I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come.  Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.”  Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000.  The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.

iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled.  Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit.  An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH.  This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan.  iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.

TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station.  The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit.  Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some.  I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.  The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter.  Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center.  Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Remembering Dave Robbins.  Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles“This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick“I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack.  He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years.  Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract.  Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.”  Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’  We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois.  Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.

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