Tag: "Arnie Spanier"

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

| March 21, 2018

Will iHeartMedia Sell Lots of Radio Stations? Forbes Contributor Gene Ely Thinks So. The piece published by Forbes suggests that because the purpose of bankruptcy protection is to emerge a leaner, more efficient organization, iHeartMedia will begin shucking underperforming stations as well as clusters in smaller markets.  Gene Ely writes that we can expect iHM to sell stations, “likely hundreds, many at rock-bottom prices.”  In explaining the situation in which iHeart finds itself, Ely further opines that the company’s use of syndicated programming defies the trend toward localism as a hedge against digital competition.  He also blames Lowry Mays for taking “the local out of radio.”

FOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Shows. The new spring and summer lineup of programs from FOX Sports Radio launches this weekend and includes some new talent.  The company says that joining it for the first time is NBA Champion and two-time All-Star Caron Butler, who will team up with NBA insider Chris Mannix (he currently writes for Yahoo! Sports basketball platform The Vertical).  Their show airs Sundays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  FSR is partnering hosts and FS1 analysts Chris Broussard and Rob Parker for “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” program airing Sundays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Network personality Mark Willard teams with 14-year NBA veteran and FOX Sports BIG3 analyst Jim Jackson for a Sunday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET show.  Willard will also partner with six-year NFL offensive guard Rich Ohrnberger for a Saturday 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET show.  Finally, FOX Sports college sports insider Aaron Torres joins the network to co-host Saturday evenings from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with FSR’s Arnie Spanier.

TALKERS News Notes. All day today (3/21), iHeartMedia’s WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth “NewsRadio 96.7” in New Hampshire are holding the fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon to benefit New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  The “New Hampshire Today” morning show – led by local radio pro Jack Heath (pictured at right) – is spearheading the radiothon that will benefit Veterans Count.  He says, “What started as an impassioned rant on-air about improving our servicemen and women’s benefits turned into a successful community radiothon that makes a positive impact on the lives of our local veterans.  Last year the ‘Make 12 Hours Count’ radiothon raised nearly $140,000 and we were astounded; this year, we merely wish to match that number.”  To date, “Make 12 Hours Count” has raised over $350,000 to benefit local veterans and military members…..Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch is added to the program schedule at new affiliate stations including: WPTF-AM, Raleigh-Durham; KTOW-FM, Buhl, Idahol; KEVA-AM, Evanston, Wyoming; and KDXC-AM, King Hill-Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho.  The show is heard in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot on WPTF and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the other stations…..WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” is adding the Reach Media-syndicated “Keeping it Real” with Rev. Al Sharpton to the program schedule, airing from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, effective Monday (3/26).  Station operator Kevin Adell says, “Rev. Al Sharpton is the most iconic civil rights leaders of our time!  I have known Rev. Al Sharpton for 30 years and I look forward to him joining our ‘910AM Superstation family.’”…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network NewsEthan Tradup (left) interviewing actor Jim Caviezel (right) at last night’s Dallas red carpet premiere of the SONY/AFFIRM film PAUL: Apostle of Christ.  The film also stars James Faulkner of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”  This weekend’s opening of this faith-based film follows last weekend’s opening of the film, I Can Only Imagine, that surprised the industry by grossing $17.1 million.

‘Free Beer and Hot Wings’ Producer Arrested on Domestic Battery Charges.  According to a report by WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, Joseph Gassmann, a.k.a. Producer Joe for the WGRD-FM-based, nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” program, was arrested in Illinois on domestic battery charges.  The television station reports that he’s been suspended by WGRD pending the outcome of his case.  He’s expected to be in court in DuPage County, Illinois on April 23.

Nielsen’s Podcasting Audience Growth Report Indicates Increasing Interest. According to the latest Nielsen Podcast Insights, the medium is showing increased listening and engagement.  It says that its Fanlinks Survey asked households “to rate their interest in overall podcasting as well as various genres of podcasts.  The highest scores are tagged as ‘avid podcast fans.’  In fall of 2016, there were 13 million homes who identified as ‘avid fans.’  In fall of 2017, the number of homes who consider themselves ‘avid fans’ surged to 16 million!  Not only is the podcast audience growing, but the level of engagement is increasing.”  Check it out here.

Noory Inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory (pictured above) was among 22 legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, filmmakers and others inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Saturday (3/17).  The inductees were chosen based on their “significant contributions to print, broadcast and digital media, advertising, and public relations” by the St. Louis Media History Foundation.

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Breach, Austin Bomber Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case-McDougal Suit, Maryland School Shooting, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  The data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; porn star Stormy Daniels’ legal battle with President Trump and a new suit against the president by former Playboy model Karen McDougal; a school police officer kills a would-be school shooter in Maryland; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle country outlet KNUC “Country 98.9” names Michael Kraig Mason evening personality.  Lisa Adams programs the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Michael is a Pacific Northwest native who is incredibly creative and unique, with high energy!  Seattle nights are in for something very special!”…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Christopher “Boomer” Layfield operations manager for its three-station group in Indianapolis.  He’ll also serve as program director for country WFMS-FM.  Layfield was most recently with iHeartMedia in Charlotte.  Layfield comments, “Cumulus has assembled quite a talented team in Indianapolis that’s getting great results with a pair of the market’s iconic radio brands in classic hits WJJK and country WFMS, as well as the exciting new CHR “Energy 93.9.”  For me, it’s a privilege and a thrill to join such a thriving operation in one of America’s great cities and work alongside such passionate people to elevate these brands even higher…I can’t wait to get started!”…..Curtis Media Group names Mike Biddle program director for country WQDR, Raleigh.   Biddle assumes the role that opened after the untimely January passing of Lisa McKay.  Biddle had served two previous tours with Curtis Media.  He left in 2016 to serve as operations manager for the digital marketing firm Heart+Hammer…..The Kansas City radio group MGTF Radio Company, doing business as Steel City Media, files to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In 2014, Steel City bought the Wilks stations in Kansas City for $105.5 million.  Those signals are adult contemporary KCKC “KC 102.1,” country KBEQ “Q104,” country KFKF, and CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3.”  Steel City’s Pittsburgh properties – hot AC WLTJ “Q92.9” and adult hits WRRK “96.9 BOB FM” are not listed in the company’s petition.

Round Two of February PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding a decline of four-tenths to 10.2 (6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP repeats at #1. After four consecutive months in the driver’s seat, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since 10.6 in March 2011. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January 2017 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. One full-share behind WTOP and steady at #2 is American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” (9.3 – 9.2, -.1, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained 85% of that loss back in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), WMAL dialed up a +1.1 in January, registering its strongest 6+-performance since March 2015 (4.8, as well). Off two-tenths to 4.6 (6+) in February though, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet slips from sixth to seventh. As Hubbard news/talk WFED “Federal News Radio” resurfaces with a .1 (#24, 6+), Radio One news/talk WOL disappears from print with its sixth straight down or flat trend (.5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .0, 6+). Steady at 2.4 (6+) and continuing at #18, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+), before notching a +.6 in January to 2.4 (6+). Since appearing in print in May 2017, co-owned business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 (#22 to #21, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last 15 survey periods, WPGC breaks out a +.8 (3.7 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+) as the Entercom rhythmic CHR reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2016’s 4.0. In a seesaw pattern, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR recorded a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing; forfeited one-half share in December; was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2017; +.3 in January; and now -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, WHUR was in third-place for each of the previous 12 ratings periods.

2) Boston Spoken-Word Formats – Post Super Bowl, the market’s two huge FM sports talk properties account for a massive -2.8 (6+), virtually split down the middle between Beasley Media Group-owned/New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (7.1 – 5.6, -1.5, second to third, 6+) and Entercomowned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM (5.4 – 4.1, -1.3, fourth to tenth, 6+). It is quite a turnaround for the two, as WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January and WBZ-FM was +1.2 for a collective +2.6. Whereas November’s 5.3 was the weakest 6+-stat for WBZ-FM since 5.1 in January 2011, the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. January’s +1.4 by WEEI-FM pulled the plug on three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). This is the fifth sweep in a row without an increase for similarly-formatted WEEI-AM (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #28, 6+). Heritage iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds two-tenths to January’s +.3 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from sixth to fifth with its finest 6+-share (5.4) since May 2017’s 5.6. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” dips from #13 to #14. Public news/talkers – Boston University-owned WBUR (4.9 – 4.9, flat, seventh to eighth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to ninth, 6+) – continue to shadow each other. Both stations improved by seven-tenths in January, displaying identical 4.2 – 4.9 (6+) profiles. In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+) – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Albeit down one-tenth (7.3 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, “Kiss” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” (4.6 – 5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB (1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). With a +1.2 in January, “Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). After four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WCRB was a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+). In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+).

3) Miami English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – The steady climb continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD, which is up six-tenths via five straight positive or flat trends (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+). This is the first time in exactly one year that WIOD has reached a two-share (2.0, 6+), February 2017). Back-to-back at #25 and #26, respectively, are Entercom sports talkers WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (trending .8 – .9, .9, 6+) and WQAM “Sports Radio 560,” which is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -.7 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WINZ “940 – Miami’s Sports Station” is off one-tenth to .2 (#34, 6+). Up by one-half share in January, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN dips by two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #19. Prior to January’s +.5, WLRN was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a +1.1 to 7.3 (6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT not only pulls the plug on four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), “Hot 105” storms from third to first. October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. It succeeds Entercom-owned adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, first to second, 6+), which held the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. A January gain of one-half share took “Lite,” which ends five successive up or flat trends for a collective +1.8 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), to its strongest 6+-stat (7.4) since September 2016’s 8.4. Right behind “Lite” – and down four-tenths as well – is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.8 – 6.4, second to third, 6+), the station that succeeded cluster-mate “Hot” at #1 in December. Posting its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a combined +1.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country” jumps from #16 to #12. Four Spanish contemporary properties are found in February 2018’s top twenty, including iHeartMedia’s WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits,” which registers its fifth increase in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 5.2, unchanged at #6, 6+). Elsewhere in that genre are Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” (5.6 – 5.5, -.1, flat at #4, 6+) after January’s +.5; Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (5.1 – 5.3, +.2, steady at #5, 6+); and co-owned WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” (2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #16 to #15, 6+). These four outlets combine for a 6+-total of 18.9. Without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” remains at #11. Its format competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is flat at 4.0 (6+) and continues at #9. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August.

4) Detroit Spoken-Word Formats – Following a gain of nine-tenths in January, Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” is flat at 6.5 (6+), but inches up from third to second. WWJ had been within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Co-owned sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” which was +1.0 in January, drops one-tenth to 5.0 (fifth to seventh, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row before January’s full-share gain, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2. Recording a .1 (6+) each are sibling WXYT-AMCBS Sports Radio 1270” (.2 – .1, -.1, #25, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WDFN “1130 The Fan” (flat at .1, #25, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WJR add three-tenths to January’s +.6 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), “News Talk 760” is back in the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Dropping below a one-half share (6+) are Radio One news/talk WDMK-HD2 (.6 -.4, #23, 6+) and Adell Broadcasting’s WFDF “Superstation 910 AM” (.5 – .2, #24, 6+). This is the third straight time that Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is at 1.9 (flat at #20, 6+), while Wayne State University news/talk WDET is off three-tenths (1.1 – .8, #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.1 (3.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” adds another seven-tenths (5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths in November to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Similarly, classic hits-oldies sibling WOMC tacks on one-half share to January’s +.6 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) and repeats at #1; 7.2 is the best 6+-stat for “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2015 (7.2, as well). After three straight (slightly) up or flat trends for a +.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of The D” surrenders six-tenths (2.9, #13 to #14, 6+). Dropping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” (6.6 – 6.1, second to fourth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s whopping -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). Recent ups/downs for WRIF include a -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; +.6 in January; and now -.5 in February.

5) Seattle Spoken-Word Formats – Finishing on top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW displayed a +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+), as it returned to #1. It is a short-lived stay this time though as KUOW surrenders all but four-tenths of that huge increase (6.8, -1.1, 6+) and is back at #2. When it dropped six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Just over one-share behind KUOW is Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM (fifth to third), whose six most recent (6+) trends are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, flat at #21, 6+), while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” falters by that same margin (1.3 – 1.0, #25, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). KVI all-news sibling KOMO returns the two-tenths it gained in January (2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, #17 to #18, 6+). The market’s two major sports talk properties – Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #19 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM (1.2 – 0.8, -.4, #26, 6+) post modest declines.

Seattle Music Formats – Down or flat three consecutive times for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers with a combined +1.9 in January and February (5.2 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+), “moving” from second to first (where it replaces KUOW – see above). The last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in June 2017 (7.4). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” regains all that loss and an extra one-tenth in January and February (+2.0), flying from eighth to fifth (3.4 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). This marks the fourth positive or flat trend in a row for hot AC cluster-mate KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety,” which is +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+). Despite notching its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” backslides from third to fourth; this (5.6) is its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 5.7. Adding one-half share to January’s +.2 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Classic Radio KING “Listener Supported Classical Music” climbs from #20 to #19. On the heels of January’s -6.3, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” falters by another six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to sixth, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+).

6) Phoenix Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last three sweeps, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.8 (3.2 – 4.0, January 2018, 6+); and now -.5 in February (3.5, 6+) as it departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to three increases in succession (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” is a collective +.9. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in January (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #12 to #11. As the result of four consecutive down or flat trends, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” has lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #24 to #25, 6+). It faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk arena, co-owned KTAR-AM is up one-tenth (.2 – .3, #35, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” drops two-tenths (.8 – .6, #31, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Following three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.5 (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” recaptures all of it and three-tenths more (+1.8) in January and February (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Despite being a combined -9.3 in January and February (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ is #1 for the fourth time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was a combined +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. While unchanged at #4, hot AC sibling KMXP “Mix 96.9” is without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Anchored at #19, Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” is up or flat for the sixth successive sweep for an overall +1.0 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Via four straight gains – two of which were especially robust (1.0 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH-share (+3.7); however, “88.3 Campesina Radio Network” returns seven-tenths (4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+). Following three straight increases that generated a cumulative +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9” drops two-tenths to (4.2, 6+), but remains at #8; 4.4 in January was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in March 2017.

7) Minneapolis Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is +1.2 and progresses from #16 to #15. Flat at 5.0 (6+), after a January gain of six-tenths, Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” falls from eighth to ninth. In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” – up nine-tenths in January – levels out at 3.4 but climbs from #14 to #13. Spiraling by -1.5 (7.2 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” drifts from second to sixth. As it returns the one-tenth it grabbed in January (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” manages to move from #20 to #19. Regressing by seven-tenths to 5.2 (6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips from fifth to seventh. Until reaching 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” progresses from tenth to seventh. January’s +1.1 pulled the plug on six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Over and above repeating at #1, Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM is a collective +2.4 in January and February (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). The “stream” of Minneapolis Public Schools jazz-formatted KBEM pops on at #24 with a .6 (6+).

8) San Diego Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit off just one-tenth (6.2 – 6.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS segues from a first-place tie in January to #2; KPBS was -.1 in January, as well. A December gain of four-tenths by KPBS pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that it was on top. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat move for Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” for a +.5 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, #22, 6+). Having eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO responded in January with a +.8, but “News Radio 600” forfeits seven-tenths in February (5.0 – 4.3, third to fifth, 6+). When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Co-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” is off six-tenths (1.3 – .7, #27, 6+). Three up or flat reports in succession by Interamericana de Radio’s similarly-formatted XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” have netted four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6, #23, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Not only does Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN record its fifth straight gain for a net +1.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” breaks the January tie at #1 (with KPBS, see above) and takes sole possession of the top spot. Adding eight-tenths to January’s +1.1 (4.7 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” advances from fifth to third. KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In addition to “Sunny,” iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (2.3 – 2.8, #21 to #16, 6+) and Entercom CHR KEGY “Energy” (1.1 – 1.6, #23, 6+) improve by one-half share as well. At the conclusion of the February sweep, KEGY transitioned to a hybrid talk-comedy-classic rock mix as “97.3 The Machine – Talk That Rocks” and will be the flagship of the San Diego Padres. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a collective -1.1 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5” improves by three-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Within 4.0 – 4.8 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” plummets by -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#5 to #12). Sputtering by six-tenths (4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” falls from fourth to sixth. After posting a +.7 in January, Tegna-owned KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” surrenders one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, flat at #13, 6+). KFMB-FM was an overall -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.8 – 2.7, 6+), Prior to December, “100.7 KFM – BFM” was a combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+); November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016.

9) Denver Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time its consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ends at three, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR regresses by six-tenths and shifts from first to second. Meanwhile, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC is off three-tenths (1.0 – .7, #26, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s one-half share loss, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.3 yet backslides from ninth to tenth; January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. With a consistent November 2017 – February 2018 (6+) topline of 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, news/talk cluster-mate KHOW “Talk Radio 630” carries on at #18. A +.4 in January to 3.6 (6+) by Bonneville-owned KKFN suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by nine-tenths in February to 2.7 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – When KBCO “World Class Rock” posted a one-half share gain in January, it curtailed four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). Over and above adding seven-tenths in February (5.1 – 5.8, 6+), the iHeartMedia triple A leaps from third to first, succeeding KCFR (see above). Notching gains of seven-tenths as well are co-owned KTCL “Channel 93.3 Denver’s Modern Rock” (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6), and Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (2.7 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+), rebounding from January’s loss of one-half share. Classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined +1.3 in January and February (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) and zooms from seventh to fourth.  Advancing by six-tenths as well is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” (2.4 – 3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” though erodes by six-tenths (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last nine sweeps for a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+) Bonneville-owned KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 for New Country” escapes the slump with a one-half share uptick to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Ousted in January from the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there, adult contemporary sibling KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is -6.9 in January and February (11.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, second to eighth, 6+), following a combined +6.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017. KOSI’s 11.5 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

10) Tampa Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” inches up from #14 to #13. Even though it gains one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from a tie at #16 to #17. Its +.3 in January stopped four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Displaying a 1.6 in three of the last four sweeps (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” remains at #20. As a result of three straight down or flat ratings periods, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -.5 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” breaks out a full-share increase to 6.9 – its best 6+-showing since July 2017’s 7.1 – and is #2 for the fourth straight sweep. At the same time, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105,” which was trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), posts a +.6 to 5.6 (seventh to fourth, 6+). By registering a +.8 (to 3.2, 6+), its Spanish contemporary sibling WYUU “92.5 Maxima” wipes out the -.8 from three straight decreases (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #14. Despite being -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV is the market’s pacesetter for the 66th successive ratings period; “Lite Favorites” was a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). After recording a January +1.8 to 5.7 (6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one-third of that bounty (5.1, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). That huge January increase by “Magic” halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a -1.2 (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+). Off by one-half share each are co-owned WSUN “97-X Your New Alternative” (2.1, #16 to #18, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to February, “97-X” was an overall +1.0 in five successive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+); “The Beat” was up eight-tenths in January.

11) Baltimore Spoken-Word Formats – The 12 most recent (6+) trends for model of consistency Hearst news/talk WBAL (#13 to #12) are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1. Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. WBAL is one-tenth ahead of independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (2.9 – 3.0, +.1, #14 to #13, 6+). Disappearing from print is Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+). After picking up six-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” gives back two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but remains at #6. When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Co-owned WJZ-AM “1300 CBS Sports Radio Baltimore” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 -.3 – .3 – .2 -.1, #26, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +.7 (4.2 – 3.7, -.5, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU improves by a combined January and February total of six-tenths in Baltimore (.8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #16 to #15, 6+); WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – “Winning” continues for Radio One urban AC WWIN, which is without a loss for the eighth sweep in a row for a combined +3.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+) and “Magic 95.9” repeats at #1. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four months in succession before segueing to #2 in December. Entering the November sweep, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). The rollercoaster ride keeps going for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary facility dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (#1 in both of those sweeps); was -10.2 in January; and is now +.9 in February (6.1 – 7.0, third to second, 6+). The same can be said for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); dialed up a +2.5 in January; and now erodes by -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, second to fourth, 6+). From May 2017 through November, however, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). A collective -.7 in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6, October through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine FM” rebounded in January with a +.8 but decreases by -.5 in February (3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #14, 6+).

12) St. Louis Spoken-Word Formats – Following a full-share January increase, Entercom news/talk KMOX drops one-tenth (6.4 – 6.3, 6+) but stays at #4. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Down two-tenths to 3.1 (6+), Emmis-owned KFTK carries on at #16. Prior to January’s +.7, “FM News Talk 97.1” was a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS posted a +.8 in January, but is -.6 in February (4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as “101 Sports” tumbles from the top ten (#10 to #14). Although off two two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU stays at #13. By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Owing to three straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +1.2 and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) with its strongest 6+-showing (4.4) since May 2017’s 4.5. Although a combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98 Today’s Best Music” continues a down/up pattern that began in August (4.3 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). An overall -1.5 in four downward moves in succession (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” dips from #14 to #15.

Friday, May 25, 2012

| May 25, 2012

Sean Hannity Re-Ups with Fox News Channel.  There had been rumors that Fox News Channel prime time superstar (and Premiere Networks radio talk show star) Sean Hannity was negotiating with the News Corp. cable news/talk giant and now it’s announced the two sides have agreed on a long-term extension.  The duration and money details are few but it’s being reported the new contract keeps Hannity at FNC for “the foreseeable future.”  Hannity is the second-most-watched FNC show after Bill O’Reilly and a major part of its prime time success.  Hannity is quoted saying, “It’s been an honor and privilege to work alongside the incredible team at Fox News, whose talent is unparalleled.  In true Roger Ailes form, he saw something in me that no one else did and afforded me the opportunity to achieve incredible success.  I look forward to many more years to come.”  The news of Hannity’s extended relationship with Fox comes at a perfect time – two weeks before the New Media Seminar in New York City at which he will be personally hosting a special breakfast for all attendees followed by delivering the power-packed event’s keynote speech.  For information about the industry-only conference set for Thursday, June 7 call 413-565-5413.  Today is the final day to register.  To see the complete agenda click here.

TALKERS Top Talk Audiences Winter Report Shows News/Talk Holding Steady.  In today’s highly polarized political climate, there is a tendency toward news/talk radio ratings to be selectively cherry-picked and trumpeted for the purpose of propagandizing partisan interests.  A recent example of this is on display as the normal rises or dips in Rush Limbaugh’s PPM numbers during the two months following the Sandra Fluke controversy are touted by political action groups as a referendum on the public’s reaction to the story and reflective of the nation’s political and social mindset in general.  The truth, as broadcasting professionals realize, is that radio ratings are a complex and inexact process that can only be indicative of measurable trends when looked at over time and distance, taking a multitude of factors into account – especially during the current bumpy transition to the PPM system and the merging of significantly different research paradigms.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The mainstream media approaches radio ratings as though they were motion picture box office numbers or last night’s horse racing results.  The political groups, of course, play into that.  As a result, the public is getting a very inaccurate picture of the reality of this business from skewed partisan perspectives.  Both sides are shamelessly doing this.  Our business has become a political football which is not a good thing.”  The latest installment of TALKERS magazine’s quarterly audience estimates of the most-listened-to news/talk radio hosts (Winter 2012) has been posted today.  See it here.

Gow Communications to Buy KFNC-FM, Houston. That station, along with KHJK-FM, Houston, was put into a pre-packaged bankruptcy proceeding by former owner Cumulus Media last year.  The stations are majority owned by media broker Lawrence Patrick with the rest owned by creditors.  Now, the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports David Gow’s Gow Communications (which operates sports KGOW, Houston and Yahoo! Sports Radio) is the winning bidder for the FM signal and has signed a letter of intent to buy it.  Barron reports KFNC-FM billed $2.4 million in 2011.

Sports Talk Radio Scene in Salt Lake City Becoming Clearer.  With the recently announced purchase of KZNS-AM/FM by the Larry H. Miller Group – owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz – and Cumulus Media’s dedication to keeping former Jazz flagship and crosstown competitor KFNZ a sports outlet by simulcasting the Yahoo! Sports Radio content currently heard on its KJQS, there’s been a lot of turmoil in the Salt Lake City radio sports scene but the picture is clearing.  LHM Group will split the AM and FM signals of KZNS. The FM side will feature “Fox Sports Daybreak” in AM drive, local hosts Jake Scott and Tony Parks from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Premiere NetworksJim Rome from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, FSRN’s “Loose Cannons” from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and FSRN’s Petros & Money from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The AM side will consist of local hosts David James and Patrick Kinahan in AM drive, Jim Rome from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, local hosts Scott Garrard and Jake Scott from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, local hosts Spencer Checketts and Gordon Monson from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and local host Steve Brown from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Both stations will air “Fox Sports Tonight” and FSRN’s JT the Brick.  Meanwhile, across town at Utah Radio Acquisition’s KALL – ESPN 700 – former KZNS-AM/FM host Hans Olsen joins the Bill Riley PM drive show effective June 4.

Talk Radio Legend Barry Farber Releases New Book; Will Be Honored at New Media Seminar in New York on June 7.  Pioneering talk radio host Barry Farber is publishing his new book, Cocktails with Molotov (WND Books 2012) on June 5.  The book is described as “a collection of real life short stories that Farber has somehow found himself involved in, where you’ll read of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, the King of Albania, and Buzz Aldrin; of his knowledge of 26 foreign languages and how foreign language came through for him in the nick of time.  He shares tales from his childhood in North Carolina and his time spent venturing abroad, from his life as a young reporter and as a seasoned journalist, along with astounding narratives of everything in between.”  Rush Limbaugh is quoted speaking of Farber.  “Barry Farber was a standout when it was difficult to get a talk show.  Unlike today, very few people hosted such shows in Barry’s era.  You had to be among the best to be hired to host long-form talk.  Barry Farber was…the best.  He was defining.  He’s always been in rarified air.”  Barry Farber will be honored with the “TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award” at the New Media Seminar on New York City on Thursday, June 7.

KRLD-FM, Dallas Names Jane Slater and Chris Arnold to Talent Roster.  The CBS Radio sports talk station brings Jane Slater over from its news sister KRLD where she was morning drive reporter to co-host the midday show with Mark Elfenbein for the “Elf and Slater” midday show.  The daypart opened up when Josh Lewin accepted the New York Mets play-by-play gig.  In evenings, the station adds market sports pro Chris Arnold to Gavin Dawson’s “The G-Bag Nation” program which is expanding to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot to cover for the departed Arnie Spanier.  In a statement, VP of news/talk/sports programming Bruce Gilbert says, “The addition of Jane and Chris to the full-time staff at 105.3 The Fan illustrates our commitment to be the live and local sports talk station.  Their characteristics, personalities and unique perspectives emphasize our goal to be the voice of the many diverse sports fans across North Texas.”

Federated Media Flips Two Music FMs to Sports Talk.  A new four-station sports talk brand dubbed “The Fan” is being created by Federated Media.  The latest station to announce a flip is South Bend-market classic rock WAOR-FM (licensed to Nappanee, Indiana).  The stations (including WFGA-FM, Ft. Wayne; WLEG-FM, Elkhart, Indiana; and WNIL, Niles, Michigan) will carry local sports talk shows in morning and afternoon drive and carry Fox Sports Radio Network programming the rest of the day.  Federated Media chief operating officer Brad Williams says in a statement, “We are thrilled to bring sports talk to Northern Indiana.  We are a sports-hungry region and now our customers and clients can consume and partner with our stations and Fox Sports Radio 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”  The changes take place June 4.

United Stations Radio Networks Develops Weekly NASCAR Show.  The weekly one-hour program titled, “The Final Lap Weekly” is being hosted by Kerry Murphey and Toby Christie.  Murphey is the producer and host of USRN’s daily feature, “The Final Lap,” which is heard on more than 200 affiliate stations.  USRN EVP of programming Andy Denemark states, “2012 has been another solid year for NASCAR racing with TV viewership and track attendance both up.  At the same time, sports radio is growing exponentially, so we felt it was a great time to bring a new long-form racing talk show to the airwaves.  Kerry Murphey is a proven winner, his team covers the sport like no one else, and this is a great brand extension for Kerry and ‘The Final Lap.’”  The show debuts the weekend of June 2-3.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  WLAC, Nashville-based syndicated talk host Steve Gill begins a promotion with the Nashville Daily’s chain of gas stations to offer 150 listeners up to 15 gallons of gas at just $1.84 per gallon – January 2009 prices – beginning Tuesday, May 29.  Listeners must tune in to Gill to know which location is offering the bargain…..Journal Broadcasting names Mike McQuilliam promotions and marketing director for the company’s Wichita operations…..CBS Radio’s WCCO, Minneapolis extends its contract with University of St. Thomas to air its football games through the 2013 season.

2012 Presidential Race Top Talk Radio Topic for 8th Consecutive Week.  The battle between challenger Mitt Romney and President Obama in this year’s presidential campaign was again the #1 story on the Talkers TenTM chart of the most-talked-about stories and people on news/talk radio for the week of May 21-25.  At #2 was the Euro Zone crisis.  Following at #3 was the financial markets activity and at #4 was Facebook IPO troubles.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Fox Sports Radio Network adds four new affiliates owned by Federated Media.  WFGA-FM, Ft. Wayne; WAOR-FM, South Bend; WLEG-FM, Elkhart, Indiana; and WNIL, Niles, Michigan all begin carrying FSRN programming, including Dan Patrick, Jim Rome, “Loose Cannons,” Petros & Money, “Fox Sports Tonight” and more beginning June 4…..WRDU-FM, Raleigh – Rush Radio 106.1 – adds the Allan Handelman show to its weekend lineup.  Handelman’s program was the afternoon drive show at WZKT-FM, Burlington, North Carolina until a recent format flip…..KUFO, Portland picks up Talk Radio Network’s “Watchdog on Wall Street with Chris Markowski”…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds six new stations to his affiliate roster including: WGWD-FM, Tallahassee; WWNS, Statesboro, Georgia; and WKEI, Kewanee, Illinois.