Tag: "Atlanta"

Friday, November 2, 2018

| November 2, 2018

Scripps Two Stations Away from Exiting Radio Biz; Good Karma and SummitMedia Close on Acquisitions.  Yesterday (11/1) was the closing on Good Karma Brands’ purchase of news/talk WTMJ-AM and country-turned-sports WKTI-FM in Milwaukee for $16 million and on SummitMedia’s acquisition of 19 stations in the Wichita, Springfield (Mo), Omaha, and Knoxville markets for $47 million.  The closing officially puts Scripps Media out of the radio business, having grossed $83.5 million from the selloff.  As reported earlier in TALKERS, Good Karma Brands is flipping WKTI-FM, Milwaukee from country to sports talk as “94.5 ESPN Milwaukee.”  The stations SummitMedia acquires are KFDI-FM, KICT-FM, KFXJ-FM, KYQQ-FM, and KFTI-AM in Wichita; KTTS-FM, KSPW-FM, KSGF-AM/FM, and KRVI-FM in Springfield; KEZO-FM, KSRZ-FM, KQCH-FM, KKCD-FM, and KXSP-AM in Omaha; and WWST-FM, WCYQ-FM, WKHT-FM, and WNOX-FM in Knoxville.  Kalil & Co was the exclusive broker for both transactions.  Once Lotus Communications closes on its $8 million acquisition of Scripps’ Tucson and Boise operations, it will officially have exited the radio business.

Beasley Reports Positive Third Quarter Financial Numbers; Net Revenue Up 10.6%.  This quarterly financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group comes after a number of station transactions that have taken place over the last year and a half.  The company cites the May 1, 2017 sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville; the December 19, 2017, asset exchange of AC WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston; and September 27, acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom for $38 million. This quarter’s results reflect the operations and from WBZ-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018.  The results also reflect approximately two months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017.  That said, Beasley reports net revenue of $65.1 million – a 10.6% rise over the same period in 2017.  Although station operating income was down almost 35%, Beasley states that it was “impacted by an additional $1.7 million in bad debt expense due to financial issues at United States Traffic Network.” Chief operating officer Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley’s strong operating cash flows allowed us to continue making strategic investments in our broadcast and technology platforms. During the third quarter, we completed the strategically complementary and accretive acquisition of WXTU-FM in Philadelphia. In addition to being one of the best and most listened-to country music stations in America, WXTU-FM further enhances our revenue and competitive position by creating a full cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-ten market. We also completed two smaller acquisitions including a Tampa-based event company and a nationally syndicated Esports podcast in separate transactions that were funded with cash on hand. All three transactions are consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by identifying and completing transactions where we can drive valuable synergies, leverage content and enhance SOI margins, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”

Saga’s Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications states net revenue was $31.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the same period in 2017.  Operating income decreased 3.4% to $5.3 million and station operating expense increased 7.7% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 net revenue was flat compared to the same quarter last year at $29.6 million.  Looking at the past nine months, net revenue increased 6% to $91.9 million.  Saga reports $48.8 million in cash on hand as of September 30, 2018 and $50.5 million as of October 31, 2018.  The company’s total long-term debt was $20 million as of September 30, 2018.  On Tuesday (10/30), Saga announced its intent to buy Ocala Broadcasting Corporation’s Ocala-Gainesville four-station group – country WOGK-FM and classic rock “The Wind” trimulcast WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM.

Delaware Talker Dan Gaffney Beginning Saturday Gig at WPHT in Philly.  His “day job” is program director and morning drive host at Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City “Delaware 105.9,” but tomorrow night (11/3) Dan Gaffney adds hosting the 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Saturday show on Entercom’s WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210” to his radio work.  Gaffney says, “I’m so excited to work with PD Jared Hart and his team at WPHT, in my favorite big city – Philadelphia!”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 29 – November 2.  Next Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the caravan of Honduran migrants making its way to the U.S. border and President Trump’s controversial video ad. Coming in at #3 was the birthright citizenship issue, followed by the Pittsburgh synagogue slayings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, WDRQ PD and director of FM programming Robby Bridges announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Detroit cluster after five years to return home to Providence to focus on his family.  He posts on his Facebook page: “It is with many mixed emotions to share I have chosen not extend my agreement and will be leaving Detroit by the end of the year.  Totally my choice, company has been terrific as I made the decision also.  It’s been an amazing 11-year ride with Cumulus that’s given me incredible opportunities, found me lifelong friends and left me with unforgettable memories.  None more so, than in the Motor City!”…..There was no notice and Cumulus Media hasn’t said anything publicly, but Kelly Ford appears to have exited her role on the Nashville-based, syndicated country morning show “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” with Ty Bentli and Chuck Wicks – although her bio is still on the website…..Programming pro Robert Elfman is named program director for Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WGNI-FM “102.7 GNI” and classic rock WKXS-FM “94.5 The Hawk” in Wilmington, North Carolina. Elfman moves to Wilmington after 11 years with Eagle Communications, most recently as OM and PD at the company’s Manhattan, Kansas station group.  Cumulus Media Wilmington vice president and general manager Eric McCart says, “While searching for our next leader for ‘102.7 GNI’ and ‘94.5 The Hawk,’ Robert impressed us from the very start as someone who will help take us to the next level and deliver an even better listener experience.  He possesses the leadership skills to work with our team and lead our brands to even greater success serving our listeners, advertisers, and community. I’m very excited to welcome Robert to our Cumulus family!”…..Adams Radio Group flips active rock WJFX-HD2/W277AK in Fort Wayne to hip hop as “Loud 103.3” featuring such core artists as DrakeThe Weeknd, Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, and more. Station OM JJ Fabini states, “I couldn’t be more excited about ‘Loud 103.3.’ Our city has sorely been missing a hip hop outlet for years – an entire segment of our population didn’t have a radio station to call their own, and Adams is thrilled for the opportunity to serve the community with this new venture.”…..Meruelo Media’s hip hop KPWR-FM, Los Angeles “Power 106” is launching a new, two-hour show starring DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible called, “New at Night.”  It airs from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am and is being billed as “unfiltered new hip hop without limitations” programmed and mixed by DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible with assistance from music and programming supervisor Becky Lopez.  “Power 106” personality Mando Fresko hosts the second hour of the program.

October 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” repeats at #9; August’s 4.4 is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). After posting a +.5 in June; -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is down one-tenth in October (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). September’s 2.5 is its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). Via six straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” doubles its 6+-share and continues at #24. A collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT repeats at #1. KUT, which was -1.0 in August, was on top in July and May – with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0.

Austin Music Formats – No sooner had Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ eroded by -1.2 in September than “Majic 95.5” roars back in October by erasing that deficit in its entirety (6.7 – 5.5 – 6.7, +1.2, fourth to third, 6+). Its 6.7 in August and October is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. Off a collective nine-tenths in August and September (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” answers with a +.6 in October to 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+). Dropping eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.2 – 4.4, flat at #8, 6+) and Emmis-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (4.0 – 3.2, #10 to #12, 6+). Having posted six straight sweeps without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops three-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #18, 6+). The October 2018 sweep isn’t kind to Austin’s country format as iHeartMedia’s KASE is down four-tenths (5.7 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and a combined +.6 in August and September. Co-owned KVET-FM drops two-tenths (5.3 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). In four straight downward trends, “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” was an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+) until it scored a +.6 in September. Finally, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+) but stays at #21. With a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), “Austin’s Country Alternative” erased three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK is a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” jumps from eighth to fifth. A July increase of four-tenths halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF has nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share and advances from #19 to #17. In May, “News Radio 680” finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. Up a cumulative six-tenths in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” moves from #16 to #14. Its +.4 in September halted three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Over the last five survey periods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and unchanged at second (8.4 – 8.3, -.1, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – As the result of four straight down or flat trends, WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” was a combined -1.3 (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). That slide ends in October though as the iHeartMedia CHR posts a one-half share increase to 5.5 (tenth to seventh, 6+); September’s 5.0 is its lowest 6+-share since December 2017 (5.0, as well). Also improving by one-half share are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.9 – 4.4, steady at #11, 6+) and Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” (2.2, #18 to #15, 6+), which had logged a 1.7 (6+) in five of the last nine reports (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (9.6 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” repeats at #1. On the strength of September’s +1.1, “Foxy” recorded a 9.6 – its strongest 6+-stat since January’s 10.7. A loss of nine-tenths (6.1 – 5.2, 6+) drops Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life, Your Music” from fifth to ninth. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is a collective +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+); -1.3 in July (7.7 – 6.4, 6+); +.6 in August (6.4 – 7.0, 6+); and a collective -1.7 in September and October (7.0 – 5.8 – 5.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). October’s 5.3 is the lowest 6+-stat for “Mix” since 5.1 in March. At the same time that Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” adds one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” surrenders four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, 6+). The two format rivals are unchanged at #3 and #12, respectively. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR halted three straight downward moves that led to a collective -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). A four-tenths decrease in September by WNCB suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). A loss of one-tenth to .5 (flat at #20, 6+) by Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” interrupts six straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .5 – 5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Shaking off September’s -.7 with an October increase of +1.0, Emmis news/talk WIBC advances from sixth to fifth. In addition, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” continues an up/down pattern that began in March: 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 6.5. Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” levels out at 2.2 (6+) following September’s +.6, which almost wiped out its overall loss of seven-tenths through five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). “The Fan,” however, backslides from #15 to #16 where it is tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which logs a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, #19 to #16, 6+). After being a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI is now off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to September’s +.4 (7.0 – 7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” bumps up from third to second. WFMS was #1 in April, May, and June, before faltering by a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+). Representative fluctuations this calendar year for “95.5 The Country Station” include: -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); and +.9 (October). There’s also good news for its format foe, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which responds to September’s -1.5 with a +.6 (5.1 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). “Hank” was down nine-tenths in June and then became frozen on 6.6 (6+) in July and August. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” picks up two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and continues at #15. Major accolades continue for Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which registers its fifth successive uptrend netting a whopping +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+); reaches 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history (beating the previous record of 9.7 set just last month); and is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Conversely, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” (flat at #14) is a collective -1.2 as a result of four straight slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5, 6+) and falls below the three-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.8). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH “Hot 96.3” sputters by six-tenths (6.0 – 5.4, 6+) and segues from fifth to seventh. Following four consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” surrenders four-tenths to 7.1 (6+), slipping from second to third. September’s 7.5 represents the finest 6+-showing for WYXB since January’s 7.9.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – This is a genuinely historic sweep for news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” which not only has the largest (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of any facility in PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets (7.9 – 10.4, +2.5, 6+), it unseats an outlet that had been #1 the past 43 sweeps (see below). October’s 10.4 actually isn’t the best 6+-stat in WTMJ’s PPM history though – it hit 10.9 in January 2015. It was announced roughly three months ago that Good Karma Brands would be acquiring Green Bay Packers’ network flagship WTMJ from Scripps; the sale is pending. A combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” picks up four-tenths to 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Remaining at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is a collective +.7 as the result of four consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 3.4 (#12, 6+). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – October 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 (flat at #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to September’s +.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL advances from sixth to fourth. “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. It no longer has a direct competitor as (Scripps-to-Good Karma Brands’) WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” transitioned to sports talk this week (as “94.5 ESPN Milwaukee”). In its final sweep as a country station, WKTI shifts from #13 to #12, but is an overall -1.0 in five straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Even after cratering -1.6 in September (10.2 – 8.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” managed to stay at #1 for the 43rd consecutive ratings period. In October, however, the combination of WTMJ dialing up a mammoth +2.5 (to 10.4, 6+) and “Big FM” faltering by seven-tenths (to 7.9, 6+), WRIT tumbles to the runner-up slot. Prior to losing seven-tenths in July, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB resulted in a +2.2 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+), but “B-93.3” surrenders nearly half that increase (5.2 -1.0, 6+) and dips from fourth to seventh. September’s 6.2 represents the strongest 6+-showing for WLDB since “Holiday” 2017’s 7.4. On the heels of September’s one-half share decline, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” plunges another nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). WKLH previously was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 (June); +1.2 (August); -.5 (September); and -.9 (October). Four gains in succession by Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” eventuated in an overall +1.0 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) and the best 6+-showing (5.1) since December 2016’s 5.5. In October though “Kiss” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.7 (ninth to tenth, 6+). After logging a one-half share gain in September to 5.9 – its best 6+-stat since August 2017’s 6.3 – hot AC cluster-mate WMYX “99.1 The Mix” relinquishes eight-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to eighth, 6+). While it remains at #11, Saga Communications urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” is off two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three consecutive increases that netted a +1.6 (2.6 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the August ratings period, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). It’s apparently time for another move of two-tenths by “Super Talk” (3.8 – 4.0, 6+), taking it back into the top ten (#11 to #10). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#19 to #20, 6+) has a May 2017 – October 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – 1.1. In four consecutive up or flat moves, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  has more than doubled (+3.3) its 6+-share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+) as “104.5 The Zone” jumps from seventh to fifth. This (6.3) is the highest 6+-share for the Tennessee Titans’ flagship since January’s 6.5. An overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which were by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+) – Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” gains a collective six-tenths in September and October (.7 – .8 – 1.3, #19 to #18, 6+). Having recorded a one-half share increase in August, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM surrenders twice that margin (-1.0) in September and October (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6, 6+) as “NPR News and Classical Music” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Nashville Music Formats – A collective -1.5 in three slips in succession (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.6 – 6.0), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” erases one-third of that deficit with a one-half share gain to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). In addition to having its highest 6+-stat (5.8) since May’s 5.9, CHR sibling WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +1.4 in three straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8, seventh to sixth, 6+). Despite the fact that it backslides from #13 to #14, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” is an overall +.8 in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). While Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA is in the driver’s seat for the ninth successive ratings period, it hasn’t always been uneventful. These are among the fluctuations this calendar year for “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music”: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); and now -.7 in October (8.8 – 8.1, 6+). “Mix” ranked first in November (2017), December, and “Holiday”; shifted to second in January (2018); but returned to #1 in February. In three positive spikes in succession (5.9 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK was a collective +1.5. In one fell swoop, however, “92-Q” craters by -1.9 (7.4 – 5.5, 6+) and drifts from third to eighth. It’s a somewhat similar, although less dramatic, story for iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+). In September and October, “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6, #2 to #3, 6+). August’s 7.8 is the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January (7.8, as well). It is a clean sweep for the market’s three country-formatted FMs: Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is up two tenths (5.6 – 5.8, flat at #6, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” notches an improvement of four-tenths and is steady at #8; and Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” gains three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, #12 to #10, 6+). “The Big 98” was up eight-tenths in September, while “Nash Icon” spiraled by -1.0. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), “Nash FM” was a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM notes its third straight increase for an overall +.8 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Flat at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is a combined +.6 via three consecutive gains (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), directly following an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net May through September decline of just one-tenth (.6 – .6 -.6 – .5 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth to .6 (6+) and continues at #21. Following an approximately 6.5-year absence from the Providence report, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM returned in print in May. “News Radio 1030” is up three-tenths in four straight up or flat Providence moves (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, #19 to #16, 6+). Three of the most recent shifts for Entercom sports talk outlet WVEI include: -.6 (July); +.7 (August); and +.7 in October (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to seventh, 6+). In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Finishing back-to-back at #9 and #10, respectively, are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which duplicates September’s +.4 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, flat at #9, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH (1.8 – 2.3, +.5, #11 to #10, 6+). Before adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In September, WGBH returned the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in August and September (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB bounces back in October with a +.5 to 6.9 (6+) and carries on at #5. Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1,” which is trending 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.7 (fourth to second, 6+). Entering the October sweep, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI had been in double-digits (6+) 11 of the last 17 sweeps, but “Lite Rock 105” falters by eight-tenths (10.2 – 9.4, 6+). Nonetheless, it #1 for the third month in a row; June’s 10.3 is its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Some major ups/downs continue for CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which is -.7 (July); +1.0 (August); -.7 (September); and now -1.4 in October (8.4 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+). This (7.0) marks the first time WPRO-FM is below an eight-share (6+) since February’s 7.8.

Norfolk – An overall -2.5 via four straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” responds in October with a +1.1 to 6.9 (fifth to third, 6+). It is tied at #3 with classic rock sibling WAFX “106.9 The Fox,” which nets a +1.6 in September and October, (5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). That nearly erases its -1.8 in four straight decreases (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” has more than doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in three positive spikes in succession (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5, #10 to #9, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, urban AC WVKL just keeps rolling as “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” (flat at 13.7) is #1 for the 23rd time in a row and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 31st time in the last 32 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+), which WVKL tied in July. In the runner-up slot for the fifth straight month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz,” which spirals by -1.2 to 7.0 (6+). As a result, it pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat moves that yielded an overall gain of nine-tenths (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+). Down a combined one-half share in three successive slips (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” segues from fourth to fifth. Immediately prior to this streak, “2WD” was +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) and in advance of May’s -1.1 posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from September’s -.8 with a gain of three-tenths (4.3 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” doubles its 6+-share (.2 – .4, 6+) and carries on at #16. Entering this sweep, however, WSJS lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share as a result of six straight down or flat moves (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+). This marks the fifth consecutive month that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 and fourth time in a row it is without a loss for a collective +.4 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Its +.1 in August concluded at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May through October topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (flat at #15) is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to September’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” continues in third-place with its highest 6+-showing (8.5) since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017. WMAG had been a collective -1.0 in July and August (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.8, 6+). Up one-half share (5.4 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” which eroded by -1.5 in June, advances from eighth to seventh. Steady at #5, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” follows September’s loss of eight-tenths with a -.1 (7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+).”Q-104.1” was down three-tenths in July and then up four-tenths in August. July’s decrease ended at three its consecutive streak of gains that netted a +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+). By adding two-tenths to 10.4 (6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG applies the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). This is the tenth month in a row “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is on top and 23rd straight time it’s in double-digits (6+). Wiping out September’s +.5 with a -.6 in October (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” finishes at #12 for the fifth consecutive time. Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Owing to three straight declines (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW is off a combined nine-tenths, but “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” continues in the runner-up slot for the tenth consecutive time. A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in June and July and then on 3.6 (6+) in August and September, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “101.1 La Ley” sputters by one-half share in October to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” makes up half that deficit with a +.5 to 2.4 (#13 to #11, 6+). WJNO previously notched four straight up or flat trends for a +.9 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). In addition to exiting the top ten (#10 to #12) Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” drops four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of positive spikes that yielded seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Repeating September’s 1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bumps up from #14 to #13; “Real Radio” gained one-half share in August. In three straight increases, Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is up a collective four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and is steady at #18. With its third straight improvement for a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN progresses from eighth to sixth.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After sputtering by one-half share in September, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” roars back with an increase more than twice that margin (2.8 – 3.9, +1.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). An overall +1.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is on top for the tenth month in a row with its highest 6+-share (10.7) since November 2017’s 11.2. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it suspended three straight decreases that produced an overall -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). In addition to cracking the top ten (#11 to #10), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” is +1.2 through four upticks in succession (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The three latest shifts for Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” are +1.2 (August); -.9 (September); and -1.0 in October (4.2 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to August, WIRK notched five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.0 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); August’s 5.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2017. Similarly, major month-to-month moves continue for iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5,” which was -1.6 (May and June, 4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+); a collective +1.3 (July and August, 2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+); -.5 (September, 4.0 – 3.5, 6+); and now -.7 in October (2.8, seventh to ninth, 6+). Remaining at #5, co-owned WKGR “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” drops six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Up four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+) after July’s half-share loss, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” forfeits six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. September’s 5.2 is the best 6+-showing for “Sunny” since April (5.2, as well). Following three setbacks in succession for an overall -1.2 (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” – posts a +.1 to 5.4 (third to second, 6+). September’s 5.3 is its lowest 6+-share since 4.9 in “Holiday” 2017.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – These past four ratings periods have been quite the rollercoaster ride for Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV. It is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); and topped with an eye-popping +2.0 in October (8.6 – 10.6, 6+) that takes “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” from #3 to #1 with its best-ever 6+-stat (10.6) in the PPM-era. This is the first time WOKV finishes first since May, when it scored a 9.3 (6+). For the third month in a row, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” registers a .5 (#19 to #20, 6+). Off one-tenth after September’s -.6 (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT dips from #12 to #13.

Jacksonville Music Formats – By gaining two-tenths to 7.0 (flat at #4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” interrupts three straight down or flat moves that led to a combined loss of three-tenths (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 this past January and March. Continuing at #7, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9” nets +1.4 in three straight increases (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), immediately following three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Down two full-shares in September and October (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station,” which had been on top the past four months, shifts to #3. In September, WEJZ had its consecutive string of reaching double-digits (6+) end at three (10.4 – 10.3 – 10.6, 6+). August’s 10.6 is the best 6+-showing for WEJZ since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9, while October’s 8.6 its weakest since 8.1 in March. In six successive downward moves, co-owned WGNE is an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), but “Gator Country 99.9” repeats at #9. A cumulative -1.0 in March and April, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” was +.8 (May); -.5 (June); +1.0 (July); -.4 (August); +.8 in September; and now -.7 in October (5.9 – 5.2, flat at #6, 6+). Delmarva Educational Association contemporary Christian WCRJ “The Joy FM” debuts with a 1.1 (#17, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Trending 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 (July-August-September-October, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” remains in tenth-place. July’s +.2 to 3.1 (6+) stalled five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” posts its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+); WFMS was off six-tenths in July. Although flat at #18, co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” drops two-tenths to .2 (6+), halting five successive up or flat moves that yielded three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Owing to four successive sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO  was a combined -1.4 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Despite picking up two-tenths to 8.8 (6+) to halt that skid, “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” downshifts from second to third. May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. Over and above adding an astonishing +2.4 to September’s +.6 giving Entercom adult contemporary WRVR an 11.0 – its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 – “104.5 The River” flows from second to first. Steady at #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up an overall one-half share in four consecutive up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after five consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101,” which – despite being up four-tenths (10.3 – 10.7, 6+) – trades places with WRVR at #2. Entering the August sweep, KJMS was +1.7 in three straight up or flat trends (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+), but was a combined -.8 in August and September (11.1 – 10.4 – 10.3, 6+). Down or flat six monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is up seven-tenths in September and October (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). It is tied at #5 with co-owned 1070 WDIA “The Heart & Soul of Memphis,” which erodes by eight-tenths (6.1 – 5.3, 6+). An overall -2.7 in six downward moves in succession (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #4 with its lowest 6+-stat (7.1) since March 2017’s 6.5. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded “V-101” at #1. As a result of four straight slips for a combined -2.4 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM tumbles from sixth to ninth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). When Cumulus Media-owned WGKX lost two-tenths in September, it curtailed three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). Now, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” falters by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) but continues in seventh-place.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 6.2 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” busts out a +.8 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). July’s one-half share gain halted three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#15 to #14) has an ultra-consistent topline so far this calendar year: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 (6+). Returning to print after an extended hiatus, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 (6+) and checks in at #13. After seven straight down or flat trends for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is a combined +.8 in September and October (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” (#13 to 14) follows August’s gain of three-tenths with a combined September and October loss of four-tenths (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, , 6+). Its August improvement curtailed five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By posting a one-half share increase to 7.5, (6+), WTIC-FM ends a July-August-September mini-slide that accounted for a collective -1.6 (8.6 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+); the Entercom hot AC is unchanged in third-place. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in September (11.4 – 11.1 – 11.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” is on top for the 27th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 24th time in the last 26 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which pulled the plug on four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). Penetrating the market from Springfield (Massachusetts), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WMAS-FM is off one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, #11 to #13, 6+). Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.9 in five straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+).

October 2018 PPM Ratings

| October 30, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; the weekend’s NFL action and the MLB Playoffs 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. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Friday, September 28, 2018

| September 28, 2018

Talk Personalities, News/Talk Stations Finish Strong in 2018 Marconi Awards. At the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show last night, the winners of the 2018 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters were announced and talk radio personalities took home four of the five Personality of the Year honors.  Premiere NetworksDan Patrick was honored with Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year; WDBO-FM, Orlando morning host Joe Kelley was named Large Market Personality of the Year; KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa morning host Pat Kerrigan received the Medium Market Personality of the Year award; and WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois morning host Brian Byers was honored with the Small Market Personality of the Year award.  Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was named News/Talk Station of the Year; Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta took home the Major Market Station of the Year; Cox’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando won Large Market Station of the Year; and Amaturo Sonoma Media Group’s KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa was Medium Market Station of the Year.  Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston was the Sports Station of the Year.  See all the winners here.

Alleged Co-Conspirator Fingers Carton in Plea Deal. According to the New York Post’s reportMichael Wright – the man alleged to be former WFAN morning host Craig Carton’s co-conspirator in the alleged concert ticket racket – told a federal judge that Carton directed him to use funds from investors to pay off Carton’s personal expenses, including gambling debts.  Wright has struck a plea deal with prosecutors to testify against Carton at his October 29 fraud trial that alleges Carton and his accomplices used $4.6 million from investors to repay other investors and to pay off debts.  The story says Wright is likely to get a 21- to 27-month sentence instead of the 20 years a conviction could carry.  Carton has maintained his innocence all along and says he expects to show that at his coming trial.

Adams Radio Group Goes with TTWN for ‘24/7 News Source.’ The deal between Total Traffic and Weather Network and Adams Radio Group calls for the former to provide its “24/7 News Source” wire service to Adams’ 24 stations operating in five markets.  The service includes news, sports, show-prep, and audio content. Adams Radio Group president and CEO Ron Stone comments, “Adams Radio Group is live, local, and focused on super-serving our listeners.  TTWN continues to innovate all aspects of its media content solutions.  We’re thrilled to leverage our new partnership with ‘24/7 News Source’ to enhance our on-air and online products.”

Seen & Heard at the Radio Show: Day 3TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay is in Orlando reporting from the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  In today’s report, McKay reveals the hot topics he’s hearing discussed in the hallways of this year’s conference.  He also shares some thoughts from NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton on what he sees for radio over the six to 12 months.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As part of the contract extension with award-winning journalist Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN will expand his role across its platforms, including as host of two new series slated to debut in 2019.  Van Natta will increase his contributions to ESPN’s investigative news show “Outside the Lines,” and he’s developing an interview podcast called, “The Triangle.”  Working with executive producer John Dahl, Van Natta will lead a “three-way discussion featuring provocative pairings that explore topics and shared histories with a level of depth, storytelling and, at times, conflict likely to test the comfort zones of all involved.”…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket” extends its deal with the NHL’s Dallas Stars to continue serving as the club’s exclusive radio broadcast home.  Cumulus Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “We are entering our 10th season as the flagship station of Dallas Stars hockey and we are proud to extend our relationship with the Stars for another five years. Thank you to team CEO Jim Lites for his continued faith in the Ticket to represent his great brand.”…..Pictured below is the cast of the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” performing live in North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek at the 2018 Radio Show.  Host Tom Griswold and the cast, including Chick McGee, Josh Arnold, Kristi LeeDonnie Baker, Allee Breen, Al JacksonGrace Yinger and Jessica Alsman, broadcast live Wednesday through Friday morning.

WOR Morning Co-Host and New York Post Broadway Theater Critic Michael Riedel Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legendary New York Post Broadway theater critic, Michael Riedel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Six months ago, Riedel was named as co-host with sports media veteran Len Berman of the WOR, New York morning show.  Together, these two well-known NYC media figures collegially discuss and dissect the hot issues of the day and interview newsmakers from a friendly left-right perspective (Riedel describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican with a libertarian position on social issues”).  Harrison and Riedel talk about the process of doing news/talk radio in the Trump era and then take a deep dive into the world of Broadway, newspapers, and theater criticism.  Harrison states, “Michael Riedel is a fabulous conversationalist and a walking-talking history book of the fascinating universe that is Broadway and its role in almost 100 years of American popular culture.  This installment of the podcast is one of my personal favorites because it takes an intelligent and revealing look at the confluence of two of my biggest passions – radio and the theater.”  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.

Talking Content at the Alpha Media Programming PopUp. — Pictured above are Alpha Media programming execs doing a panel discussion at the company’s “Programming PopUp” — a two-day get-together held Wednesday and Thursday at HQ in Portland for some 50 Alpha programmers.  From left to right are: national director of digital content Ernie Martinez, vice president of content Phil Becker, and executive vice president of content Scott Mahalick

Kavanuagh-Ford Hearing Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 24-28.  Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee of testimony from accuser Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s addresses at the United Nations, followed by the president’s accusation that China is trying to interfere in the U.S. elections at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Entercom names radio sales pro Blaise Howard general sales manager for its recent acquisition, hot AC WBEB “101.1 More FM,” effective October 1.  In a press announcement, Entercom notes that Howard led WBEB for 18 years as vice president and general manager under previous management in which he “created a culture of high performing professionals and consistently maintained the status as one of the top rated and top revenue producing stations in the Philadelphia market.”  Howard says, “I can’t wait to start this new chapter with Entercom and be a part of the team led by Dave Scopinich and David Yadgaroff.  I am excited to take a step forward with a company so positive about our industry, and so committed to the growth of radio.”…..iHeartMedia’s Seattle hip hop outlet KUBE launches the new morning program “The Wake Up Show,” effective October 1. The new show will be hosted by Strawberry, Lizette Love, Jenna and DJ Supa Sam.  Station program director Mark Adams says, “In the few months since the re-launch, Seattle listeners have responded passionately to the return of KUBE and we’re creating noise on-air, online, and on the streets. With the addition of these personalities to anchor our mornings, I’m confident ‘The Wake Up Show’ is going to shake things up.”…..Longtime St. Louis on-air personality DC is moving south to Gulf South-owned CHR WKMX, Dothan, Alabama to serve as afternoon host and brand manager.  DC, a.k.a. Christian Chymes, spent 20-plus years as one half of the “Steve & DC” team with Steve Shannon.  DC comments, “My career began in Alabama and I am so excited to be back.  I’m honored to lead the staff at such a legendary station in the market.  I was sold after meeting [station manager] Bryan Holladay and his team, as well as getting a little taste of the winning atmosphere in the building.  And great BBQ is crucial for a good quality of life!”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

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

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

| June 12, 2018

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Rocks New York City.  The 21st installment of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/8) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing some 250 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference featured a record-breaking 71 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking/meal receptions.  The majority of the program was streamed live in real time on Talkers.com by Livestream and video of the event is currently available to view on the main page of Talkers.com.  In the weeks ahead, TALKERS will present standalone videos of key panels and presentations along with additional coverage of the event.  Visit Talkers.com regularly for details.  Pictured below is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) conducting the opening-session fireside chat with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right).

Chris Plante Hits Chicago for ‘Politics and a Pint.’ Pictured above is Westwood One and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk show host Chris Plante (center) on stage at Rock ‘N Ravioli in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.  He was taking part in a discussion about politics and current events at WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Politics and a Pint” live event with WLS morning show personalities Big John Howell (right) and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens (left).

WSB-AM, Atlanta’s Jamie Dupree Gets a ‘Voice’ Thanks to Text-to-Speech App. Industry insiders are aware of the case of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree: due to a rare disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – in which the tongue slips forward and out of the mouth during attempts to speak – that has all but eliminated Dupree’s ability to speak clearly, his continued future as a radio news correspondent has become tenuous.  But, employer Cox Media Group and Dupree have been searching for a possible solution in the form of text-to-voice technology and have found one made by a Scottish company called CereProc, and it works pretty well.  Yes, Dupree’s “voice” sounds a bit robotic, but not as much as you’d expect. Read Dupree’s blog about his situation and hear a sample of his “voice” here.

Gow Media Announces Simulcasts on Houston Sports Talkers. As reported by David Barron in the Houston Chronicle, Gow Media’s Houston sports talk stations announce a new simulcast and programming schedule.  The company operates KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” and KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Simulcast on both signals will be “The Bench” with John Granato and Lance Zierlein from 7:00 am to 9:00 am; Charlie Pallilo from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; and “The Blitz” with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The rest of ESPN 97.5’s lineup is John Granato with Raheel Ramzanali from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and “The Usual Suspects” with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  On “Sportsmap 94.1” it’s “Golic & Wingo” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Stephen A. Smith from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Sean Salisbury from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Shaq Expands Role at PodcastOne. Four-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal is expanding his role at PodcastOne – the podcast platform on which he hosts “The BIG Podcast with Shaq.”  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz is promoting Shaq to general.  In this role, he’ll establish greater visibility for his own podcast and will also take part in the promotion and curation of the sports network’s programming slate.  Shaq says, “I have a blast doing my podcast every week and I always like to have my hand in the hottest businesses. Podcasting continues to heat up and now is the time for me to take the next step into the space – who better to do it with than PodcastOne, who has led the way in podcasting since its inception? They have a phenomenal vision for the sports community.  So here I am.  The general of PodcastOne Sportsnet.”  Pattiz comments, “As someone who wears one of Shaq’s championship rings on my finger, I know firsthand of his passion for success.  There is no one bigger – in size or spirit.  Shaq will stand for everything PodcastOne Sportsnet is – quality, sports IQ, big fun, and a connection to fans everywhere.”

TALKERS News Notes. Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the radio business this Friday (6/15) and Entercom Buffalo’s WBEN-AM is throwing a special party for him that day.  The station and Beach are welcoming special guests as well as members of the local media in studio during his Friday program.  Plus, a reception will be held on-site following the conclusion of the show where he’ll be available for interviews with confirmed media. In-studio guests will include: legendary DJ and talk host Joey Reynolds, former WKBW (now WWKB) personality and NYSB Hall-of-Famer Danny Neaverth, and former WKBW jock Stan Roberts…..In the Lamar, Colorado market 25-7 Media flips KLMR-AM from classic country to news/talk.  The station is serving up local programs including morning shows “Ag on the High Plains” with host Ty Harmon, “High Plains Morning News” and “Agri Talk.”  It is also airing Westwood One’s “First Light” and Clark Howard shows, plus Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved.  25-7 recently closed on the station as part of a deal with Cherry Creek Media…..Salem Media Group promotes Laura Sheaffer to the general sales manager position at New York duo news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian teaching WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.” Sheaffer joined Salem New York in the spring of 2015 and has since been promoted to national sales manager and digital sales manager.  Salem New York VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “I have rarely worked with anyone who has Laura’s drive and determination and I am ecstatic to have her in this position.  Her work has been beyond exceptional and crucial to our operation.  I am positive that she will lead our team to new levels of success.”…..iHeartMedia‘s new Bay Area progressive talk outlet KKSF “Talk 910” is airing Westwood One‘s “Sterling on Sunday” program hosted by Walter Sterling…..SiriusXM is presenting exclusive national radio coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship, June 14 through June 17.  SiriusXM’s programming will feature a minimum of 32 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage across all four rounds of play.  Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth…..FOX Sports announces its multiplatform coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship that includes nine live hours of programming originating from Shinnecock Hills on Thursday and Friday (6/14-15) during the first and second rounds of the tournament, with broadcasts by “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” the Doug Gottlieb show,” and JT ‘The Brick.’  FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer also reports live from the course throughout the duration of the championship and will host his Sunday program on location.

Salem Syndicated Hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager Named to Jewish Newspaper The Algemeiner’s List of Top 100 Individuals Who Have Positively Influenced Jewish Life This Past Year (2017).  Nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager – both members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – have been named by the Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner as two of the top 100 individuals who have had a positive influence on Jewish life in 2017.  The Salem Radio Networks hosts are joined on the prestigious “J100” list by such high-profile figures as President Donald Trump, noted attorney Alan Dershowitz, and legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. To see the entire list, please click here.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Trump G-7 Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Net Neutrality, Tony Awards, Tuesday Primary Elections, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  The meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the aftermath of President Trump’s criticism of U.S.-Canada trade relations and his exit from the G-7 meeting; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules; Sunday evening’s Tony Awards and Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech; today’s primary elections in Virginia, Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Louisville market, Alpha Media names Steve Bearance SVP and market manager for its five-music-station cluster. Bearance was most recently with Cumulus Media as VP and market manager. Prior to that gig, he served with Cumulus in Louisville…..iHeartRadio has opened up voice voting for the top five finalists in the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition.  For the past seven years iHeartMedia has partnered with Macy’s to host the music competition that introduces fans to up-and-coming artists.  Listeners vote for their favorite act and the winner performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Beginning today, fans can now cast their votes for the finalists using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.  After they ask to “Talk to iHeart Rising Star,” users can hear the five finalists introduce themselves and listen to a clip from their song before voting.  At the end, voters will enjoy Macy’s mstyle Radio on iHeartRadio which features all of the finalists. The whole experience is “hosted” by James Maslow, the winner of last year’s competition…..25-7 Media flips classic rock KLMR-FM to hot AC and re-brands the station “The Heat 93.5.”  The station adds the “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to the lineup with local personalities Aaron Leiker in middays and Amy Jacobs in afternoon drive.

Round One of May PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. You can 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.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating its April 2018 +.8 performance (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps into the top five (eighth to fifth) with its best +-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship picked up four-tenths in March. Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – returns two-thirds of April’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, 6+), dipping from #15 to #18. A March +.1 by WOR ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WINS is a combined -1.2 in April and May (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4, while co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is off a cumulative six-tenths in those same two sweeps (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to March, WCBS-AM was stuck on 2.8 (6+) the previous three survey periods; 3.3 (March 2018) is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Following three months in succession at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN posts a +.4 to 1.7 as “98.7 ESPN New York” climbs from #22 to #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). This marks the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) and Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) mirror each other. The latter’s last 13 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.0, flat at #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .6 (#28 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A loss of eight-tenths (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) drops iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW to its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.0. Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the tenth successive sweep. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). The market’s rhythmic CHR tussle remains tight. In the last eight survey periods, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” is trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 (flat at #9, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 over the same (November 2017 – May 2018) stretch and is unchanged at #10 (6+). This is the fourth time in the last six survey periods that Emmis urban AC WBLS “#1 for R&B” posts a 5.7 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, steady at #3, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from April’s -.6 with a +.1 (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). With an identical 2.6 – 2.7, #13 to #10 6+-profile as KNX is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI continues a down/up pattern that commenced in December (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), as “AM 640” advances from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). The December 2017 – May 2018 topline 6+-trending for sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN” (#29) is 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0. Tied at #30 are iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (flat at .9, #31 in April, 6+) and Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #29 in April, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk format, iHeartMedia’s KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) for six straight sweeps, is now off a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (1.0 – .9 – .8 – .8, #34 to #32, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” dips from #39 to #40 (.5 – .4, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Albeit flat at 5.7 (second to first, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” supplants adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (6.0 – 5.6, -.4, first to second, 6+) at #1. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 33 Los Angeles sweeps (dating back to December 2015), KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 13 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; and May 2018. Flat at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” is a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). After four successive increases for a collective +1.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips two-tenths to 4.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). There is a massive seven-way logjam at #10 that includes mainstream CHR cluster-mate KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” (2.5 – 2.7, +.2, #16 to #10, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” – is flat at 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #5. Unchanged at #19, Entercom alternative KROQ is a combined +.2 in three straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), whereas format foe – iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – gains four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st time in succession, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Debuting at #40 is Entravision regional Mexican KDLD “La Tricolor 103.1.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While it was up an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), WBBM-AM is now a collective -.4 in three straight sweeps without a gain (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom all-news operation actually manages to progress from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” is now +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+) as the Chicago Cubs flagship cracks the top ten (#13 to #7). “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ falters by two-tenths to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 2.2 (flat at #21, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN pulls the plug on three successive decreases that produced a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of three-tenths in March by the Chicago White Sox key station ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Format rival – Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM – is off three-tenths in three consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 1.7, #22 to #23, 6+). Immediately prior to this, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). For the fourth sweep in a row, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #24 to #25, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – In five straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) and elevates from fifth to third. Albeit anchored at #6, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Off two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the fifth month in succession; WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September, as well. In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (4.6, -.4, 6+) slips from second to fifth. Prior to March, “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. This is the third time in succession that Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” posts a 3.5 (seventh to ninth). It has an eight-tenths lead over Hubbard AC WSHE “100.3 SHE” (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was off by one-half share in April. Approximately one-third into the March ratings period, Merlin Media-owned classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love,” which Educational Media Foundation is operating until the sale is finalized. WCKL eroded by -1.9 in that sweep (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+); disappeared from print in April; but resurfaces in May with a 1.5 (#24). At the same time, similarly-formatted WJKL (using the same “Positive, Encouraging K-Love” branding) plummets from 1.3 to .1 (-1.2, #41, 6+). Gone as well in April was Window to the World’s WFMT, which had been trending 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 (6+) since “Holiday” 2017; however, the classical outlet is back in May with a .9 (#28, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – While #1 for the fifth time in succession, KQED sputters by three-tenths (8.4 – 8.1, 6+). The Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talker was a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+) and had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM nevertheless continues in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Following an April gain of nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Tied at #13 are the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game”- and Cumulus Media news/talker KSFO. “The Game” is without a loss for the ninth time in a row, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, up from #16 in April, 6+). KSFO’s (6+) March – April – May trending is identical to that of KGMZ (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). News/talk sibling KGO is trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23).

San Francisco Music Formats – Licensed to Vacaville, Alpha Media-owned adult contemporary KUIC nearly doubles its 6+-share (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+) as “95.3 Your Hometown Station” checks in at #26. Also in the AC format, iHeartMedia’s KISQ is an overall +.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+) with “98.1 The Breeze” carrying on in third-place. Simultaneously, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “96.5 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” registers a positive spike of one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, fifth to fourth, 6+). By way of a one-tenth uptick to 3.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” applies the brakes to three consecutive losses that accounted for a -1.0 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It is tied with similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is -.8 in four straight (modest) declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Unchanged in fourth-place, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is down two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three increases in a row that netted nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). After each was without an increase the past four ratings periods, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (1.7, #24, 6+) and hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.4, #25, 6+) are up two-tenths and one-tenth, respectively. “Bay FM” was -.6 in that stretch (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), while “Mix” was -.2 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” is +1.2 in April and May (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Over and above that, KTCK vaults from #12 to #6. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Bunched together this month are North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #21 to #18, 6+); Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.6 – 2.4, -.2, #17 to #20); sports talk sibling KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #18 to #21, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” (flat at 2.2 and continuing at #22). KRLD-AM’s -.2 in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Before a +.5 in April, Texas Rangers flagship “The Fan” posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Although flat at 1.1 (6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” progresses from #32 to #30. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #33 to #34, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is flat at .6 (steady at #35, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned KHKS #1 for the fifth straight month, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is an overall +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. In five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6, steady at #3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” is a +.7. Co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” slips by one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, flat at #5, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE was up six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” is off four-tenths in May to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 (February – March – April, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” regresses by one-half share to 3.0 and exits the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Having recorded a 3.9 (6+) in February, March, and April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL adds one-tenth to 4.0 as “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” continues at #7. Co-owned hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” is a collective -.7 in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH rockets from #16 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at 3.6 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF – which was +.6 in January – remains at #15. After recording a .7 (6+) in four ratings periods in a row, iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” nearly doubled it in April to 1.3, but the flagship of the Houston Astros drops one-tenth in May (to 1.2, flat at #22, 6+). Tied at #25 are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (flat at .8, #26 in April, 6+) and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (.7 – .8, +.1, #27 in April, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In five of the last seven reports, Liberman regional Mexican KTJM has notched a 2.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), but “La Raza” busts out a +.7 in May to 2.8 (#20 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing since September 2017’s 2.9. Meanwhile, a gain of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) takes Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” to its best 6+-stat (4.8) since 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Its urban AC sibling KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” improves by two-tenths (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), but iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” gains twice as much (7.0 – 7.4, +.4, 6+), thus breaking April’s #1 tie between the two; “Majic” shifts to #2. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny” segued to second in March. It answered March’s -1.1 with an April +.8 to return to the top spot tied with KMJQ. KODA, which finished second in October and November, was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Majic” was stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, dropping to 6.8 (6+) in March. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ was +1.7 but “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is now -1.1 in April and May (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+), drifting from fourth to ninth. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” surrenders roughly half that gain in May (5.7, -.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). As the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7, #13 to #14, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” tumbles by a cumulative -1.5.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to seven successive sweeps without a decrease (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is +.8 as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #20. On the heels of April’s +.7, Entercom sports talk WZGC surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (3.3 – 2.7, -.6, #14 to #18+); “92.9 The Game” was -1.1 in February. In advance of February’s loss, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). On top for the 30th successive ratings period, WSB-AM is nonetheless -2.7 in three consecutive negative moves (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk facility – which was +1.6 in January – notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WSB-AM. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.5 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE remains at #8. A loss of two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” from the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. Up one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS moves from #29 to #28.

Atlanta Music Formats – Due to three downward trends in succession (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR was a cumulative -1.4, but “Star 94.1 Today’s Hits” wipes out all but three-tenths of that deficit with a +1.1 to 3.6, jumping from #17 to #11 (6+). Three consecutive positive spikes by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WVFJ “The Joy FM” account for a +1.1 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9, #18 to #16, 6+). At the same time, this is the fifth negative move in a row for Salem Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+), which is -4.5 in that stretch (more than a 50% loss). “The Fish” was a combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+). Steady at #2, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” has its fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is this (7.1) WVEE’s best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016), “V-103” now trails frontrunner WSB-AM by just four-tenths of a share. A one-tenth gain by iHeartMedia alternative WRDA “Alt 105.7” (1.6, steady at #22, 6+) halts four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). In five straight positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ was +.5, but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” returns all of that and one-tenth more (4.0, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Flat at #11, Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” is off for the third time in a row for a collective loss of nine tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After generating a +2.0 via five up or flat trends in succession (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), its adult contemporary sibling, WSB-FM “B-98.5,” slips by one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) but remains at #4. Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” also drops one-tenth (to 4.6, 6+), curtailing four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). In a continuation of the theme, Cumulus Media-owned country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” loses one-tenth as well (to 3.5, #12 to #14, 6+), thus pulling the plug on four successive up or flat trends that accounted for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+)

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s FM sports talk format erodes by -1.3 as Entercom’s WIP is -.8 (6.9 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is -.5 (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+). Huge shifts have been common lately for Phillies flagship WIP, including an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); and now -.8 (May). “The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. Public news/talk WHYY sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+) but remains at #9. WHYY chalked up a +1.0 in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Down three-tenths (5.0 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KYW falls from seventh to eighth. The all-news outlet was +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” gains one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #23 to #20, 6+), while Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” loses one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, flat at #21, 6+). WPHT was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March before dropping to 1.5 in April. Meanwhile, WKXW was a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) but lost two-tenths in April.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The winning ways continue for Entercom-owned WXTU, which posts its fifth straight improvement for an overall +2.1 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). The last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). There is a seven-tenths April 2018 – May 2018 surge in the market’s (6+) urban AC share, basically equally split between Radio One’s WRNB “100.3 RNB” (2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is #1 for the third straight month. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline is an ultra-consistent 8.3 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 8.4 (6+). WBEB was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though it is a combined +1.9 in four upticks in succession (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” shifts from second to third; this (7.2) is its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 7.4. As the result of eight consecutive up or flat trends, Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, steady at #24, 6+). An April increase of six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) gave Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM its best 6+-showing since October 2016 (3.4, as well), but “95.7 BEN-FM” stumbles by -.8 in May to 2.6 (#12 to #14, 6+). The dry spell continues for Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station,” which is -.9 is 14 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #26, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a +1.1 in April (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” follows with a +.7 to 4.7, leaping from seventh to third (6+); the New York Yankees’ flagship was -1.1 in February. Meanwhile, the key station of the New York MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – forfeits all of April’s +.6 and two-tenths more (3.1 – 2.3, -.8, #13 to #17). WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), before returning three-tenths in March. Five consecutive upticks by Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (+1.2) more than double its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #17, 6+). Bouncing back from April’s -.5 with a May gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS is once again ahead of co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #14 to #17, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. Without an increase in Long Island for six successive survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WINS was +.4 in March. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #23. Flat at 1.4 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #25 to #26.

Long Island Music Formats – Trending 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+) in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), iHeartMedia New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU breaks out a +.8 to 4.2 (tenth to eighth, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) enables Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 for R&B” to crack the top ten (#12 to #10). While it is #1 for the eighth consecutive time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is -6.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. As a result of dropping eight-tenths (3.7 – 2.9, #9 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” has its lowest 6+-share in Long Island since November 2017 (2.9, as well), while a loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” from the top twenty (#16 to #21). Off one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” dips from third to fourth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 43rd consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” regains the one-tenth it lost in April (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #13, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+). Immediately prior to February, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – May 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” finishes at #17. Part of a four-way pileup at #20 is the former KUBE – iHeartMedia’s KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” – which is flat at .3 (6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Following five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” erases more than half the deficit with a +1.8 to 6.4 (fourth to second, 6+). It now trails Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA by a mere one-tenth. While the market pacesetter for the fifth month in succession, KOLA is -1.9 via three downward trends in succession (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January (2018), KOLA last occupied the #1 slot in January 2016 with a 6.9 (6+). Even though it is an overall +1.3 as the result of four positive spikes in a row (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” falls from the runner-up slot to #3. Unchanged at #12, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is an overall +.5 in three (modest) gains in a row (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+). On the heels of April’s -.5, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB surrenders another six-tenths (3.0 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+) but carries on at #10. “Que Buena 96.1” was +.9 in March and 3.0 in March is its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. This is the fourth straight sweep without an increase for All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” (flat at #14), which is -.5 in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Although down in April and May by a combined -1.9 (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED is #1 for the fifth straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April 2017. One-half share behind KQED is Entercom’s KCBS-AM, which finishes second for the fourth time in a row (6.3 – 6.4, +.1, 6+). The all-news operation was -.8 in February and up one-half share in April. After posting a +1.6 in April, Cumulus Media sports talk and San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by three-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+). In April, KNBR reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Cumulus Media-owned news/talk KSFO is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). On the other hand, cluster-mate KGO is down for the third time in a row for a -1.1 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” remains at #29. Frozen on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, the key station of the Oakland A’s gained two-tenths in February but dropped one-tenth in March and April.

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the San Jose report makes a larger (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase than Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” nearly triples April’s .6 to 1.7 (+1.1) and finishes at #26. Replicating April’s +.8 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” surges from fifth to third. Gaining eight-tenths as well in May are Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (4.4 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” (2.3, #16, 6+), which was down four-tenths in three (slight) decreases in a row (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in four straight decreases (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned hot KEZR recaptures one-half share to 4.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM “Radio Lazer 93.7” falters by eight-tenths, roughly cutting its 6+-share in half (1.5 – .8, #30, 6+). A combined +2.6 in six successive up or flat sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders one-half share to 5.3 and carries on in third-place. Forfeiting one-half share as well in May is iHeartMedia-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #15, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility and New York Yankees flagship is an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Trending 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+), all-news sibling WINS breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#25 to #24, 6+). Off nine-tenths in April, co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM drops another two-tenths to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), WCBS-AM answered with a +.7 in March. It is tied at #22 with iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.8, -.5, #18 in April, 6+). The New York Mets flagship had been without a loss the past four Middlesex sweeps for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+). After being on top in each of the previous four ratings periods, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and segues to #2. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. The five latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 (#24 to #25); WABC was +.4 in January. Down three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM falls from #16 to #19. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), the public news/talker was a cumulative +1.2 but was -.8 in March.

Middlesex Music Formats – Not only does this represent the third successive Middlesex-Somerset-Union uptick for Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH for a +1.8 (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+), “94.7 Nash FM” enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Moreover, 4.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for WNSH in this New Jersey market since June 2016 (4.0, as well). A gain of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ from seventh to fifth; this (4.9) is the best 6+-stat for “Q-104.3” – New York’s Classic Rock” since 5.3 in November 2017. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (2.9 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.1 – 2.6, #20 to #15, 6+). After trending 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+), “Mega 97.9” regressed by one-half share in April. When WPLJ picked up two-tenths in April, it ended five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.2 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -5.3 as the result of five straight down or flat trends (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” advances from second to first. Returning in its entirety the one-half share gained in April (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WBMP “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” drops from #12 to #15; April’s 3.4 is the best 6+-share for WBMP since June 2017 when it was a mainstream CHR (“Amp”).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

| April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity Revealed in Court as Michael Cohen Client; Hannity Explains Relationship with Embattled Attorney.  The first thing FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality Sean Hannity addressed on his programs on Monday was the New York court revelation that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen – under investigation by the FBI for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations – describes Hannity as one of his three clients.  Hannity said on his radio show, “Michael never represented me in any matter.  I never retained him in the traditional sense…I never received an invoice from Michael.  I never paid legal fees to Michael but, I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.  And I assume that those questions were attorney-client confidential…not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever, ever involved a matter between me and any third party.”  Cohen’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to keep the name of Cohen’s third client under seal because he might be “embarrassed” by the connection.  Judge Wood agreed with a lawyer representing several media outlets who said “embarrassment” was not enough to keep that information sealed.  At the end of the session Judge Wood ruled the prosecutor’s office will – without reading the documents seized from Cohen – put them all on a searchable database and share them with lawyers for Cohen and Trump.

WTVN, Columbus Names Woody Johnson Afternoon Host. In Columbus, iHeartMedia names Woody Johnson afternoon drive host at news/talk WTVN.  Johnson is the host of the “Woody and Company” in morning drive at the cluster’s country WCOL.  Now, he’ll add the afternoon show on WTVN, taking over for the late John Corby, who died unexpectedly at age 61 back in January.

WYAY, Atlanta ‘Talk 106.7’ Re-Vamps Daily Lineup. Atlanta news/talk WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” makes lineup changes, most notably announcing new morning host Shelley Wynter and moving midday Atlanta talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson into the afternoon drive daypart. Wynter is a former, longtime WAOK, Atlanta personality.  Shannon Burke remains in the late morning daypart. Mike Brooks is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host, followed by The Kimmer. The Cumulus Media station is also airing Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro “podcast” in the 5:00 am to 6:00 am slot.  Brian Joyce had been hosting both afternoons at WYAY-FM and middays at the company’s WGOW-FM, Chattanooga. He continues his WGOW show.

WOR, New York Morning Show Celebrates 2018 Mets Season. Pictured above in the radio booth at Citi Field is WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program celebrating the beginning of the 2018 New York Mets season.  WOR is the flagship station for Mets radio play-by-play.  From left to right are: Mets studio engineer Mark Weiner, Berman and Riedel show executive producer Natalie Vacca, Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo, Michael Riedel and Len Berman.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Parents.  Radio talk host and digital publisher Alex Jones is being sued by three parents of children who died in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.  The New York Times reports that Houston attorney Mark Bankston is handling the case for the three parents.  Jones is being sued for defamation for pushing the theory that the parents are actors in a scheme to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.  The suits have been filed by Leonard Pozner, his former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and Neil Heslin.  The parents claim that since Jones began presenting his narrative, they’ve been attacked and threatened by Jones’ supporters.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new Internet talk program from Think Realty is launching on Wall Street Radio featuring Think Realty coach and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar.  The program airs from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily and features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals, covering topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending.….Global Radio, LLC is selling ethnic WNWR-AM, Philadelphia to Aztec Capital Partners, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.  Aztec Capital Partners, Inc., is a Philadelphia-based corporation owned by Ken Trujillo and managed by Art Camiolo. Aztec also owns WHAT-AM and FM translator W260CZ in Philadelphia.

Rich Shertenlieb’s Wife Mary Runs Boston Marathon Five Years After Leukemia Diagnosis.  Five years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Shertenlieb  (pictured here with husband Rich), the wife of WBZ-FM, Boston morning personality Rich Shertenlieb, ran the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise more than $33,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  But it wasn’t easy.  After 15.5 miles, Mary began to shiver uncontrollably due to her compromised immune system and she followed her doctors’ orders to stop.  But, she didn’t quit – she paused.  With husband Rich by her side, Mary continued and finished the 26.2 mile run just after midnight.  See the pics and complete story here.

2018 Radio Gracie Award Winners Announced.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation says that in “an already incredible and historic year for women, the AWMF continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for, and about women in radio, television, and interactive media by announcing winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where national radio will be recognized, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York, New York with local and student winners being acknowledged.  Some of the winners being recognized this year include: Shirley Strawberry of “The Steve Harvey Show” syndicated by Premiere Networks; Jayde Donovan of “Todd and Jayde in the Morning” on WPLJ, New York; Nina Hajian of “Shoboy In The Morning” on WBMP, New York, Cooper Lawrence of “The Cooper Lawrence Show” on WBLI, New York; Whitney Allen of “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” on Westwood One/Oh I Gotta; April Ryan of “On the Record” on American Urban Radio Networks; and Hoda Kotb of “The Hoda Show” on SiriusXM.  Outstanding programming from groups including Beasley Media Group, Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, Hubbard RadioEntercom, Westwood One, NPR and students including Fordham University and Hofstra University will also be honored.  AWMF chair (and Katz Radio Group president) Christine Travaglini says, “In an historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of and behind the microphone, the Gracie Awards arrive at an important time to celebrate the storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  And as we enter our 43rd year, we at AWM, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to help usher in a new era by honoring and celebrating outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”  Local and student award winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.  The work of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is significant in supporting educational programs, charitable activities and scholarships that benefit women in media and the public.

Beasley Fort Myers Assists Habitat for Humanity.  In the photo above, 30 staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers offices pose for a photo as the site of a Habitat for Humanity home site in Collier County.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “I am so very proud of our outstanding Fort Myers and corporate employees for doing their Beasley Best to help Habitat for Humanity.  This is what radio is all about…serving as a lifeline to help our local community.”

Trump-Cohen Legal Battles, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Issue, Comey Book, Philly Starbucks Arrests Case, U.S. Syria Policy, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). The legal battle between Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the courts, including the revelation that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is a client; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump walks back threats of new Russia sanctions promised by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; former FBI director James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC-TV; the blowback from the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks; U.S. military policy in Syria; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Tony Lorino and Entercom go their separate ways after two-and-a-half years of Lorino as program director of hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.” Lorino came to Atlanta from Entercom’s KZPT, Kansas City…..WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head morning show “Tim Leary and The Morning Showgram” are heading to Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle to assume morning duties there.  WUBB is hosting a good-bye party on April 27 for Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen “Red” Daiss and will introduce the new “Hunter and Leslie in the Morning” program…..Non-commercial alternative outlet KEXP, Seattle is celebrating a windfall from an anonymous donor to the tune of almost $10 million. The Friends of KEXP-owned station knows only that the donor’s first name was Suzanne.  She was an anonymous donor during her lifetime and now that she’s passed, the bequest is also being kept anonymous. The station says that the money is going into an endowment that will be directed by the station’s board.

Round One of March 2018 PPM Data Released. Information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2018 survey period covered March 1 – 28. 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.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.8 (6+) the last three sweeps, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM busts out a half-share increase to 3.3 (6+) to advance from #13 to #11. Moreover, this is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Despite being up two-tenths to 6.2 (6+), co-owned/similarly formatted WINS drops from a second-place tie to third and ends an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a +.1 to 1.9 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” pulls the plug on five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Without an increase four straight ratings periods for a -.4 as well (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regained half that loss in February with a +.2. In March, it’s flat at 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23, where it’s tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” whose last 11 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is flat at 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is unchanged at .7 (#26 to #27, 6+). Following five sweeps in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” picks up four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #13, 6+). Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” remains at #22. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” rebounds in March with a +.4 to 8.4 (6+). It remains on top for the eighth time in a row. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in three successive increases (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for WCBS-FM since July 2017’s 6.6. Off three-tenths to 4.8 (flat at #5 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” ends three consecutive up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.2 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining half the six-tenths it lost in February (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” progresses from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) the past six sweeps, slips one-tenth to .9 (#28 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #31 to #29, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .5 (6+) as it remains at #37. Steady at #10, Entercom all-news outlet KNX “1070 News Radio” returns the one-tenth it grabbed this time last month (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” drops three-tenths to 2.7 (6+), segueing from #11 to #14. With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline 6+-trending of 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, KSPN “710 ESPN” falls from #28 to #30, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” adds one-tenth to .5, advancing from #40 to #37.

Los Angeles Music Formats – After having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST not only bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+), “Coast 103.5” marches from second to first. It succeeds hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” off four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), which is where it was in “Holiday” 2017. Before gaining six-tenths in January, “My-FM” was an overall -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While it remains in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (5.0, -.2, 6+) has it successive string of up or flat trends – which yielded a +.8 – snapped at four (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). In February, “K-Earth” crossed the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” climbs from #13 to #12. This marks the 29th time in succession that Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), but it sputters by one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). In addition, “Go Country 105” drops out of the top twenty (#15 to #22).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom all-news WBBM-AM drops two-tenths to 5.1 (6+) but remains at #2; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+) – its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well) – Tribune Media news/talk WGN is a collective -1.1 in February and March and departs the top twenty (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2, #13 to #21, 6+). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. It is now just two-tenths ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which registers its seventh straight up or flat ratings period and is +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, #23 to #22, 6+). Even though it’s down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” manages to move from #21 to #20. “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Format rival – ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” – is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 (#25 to #23, 6+). In addition to ending six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ (2.5, +.3, 6+) returns to the top twenty (#22 to #18).

Chicago Music Formats – In its third straight up or flat trend (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 eighth to fifth, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7 and has its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (4.2, as well). Right behind “The Drive” at #7 – rocketing from #15 in February – and improving by nine-tenths as well is Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99, Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.0 – 3.9, 6+). Steady at #4, sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” gains one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), as does Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1,” which is +.9 in three increases in a row (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 steady at #5, 6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “104.3 Jams” was -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Although on top for the third month in succession, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” regresses by one-half share (6.6 – 6.1, 6+); WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September. Ultra-familiar “Windy City” call letters and branding that endured for approximately 40 years were scrubbed about one-third into the March ratings period as classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love.” Until the sale is finalized, Educational Media Foundation is operating the Merlin Media-owned station which nosedives by -1.9 (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is KQED a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+), the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk station is #1 for the third time in succession. It had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM has relinquished all of that in February and March (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Flat at #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO regains the one-tenth it dropped in February (2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight decreases, news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.3 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). This streak follows four straight gains that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is trending 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 (6+) and falls from the top ten (#10 to #11), while Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row, more than doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, #18 to #17, 6+); this is its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – In four straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” has picked up seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, sixth to fifth, 6+). Recapturing 75% of February’s -.8 with a +.6 (2.8 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC jumps from #19 to #14; February’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well). On the heels of February’s loss of four-tenths, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” falters by another half-share, slipping from fourth to eighth (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it loses two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus snapping at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM inches up from #16 #15. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. After posting three straight up or flat trends for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” sputters by four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), exiting the top twenty (#20 to #21). Also in the news/talk format, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA, which was up by one-tenth in January and February, (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is flat at 2.4 (6+), yet climbs from #20 to #17; Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” loses three-tenths (1.2 – .9, #30 to #33, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is off two-tenths  (.7 – .5, flat at #35, 6+). Sputtering by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), sports talk sibling KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” slips from #12 to #14. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Down as well in March is Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” which is -1.2 in five straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, unchanged at #22, 6+). A collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS faltered by three-tenths in February; however, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” posts a March gain twice the size of February’s -.3 (5.4 – 6.0, +.6, 6+) and is #1 for the third straight month. Moreover, 6.0 is its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (6.0, March 2017). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. It was tied for the lead in February with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which forfeits the two-tenths it gained in February and shifts to #2 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+); February’s 5.4 was the best 6+-stat for “Lone Star 92.5” since July 2017 (5.4, as well). Down an overall seven-tenths in January and February (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” records a one-half share increase in March (3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.0 – 4.4, +.4, sixth to fourth, 6+) overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom siblings KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” (2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+) and regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) are each off by one-half share.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from February’s -.2 with a +.4 (3.6 – 4.0, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF jumps from #15 to a four-way tie at #10. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is off one-tenth (3.5 – 3.4, #16 to #17, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). It is a complete mixed bag for the market’s three sports talk signals, as Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.9 – .8 – .9, #24 to #23, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” is flat, recording a .7 for the fourth time in a row (#25 to #26, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #27 to #28, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Boasting a March +1.1 (4.9 – 6.0, 6+), following a full-share gain in January, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” progresses from sixth to third. It’s a rollercoaster ride for Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.0 in January; -.9 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). January’s 5.1 was the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Tied with “The Spot” at #5 (up from #8 in February) is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which gains six-tenths to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.8. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7. Even though it’s down two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” progresses from second to first. It displaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which had been #1 the past four sweeps but shifts to second (7.3 – 6.2, -.9, 6+). “Sunny” – which finished second in October and November – was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” erodes by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 28th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM has now surrendered all of January’s +1.6 plus two tenths more (-1.8) in February and March (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, but this (8.4) is its lowest 6+-share since 7.9 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY records a 1.8 (6+) as “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” drops from a four-way logjam at #18 to #19. Repeating at .1 (#32, 6+) are Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” while Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community” loses the one-tenth it registered in February (.1 – .0, 6+). With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE dips from seventh to eighth, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS, which had been +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is off by three-tenths to .7 (#25 to #26, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” spiraled by -1.1 in February to 2.6 and it repeats that 6+-share and #17 market rank. As the result of five successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up one-half share and trails “The Game” by nine-tenths.

Atlanta Music Formats – Simultaneous with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM notching an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+) – the first time “B-98.5” reaches the five-share level since February 2017’s 5.3 – its internet “stream,” which logged a .5 (6+) in February, disappears from print. In three straight gains, Radio One urban AC WAMJ is an overall +1.2 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.4, steady at #5, 6+); “Majic” had been within 4.1 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 17 sweeps. Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in January and February following a 6.5 in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” dials up a one-half gain to 6.3 (6+), shifting from second to third. A collective +.7 in January and February, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that gain in its entirety (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.2 in January, February, and March (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – After improving by one full-share in January and then dropping one-tenth in February, Entercom all-news KYW answers with a +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015). Having bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, sports talk cluster-mate WIP suffers a -2.9, the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. The massive drop (8.7 – 5.8, 6+) sends WIP – which was -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+) – from first to fifth. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off six-tenths in February and March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). Steady at #9, public news/talk WHYY reclaims the three-tenths it squandered in February (4.2 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). WHYY improved by one full-share in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. The four most recent (6+) trends for Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (#18 to #19) are 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9. Since appearing in print in October 2017, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Flat at 8.4 (6+) is good enough for WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” to progress from second to first. The Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary property was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Basically flat the past three sweeps (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18), its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in August 2017. On the heels of February’s full-share increase (5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” tacks on another six-tenths to 6.9 (6+), advancing from fourth to second; this is its best 6+-stat since September’s 7.4. Ups/downs continue for Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK,” which was -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+); and is now -.6 in March (6.7, flat at #3, 6+). February marked the first time since September 2017’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reached the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After being up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” registers a one-half share gain to 1.8 (6+) and remains at #24. Even though it’s flat at 2.9 (6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” – which was 1.1 in February – slumps from #11 to #14. Without an increase in Long Island the past six survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), all-news cluster-mate WINS is +.4 to 3.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM recaptures the four-tenths it dropped in February (3.0 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+) as it advances from #16 to #12. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). An overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #16, 6+). Despite being without a loss for the third straight Long Island report for a +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC backslides from #25 to #26. Up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM inches up from #23 to #22.

Long Island Music Formats – There is a tie for the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase by any station in these 12 PPM-markets and both stations are in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island). Specifically, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.0, seventh to second, 6+) and Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” (tenth to fifth) each log gains of +1.2. The 5.0 is the highest 6+-share for WBAB since November 2017’s 5.5, while “K-98.3” is +2.0 via three consecutive increases (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 4.3, 6+). Disappearing from print is WBAB’s internet “stream,” which notched a 1.0 (6+) in February. An overall -5.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+), WKJY’s hot AC sibling – WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” – is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive time. “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. Immediately after the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share increased by +1.9 in February, it shrinks by -2.2 in March. Surrendering February’s entire +1.4 (and three-tenths more), Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (5.4 – 3.7, -1.7, 6+) tumbles from second to eighth, while iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” returns in full February’s half-share increase (4.7 – 5.2 – 4.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). January’s +.6 by WBLI ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to February’s +.5, “Z-100” was down the previous four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Forfeiting February’s +.7 (2.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drifts from #14 to #19. Its January +.6 halted at four a consecutive string of negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are co-owned hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.5 – 1.9, #19 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” (4.6 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptured nine-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.9, 6+) but relinquishes one-half share in March to 4.4 (6+). Even so, it manages to climb from fourth to third. In five straight sweeps without a loss, Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK was +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips by three-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #17, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 41st consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is flat at 2.6 (6+), bumping up from #16 to #15.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row that netted four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is now off by a cumulative six-tenths in February and March (1.3 – .9 – .7, flat at #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – March 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” carries on at #17.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of an uptick of nine-tenths (2.1 – 3.0, ninth to seventh, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” has its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. Similarly-formatted/Lazer Broadcasting-owned KXSB “Radio Lazer,” which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+) before disappearing from print in February resurfaces with a .6 (#16, 6+). A one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) enables Entercom’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” to leap from fourth to second. After racking up a cumulative +2.9 in January and February (5.5 – 7.3 – 8.4, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA coughs up a -1.3 in March to 7.1 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in succession. January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths each are Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (second to third); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.3 – 3.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); and Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” (1.1 – .3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is KLYY’s fourth sweep in succession without an increase for an overall -2.6 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). KGGI was up seven-tenths in February following a -.5 in January; February’s 4.3 was its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. Unlisted from July 2017 through November 2017, KAEH was .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 from December 2017 to February 2018. Dipping by one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” segues from third to fourth.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Gaining three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – is #1 for the third straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April. It has a three-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is flat at 5.8 (6+), after floundering by -.8 in February (6.6 – 5.8, 6+). A combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO returns two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), is flat at 1.9 and slips from a five-way logjam at #20 to #23. Trending 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” climbs from #13 to #12. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January, loses four-tenths in February and March (.9 – .6 – .5, flat at #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gained two-tenths in February but drops one-tenth in March (1.2 – 1.1, unchanged at #29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – A combined +2.6 in six successive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” proceeds from fourth to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, #19 to #17, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” elevates to its strongest 6+-share in San Jose since May 2017 (2.6, as well). Off six-tenths (5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay-FM, The Bay’s Greatest Hits” slides from third to fourth. Declining by one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” (4.5 – 4.0, sixth to seventh, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #18, 6+). “Hot Country” was up seven-tenths in February.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM answers with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #18 to #14. All-news sibling WINS, which had logged three straight gains for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), is off by two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.0 – 8.1, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Without a loss for the third straight time for a net gain of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR progresses from #22 to #20. The three latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#23 to #24); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM was a cumulative +1.2 but the public news/talker gives back two-thirds of that bounty (2.6, -.8, 6+) to freefall from #10 to #17. Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility picks up one-tenth in March to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was an overall +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Its format competitor – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Entering the February survey period, WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” was within three-share range (6+) in 14 consecutive sweeps but “94.7 Nash FM” spiraled by nine-tenths to 2.2. In March, the Cumulus Media country outlet recoups two-thirds of that loss (2.6, +.6, 6+) and shifts from #18 to #16. As a result of recapturing the one-half share it lost in February (4.4 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to sixth. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). Extending its successive string of up or flat moves in Middlesex-Somerset-Union to five for an overall +1.5 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” continues in fifth-place. After logging a one-half share increase in February (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” falters by seven-tenths to 5.6 but is steady at #3. WBLS lost one-half share in January. In four straight up or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ was a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), but “Z-100” surrenders half that increase (4.2, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). In addition to WBLS and WHTZ, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” drops seven-tenths as well (#15 to #20, 6+) and is an overall -1.2 in five straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). While unchanged at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), thus curtailing three positive or flat trends in succession that netted seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+).

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB 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. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; 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.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Chats On Air with iHM CEO Bob Pittman.  During a visit to the Houston offices of iHeartMedia, company CEO Bob Pittman took a few minutes to sit in on the Michael Berry show based at flagship station KTRH, Houston.  He talked with Berry about his belief in the audio experience.  “I’m bullish on audio…depends on how you count it, we’re probably the number two podcaster in the U.S., behind NPR.  Podcasting has shown that, oh my gosh, people actually want to listen to people go in depth.  Certainly, radio has this enormous listenership…but we’re adding these pieces to it to make this even better and we’re doing this because the audience wants it.”  He also expressed his belief that smart speakers – such as Google’s Alexa – are the new clock/radio for the consumer’s home, citing their growth in popularity and ease of use.  Check out the segment here.

PodcastOne Series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” Rebranding with Expanded Scope.  Beginning this week, in marking its third anniversary, the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” will transition to a new name and incorporate a wider scope of guests and topics.  Under the new title, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the program will be less targeted to the talk media and radio industries and more aimed at a worldwide general audience consisting of what its host,TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, describes as “media freaks,pop culture aficionados, political junkies and the philosophically curious.”  Although the newly positioned podcast will still include guests from the talk media field, it will also delve deeper into politics, science, the arts, technology, sociology, sports and philosophy.  As far as the weekly audio interviews with talk media figures that “Up Close and Far Out” has encompassed are concerned, Harrison will continue to conduct them and post them on Talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “Nothing will change in that regard.  We have been very successful with the Talkers interviews and will continue to do them.  I will basically be doing an extra podcast each week with this expanded vehicle.”   In announcing the expansion of the PodcastOne series, company founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “I met Michael Harrison decades ago in Los Angeles when he was managing editor of Radio & Records.  He also was a leading major market music and talk personality on KMET and syndicated nationally as a star performer on several of the top networks including Westwood One.  He had an amazing range and skill set as a broadcaster.  He voluntarily gave that up as the years passed to concentrate on his role as a trade magazine publisher and industry thought-leader.  In time, most folks in the business forgot that he was one of the best interviewers and all around broadcasters in radio.  I’m pleased to say that his performance on ‘Up Close and Far Out’ these past three years caused many people in the industry to take notice of his outstanding talent as an interviewer beyond just the topic of radio.  It has led to a number of stand-out, major market fill-in appearances and now, this new podcast.  I’m delighted to roll out one of the best kept secrets in the radio business – Michael Harrison as a world class talk show host.”  To listen to the debut installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” featuring a deep-dive conversation with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, please click here.

Judge Shoots Down Request by Nielsen and Bubba Attorneys to Use Electronic Devices in Pre-Trial Conference.  When the pre-trial conference gets underway on Friday (2/9) at 11:30 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the lawyers for both sides in the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge case will be without their laptops, iPads and smartphones.  Lawyers for both parties filed a Joint Motion to Permit Use of Electronic Equipment, but were denied.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for $1 million for damages related to the ratings manipulation case in the Tampa market.  Bubba is countersuing.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a programming change at Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG, Atlanta “680 and 93.7 The Fan” as the morning drive and late morning shows flip-flop.  “The Front Row” with Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden, and Brian Finneran moves to the morning drive slot and the Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino show moves from mornings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The rest of the program schedule stays as is…..Another high-profile departure from NPR happens amidst allegations of sexual impropriety.  This time, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Zwerdling exits the organization, according to a report in The Current.  The story says that all NPR would confirm is that Zwerdling is no longer on the staff.  Zwerdling himself states that allegations of sexual harassment are untrue and that he retired from NPR in January.  But, the story notes that “at least two NPR staffers reported Zwerdling to human resources in November.”  It also reports that subsequent allegations go back to the mid-1990s.  Zwerdling is quoted saying, “The allegations are not true.  When the movement started sweeping across the nation recently to expose sexual harassers and predators, I applauded it.  I still do.  The current national reckoning regarding sexual harassment is a momentous opportunity for America to make itself a better, safer and more equitable country.  Yet as many have already observed, there are also perhaps predictable and troubling collateral casualties along the way. The allegations against me are one of those instances.”

Former WFNI-AM/WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Staffer Loses Harassment Case Against Emmis.  The complaint against Emmis by former WFNI and WIBC, Indianapolis digital brand manager Kristine Esser Slentz was dismissed after Emmis sought a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgement and was granted those motions.  The court also sustained Emmis’ objections to Slentz’s evidence as hearsay.  In her complaint, Slentz said that two show producers with whom she interacted in the course of her job, called her a “bitch” behind her back and criticized her work, among other actions she says created a hostile work environment.  But the court granted Emmis’ motions due to its agreement that any name-calling was hearsay – never heard by Slentz herself, and that the actions alleged on the part of the two producers, if true, did not cross the thresholds necessary for a hostile work environment claim.

Nominees Being Accepted for National Radio Hall of Fame. March 30 is the deadline for nominations for the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction that will take place in New York City in November.  The NRHOF nominating committee wants you to know you should make suggestions for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary in New York City.  As we prepare for the special evening, it’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of it, starting with suggestions for our 2018 nominees.”

RAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017.  This data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates study called, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues.”  This is the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report that analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.  Among the findings: 1) 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together; 2) digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year; 3) digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million.  The forecast for 2018 is even higher; and 4) radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank social media and radio as the top two methods to achieve those goals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off.  As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”  RAB members can get the full report here.

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; 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. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  The Holiday survey is usually a bonanza for adult contemporary outlets since Christmas music is such a part of their programming and the fluctuations in 6+ numbers from the December survey to the Holiday survey bear that out as “eight of 10 adult contemporary facilities noted here (80%) are up December 2017 – Holiday 2017, while 18% are down; the remaining 2% are steady.”  Looking at a comparison of Holiday 2016 to Holiday 2017, “approximately the same number of adult contemporary stations on this sample decline year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while the remaining 5% are flat.”  An amazing 38 AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to this sweep, WHUR was anchored in third-place for each of the last 12 ratings periods. Entering the November ratings period, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three monthlies for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). As for WMMJ, it is up or flat for the fourth month in succession for a collective gain of +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Aforementioned American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is now a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. A one-half share gain in December by WLZL (1.6 – 2.1, 6+) elevated the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016), but “El Zol 107.9” returns all of that gain and one-tenth more (1.5, -.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WWDC “DC 101 – DC’s Alternative Rock Station” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #16, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.3, January 2016). In eleven straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS is a combined -.8, as “93.3 Today’s New Country” drops from #21 to #22.

2) Boston – Tacking on a +4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 to December’s +3.5 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1. Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but “The Sports Hub” surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December. The flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots bounces back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+), progressing from fourth to third. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Its “stream” disappears in “Holiday” 2017, following a .6 (6+) in December. Falling by six-tenths as well as the WBZ-FM stream is Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 for R&B” (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #18, 6+). Beantown’s (6+) CHR share erodes by -1.4, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, flat at #2, 6+) and Entercom-owned WODS “Amp Radio 103.3” (2.6, -.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). “Amp” had been a collective +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). This represents the sixth downward move in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WZLX, accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+), with “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dipping below a four-share (6+) for the first time since January 2017 (3.4, as well). A collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), WBUR drops from sixth to seventh. In November, the Boston University-owned news/talker 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+). After three positive spikes in a row produced a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” surrenders roughly half that total (2.5, -.6, 6+) but carries on at #14. As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (formerly CBS Radio’s WBMX) is off by one full-share (#11 to #12). Entercom transferred the WBMX calls to Chicago on the station formerly known as WJMK. After four successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB stumbles by two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), yet improves from #18 to #16. In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which has its fifth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) for an overall -.8. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+) and improves from eighth to sixth. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – This Florida market’s top three finishers in “Holiday” 2017 are separated by four-tenths of a share. The December 2017 difference between the same three outlets (now in a different order) was just two-tenths. Two adult contemporary outlets are included in that trio: Entercom-owned WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (third to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.7, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Lite” is a collective +1.3 in four successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance since 7.0 in November 2016. It displaces “Easy 93.1,” which had registered a +.2 in each of the last three sweeps (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progressed from second to first in December. The third member of that trio is WFEZ urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105,” which is -1.5 in three dips in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before “Easy” succeeded it in December. An overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” gains three-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and is steady at #15. Up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #21, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD ends at six a string of down or flat trends for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four positive spikes in succession for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” erodes by one full-share to 5.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Locked on 4.0 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) and carries on at #8. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). 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. The May through “Holiday” 2017 (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 (flat at #17).

4) Detroit – By registering its fifth straight increase (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” has improved by nearly ten full-shares (6+) and is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved one year ago (13.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). After notching three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. A gain of six-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” applies the brakes to three straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (fifth to seventh) is a collective -2.2. It is a rough sweep for the market’s two CHRs as iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” is -.6 (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). “Channel 95.5” was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December. The -.6 by “Amp” curtails three up or flat trends in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to sixth, 6+); Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (#11 to #12, 6+), which is a collective -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 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. Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is without an increase for the eighth consecutive sweep and is -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picks up two-tenths (2.0, flat at #19, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – Adding a +3.7 to December’s +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1 – 11.8, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Stymied at 3.4 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” rolls out a +2.3 to 5.7 (6+). Not only does “Star” reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, it leapfrogs from a three-way tie at #12 all the way to a tie at #3. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 3.9 (October – November – December, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” dials up a +.7 to 4.6 – its highest 6+-share since July’s 5.0 – and advances from seventh to sixth. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which shifts from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia, picks up three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. Up until December 4, Hubbard’s KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it flipped to “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country.” Without an increase for the fifth month in a row (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), KVRQ has eroded by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23). Forfeiting in full December’s one-half share increase, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) drifts from #12 to #15. Prior to December’s +.5, “The Wolf” was -.4 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). 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” drops out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Although it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (1.3 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW remains at #22. Seattle’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, and was -.7 in November. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW (6.4, steady at #2, 6+), which closes 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+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 fourth to fifth, 6+), and Aloha Station Trust contemporary Christian KTDD “Positive Hit Music” (.7 – .2, #30, 6+). Without a decrease in the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#21, 6+). Following five straight up or flat monthlies that nearly tripled its 6+-share (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” drops three-tenths to 1.0 (6+, #24 to #23). Conversely, after three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” adds two-tenths to 2.8 (#19 to #17, 6+).

6) Phoenix – While its “Holiday” 2017 gain (+4.3) is not as lofty as December’s +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.2 – 12.1 – 16.4, 6+) repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016.  Not only that, KESZ has a nearly three-to-one advantage over the runner-up, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -2.4 as the result of its fifth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). KSLX – which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8 – exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Up an overall nine-tenths in four successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” carries on at #19. A combined -1.2 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drifts from sixth to tenth; 3.3 is its lowest 6+-share since February (3.3, as well). With identical 3.8 – 3.2 (-.6, #8 to #11, 6+) topline profiles are Entercom’s KALV “Live 101.5” and Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; and now -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). While very consistent April through July (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); lost three-tenths in November; and has sputtered by an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). It exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

7) Minneapolis – Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary station ranks first in 11 of the 12 markets featured here. The exception is the Twin Cities, which – by the way – is the only PPM-market which does not have a mainstream AC. Powered by a +5.2 following December’s +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0 – 14.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -2.9 as the result of six straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is bumped from the top ten (#9 to #12). Furthermore, it is overtaken by Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which gains four-tenths to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.8 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share evaporates by -1.8, split between “Kool 108” cluster-mate KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (-1.1, #12 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (-.7, third to fifth, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” is now a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, “Cities 97” continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+). Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD3 channel improves by one-half share (.7 – 1.2, 6+), cracking the top twenty at #18. Down seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, reprises at #2; it finished first in October and November. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). The third part of the iHeartMedia #1/#2/#3 finish (in addition to KQQL and KFXN) is CHR KDWB, which is a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK posted a +.9 in December to 5.5 (6+), but “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” squanders roughly half of that increase (5.0, -.5, 6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

8) San Diego – Over and above posting its fourth straight uptick for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first, exceeding (by four-tenths) its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though KPBS gains three-tenths (6.0 – 6.3, 6+), the San Diego State University-owned news/talker segues from first to second. A December gain of four-tenths 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 calendar year 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS was on top. Three straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” net a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By rolling out a full-share gain (4.1 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” jumps from ninth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 5.2. With similar call letters, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” improves by six-tenths to 3.0, #18 to #13, 6+, curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). In three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO has eroded by three full-shares, drifting from fourth to seventh. 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. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” follows in December and “Holiday” 2017 with an overall -1.9 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14; November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat for four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” returns seven-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#15 to #21). A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Slipping by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMYI “Star 94.1” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -1.0 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). As the result of three improvements in succession, XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, 6+), but the Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet drops two-tenths to 3.5 (6+); nonetheless, it climbs from #12 to #11.

9) Denver – After hanging out a December +1.8, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” follows with a +3.7 (7.8 – 11.5, 6+) as the Bonneville adult contemporary property is #1 for the third month in a row. This (11.5) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Trending 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.6 (October – November – December, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” posts a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.2 (#18 to #14, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” registers a gain of one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#13 to #8). Its classic hits-oldies sibling KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In three straight down or flat sweeps, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). This is the fourth straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” (third to fifth) for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). An overall +.9 in November and December (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+), cluster-mate KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” coughs up eight-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #21). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was up six-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.6 (6+), exiting the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville country outlet KYGO, which is down or flat for the eighth month in a row for a collective -1.4 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, flat at #2, 6+), and Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.2 – 3.7, #8 to #11, 6+). After six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW slips by one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), yet inches up from #20 to #19.

10) Tampa – It is a bit of a mixed bag for the market’s adult contemporary outlets. On the plus side, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” tacks on a +1.6 to December’s +1.2 and has more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+). Moreover, it rockets from #18 to a three-way tie at #9. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 is now its best-ever 6+-stat. At the same time, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” hangs out a +1.5 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+) and is the market’s pacesetter for the 64th successive ratings period. In “Holiday” 2016, “Lite Favorites” had a 12.7 (6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). On the flipside though in the AC format, WDUV cluster-mate WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one full-share (4.9 – 3.9, 6+), fading from #5 to #12. Bouncing back from December’s -.6, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is up nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+). “The Joy FM” was +.6 in November, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 is the highest 6+-share for WCIE since July (5.1, as well). Following three straight gains (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” returns more than half of that cumulative +2.2 with a -1.3 to 4.7 (third to sixth, 6+). Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 was its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Advancing from fifth to third, its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+). As a result, it curtails three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Posting a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is off six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Without an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” drops from #16 to #18.

11) Baltimore – Easily scoring top honors for the most robust (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WLIF “Today’s 101.9” with an eye-popping +6.6 (9.7 – 16.3, repeating at #1, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Entercom adult contemporary facility, which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. One year ago at this time, “Today’s 101.9” registered a 15.3 (6+, “Holiday” 2016). Occupying the top spot for four months in succession, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” segued to #2 in December and continues there in “Holiday” 2017. Furthermore, it is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in a row for a combined +2.4 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4, 6+). In the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far, “Magic” is the only station at #2 that achieves double-digits (6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase 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+). Applying the brakes to three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” improves by two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), progressing from ninth to sixth. Within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WPOC was below a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (4.7). After sputtering by six-tenths in December (5.2 – 4.6, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” falters by twice that margin to 3.4 (-1.2, 6+) and spirals from fifth to tenth. In a similar vein, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” was -.7 in December and follows with a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, #9 to #12, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+); independent WCBM “680 – Stimulating News Talk,” which had been +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), but is back at 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+); and iHeartMedia gospel WCAO “Heaven 600” (1.0 -.4, #16 to #21, 6+). While it remains at #15, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” forfeits roughly half of December’s +.9 (1.6 – 1.1, -.5, 6+); December’s 1.6 is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s. The ten most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+). Most recently, that topline includes five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Not only is KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” up six full-shares via three successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary leaps from fourth to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It succeeds iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which – despite rebounding from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 (7.3 – 9.5, 6+) – segues to #2. 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+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. The wild ride truly continues for WARH “106.5 The Arch.” The Hubbard adult hits outlet was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); +.6 in December; and now -1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (6.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. When Emmis’ KPNT lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Now, “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” regresses by -1.1 (4.4 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in November and December, CHR cluster-mate KNOW “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” is off by one-half share as well (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). Returning all of December’s +.6 and one-tenth more (7.0 – 6.3, -.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” slips from second to fourth. December’s increase by “The Lou” concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (sixth to fifth) is a cumulative -3.0 and has 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+).

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2018

Joe ‘Pags’ Show Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” arrives at the 100-affiliate mark with the addition of KPAM, Portland to its affiliate roster.  Joe Pagliarulo’s WOAI, San Antonio-based program is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksSalem Media Group SVP/spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Years ago a young TV anchor in Albany called me to ask how he could get into talk radio.  That was Joe Pags.  I figured it was a passing fantasy, but no, he was serious.  What an honor to be his 100th affiliate in Portland at our newest talk station.  Our listeners there are in for a real treat.  And congrats Joe, you made it!”  Pags adds, “It’s an absolute thrill to add such a great station like KPAM in a top market like Portland!  For this powerhouse to also be my 100th affiliate and to once again be working with Phil Boyce is truly humbling.”

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC.  The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention.  TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday.  Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Rob Stadler Gone From Mornings at WYAY, Atlanta. As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” parted ways with Rob Stadler – host of the morning news program – at the end of 2017.  Ho reports that WYAY program director Tom Lee has not named a successor to the Stadler-hosted program, but Ho suspects the new program will be more of a talk show than a news show.  This for the station that launched in 2012 as an all-news outlet.  Talk radio pros Mike Brooks and Rob Carson have been filling in hosting the AM drive program.  For his part, Stadler told Ho in a text, “The last two years have been a lot of fun, but my sights are now set on a new position that doesn’t require a 1 a.m. wake-up!  Can’t talk about it right now but soon…I sincerely wish the talk and news talent at WYAY-FM the very best for future success!”

KKFN, Denver Adds More Local Content.  There’s more local sports talk on Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” with the extension of the “Pritchard and Cecil” program and the addition of a Sandy Clough-hosted evening show.  Well-known Denver sports voice Sandy Clough begins hosting a 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on January 16.  Effective immediately, the “Pritchard and Cecil” program – co-hosted by Mike Pritchard and Cecil Lammey – is airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “Broncos country and the Denver sports community has shown us there’s a clear demand from ‘104.3 The Fan’ for more local sports talk.  We’re excited to give our audience even more of an opportunity to feed their passion on a daily basis.  It’s something they both yearn for and deserve.  Sandy Clough is an institution in the Denver sports radio market.  In the evening, Denver sports fans are looking for an outlet, and having Sandy on from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm will allow him to not only give perspective on Broncos headlines but also provide postgame reaction to the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and other Denver sports events.”

Longtime WGN, Chicago Talk Host Milt Rosenberg Passes at 92.  Legendary Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg died yesterday (1/9) after complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.  Rosenberg was a University of Chicago psychology professor who hosted the evening “Extension 720” program on Tribune’s WGN from 1973 through his “forced retirement” in 2012.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s obit for Rosenberg here.

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’s filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

PodcastOne and AP Team Up for Sports Coverage.  A new relationship between PodcastOne SportsNet and AP promises to provide reports from national and international sporting events, beginning with the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.  This deal also includes new PodcastOne and AP content, with some premiering as soon as this week.  Additionally, “Red Circle Sports with Dennis Miller,” “Riggle’s Picks,” “Real GM” and others will be added to PodcastOne SportsNet lineup.  PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This will provide AP and PodcastOne subscribers with real-time, daily news reports, commentary and original content. It will provide additional power to the explosive growth of podcasting, while taking maximum advantage of the unmatched connection to listeners that podcasts already provide.  AP Sports is everywhere with on-the-ground, first-hand coverage that will now be available via podcasts as never before.”  Content produced by AP and PodcastOne SportsNet will be distributed on AP platforms, as well as PodcastOne.com and the PodcastOne app.

Brendan Carr Nominated for Full FCC Term.  Republican FCC commissioner Brendan Carr is being nominated for a full, five-year term on the Commission.  Based on comments from fellow commissioners – including FCC chairman Ajit Pai – Carr has the support of the rest of the commission.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a supportive statement to Senator Cory Booker, “To be sure, Commissioner Carr is a dedicated public servant.  He has been a very responsive and concerned FCC Commissioner, sensitive to the issues brought to his attention by the NJBA.  Moreover, his courteous response to our communications translates to his committed staff and we are grateful for their service to our great industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The latest station to add the Radio America-syndicated “Chad Benson Show” is Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Radio America says KTAR-FM joins a growing list of affiliates that includes KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; WDBO-FM, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; and KTSA-AM, San Antonio among others. Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Chad is an incredible talent who will talk about the political headwinds in America, plus deliver his unique views on other real-life issues that the Valley cares about.  From the economy to social media, to different things working people experience daily, he is a wonderful storyteller on a mission to entertain.  We’re also excited to be partnering with the team at Radio America as they continue to deliver the best of the next generation of talk programming.”…..Saga Communications’ Cayuga Radio Group names John Summers brand manager and news director for news/talk WHCU, Ithaca, New York, effective January 22.  Summers was most recently regional program director and news director for Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network…..With the decision by Breitbart News to part ways with Stephen K. Bannon – who served briefly with the Trump Administration as a senior adviser to the president – his work hosting the “Breitbart News Radio” program that airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel also ends.  SiriusXM announced the separation yesterday (1/9)…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio division for podcasting, streaming, and advertising – dubbed “cabana” – publishes its comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidebook to helping podcasters and their advertisers meet their marketing goals.   AdLarge says the report “includes a glossary of terms with clear, concise descriptions of the different advertising options in podcasting and spotlights how each of them can deliver specific benefits to a campaign.”

Trump DACA Rollback, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Trump Russia Dossier, De Niro Trump Rant, California Mud Slides, North-South Korea Talks, Arpaio Senate Run, Alabama Wins CFC in Overtime, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The attempt by the Trump Administration to roll back the Obama-era DACA and a judge’s ruling to stay that move; Stephen K. Bannon splits from executive post at Breitbart News; the ongoing controversy over Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book; the Donald Trump Russia dossier and the new suit by Trump lawyers against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS; actor Robert De Niro’s rant against President Trump at an awards ceremony; the deadly California mudslides; the talks between North and South Korea and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s giving credit to President Trump for forcing the talks; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces plans to run for U.S. Senate; Alabama beats Georgia in overtime to win the College Football Championship; and the NFL playoffs 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.  The new morning show at Entercom Communications’ CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” is the duo of Edgar Sotelo and Brian Moote, effective February.  Entercom’s SVP/market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring together Edgar and Brian on ‘AMP Radio.’  Both of them are smart, genuine and funny and we look forward to watching them make a huge impact in LA – on air, on-site at local events and on social media.”  Edgar Sotelo previously served as the morning show host at WBMP, New York “AMP Radio.”  Brian Moote exited his gig with the Atlanta-based, syndicated “The Bert Show” to take this new gig…..RadioInfo sources in New York say Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has removed Rick Gillette from the program director role at the station.  We are also hearing that Gillette is being offered the chance to remain with the company in another capacity.  Assistant program director Mike Allan is now acting PD for “95.5 PLJ.”…..Rock programmer Garett Michaels joins Local Media San Diego’s alternative XTRA, San Diego “91X” as program director.  Michaels’ work in the San Diego market includes his most recent stint with Local Media San Diego and Midwest Television at rock KFM-BFM and almost 10 years programming alternative KBZT.  He also programmed alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” from 2013 through 2015.  He says, “After spending the last year consulting and working with the team, I couldn’t be more excited to officially join Local Media San Diego.  It’s an honor to be a part of ‘91X,’ a station that represents the San Diego lifestyle, has deep roots serving our local community, and is truly one of the icons of the alternative format.”…..Speaking of Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego, the station names Chris Patyk program director.  Patyk has been programming sister stations CHR KEGY “Energy” and adult contemporary KYXY…..The nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show announces it has hired award-winning broadcast journalist and radio personality Dominique DiPrima to serve as co-host.  She hosted the daily news and public affairs show “Front Page” on KJLH-FM, Los Angeles.  DiPrima will also hold the title of senior producer…..Canadian Music Week announces that Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be a featured speaker at the “A Radio Executive’s View” from the “Corner Office” Super Session on Friday, May 11 at the two-day Radio Interactive Summit taking place on May 10-11.

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ ratings performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on country.  During this period – November 6 to December 9 – many music stations were adding Christmas music to their rotations and that could be a factor in the comparison of November 2017 data to December 2017 data.  Kinosian reports, “Approximately one of every four stations (26%) on our country sample is up between November 2017 – December 2017, while 63% experience decreases; the remaining 11% of the panel remains unchanged.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017 ratings, “Roughly half the stations on this country panel are down year-to-year (49%) and nearly as many (43%) are up; the remaining 8% are steady.”  Two country outlets in PPM markets ranked #1 in their respective markets during the December 2017 survey – iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus and WQIK, Jacksonville.  See the entire report here.

Friday, January 5, 2018

| January 5, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cancels CES 2018 Appearance Over Death Threats.  That’s what’s being reported by Recode.  The publication cites agency sources that say Pai’s scheduled appearance in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is being cancelled due to “death threats” – presumably over his leading the charge to overturn the Obama era FCC’s net neutrality policy.  Recode reports, “Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr each plan to attend CES.  So will Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting leader of their sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission.  Ohlhausen had been slated to appear alongside Pai at the annual Vegas event.”

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Nielsen’s December survey covers November 9 through December 6 and the buildup to the holiday season appears to have taken its toll on the format as 13 stations saw (6+) ratings decreases while only two – WCBS-AM, New York and WBZ-AM, Boston – realized increases from the November survey to the December survey.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, eight stations were down (6+) and four all-newsers – WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and WWJ, Detroit – were up year-over-year.  Only Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington ranked #1 in its market during the December survey.  View the entire report here.

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Names Two to New Positions. There are two new full-time staffers at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Director of sports content Eric Johnson names Tyrone Johnson to producer of the Mike Missanelli show.  Johnson previously served with WPEN but most recently was producing the nationally syndicated Buck Sexton show for Premiere Networks.  He’s also served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, “New Jersey 101.5” and pubcaster WHYY, Philadelphia.  Also, Natalie Egenolf moves from part-time to full-time as update anchor and ‘Fanatic’ social media coordinator.  She has been serving part-time on Missanelli’s show three days a week. She is also an in-game reporter for “NFL Sunday Drive” on Sirius XM and covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN.  Eric Johnson says, “I’ve been watching Tyrone grow as a radio talent from his early days when I worked with him in the past.  He has the perfect skill set for his new role as producer of our #1-rated Mike Missanelli show.  Tyrone has the sports knowledge, radio experience and comedic timing that will enhance Mike’s show.  Natalie Egenolf has so much passion for Philadelphia sports and is very plugged into the Philadelphia sports social media scene.  Combining that with her on-air skills makes her uniquely qualified for her new responsibilities as afternoon drive update anchor and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ social media coordinator.”

Wolff Book About Trump Campaign and Presidency Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 1-5.  The controversial Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury – purporting to present an inside view of the Trump campaign and early presidency – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At 2# was the Donald TrumpSteve Bannon rift.  Coming in at #3 was the severe winter weather and the related issue of global warming, followed by North Korea’s nuclear threats at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Richmond news/talk WRVA is now heard on the FM band as new owner Entercom is simulcasting the station on translator W241AP, Midlothian, Virginia at 96.1 FM.  Entercom Richmond SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “News and politics are integral to the communities we serve and we’re excited to better serve our audience by expanding the distribution of ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA in Virginia’s Capitol City.  ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA has served the Richmond community since 1925 and to add it on the FM band is a real win for this legendary brand.”…..Along with the addition of new local sports talk shows, Dickey Broadcasting is re-branding the WFMO-AM/W292EV, Atlanta simulcast from the old “The Fan 2” to “The Sports X 1230AM and 106.3 FM.”  The station recently added local programs “Hometeam and Hamilton” (with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton) and the Mark Zinno show to the program schedule…..CBS News fires political director Steve Chaggaris after investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”  The news organization issued the following statement: “In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated.  As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) is pictured here serving as officiant administering the oath of office for Atlantic City councilman George Tibbitt (right).  Hurley is a notary public and that permits him to administer such oaths.  He tells TALKERS magazine he’s done it 10 times or so over the past 26 years.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss 99.9” names Dina Bonanni, a.k.a. Dina B, afternoon drive personality.  Dina B has been with the Entercom station since 2010.  Speaking about her new gig, she says, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love for a station that I grew up listening to.  I’ve spent 12 years of my career in country radio, from Palm Beaches to the Keys, so to say I’m excited to be afternoon host of ‘Kiss 99.9’ in my hometown is an understatement.”…..In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting names Rhiannon to the midday air shift at rock WRBA “95.9 Rocks.”  Program director Greg “Fitzdog” Fitzgerald says, “Rhiannon joins the winning team in Panama City with supportive and creative management and a group of stations community driven.  We are proud to have her here at ‘95.9.’”…..The Source magazine releases its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the Premiere Networks syndicated show “The Breakfast Club” – featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – tops the list of radio DJs for the fifth consecutive year.  The magazine dubbed the show “the most powerful talk show and squad period.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” is launching a new, weekly Gospel program, “Joy In The Morning,” starring hosts Crystal J and Carlos Hale, a.k.a. LOS.  The program will debut this Sunday (1/7) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 

Round Four of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 PPM ratings information has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Off by a combined -1.1 in November and December (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT slips from second to third. Its -.3 in November ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” exits the top ten (#10 to #12) with its third decline in a row for a collective -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk KVET-AM “AM 1300 The Zone” loses six-tenths (1.1 – .5, #23, 6+). Bouncing back from November’s -.8 (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” hangs out a +2.1 to 7.6, its best 6+-stat since February’s 8.0, and zooms from fourth to second. Although flat at #4, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to November’s gain of nine-tenths (5.5 – 6.2, 6+). From May through September, “Kiss” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December’s 6.2 is its best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Emmis Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9, 6+), which advances from a three-way tie at #18 to #13. Within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for the sixth straight month, adult hits sibling KBPA “Bob” (8.8 – 8.4, -.4, 6+) is #1 for the tenth time in succession. November’s +.5 to 8.8 gave “Bob” its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since 7.4 in June 2015. A one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+) takes Univision Radio’s KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” (#12 to #11) to its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). On the heels of a November gain of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” sputters by -1.3 (6.6 – 7.5 – 6.2, 6+), dropping from third to fifth. From March through October, KVET-FM was within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of those eight sweeps; prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Flat at #7, co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” drops one-tenth (4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to trending 2.5 – 2.3 (6+) in November, KOKE-FM hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In four successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and carries on at #16.

2) Raleigh – A loss of one-half share in October halted six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” (8.1 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row. Climbing from fifth to third, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is +2.1 in November and December (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+), with 7.7 its strongest 6+-performance since 8.4 in May. November’s gain of one full-share put to an end eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix 101.5” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. Over and above adding one-half share to November’s +.2 (8.9 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the seventh straight month with its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Owing to a loss of four-tenths to 4.6 (three-way tie at seventh to tenth, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has its string of consecutive improvements that more than doubled its 6+-share (+2.6) end at four (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+). November’s 5.0 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), with 5.0 matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Its cross-town competitor, Curtis Media Group’s WPLW “The Pulse FM – All the Hits,” picks up two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) and remains at #13. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, third-place tie to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” rebounds from November’s -.8 with a +.2 (3.1 – 3.3, 6+), continuing at #13 (tied with WPLW). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods.

3) Indianapolis – Five up or flat trends in succession by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) account for a +1.4 as “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” (#13 to #14) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WYXB pull the plug on three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” hangs out a +2.3 to 7.8 (6+), catapulting it from seventh to first. Whereas December’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, November’s 5.5 was its weakest in five years (5.3, November 2012). At this time last year (December 2016), WYXB notched an 8.3 (6+). The lead over the station it displaces at #1 – Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK (7.7, -.1, 6+) – is just one-tenth. On top in September, October, and November, WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, halting three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). An overall -1.1 in four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) and carries on at #12. By tacking on a +1.6 to November’s one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” progresses from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. Just over one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” Via six successive sweeps without a loss, the Cumulus Media-owned frequency at 93.9 is a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #12, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.6, as WYRG sibling WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off nine-tenths (second to fourth, 6+), while Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regresses by seven-tenths (third to fifth, 6+). A combined +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; and now -.9 in December (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 6.6, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. In three straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Albeit flat at #11, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (3.5, November 2016). Locked on 4.4 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” dips by one-half share to 3.9 (ninth to tenth), its lowest 6+-share since May’s 3.8.

4) Milwaukee – In an impressive streak, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (steady at #2) is +1.9 in five straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Its challenger – Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” – is flat at 6.4, slipping from fourth to fifth (6+). As the result of three consecutive downward moves that began in September (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WLDB “B-93.3” regressed by a collective -1.4, but the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary property dusts itself off with a gain nearly twice the size of that deficit (2.9 – 5.6, +2.7, 6+), rocketing from #14 to #7. This is the best 6+-stat for “B-93.3” since 8.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Unchanged at #13, alternative cluster-mate WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” is up one-half share to 3.8 (6+), halting three consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of one full-share (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Winning ways continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH (fifth to third), which is an overall +3.0 since August in four consecutive increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). This is the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print exactly three years ago (December 2014). One-half share ahead of WISN is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which is on top for the 33rd consecutive ratings period, even though it spirals by (-1.6, 6+). WRIT continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” plummets by one full-share (5.5 – 4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) after November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). The last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slides from eighth to ninth. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -2.6 in four successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit that it is down for the third month in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #11, 6+), Entercom-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” bypasses iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #11 to #14, 6+). This is the first time in the last 11 sweeps that “Kiss” (3.9, 6+) has not been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). It is a case of “slow and steady” for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE, which gains a cumulative one-half share in eight straight ratings periods without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) with no increase greater than one-tenth. Tied with it at #21 is iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station,” which is up or flat for the fifth time in a row for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+). Four straight negative moves (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6, 6+) have resulted in Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI losing roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6); “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” exits the top twenty (#17 to a three-way tie at #21 with WMSE and WOKY).

5) Nashville – Two of the market’s news/talk outlets (nearly equally) combine for a -2.4 (6+). Specifically, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.3 (#11 to #13, 6+), while Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.1 (5.7 – 6.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). Up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, WPLN-FM surrendered seven-tenths in November; “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.9 in November and December (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Five straight positive spikes by Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA generate an overall +3.5 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.1. Prior to November and December, the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position was in April. When Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” faltered by two-tenths in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). The flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans roars back in December though with a +1.4 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (6.8, December 2016), and leaps from tenth to sixth. Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Bumping up by seven-tenths each are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” (6.6 – 7.3, 6+, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” (6.0 – 6.7, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Jack” bounces back from November’s -.6, while “The Rock” has its best 6+-share since August (7.5). After dropping eight-tenths in November (3.3 – 2.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” recaptures one-half share to 3.0 (6+) and carries on at #14. The station that WJXA succeeded at #1 in November after spending two months there – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” – is without an increase for the third time in succession for a cumulative -1.7 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), slipping from second to third. In October, “The Beat” relinquished two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Down for the third time in a row for a collective -1.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.9 in February. Likewise, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off an overall nine-tenths in three straight negative trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and is anchored at #15. In the market’s country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, flat at #9); while Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” adds three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the sixth consecutive sweep.

6) Providence – Steady in seventh-place, Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.6 in its third straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in September, October, and November, public news/talk WGBH-FM picks up one-tenth and is back at 2.0 (6+), where it was in August (#11 to #10). Swapping places with WGBH-FM is iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, off one-half share (2.1 -1.6, 6+). Prior to dropping one-tenth in November, “News Radio 920” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+). While unchanged at #12, The Wheeler School news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” is off two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), thus bringing to end five straight sweeps without a loss which nearly tripled its 6+-share since June with a +1.1 (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). In a survey period where huge gains are the norm, other than iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (8.4 – 9.5, +1.1, steady at #2, 6+), no other station in this Rhode Island market improves by more than six-tenths (November 2017 – December 2017). Ever since appearing in print in June, Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies – KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.3 – .8, +.5, #16 to #14, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is off by one-half share (11.4 – 10.9, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 27th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the sixth month in a row. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 in September and November represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” posts an 8.2 (6+) for the third month in a row and is flat at #3. In addition to WWLI, Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (8.2 – 7.7, third to fourth, 6+) drops one-half share. In November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share.

7) Norfolk – By adding three-tenths in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Now in December, “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” hauls out an increase more than ten times than that +.3 (1.3 – 4.4, +3.1, 6+) and jumps into the top ten (#11 to #6) with its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. From June through November, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Exploding in December with a +2.8 to 7.1 (6+), “101.3 2WD” advances from fifth to third. Mirroring WMOV, this is the strongest 6+-stat for WWDE since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). Flashing gains of eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary and alternative siblings WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (8.2 – 9.0, third to second, 6+) and WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” (unchanged at #8). This is the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4, while WNOH more than doubles its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+). Following a November +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” surrenders -1.1 to 13.5 (6+), but remains at #1 for the 12th time in a row. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was set by WVKL just two ratings periods ago (September). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 20th time in the last 21 sweeps. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Having trended 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” freefalls by -1.9 (8.6 – 6.7, second to fourth, 6+) and notes its lowest 6+-share since April’s 6.2. Slipping from fourth to fifth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.6 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, owing to three straight negative moves, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” is an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2, 2.7, seventh to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the fourth consecutive ratings period and has lost 80% (-.8) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Along with its iHeartMedia Phoenix adult contemporary sibling KESZ, similarly-programmed WMAG registers the second-best (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 increase in the 48 PPM-markets: “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” doubles November 2017’s 6+-stat to 11.8 (+5.9, fifth to second, 6+). Moreover, the increase applies the brakes to three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). This is the most potent 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2; November’s 5.9 is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). For the record, the top honor for highest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 increase goes to Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI (7.0 – 13.6, +6.6, 6+). Despite the fact that Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH trots out a +1.5 (7.5 – 9.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July, “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” actually backslides from third to fourth. In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the seventh straight time (and each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May). A +1.5 in September as well as in June, WQMG records double-digits (6+) for the 13th sweep in a row. Down for the third month in succession for a collective -2.2 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” slips from fourth to sixth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March (5.9). Leapfrogging “Q-104.1” is its format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – which adds two-tenths to 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), halting three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Following November’s surge of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” forfeits -1.4 (4.9 – 3.5, 6+), but remains at #8; WVBZ had been within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” relinquishes just over half that bounty (4.3, -1.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. While it has been in double digits in each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” stumbles by eight-tenths to 10.5 (6+), shifting from second (where it had been from August through November) to third. December’s -.8 brings to an end five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. Unchanged at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” falters by one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – This Florida metro’s (6+) adult contemporary stat improves by +1.4, nearly equally split between iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7 – 5.5, +.8, fourth to third, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (4.6 – 5.2, +.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained 60% of that decline in October (to 4.8, +.6, 6+). December’s 5.5 is the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” applied the brakes to four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). This (5.2) represents the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since June’s 5.4. Notching gains of seven-tenths each are Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” (3.9 – 4.6, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB “Moody Radio” (1.4 – 2.1, #13 to #12, 6+), which last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). Stuck on 11.2 (6+) in October and November, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF erodes by -2.3 to 8.9 but “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 12th consecutive month. Whereas11.2 (October and November) was the highest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015 (11.3), December’s 8.9 is its softest since January’s 8.3. A one-tenth loss in September brought to a close four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia’s WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” is a collective +.5 in its third straight increase (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). In five sweeps in a row without a loss, JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) and carries on at #14. Segueing from third to sixth, WAY Media Foundation contemporary Christian “WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” regresses by six tenths (4.9 – 4.3, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-stat since 3.5 in March. At the same time that iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” picks up six-tenths in three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, steady at #9, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” loses a total of six-tenths in three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), dropping from seventh to eighth.

10) Jacksonville – In another instance of two market facilities combining to bloat the (6+) adult contemporary share, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.6 (fourth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” posts a +.6 (2.9 – 3.5, #13 to #11, 6+). As the result of three straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ is an overall +2.9 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0, 6+) and notches its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is dubious déjà vu for iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which replicates November’s -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0, 6+) but is #1 for the 12th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Bouncing back in November with a +1.1 following three straight losses for an overall -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), WQIK’s format foe – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – sputters with a decrease of one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, 6+) but carries on in ninth-place. At the same time, the consecutive string of (slightly) up or flat moves by Neal Ardman’s classic country WYKB which generated an overall gain of eight-tenths ends at nine (.1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .9, 6+) as “Jax Country 105.3 Jacksonville’s Country Legend” is down two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #18). A -1.1 by Cox Media Group’s WXXJ (3.9 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+) takes “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” to below a three-share (6+) for the first time in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.7 in three straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. In September, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). A cumulative -.7 in its third straight decline (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” falls from sixth to seventh, while urban contemporary sibling WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is off a combined seven-tenths in three straight decreases (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. Concurrent with Cox Media Group-owned CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” losing three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, flat at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths (4.3 – 3.9, 6+) but actually improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie. In November, WAPE fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+); “Kiss” was +.9 in October. Unchanged at #12, public WJCT is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective -.3 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+).

11) Memphis – Having trended 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 (6+) since August, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” busts out a +2.0 to 9.4 (6+), cruising from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. The day after Christmas (12/26), though, WRVR began facing a head-on competitor, with Cumulus Media-owned WKIM flipping to adult contemporary as “98.9 The Bridge.” As a result of November’s +.9 (to 3.5, 6+), WKIM applied the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” up until Halloween when it began playing all-Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9,” WKIM is flat in December at 3.5 (6+) but moves up from #11 to #10. Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.2 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” backslides from second to third. Improving by one-half share each and appearing back-to-back are WHRK’s CHR sibling KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits for Memphis” (1.2 – 1.7, unchanged at #15, 6+) and Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “90.1 NPR for the Mid-South” (.8 – 1.3, steady at #16). Advancing from seventh to fifth, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). In addition to netting an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, #12 to #11, 6+), co-owned news/talk WREC logs its best 6+-share since February’s 3.6. After three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” returns one full-share to 10.3 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. A collective -2.6 in four losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is below a four-share (6+) for the first time since its 3.9 in “Holiday” 2016. With a -.3 to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” puts an end to being locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths. “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, 6+). In September, it concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 in three consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3, fifth to sixth, 6+). Also in that Entercom cluster, owing to a -.2 to 3.1 (6+), sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” (flat at #13) snaps at four its successive string of increases that accounted for a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+). Up one-half share in November to 5.1, its best 6+-performance since 5.2 in November 2016, Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” coughs up nearly twice that increase (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to eighth, 6+).

12) Hartford – Not only is Entercom adult contemporary WRCH on top for the 16th successive ratings period, “Lite 100.5” registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +3.1 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. At this time last year, “Lite” was at 10.8 (December 2016); this sweep’s 13.0 represents the station’s highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 18.4. The online “stream” of WRCH continues an odd pattern: It scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; reappeared in November with a .5 (#14, 6+); and is gone again in December. As a result of its third increase in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +1.9 and cruises from fourth to second; 7.5 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in May. Winning ways continue for Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ, which hangs out its fifth straight gain for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+) as “Radio 104.1” continues in tenth-place. For the sixth month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” is within 6.2 – 6.6 range (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase in the last six ratings periods for an overall -2.6 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from fourth to sixth. In back-to-back sweeps, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (flat at #9) is a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -.8 (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0, unchanged at #8, 6+).

Friday, December 8, 2017

| December 8, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey.  Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee.  See the entire report here.

Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations.   Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54.  In each, we see a gradual rise over that period.  For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share.  Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%.  In November, that AQH share was 4.3%.  Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers.  “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.”  See the Nielsen report here.

Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations.  Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks.  But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play.  In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties.  Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.

Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans.  Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast.  “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular.  A couple of people have asked me to sell them.  I said no.  Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about.  The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it.  So, I will do it somewhere.  I don’t know where.  But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.”  Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15).  Read the SI.com piece here.

New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland.  Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.   Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons.  Costa exited the station in August.  The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart.  “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.

Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story.  In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story.  Every story has two sides, sometimes more.  He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts.  It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.”  Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties.  Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”

The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8.  The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet.  You can read CNN’s account here.  MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers.  SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player.  They will also take questions from audience members in the studio.  The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out.  Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party.  She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash.  However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words.  It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area.  ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off.  It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments.  They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division.  To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs.  The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11).  The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.

Friday, December 1, 2017

| December 1, 2017

Radio Industry Watching Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 Gambit.  This week’s announced Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of [Cumulus Media’s] secured lenders” has the radio business intently watching how this attempt to reduce about $1 billion of its debt will go for the company.  After sifting through the company’s SEC filings, more light is being shed on this move led by Cumulus CEO Mary Berner.  The first and most important aspect of this RSA is that under the proposed terms, senior lenders would receive 83.5% of the equity of the “reorganized Cumulus” and junior debt holders would get the other 16.5%.  Note too that this agreement is with the senior debt holders and there’s no knowing at this point if any junior debt holders would come on board or not.  The latter could attempt to sink the RSA.  Another interesting part of Cumulus’ report is the list of “unsecured claims” that shows the company owes U.S. National Bank $637 million, Nielsen Audio $6.65 million, Broadcasters General Store $967,596, and BMI $789,812, among others.   For them, absent a specific deal with the company to settle those claims (obviously at less than 100%), holders of General Unsecured Claims would have to hope for the best in getting compensated from the Unsecured Equity Recovery Pool.  We’ll have answers to these questions – and many more – sometime within the next 180 days (the time frame of the RSA).

iHeartMedia and Lenders Continue to Dance.  Just before the Thanksgiving weekend, iHeartMedia offered a proposal to lenders that included, among other things, 87.5% equity in the recapitalized iHeartMedia, and new debt of $7 billion to mature within five to seven years.  On November 28, those same lenders issued a counterproposal to receive 95.3% equity in the recapitalized iHM and new debt of $5.75 billion to mature within five to seven years.  Needless to say, a considerable gulf remains between the two sides.  iHeartMedia is trying to work out a solution to its more than $20 billion in debt.

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory Commits to Regular Role on WBT, Charlotte.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will continue to be heard on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte “for at least a couple of months.”  McCrory has been making regular appearances on WBT’s Morning News with host Bo Thompson at 7:15 am.  Now, McCrory is co-hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour with Thompson.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon says the response to McCrory’s regular appearances has been “extraordinary.”  The change in WBT’s midmorning programming came after former 9:00 am to 12:00 noon personality Scott Fitzgerald was reassigned to other work for the company.  Former Charlotte television personality Vince Coakley is hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.

Kent Dunn to Lead Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia Station Group.  Returning to Beasley Media Group’s Augusta cluster where he previously managed for 21 years before moving to Tampa to lead the company’s station group there is Kent Dunn.  The Augusta cluster includes: news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta,” CHR WHHD, adult hits WDRR, religion WGUS, and rhythmic oldies WCHZ.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley comments, “Kent leads by example in everything he does.  We look forward to Kent returning to his roots and once again overseeing the cluster and enjoying the similar success he had both in Augusta and Tampa.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”  As a result of this move, former vice president and market manager Mark Haddon will shift his responsibilities to become director of sales for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new program – “Lenz on Business” – is debuting on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta airing Saturdays at 6:00 pm.  The program is hosted by Lenz Marketing founder, president and CEO Richard Lenz.  The program features Lenz speaking “with Atlanta’s business leaders to explore their inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.  From big business execs to indie entrepreneurs, these guests not only share their practical secrets, but also unveil the personalities behind the careers.”  The show is sponsored by Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says, “I’m excited about ‘Lenz on Business.’  It’s a topic that many of our WSB listeners can’t get enough of because they are business owners or are focused and successful in their careers and want to learn and find deeper success. Lenz Marketing has been a strong content partner with WSB Radio for years and have the same strategy that we do: to inform the listener with high quality content and interviews.”…..A new sports content channel is launching on SiriusXM that focuses on the Southeastern Conference.  SEC Radio will present “in-depth and comprehensive access to SEC-focused sports talk and news, plus offer an extensive schedule of SEC games.  The channel will debut next year.

Matt Lauer Firing Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 27 – December 1.  The firing of “Today” host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was other sexual harassment cases involving Senator Al Franken, Congressman John Conyers and others.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, tied with the Roy Moore senate run, followed by President Trump’s anti-Islam tweet at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

CBS Interactive Senior Reporter Dan Patterson Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He writes stories and produces video reports about disruptive technologies covering a wide array of platforms and inventions from Twitter to Bitcoin for such outlets as TechRepublic, ZDNet, and CNET.  He delves into topics such as business technology innovation, policy, and hackers.  Dan Patterson is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Patterson take the listener on an illuminating journey through such subjects as the early days and rise of Twitter, Donald Trump’s effective use of social media, the changing state of journalism, fake news, self-regulation versus government control of the Internet and more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles based programming pro John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  Ivey will continue to program KIIS while he oversees the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.  iHM also says he’ll “work to improve the company’s Top 40 brands in its over 150 markets.  In addition, he will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of CHR programmers and on-air talent, and book artists for events including the ‘iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour’ and KIIS FM’s ‘Wango Tango.’” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “John is one of the foremost talents in media today when it comes to programming Top 40 radio and he is a driving factor in why KIIS-FM is the most listened to station in its market.  He knows what CHR listeners want to hear and we’re confident he’ll help bring similar success to our stations in other markets.”…..On-air pro Toby Knapp slides over from  iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” to the cluster’s adult contemporary WASH-FM to co-host the morning drive program with incumbent talent Chili Amar.  That starts on Monday (12/4) and Knapp will continue to host his “HOT 99.5” afternoon