Tag: "Atlanta"

February 2019 PPM Ratings

| March 19, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Friday, March 8, 2019

| March 8, 2019

WGN, Chicago Brings Back ‘Extension 720’ with Host Justin Kaufmann. The original “Extension 720” was hosted by the late Milt Rosenberg for 40 years but was canceled by station management in 2012.  Now, the Tribune Media station announces that Justin Kaufmann will leave his role with the morning drive Steve Cochran program to take over hosting the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.  Pete Zimmerman will serve as producer.  WGN station manager and VP on content Todd Manley says the new show will honor the format of Rosenberg’s program with long-form interviews.  Kaufmann will also “meet Chicago voices on location in the communities and neighborhoods where they live and work and will focus on a variety of topics, from arts & culture to politics and innovation.”  Monday evenings will still belong to “Andrea Darlas & The Reporters” and sports play-by-play will bump the show from time to time.  Kaufmann has been with WGN since joining from public media outlet WBEZ-FM in 2015.  He says, “I’m honored and humbled to be at the helm of one of the best radio shows in Chicago history.”

WHO, Des Moines Goes ‘All-Female’ in Honor of International Women’s Day. In recognition of today’s International Women’s Day, iHeartMedia news/talk WHO, Des Moines is presenting a lineup of entirely female hosts.  WHO’s International Women’s Day program lineup will include: Bonnie Lucas, Leila Rush, and Heather Burnside-Parizek from 1460 KXnO as hosts for “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” with WHO personality Adrianne Branstad and WHO news director Wendy Wilde as hosts for “Need to Know with Jeff Angelo,” and WHO news anchor Sue Danielson as the host for “The Simon Conway Show.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart says, “As a company we aim to celebrate the contributions of women in music and radio year-round and on International Women’s Day we are highlighting our accomplished radio personalities even more as we support and promote gender balance in the workplace and the world.”  The station adds that in addition to broadcasting 1040 WHO’s most renowned on-air personalities and hosts, the International Women’s Day programming will showcase a variety of different topics that inspire women – ranging from sports, business, and agriculture.  Cristen Clark, a successful farmer and founder of agricultural website Food and Swine, will be featured on-air with several successful women in Iowa agriculture and will be joined by co-host and producer, Morgan McEnany.  To end the day, 1040 WHO will also broadcast coverage of the nationally ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team as they play their first game of the Big 10 Conference Tournament.

KYW, Philadelphia Personalities Seek Federal Mediator in Union Negotiations. A report by Philadelphia Business Journal’s Jeff Blumenthal indicates that the SAG-AFTRA-represented on-air staffers at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia are asking for federal mediation to resolve their issues in contract negotiations with the company. As TALKERS reported previously, SAG-AFTRA publicly called out Entercom for what it is now calling “low-balling” during negotiations for the all-news stations previously owned by CBS RADIO.  Entercom responded, saying: “These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS RADIO, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”  Local SAG-AFTRA president Sam Clover tells the PBJ, “We’ve bargained for years with CBS RADIO and never had to take this step, but now we’re dealing with a new company who won’t compromise, so we’re reaching out for help.”  Most cutting to KYW talent is the company’s desire to cut severance benefits by 50% to 90%, according to the story.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: January 2019 Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the January 2019 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio to see which formats/specific stations are in the lead (#1 and #2) positions in their respective markets.  Interestingly, while no news/talk station finished #2 in its market, five news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in the market during the January survey.  They were: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and Cox’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

PodcastOne and Law & Crime Network Team Up. A new deal between PodcastOne and the Dan Abrams-founded Law & Crime will include a series of new podcasts focusing on the worlds of law and true-crime.   Law & Crime is a 24/7 linear and OTT live trial network.  The first podcast to debut is the self-titled “Dan Abrams Podcast,” set to release new episodes every Thursday.  Abrams says, “Law & Crime is excited to expand its distribution to yet another important medium.  Our partnership with PodcastOne will allow us share some amazing stories with expert legal analysis to a new audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Boston sports media personality Kirk Minihane is the subject of a profile piece in Boston Magazine.  Last fall, Minihane refused to sign a document promising to not attack the Boston Red Sox or the Boston Globe and to “not be mean-spirited” on the radio and that led to his departure from the WEEI, Boston morning show with co-host Gerry Callahan.  But, he’s still with Entercom, working on his own program emanating from the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  The piece recounts Minihane’s battle with depression and how WEEI changed its morning show…..Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network are partnering to distribute 14 of the latter’s talk programs to radio stations.  GAB’s shows cover topics including news, sports, music, lifestyle, and more.  GAB general manager Chuck Duncan says, “GAB Radio has become one of the premier production and distribution companies in network radio.  Partnering with Envision was the natural progression to our growth strategy.  Their unbridled vision and outstanding team are an extension of GAB Radio Network.”…..iHeartMedia announces Annette Geiser is promoted to SVP of sales for its Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets that include news/talk KCSJ, Pueblo.  Geiser was most recently a senior account executive.  Market president Jessica Farias says, “I’m excited to have Annette step up and take on this leadership role as the senior vice president of sales.  Annette’s depth of knowledge in the Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets along with her deep relationships are key in leading a best-in-class sales team at iHeartMedia Colorado Springs and Pueblo.”…..Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia is presenting the annual live event “SportsRadio 94WIP Birds Town Hall” – a discussion about the state of the Philadelphia Eagles led by WIP on-air personalities and featuring various NFL and Eagles experts.  It’s taking place all day at MaGerks Pub & Grill in Horsham, Pennsylvania…..Podcast company Cadence13, is presenting the SXSW Podcast Stage at this year’s SXSW in Austin taking place today through March 17. The SXSW Podcast Stage presented by Cadence13 will host podcasts across a number of genres — music, film, technology, comedy, politics, and more — recorded in front of a live audience during the SXSW conference…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show is added to the daily lineup of Spirit Broadcasting’s WINT-AM, Willoughby, Ohio (Cleveland market).

Cohen Sues Trump Organization Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4-8, 2019. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s suit against the Trump Organization and his congressional testimony about President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the U.S. House investigation into President Trump for obstruction of justice and more.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, followed by the state of the U.S.-Mexico border 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 and Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Morning Talk on a Classic Rock Station: Mike “Bax” Baxendale is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The co-host of what is pound-for-pound one of the most successful talk shows on American radio, Mike “Bax” Baxendale, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past 24 years, Baxendale has co-hosted the “Bax & O’ Brien Show” with his team-mate, John O’ Brien in mornings on the Saga Communications powerhouse classic rock station, WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts.  The all-talk show is an eclectic blend of local and national politics, regional issues, pop culture, lifestyle trends, frivolous “locker room” banter and compellingly candid insights into the personal lives of the show’s participants.  “Rock 102” boasts a “flame thrower” signal that radiates far beyond Springfield and Western Massachusetts to blanket the neighboring market of Hartford, Connecticut – going far north into Vermont, south to New Haven and west into parts of New York State.  Michael Harrison says, “Saga doesn’t need to subscribe to the ratings to sell advertising on this gem of a property in its primary listening area – the team of Bax and O’ Brien are superstars in this heavily populated region of New England.  Their success and impact are self-evident.  They are household names and two of the most beloved ‘bad boys’ I’ve ever seen in radio.  They are examples of the sheer power of this medium when done properly with authenticity and consistency.  They are also wonderful examples of the growing number of ‘all-talk’ shows that have popped up over the years on FM music stations – shows that defy the narrow, self-imposed restrictions that have come to define programming on traditional AM news/talk outlets.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right hand-column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Jacksonville station WWJK-FM flips from adult hits to rock as “107.3 Planet Radio,” anchored by the morning drive “Lex and Terry” show.  The station is featuring core artists such as: AC/DC, Nirvana, Metallica, Linkin Park, and Sublime. iHeartMedia Jacksonville SVP of programming G-Wiz says, “Planet Radio is Jacksonville’s best rock station ever.  The legendary Planet Radio not only features Jacksonville’s highest rated morning show, ‘Lex and Terry,’ but has the hardest working, 24/7 radio staff.  I’m excited to have ‘Planet Radio’ back at its original frequency 107.3.”…..In San Francisco, morning personality Elvis Medina exits Entercom’s alternative KITS “ALT 105.3” and co-host Daena “DK” Kramer continues as solo host.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

| February 21, 2019

40th Anniversary of Founding of Guardian Angels Coincides with Release of SLIWONICS. Tonight, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and early afternoon personality Curtis Sliwa are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sliwa’s founding of the Guardian Angels at the company’s Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 at WABC Radio.  At the same time, Sliwa’s book titled, SLIWONICS, is being released.  Sliwa says the book “explains the many terms that I have used in 27 years of doing talk radio that are malaprops, spoonerisms, and fractured phrases.” He says that this evening he will read from the book “in a ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ way.”

Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media. Media executive Brian Mayfield is promoted to the role of executive vice president of Ramsey Media – the company founded by nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey.  The company says that this move expands his role to include the Ramsey Solutions Operating Board and Executive Committee speaking into global initiatives company-wide.  Mayfield continues to lead Ramsey Media managing distribution and monetization of The Ramsey Network that features “The Dave Ramsey Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Chris Hogan Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “Business Boutique,” and “The Anthony O’Neal Show.”  Mayfield joined Ramsey Solutions in 2009 and has led the Ramsey Media team since 2012.

Armstrong & Getty Interview Outspoken News Pro Lara Logan. On the heels of her much-publicized interview with former Navy Seal and podcaster Mike Ritland, former CBS News reporter Lara Logan appeared on the KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty program to talk about political bias, objective journalism, and more.  She’s been embraced by conservatives since this story first broke for calling out news organizations for their lack of objectivity.  However, she told Armstrong & Getty, “I just want to say one thing.  If I say one thing loudly and clearly, louder than anything I ever said, I want to say if there is any person out there or any group that is trying to paint me as some kind of ‘right-winger’ or some kind of conservative, I reject that with every fiber of my being and my soul.  I reject that with everything in me.  I am not a politician and I am not going to be labeled by any of them.  I do my job the same way no matter who’s in power.  No matter who’s in power I do my job the same on ‘60 Minutes’ as I did on a newspaper in South Africa or when I was filling in for radio stations.”  Hear the interview here.

Westwood One News Scores Deal for 45 Cox Media Group Music Stations. A new agreement to provide breaking news coverage on 45 Cox Media Group music stations in Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, San Antonio, and other markets – in addition to the signing of news/talk WWBA-AM, Tampa – puts Westwood One News at the 900-affiliate mark.  The company also reports the re-signing of affiliates, including: WINS-AM, New York and KYW-AM, Philadelphia.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One News has expanded rapidly due to our trustworthy global news reporting, which stations can locally brand and seamlessly embed into their programming. Reaching 900 stations over four years is an amazing milestone and a testament to Bart Tessler, Jim Jones, the Westwood One News team, and our affiliate sales team.”

Francesa-Kay Battle in New York Illustrates Challenges Faced in Selling Talk. The Andrew Marchand column in the New York Post addressing the sports talk radio battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay highlights some of the challenges facing talk broadcasters – sports, news/talk, or otherwise – when it comes to selling based on ratings.  Marchand reports that Kay beat Francesa in Nielsen’s January PPM (Men 25-54) with a 5.8 share over Francesa’s 5.0 share.  The piece goes on to address the difference in ratings when a station uses Total Line Reporting.  Further, Marchand notes that if total audience is the ultimate measuring stick, then Kay’s YES Network television audience needs to be included, too.

TALKERS News Notes. The mayor of Atlanta made news there by responding to a social media post by former WSB-AM/WSBB-FM talk host and current commentator Neal Boortz.  WXIA-TV, Atlanta reports that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took issue with Boortz’s tweet that compares the Democratic Party’s treatment of blacks today to that of plantation owners during slavery.  You can see the story here.  Though Boortz retired from his regular talk show in 2013, he still does a daily commentary for WSB…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago journalist and former WCPT-AM, Chicago talk host Ben Joravsky is back in the audio game with a new, daily talk show being streamed live by the Chicago Reader and the Sun-Times…..Podcast producer Cadence13 is named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2019. The list honors the businesses making “the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world.”  Cadence 13 partners Spencer Brown and Chris Corcoran say, “We are thrilled to be recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative media companies of 2019.  This wouldn’t be possible without the trust and dedication of our incredible partners, the hard work, passion and execution of our entire team, and the creative and innovative environment we promote here at C13.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall Emergency Declaration Challenge, Jussie Smollett Case, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Putin Threatens U.S., Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The expectation that the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents will wrap soon; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; actor Jussie Smollett is charged with filing a false police report after charging he was assaulted in Chicago; the Democrats declaring their 2020 presidential candidacy; Russian president Vladimir Putin threatens the U.S. with military retribution if the U.S. installs missiles in Europe; the Vatican’s plans to take up issues surrounding the cascade of sexual abuse charges against its clergy; the political unrest in Venezuela as conditions under Nicolas Maduro deteriorate; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Next month’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will include three new awards to be given to artists during the two-hour, live television and radio event. The 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Alicia Keys with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award; Garth Brooks with the Artist of the Decade Award; and Halsey with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L’Oréal Paris.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards airs live on Thursday, March 14 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on FOX TV and across iHeartMedia radio stations as well as the iHeartRadio platform from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekend radio show starring Elaina Smith called “With Elaina,” targeted to country music outlets.  WWO says the show is “designed for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans, and country music lovers” and “showcases Elaina doing what she does best – talking about life, love, movies, music, celebrity news, and of course, country music.” Smith says, “Launch day can’t come soon enough.  I’ve been waiting to do a show like this for years.  We’re going to have a blast bringing my pop culture background and millennial vibe to country music fans in a whole new way.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. 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.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June 2018 through November 2018 for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), WMAL was then a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Not only does the Cumulus Media news/talker bounce back with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, sixth to fifth, 6+), WMAL establishes a new record for its best 6+-stat (5.7) in the PPM-era.

Flat at #14, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” returns half (one-tenth) of the two-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, 6+). The +.2 in “Holiday” 2018 followed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). Stuck on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is a combined -.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (.9 – .8 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+).

After eroding by one full-share in “Holiday” 2018, Hubbard all-news WTOP roars back with a +2.0 (8.4 – 10.4, 6+) and returns to #1 with its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

It took just one ratings period for American University-owned news/talk WAMU to completely obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s massive -2.2, as “The Mind Is Our Medium” hangs out a January 2019 +2.5 (7.3 – 9.8, fourth to second, 6+). There have been a plethora of major (6+) “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases but this (WAMU’s +2.5) is the largest one we’ve seen in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far. Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). While this (9.8) is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since May 2017’s 10.7, its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat since 6.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten 10 times in calendar year 2018.

Down or flat five straight times for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Entercom business news outlet WDCH doubles (+.3) its 6+-stat to .6 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Not only is Entercom hot AC-turned-classic hits-oldies WIAD an overall +1.5 via four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” rockets into the top ten (#16 to #9). With a September through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.0 (6+), co-owned Spanish tropical WLZL “El Zol 107.9” posts a one-half share gain to 1.5 (#20 to #19, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat in just over one year (1.5, as well in “Holiday” 2017). Owing to four straight upticks (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” is an overall +1.1 and continues at #3. At the same time, its format foe – Howard University’s WHUR – tacks on two-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.9 (6.2 – 6.4, 6+), advancing from fifth to fourth. A collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” picks up one-tenth to 3.6 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Manning Broadcasting hot AC and classic hits-oldies cluster-mates WAFY “Key 103” and WWEG “106.9 The Eagle”  surface at .8 (#21, 6+) and .6 (#23, 6+), respectively. A combined +5.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” sputters by -6.1 in January 2019 to 4.3 (6+), tumbling from first to sixth. Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Forfeiting nearly all of the seven-tenths it accrued in “Holiday” 2018 (4.0 – 3.4, -.6, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” exits the top ten (#7 to #12). When WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Having faltered by -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notches a +.1 to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17.  November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

There are more wild fluctuations for this market’s two mammoth sports talkers as Entercom’s WEEI-FM answers “Holiday” 2018’s loss of seven-tenths with a +1.7 (3.7 – 3.0 – 4.7, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #8), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” piles on a +1.6 to its one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.6 – 7.2, third to second, 6+). Off by -1.0 in December, WBZ-FM is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December.

While it is unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” posts a +1.2 to 5.5 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+).

In one fell swoop, Boston University news/talker WBUR makes its overall -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+) vanish with a +1.5 (5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Even though WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gains two-tenths (2.4 – 2.6, 6+), it backslides from #14 to #15.

Boston Music Formats – Off one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” responds with a gain of six-tenths to 7.3 (6+), marching from second to first. This (7.3) is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” records a +.6 as well (6.2, steady at #3, 6+). Logging improvements of one-half share (each) are Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (3.4 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+) and co-owned WAAF “107.3 – The Only Station That Really Rocks” (1.2 – 1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 19 sweeps, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” busts out a +.4 to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+). Owing to three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX netted a +9.2 and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by -8.4 to 6.1 (6+) and slips to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5 is its strongest 6+-showing since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share takes a further hit as iHeartMedia’s WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), surrenders one full-share to .5 (#20 to #27, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus ending seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” backslides from eighth to tenth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – is without an increase for the third straight time for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #18 to #19, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” recaptures two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and carries on at #18. Its December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Over the course of the last nine sweeps (May 2018 – “Holiday” 2018), Entercom’s WQAM has logged a .9 (6+) six times and a .8 (6+) the other three. In January 2019, however, “Sports Radio 560” is down three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #26, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which is without an increase for the third straight time (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, #30 to #26, 6+).

After surrendering six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN answers with a +.7 (2.2 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – As the result of a +.7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR reaches a 5.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+) and ends three straight flat or down trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Moreover, this (5.2) is the first time since February 2017 that “99 Jamz” isn’t within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+). Flipping “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a January 2019 gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” climbs from ninth to eighth; 3.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. Flat at #15, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). On the other hand, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up one-tenth to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+), thus snapping three successive down or flat trends that produced an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Without an increase the last three reports for a three-tenths’ deficit (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” posts a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). For the ninth straight ratings period, an adult contemporary occupies Miami’s lead position (6+). This time, it’s Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.1 – 7.4, +.3, second to first, 6+), which dislodges/trades places with Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.4, -.9, first to second, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. It bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Meanwhile, “Lite FM” had been an overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and notched its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF erased half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. A collective +1.0 via five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” returns two-tenths to 4.7 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Off six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). With similar call letters of aforementioned WRMA, Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WRMB all but disappears (1.5 – .2, -1.3, #32, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM responds with a January 2019 +.7 to 5.6 (fifth to third, 6+). Its November loss of six-tenths curtailed three straight gains which yielded a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Co-owned KTTH breaks a negative streak as well: “Conservative Talk Radio” dials up a +.4 to 1.9 (flat at #22, 6+), ending a December and “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that nonetheless resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Continuing this theme, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which was a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.4 (#25 to #24, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Not so lucky as its Seattle news/talk counterparts, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM is an overall -1.1 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#10 to #14). “ESPN 710,” the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners, was up by a combined seven-tenths in October and November. By logging a +.6 to 1.6 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM climbs from #24 to #23. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Trending 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

On top in September 2018, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW registers a robust +1.5 (5.9 – 7.4, 6+) and returns to #1, after spending December and “Holiday” 2018 in the runner-up slot.

Seattle Music Formats – Adding a +1.3 to its “Holiday” 2018 increase of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from third to second with its highest 6+-stat (7.0) since July 2018’s 7.8. Down four-tenths in December and then by another six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF not only erases that entire full-share deficit with a +1.0 to 4.3 (6+), “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” zooms into the top ten (#15 to #8). In eight consecutive down or flat reports, hot AC sibling KHTP was a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “Hot 103.7” erases nearly half that shortfall with a +.6 to 2.6 (#20 to #18, 6+). There’s a bit of a similarity with iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which is up a combined seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4, ninth to seventh, 6+), immediately after being a collective -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). December 2018’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Notching a January 2019 uptick of one-half share as well is Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End – Alternative Seattle,” which is a collective +1.1 via five straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). Without an improvement the past eight reports for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+) and remains at #8. Having more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” surrenders a -6.4 to 4.8 (6+) and drops from first to fourth. Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). On the heels of recording a “Holiday” 2018 +1.3, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” returns it entirely (5.1 – 3.8, -1.3, 6+) and skids from fourth to tenth. “Holiday” 2018’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since 5.7 in “Holiday” 2017. A collective +.8 through three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” sees it all disappear with a January 2019 loss of nine-tenths (2.8, #11 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.7 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR responds with a +.7 to 3.7 (#13 to #12, 6+). Entering the December 2018 sweep, “News Talk 760” was +1.1 through four straight gains (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” which was +1.8 via three increases in a row (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.6 in January 2019 (4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Notwithstanding the increase, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers backslides from fifth to eighth.    

Transforming “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a lofty +1.4 (6.1 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” leaps from the runner-up slot to #1. Its November one-half share decrease halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM makes up for it with a +.3 in January 2019 to 1.9 (#20 to #19, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility is now without an increase for the third straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to registering a +1.6 to 5.3 (6+), which pulls the plug on three successive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.9 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” returns to the top ten (#11 to #6). Ironically, WYCD isn’t the only Detroit out making a “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 leap of +1.6, as Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” does so as well (4.4 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its October 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline was 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 (6+). With a gain of nine-tenths to 6.9 (steady at #3, 6+), co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” wipes away precisely half of its December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). A November improvement of one-half share suspended three straight declines that led to a -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Progressing by nine-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 5.3, seventh to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five sweeps for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” notches a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and continues at #10. Also logging a +.7 is Detroit Classical & Jazz Educational Radio’s WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days/Jazzy Nights” (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+), which reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 2.0. Owing to four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” plummets by -10.8 to 7.1 (6+) and segues to #2. “Holiday” 2018’s 17.9 is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Off two-tenths to 4.2 (6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” ends three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), after being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM picks up six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains one-half share (2.8, #18 to #17, 6+). After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

As a result of four straight setbacks, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM was a combined -1.2 (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but “98.7 Arizona Sports” logs a +.2 to 2.2 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20). September 2018 marked the first time the flagship of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

After being without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ erases that deficit with a gain of seven-tenths (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” which was a collective +.4 via three straight up or flat trends (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+); -1.2 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.9 in January 2019 (5.1 – 6.0, fourth to third, 6+). Dialing up a gain of nine-tenths as well is Entravision’s KVVA “92.7 La Suavecita” (2.5 – 3.4, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#15 to #10). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” notches a +.7 to 5.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Unchanged at #19, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot,” which had been without an increase the past six sweeps for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), ends that streak by picking up two-tenths to 2.4 (6+). While it is #1 for the fifth straight time, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ surrenders more than half of its 6+ AQH share (15.0 – 7.0, -8.0, 6+). The decrease suspends four upticks in a row that yielded a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. At #30, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” sees its 6+-stat slashed in half (1.2 – .6, -.6, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Applying the brakes to six straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.7 to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.7 (January 2019). Tied at #14 are iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” (3.3, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.2 – 3.3, +1.1, #18 to #14, 6+). KTLK, which gained seven-tenths in October, had been -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “My Talk 107.1” was off a cumulative seven-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), after being up a collective four-tenths in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that netted a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.8 in three decreases in succession (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild drops from sixth to eighth. Flat at #25, Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” regains the one-tenth it dropped in “Holiday” 2018 (.7 – .6 – .7, 6+).

In three straight setbacks KNOW lost a total of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), but the Minnesota Public Radio news/talker rebounds with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KNOW logged three straight increases for a collective +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – This particular sweep proves especially productive for the Twin Cities’ hot ACs as Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” hauls out a +1.9 (5.3 – 7.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” flashes a +1.2 (3.3 – 4.5, #12 to #11, 6+). Moreover, “KS-95,” which spiraled by -1.0 in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), leaps from seventh to first. It held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August; KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. In “Holiday” 2018, “Cities 97.1” eroded by nine-tenths to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). A combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” bounces back with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Fully erasing its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -.8 (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+) with a gain of that same magnitude (2.2, +.8, 6+), Minneapolis Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88” climbs from #20 to #19. There are more ups/downs for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X,” which was an overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+); -.5 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.6 in January 2019 (5.9 – 6.5, unchanged at #2, 6+). This marks the sixth time in a row that Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is without a decrease for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, #14 to #16, 6+). With a .5 (6+), Borgen Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WDGY “The Original Rock N Roll Station” pops on at #27. A combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL has its 6+-stat carved in half (12.6 – 6.3, -6.3, 6+), as “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” falls from first to third. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.6 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” falters by -1.0 to 4.8 and tumbles from fourth to ninth. It’s been a rollercoaster ride recently for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM, which was a collective -.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+); +.9 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -.6 in January 2019 (5.2 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” returns half that increase with a -.5 to 1.3 (#19 to #20, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – By logging a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO suspends three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Recent “News Radio 600” fluctuations include +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); -.7 (December); and +.5 (January 2019). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Over and above picking up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). While down a combined half-share in four straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” moves from #23 to #22.

A positive spike of six-tenths to 1.5 (#25 to #21, 6+) by Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” applies the brakes to three consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). This (1.5) is its best 6+-performance since February 2018’s 1.6. Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” records its third straight up or flat move for a +.4 (.7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which had been down or flat the past three reports for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), gains three-tenths to .8 (#26, 6+).

A mammoth +2.1 by KPBS (5.1 – 7.2, 6+) wipes away an overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+) and propels the San Diego State University-owned news/talker from second to first. KPBS was #1 in October, November, and December before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018.

San Diego Music Formats – Adding a +1.1 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaps from eighth to third. Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia’s KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5, 6+) and progresses from tenth to sixth. This marks the fourth straight up or flat trend for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which is +1.3 in that timeframe (4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.5, third to second, 6+). Down or flat six consecutive reports for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). As a result of six straight sweeps without a loss, Entercom adult contemporary KYXY nearly tripled (+5.4) its 6+-stat (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+) and posted its highest 6+-performance (8.4, “Holiday” 2018) in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A January 2019 -4.5 to 3.9 (6+), however, sinks KYXY from #1 to #11. Following a “Holiday” 2018 loss of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” drops another six-tenths to 4.4 (third to eighth, 6+). While flat at #6, co-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.1 in three straight declines (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ was a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+), but San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappears from print in January 2019. KLVJ posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Immediately after the 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM had been carved precisely in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+), “105.7 Max FM” sputters by another one-half share to .7 (#23 to #27, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” rebounds with a one-half share gain to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. Up three-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #15, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” halts three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths.

Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” advances from #19 to #18. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

After surrendering one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF recaptures three-tenths (1.7 – 2.0, #20 to #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – An overall +1.5 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” progresses from eighth to seventh. Three setbacks in a row by Beasley Media Group country WQYK resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+), but “99.5 QYK” makes up one-third of that decrease with a +.6 to 5.5 (fourth to third, 6+). Albeit that the first-place finisher holds an exactly two-to-one lead over the runner-up, the market has (Cox Media Group-owned) adult contemporary outlets at #1 and #2. Through four straight upticks, WWRM is +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) as “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music” bumps up from third to second with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.4. Despite eroding by -1.9 (13.7 – 11.8, 6+), its Cox Media Group adult contemporary sibling, WDUV “Lite Favorites,” is #1 for the 78th successive ratings period. Its January 2019 decrease interrupts three straight gains that netted a +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Having precisely doubled (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPBB craters by -2.9 to 1.7 freefalling from #6 to #20. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Back in the iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WMTX-HD2, which quadrupled (+.9) its 6+-stat through six straight up or flat moves (.3 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.2, 6+), falters by eight-tenths to .4 (#21 to #2.6, 6+), while sibling WXTB “98 Rock” sputters by six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). One streak continues for Cox Media Group-owned WXGL and another ends as “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.5 in four successive declines (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+), but after six straight times at #2, it slips to #4.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was an overall -1.9 but the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies hangs out a +.5 to 4.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+). KOA was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.6 in December. In a somewhat similar scenario, co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630,” which was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+), improves by three-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #22, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN erases 75% of the shortfall with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+). Directly before that, “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” posted four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5,” the flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, adds one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, #29 to #27, 6+). Up until September (2018), KKSE-FM was country KWOF “The Wolf.”

Not only does KCFR wipe away “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss with a January 2019 increase of seven-tenths (6.9 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+), the Colorado Public Radio news/talk station progresses from second to first. KCFR was on top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Although falling from #21 to #22, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC is in a repetitive 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.4 (6+) sequence.

Denver Music Formats – Off one-half share through three decreases in a row (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” logs a +1.2 to 5.7 (fifth to third, 6+). Racking up a January 2019 increase of +1.2 as well is Entravision’s KJMN (4.7, #12 to #8, 6+); “La Suavecita 92.7” had been trending 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.5, 6+, in November), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” records a +1.0 to 6.0 (6+) and advances from third to second. Along the same line, Entercom’s classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” which was frozen on 4.5 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 4.9, 6+, in November), improves by nine-tenths to 5.4 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Despite gaining three-tenths to 4.6 (6+), thus halting five consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.9 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO backslides from seventh to ninth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, adult contemporary cluster-mate KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” was an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, KOSI forfeits -7.5 to 5.3 (6+) and slips to fifth. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). In a reverse of the previously-cited KBCO and KQMT situations, KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix,” which notched a 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 3.4, 6+, in November), regresses by one-half share to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” adds nine-tenths (3.4, #12 to #11, 6+), Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” gains seven-tenths (2.7, #14 to #13, 6+). WCBM had been off by one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), while WBAL lost a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. Ever since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (#29 to #28, 6+).

A combined +.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – drops one-half share (4.4, fourth to eighth, 6+). Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 (May and June); -1.0 (November); +.5 (December); and -.5 (January 2019).

Rebounding from an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) with a +.8 to 3.1 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” climbs from #13 to #12. November’s +.3 was erased with a December -.3. After faltering by four-tenths, American University-owned news/talk WAMU answers with a gain of six-tenths (1.3 – 1.9, #17 to #15, 6+).

By picking up four-tenths (.7 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH cracks the top ten (#23 to #19) with its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (1.1, as well).

Baltimore Music Formats – Powered by a +1.3 to 6.0 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country,” which had a November through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.8 – 5.1 – 4.7 (6+), progresses from sixth to fourth. This (6.0) is its highest 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.2. Following 11 straight survey periods at #1, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM shifted to second in December. It remained there in “Holiday” 2018 when it lost seven-tenths, but “Magic 95.9” dials up a +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0, 6+) and is back on top, with its strongest 6+-showing (9.0) since July 2018’s 9.5. Improving by +1.1 as well is Hearst Television-owned WIYY “98 Rock” (5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+), which had been trending 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+). Three consecutive declines by Radio One urban contemporary WERQ resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+) but “92 Q Jams” responds with a +1.0 to 7.7 (third to second, 6+). An overall -1.2 in three straight setbacks (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” answers with a +.7 to 5.6 (fourth-place tie to fifth, 6+). Up seven-tenths as well is Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “Maryland’s Classical Music Station” (1.9 – 2.6, #15 to #14, 6+). Locked on 4.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.2, 6+, in November), Entercom hot AC WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” posts a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Having more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat as the result of five straight upticks (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” spirals by -8.7 to 6.5 (first to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 15.2 is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Also in the adult contemporary arena, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” has its 6+ AQH share cut by two-thirds (1.2, -2.4, #11 to #18, 6+). In six positive or flat Baltimore reports in succession, WASH nearly quadrupled (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, 6+). This is the sixth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -3.0 through three straight decreases (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX picks up two-tenths to 5.6 (6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” backslides from sixth to seventh. On top in September and October, the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, 6+), records a half-share increase to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #18. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

Flat at #10, Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” is a combined +.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Four straight June 2018 through October 2018 up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Without an increase in each of the last five sweeps for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU erupts with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+), its highest 6+-share since October 2017 (4.1, as well). Before faltering by three-tenths in December, KWMU had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Hubbard-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); and now a whopping +2.0 in January 2019 (6.1 – 8.1, fourth to second, 6+). The last time KSHE reached the eight-share level (6+) was in November 2016 (8.6). Adding a lofty +1.6 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (6.2 – 6.3 – 7.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Bouncing back from “Holiday” 2018’s loss of eight-tenths with an improvement nearly twice that magnitude (4.9 – 6.4, +1.5, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” advances from seventh to fifth. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+), Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” breaks out a +.9 to 3.4 (#16 to #14, 6+), matching the 3.4 it posted in June 2018. In addition to being up a combined six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (8.0 – 8.1 – 8.6, 6+), Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY progresses from second to first. Reappearing in print in April 2018, “99.1 Joy FM” has reached #1 in August, November, and January 2019 and this (8.6) is its highest 6+-share in the April 2018 through January 2019 timeframe. A collective -1.2 via five consecutive survey periods without an increase (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains four-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK tripled (+10.4) its 6+ numbers and spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019 though, “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” falters by -9.1 to 6.5 (6+), giving way to KLJY and falling from first to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. This is the fourth straight down or flat trend by Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #16, 6+).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten 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.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Friday, December 14, 2018

| December 14, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth.  Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million.  The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local.  We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8.  The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us.  ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.”  Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions.  She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.”  Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11).  More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa.  Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet.  I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give.  Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary.  Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective.  It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz.  Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC.  Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government.  It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard.  The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution.  Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC.  Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background.  He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill.  Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada.  His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The Guardian.  In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17).  Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.”  She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years.  About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again.  Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way.  Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger.  However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years.  Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show.  The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)

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+).

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