Tag: "Austin Rhodes"

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week 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. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Friday, July 13, 2018

| July 13, 2018

WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes Fooled by Sacha Baron Cohen.  Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin wasn’t the only high-profile conservative to fall prey to actor Sacha Baron Cohen for his new television show, “Who Is America?” that debuts on Sunday on Showtime.  WGAC-AM, Augusta, Georgia afternoon drive host Austin Rhodes  entertained a Cohen character in his studio for 90 minutes last summer, unaware until after it had taken place that “Dr. Nira Cain” – supposedly a gender and women’s studies professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon – was actually Cohen.  Rhodes – who says he’s actually a big fan of Cohen’s – shared his story with The Hollywood Reporter.  Read it here.

New Deals for ESPN New York’s Michael Kay and Don La Greca. New York City sports media personalities Michael Kay (right) and Don La Greca (left) – host and co-host of “The Michael Kay Show” on WEPN – have both inked new, multi-year contracts to remain with the station hosting the afternoon drive program.  They will continue to work alongside Peter Rosenberg.  Kay states, “There isn’t another place I would want to do radio than at ESPN.  I love the people I work with and the people I work for.  I also think we do the best, most entertaining radio show in the country and I want to continue to make our listeners laugh and learn every day.”  La Greca adds, “As the first voice of this station, I could not be prouder to sign a contract that will take me through two decades with the ESPN family.”  Kay is also the voice of the New York Yankees on the YES network.  He also hosts YES’ “CenterStage” series and various other programming specials.  WEPN program director Ryan Hurley says, “Having produced ‘The Michael Kay Show’ and having worked with both Michael and Don for close to 15 years, I learned quickly these are two of the hardest-working and entertaining people in our industry.  It has been a great pleasure and to have them with the ESPN family for years to come is something I look forward to.”

iHeartMedia Names Detroit and Philly Region Presidents. Moving from the region president position in Detroit to Philadelphia is Nick Gnau and taking over in the Motor City as region president is Paul Corvino.  In these positions Gnau and Corvino will report to Tom McConnell, president of iHeartMedia’s East Division, who says, “Nick and Paul are great leaders with successful track records and who have done an extraordinary job for us across multiple markets and platforms.  Their vast experience and proven leadership and performance results have shown that they are the perfect candidates to continue to further accelerate growth and innovation across these regions.”  Corvino was most recently with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas where he was president for its Midwest Region.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  Today (7/13), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 13th installment is the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Best-Selling Sci-Fi Author Steve Alten Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The world-famous sci-fi writer Steve Alten, whose novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror (Bantam Doubleday, 1996) inspired the forthcoming summer action film, “The Meg,” is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The flick depicts the heart pounding story of a vicious megalodon – thought to be a long-extinct, extremely fierce ancestor of the great white shark that is discovered by a research team in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench (the deepest place on Earth) and unleashed upon humanity.  The movie, which can be described as “Jaws on steroids,” is scheduled for general release on August 10.  Following that first book, Alten went on to pen a whole “Meg Series” of best-selling sequels involving the megalodon, in addition to a wide variety of other creatures and fantastic adventures.  Harrison and Alten take a deep dive (if you’ll pardon the expression) into a wide variety of fascinating subjects including the state of science fiction, independent publishing in the digital era, the movie business, and new discoveries in science about life in unexpected places including the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.  They also talk about Alten’s struggle with Parkinson’s Disease and the extremely close relationship he has forged over the years with his loyal fan base.  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.

Cool Talk Show Host Opportunity in Twin Cities. With the retirement of late morning talk host John Hines, Entercom’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis/St. Paul is searching for an experienced on-air news/talk talent.  Candidate must have ability to make an emotional connection with and build listener loyalty on-air, conduct entertaining interviews, and interact with callers.  Must exude personality and not be afraid to have strong opinions as well as possess the ability to entertain in person.  A strong command of current affairs, news, pop culture, and sports are a must.  Candidate is required to have strong social media connections and ability to engage listeners in a digital setting. Must have major market experience along with a proven track record.  Operations manager Andy Bloom says, “What I find is that too many talk show hosts know the talking points or can recite what FOX/CNN/MSNBC say.  I’m looking for somebody who actually read the Supreme Court decision on the travel ban, somebody who has read some of the writings of the four finalists to replace Kennedy, somebody who reads the bills Congress votes on, etc.”  See more about this position here.  Reach out to Andy Bloom via andy.bloom@entercom.com.

Trump at NATO Meeting Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 9-13. This week’s meeting between President Trump and other leaders of NATO countries was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related, impending meeting between Vladimir Putin and President Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies, followed by the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh 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 Lexington, Kentucky, Karl Shannon is announcing his retirement from Clarity Communications’ country WLXO. Shannon has been with the station for four years and has been working in radio for more that 40 years.  He’ll sign off in September and is spending the rest of the summer hosting local events using the moniker the “Karl Shannon Retirement Roadshow & Revival.”…..On-air pro Vicki Ochoa, a.k.a. Vicki Oh, is the new midday personality at Bonneville International’s hot AC KZZO, Sacramento “NOW 100.5,” effective July 23.  She had most recently been hosting weekend shifts at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”

Round Three of June PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 survey period covered May 24 – June 20. 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Over and above logging a four-tenths’ gain (8.0 – 8.4, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB repeats at #1. After three straight months in sole possession of first-place, KOPB shared the top spot in April with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety.” Twelve recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. Off a combined one-half share in May and June (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+) after a +.6 in April, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” slips from fourth to fifth. When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Stuck on 1.6 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” adds one-tenth to 1.7 (flat at 1.9, 6+). An April improvement of two-tenths stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” posts a 1.0 (6+) for the fourth time in a row, but drops from #23 to #24. Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” is flat at 1.5 and is unchanged at #21 (6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” repeats May’s 1.3, again finishing at #22 (6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” completes the lack of May 2018 – June 2018 movement by remaining steady at .9/#25 (6+).

Portland Music Formats – At least for the time being, the market’s two classic rockers are going in opposite directions. Specifically, Entercom’s KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a collective +1.4 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew” is an overall -1.5 in its fourth decrease in succession (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), drifting from the top ten (#7 to #12). This (5.4) is the first time that KGON has reached the five-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 5.2; “The Brew” hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) since November 2017 (3.9, as well). In addition to progressing from ninth to sixth, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” notches a +.2 to 4.6 (6+) to snap three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -1.4 (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+). Off one-tenth in May (3.9 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” answers with a +.8 in June to 4.6 (6+), zooming from #12 to #6 with its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Its format foe – Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” – is flat at 4.0 (6+) but climbs from #11 to #10. “The Bull” had been without an increase in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+) before wiping out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. There is no May 2018 – June 2018 change in the (6+) AQH share (7.3) or rank (#3) of iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” which had been -.6 in March; +.6 in April; and +1.2 in May (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+). An overall +1.6 as the result of five consecutive upticks (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6), Entercom alternative KNRK “94.7 – It’s Different Here” falters by four-tenths to 4.0 (ninth to tenth, 6+). May’s 4.4 marked the first time KNRK reached the four-share level (6+) since February 2014 (4.2).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE break out a one-half share increase to 4.1 (6+), “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” enters the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to June, WFAE featured a very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). It was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 2.8 (steady at #17, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT applies the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is down or flat for the third successive sweep for a total loss of one full-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7, #18 – #19, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not since September 2017/October/November has the same Charlotte station repeated at #1; iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat back then. In the meantime, it has been a revolving door for the top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); and WBAV (May). Bragging rights in June go to Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (6.2 – 6.9, +.7, fourth to first, 6+). Moreover, WSOC has its best 6+-performance (6.9) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.0. Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” follows May’s -.6 with a June loss of four-tenths (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, third to fourth, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and -.6 (May). Prior to January 2018, the last time WKKT was #1 was August 2017 – WSOC was #1 the previous month (July 2017). Exiting the penthouse and shifting to second is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which surrenders all but two-tenths of May’s impressive +1.4 (7.9 – 6.7, -1.2, 6+). Ups and downs continue for its CHR sibling WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” which was without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in May; and now -.9 in June (5.0 – 4.1, sixth to tenth, 6+). May’s 5.0 is the best 6+-stat for “Kiss” since July 2017’s 5.1. Still in that Beasley Media Group cluster, adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” is a collective -1.7 in May and June following April’s +1.2 (6.4 – 5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). In February, WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths; “K-104.7” was -1.1 in March. A one-tenth spike to 3.3 (#15 to #13, 6+) by Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” concludes four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia alternative and CHR siblings WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” (#12 to #14, 6+) and WHQC “Channel 96.1 All The Hits” (3.6 – 3.1, #13 to #15, 6+). “The End” has its third decrease in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while “Channel 96.1” logs its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (3.1, as well).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit that the 6+ topline January 2018 – June 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI is a consistent 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.0, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” nonetheless slips from sixth to tenth. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Up or flat the past five reports for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” returns one-tenth in June to 1.8 and is flat at #21 (6+). Without a loss for the third straight time for a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX carries on at #14. Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Off one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (.7 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” falls from #27 to #30.

San Antonio Music Formats – An eight-tenths’ uptick  (2.7 – 3.5, 6+) enables Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to jump from #17 to #13 with its best 6+-showing since September 2017’s 4.2. Having more than doubled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share through four increases in a row (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), co-owned contemporary Christian KZAR returns one-half share to 1.9 (6+) as San Antonio’s version of “Air 1 Positive Hits” dips from #19 to #20. After three downward moves in succession for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+), KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” dials up a +.4 to 7.0 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth sweep in a row. The Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include +1.1 (January 2017); +.8 (April); -.6 (May); -.5 (August); +.7 (October); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); and +.5 (February). Below a three-share (6+) for the first time since November 2017’s 2.7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” drops seven-tenths (3.5 – 2.8, #13 to #17, 6+). Co-owned regional Mexican KROM forfeits all of its combined April and May +.5 and one-tenth more (5.5 -.6, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” slips from second to fourth. Four positive spikes in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM netted a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), but “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -.6 in May and June (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4, fifth to sixth, 6+). The combination of iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” regressing by four-tenths (6.1 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” adding four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, fourth to second, 6+) finds the two country rivals locked together in the runner-up slot. The overall +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). When “Y-100” slipped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” is -1.3 in May and June (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), skidding from third to fifth. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 but then -.9 in February. Meanwhile, co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” improves by two-tenths to 4.4 (tenth to ninth, 6+), thus curtailing four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). A +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that eventuated in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA carries on at #13. Before dropping one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Format rivals WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.4 – 4.9, 6+) and WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (2.7 – 3.2, 6+) each enjoy one-half share gains. Entercom’s “Y-108 advances from ninth to seventh with its best 6+-stat (4.9) since November 2017’s 5.0, while “Big 104.7” shifts  from #12 to #11, logging its strongest 6+ AQH share since October 2017 (3.3). Registering a May 2018 – June 2018 +.5 as well – both in the iHeartMedia cluster – are classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9 – 10.4, #1 for the 16th consecutive time) and rock WDVE (8.2 – 8.7, in the runner-up slot for the sixth successive sweep, 6+). A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), WWSW forfeited -1.3 in May; “3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Surrendering in its entirety the +1.2 it garnered through four successive sweeps without a decrease (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” drops from seventh to tenth (5.4 – 4.2, -1.2, 6+). Even though Steel City Media adult hits WRRK posts its fourth straight down or flat trend for an overall loss of nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.8 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+), “96.9 Bob FM” manages to climb from fifth to third.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat for the fifth straight sweep, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK is an overall -2.3 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first (tied with KSEG) in March; and back to second in April and May. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Flat at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is trending 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+). KSTE was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ is up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). KXJZ posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#19 to #22, 6+), while co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Not only is Entercom-owned KSEG #1 for the fifth time in a row, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is a robust +1.9 in May and June (8.0 – 9.0 – 9.9, 6+). A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). In the first four ratings reports of the year, “The Eagle” had a (6+) topline of 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 8.0; June 2018’s 9.9 is its strongest 6+-showing in nearly two years (10.3, July 2016). Co-owned KKDO “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” dials up a +.6 (3.4 – 4.0, 6+) and continues at #11. Its CHR cluster-mate KUDL, however, returns in its entirety the +1.0 it achieved in May (4.6 – 5.6 – 4.6, fourth to fifth, 6+). As a result of its May increase, “106.5 The End” ended three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a setback of eight-tenths (5.4 -5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). In five straight up or flat trends, Entravision-owned KXSE bettered its 6+ AQH share by two and a half times (1.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), but “La Suavecita 107.1” stumbles in June by three-tenths to 2.2 (6+), falling from #13 to #17. This is the 14th ratings period in succession that Entercom’s KRXQ has recorded a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 (4.0 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). In May, “98 Rock” returned the six-tenths it gained in April. The market’s 6+ country share improves by six-tenths, completely erasing May’s -.6. Specifically, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” adds two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, ninth to sixth, 6+); Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” regains the one-tenth it lost in May (2.4 – 2.5, #15 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is up three-tenths (2.1 – 2.4, #17 to #14, 6+). “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. As a result of three successive increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but was -.5 in April. Immediately prior to May’s -.4, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being up a collective one-half share in three consecutive progressive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” enters the top twenty (#22 to #20). Off three-tenths (5.2 – 4.9, 6+) after May’s whopping -2.9, Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” repeats at #6. Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL (#1 in April) was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+) and a combined -3.2 just before that in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). A +.3 to 4.1 (6+) in May by iHeartMedia’s KNRS ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) but “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” returns one-tenth to 4.0 (flat at #9). KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. An overall -1.3 as the result of not logging an increase for three successive sweeps (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER is now a combined +.3 in May and June (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, steady at #15, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in March and April before slipping to 3.7 in May, Broadway Media-owned KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” erupts with a +.7 (3.7 – 4.4, 6+) as it advances from tenth to eighth. The last time “X-96” crossed the four-share level (6+) was October 2017 (4.1). Down (slightly) in each of the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 3.0 (#18 to #16, 6+). At the same time that independent KSOP-AM “Classic Country AM 1370” improves by one-half share (.4 – .9, #25, 6+), co-owned KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” sputters by seven-tenths (4.6 – 3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+). It is a brief one-month run at #1 for Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which erodes by one full-share (7.3 – 6.3, 6+) and segues to the runner-up slot. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). While it doesn’t inherit any of KSFI’s -1.0, Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (flat at 3.3, 6+) improves from #12 to #11. This (3.3) is the best 6+-stat for “B-98.7” (which was +.6 in May) since September 2017’s 3.5. Succeeding KSFI at the top is KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which actually loses one-tenth (6.9 – 6.8, second to first, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. Noteworthy ups and downs continue for Capitol hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was -.5 (March); then -.6 (April); +.6 (May); and now -.9 in June (5.7 – 4.8, fourth to seventh, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – A positive spike of four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) by Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR enables the news/talker to progress from #20 to #14. Three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+) were directly followed with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) commercial news/talk share decreases by four-tenths as Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” drops three-tenths (2.0 – 1.7, #20 to #21, 6+), while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is down one-tenth (1.1 – 1.0, #24 to #25, 6+). Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” drops two-tenths (.8 – .6, flat at #27, 6+), while KRLV “Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas” is flat at .5 (#29, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In each of the last 18 ratings periods, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID was within three-share range, but that streak concludes as “La Buena 101.9” registers a gain of six-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+), its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Without an increase the past four sweeps for an overall -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” carves the deficit roughly in half with a +.6 to 3.2 (#13 to #12, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down one-tenth (7.0 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” repeats at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” at #1. It is a familiar pattern between the two stations as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. In addition to holding the lead in December 2017 and March 2018, “Sunny” was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). Meanwhile, KKLZ is off four-tenths in June (6.2 – 5.8, 6+) and continues in second-place. Included in a five-way logjam at #14 is Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station,” which posts a +.2 to 2.4 (6+), snapping at three a consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2, flat at #18, 6+). That streak followed three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” (unchanged at #3, 6+) and Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (4.2 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to June’s -.5, “Mix” was a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride definitely continues for iHeartMedia news/talker WLW, which was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; -1.2 in May; and now +1.4 in June (7.7 – 9.1, 6+). Moreover, the Cincinnati Reds flagship marches from fourth to first. June’s 9.1 is its highest 6+-share since last October’s 9.2. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WKRC is down a combined full-share in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) as “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” slides from #11 to #14. WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of WKRC is Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU, which is up three-tenths (2.9 – 3.2, 6+) advancing from #13 to #11; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. Off two-tenths (1.4 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” slips from #17 to #18.

Cincinnati Music Formats – The 6+ topline January 2018 – May 2018 trending for Radio One urban AC WOSL is 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5. In June, however, “100.3 R&B + Old School” breaks out a +.7 to 3.2 – its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4 – to progress from #14 to #11. New to the top twenty (at #16) is Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country” (1.5 – 2.0, +.5, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR exit the top spot after five straight months at #1 and shift to #2, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is down for the third consecutive sweep for a collective -2.2 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.2, 6+). Its -.6 in April curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Eroding by nine-tenths each are Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (7.7, second to fourth, 6+) and Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (1.6 – .7, #16 to #24). The June loss by “B-105.1” pulls the plug on five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+); WUBE was -1.4 in December. An overall +.9 in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), “Soul 101.5” faltered by seven-tenths in May. April’s 2.3 is the best 6+-showing for WDBZ since November 2017 (2.3, as well). After registering a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.9 ten straight times, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops three-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but continues in tenth-place.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Having dropped two-tenths in May (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” answers with a one-half share gain to 3.8 (#13 to #12, 6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). With its lowest 6+-showing since January’s 3.9, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (5.3 – 4.0, -1.3, 6+) tumbles from seventh to tenth. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). In five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM is -1.4 as “News 96.5” slumps from #11 to #13. Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5” was +2.0 in September 2017. Sputtering by three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is flat at #16. Immediately before gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Tied at #19 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (flat at 1.0, 6+) and Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.9 – 1.0, +.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia’s WRUM on top for the sixth consecutive sweep, “Rumba 100” adds seven-tenths (10.5 – 11.2, 6+). In advance of the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” and WRUM adult contemporary cluster-mate WMGF “Magic” (6.2 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) each gain one-half share. “K-92.3” is now +1.6 through four successive positive spikes (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6, ninth to sixth, 6+). Following three upticks in a row – each by two tenths – that generated a +.6 (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” relinquishes all but one-tenth of that increase (8.4, -.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Five successive up or flat sweeps by Entercom’s WKRK netted a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.8 in three straight setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, #11 to #12, 6+). Owing to three consecutive increases, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); however, “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” slips in June by one-tenth to 6.5 (6+). Even so, WTAM actually improves from seventh to fifth. May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. January’s one-half share gain halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Ideastream-owned WCPN is unchanged at 2.6 (6+) and flat at #13. The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+) after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to May’s +1.1 (7.1 – 8.0, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” jumps from fourth to second and has its finest 6+-performance (8.0) in exactly one year (8.4, June 2017). Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Roaring back from May’s -1.5 with a +.6 (9.3 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” rises from second to first. This now makes nine dramatic up/down shifts in succession for WMJI: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and now +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, WMJI occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. It succeeds Radio One urban AC WZAK, which is -3.3 in three hefty losses in a row (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8, first to fourth, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). When iHeartMedia’s WGAR posted a +.8 in May, it thwarted three straight negative moves that resulted in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+), but “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” flounders by six-tenths in June and dips from fifth to sixth (7.0 – 6.4, 6+). It is tied with Entercom adult contemporary WDOK, which surrenders three-tenths to 6.4, curtailing three increases in a row for an overall +1.8 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), “Cleveland’s Star 102” lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Three decreases in a row by Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+), but “Talk Radio 710” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and remains at #23. A combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.9 (#12 to #14, 6+). The Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. Meanwhile, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+), notches a +.1 to 2.1 (#20 to #18, 6+). WHB was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. When “Sports Radio 810” dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). It is tied at #18 with Entercom’s KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. After registering six successive increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), news/talk sibling KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” follows with four straight decreases for a -1.5 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in May (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR progresses from #17 to #15. Prior to May, it was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – On the heels of May’s +.7, Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” adds a full-share in June (5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and climbs from fourth to third. It previously was off nine-tenths as the result of three straight downward trends (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). Through five successive decreases (8.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC witnessed its 6+-share spiral by more than 55% (-4.6) but “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rebounds with a +.6 to 4.1 and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). In six consecutive monthlies without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). One Cumulus Media outlet leaves the top spot and another replaces it. In June, KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” improves by two-tenths to 7.2 (6+) and proceeds from second to first. Last on top in February, “The Fox” had been -1.6 via through three decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Displaced from the lead position and falling to second is cluster-mate KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which had been #1 the past three sweeps. The classic hits-oldies outlet is now a combined -1.0 in three successive dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). It faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight positive spikes that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Alternative sibling KCJK “X-105.1” returns all of May’s +.5 and two-tenths more (2.7 – 2.0, -.7, #17 to #20, 6+). Establishing a down/up pattern, co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” is trending 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.4 (#11 to #12, 6+). Notwithstanding that it remains in fifth-place, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” is without a loss in each sweep since December 2017 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). It is tied with co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, third to fifth, 6+), which was up one-half share in May, thus wiping away the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – drops two-tenths (4.8 – 4.6, 6+) but carries on in eighth-place.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN’s 6+ March 2018 – June 2018 topline is 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3. “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; but surrenders three-tenths in June (4.2 – 3.9, flat at #7, 6+). WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX was +.3 in April and May, but “105.7 The Zone” drops one-tenth in June (1.0 – .9, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Slightly up or flat in each of the last four ratings periods for an overall gain of six-tenths (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” remains in third-place. In the runner-up slot for the sixth time in a row, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI hauls out a +1.3 and is up or flat for the third successive sweep (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” since October 2017 (10.7, as well). WNCI was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). Despite that stellar profile, WNCI is still five full shares behind cluster-mate WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country,” which not only finishes at #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep but logs its third increase in a row for an overall +3.4 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, WCOL registers perhaps the largest 6+-stat (15.7) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; +1.0 in April; and now +1.2 in June. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Frozen on 3.0 (6+) in February and March and then on 3.4 (6+) in April and May, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB falters by seven-tenths to 2.7 as “106.7 The Beat” departs the top ten (#10 to #11, 6+). A collective +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” returns all of that increase and extra one-tenth (3.1, -.6, eighth to ninth, 6+). Despite dropping one-half share (3.7 – 3.2, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” continues in eighth-place.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

| July 9, 2014

lakampbrianClear Channel Makes Corporate Structural Changes; Moves iHeartRadio into Clear Channel Networks Group Division.  Along with this change – putting the iHeartRadio platform under the Clear Channel Networks Group banner headed by president Darren DavisBrian Lakamp remains with the company and is promoted to the new position — president of technology and digital ventures.  The company calls Lakamp’s promotion part of its “taking another important step in its continuing transformation to a consumer-driven, technology-fueled company.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Our corporate focus on digital, increasingly leveraging technology to maximize our business, reflects the natural evolution of Clear Channel into a 21st century media company.  Creativity is also enabled by technology, and as advertisers’ interest in new and emerging technology options continues to grow, we intend to remain at the forefront of both innovation anddavisdarren creativity.  Brian is perfectly positioned to help us – and our consumers, advertisers and content partners – as we continue to build Clear Channel’s digital roadmap for the future.”  The new role puts Lakamp in charge of the overall technology platform and capabilities for all of Clear Channel – including its broadcast, digital radio, events and promotions and out-of-home businesses.  The company says he will also be responsible for developing the company’s overall place in the worlds of big data and programmatic buying. Putting iHeartRadio under Darren Davis’ purview means he’ll be responsible for the entire business of iHeartRadio as well as Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network; and the 24/7 News Network.  Davis comments, “I look forward to working with the immensely talented iHeartRadio team to build on the tremendous success of iHeartRadio by utilizing the full promotional and creative power of Clear Channel for iHeartRadio Networks.  I’m excited to continue my collaboration with Brian in his new role to leverage new opportunities and maximize emerging technologies across Clear Channel’s national platforms and services.”

riseguysRise Guys Return to Sacramento Radio.  Sports talk morning drive personalities Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler – known as The Rise Guys – are returning to the Sacramento market on Entercom’s KCTC “ESPN 1320” after leaving the market for San Francisco three years ago.  In 2011 they took the gig at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” after years at the company’s KHTK, Sacramento.  But earlier this year they exited that station after talent changes were made.  Now, they return to the Sacramento market on KHTK’s sister station.

kiroBrock and Salk Show to Air in Mornings on KIRO-AM, Seattle.  The recent return of Mike Salk to Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” as program director after a year-long stint at WEEI, Boston is now bringing about changes to the station’s talent lineup as he and Brock Huard are getting back together on the radio for a morning show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  The “Brock & Salk” show debuted in 2009 but ended when Salk took the afternoon co-host gig at Entercom’s WEEI, Boston in the spring of 2013.  The change means Michael Grey is moving from afternoons to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot followed by “Bob & Groz” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  Danny O’Neil, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore will host afternoon drive from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Salk comments, “These changes make an already strong lineup even stronger and this is just the beginning.  I’m thrilled with where the station is going and couldn’t be more excited to get behind the mic.”

frantzbobFrantz Exits WTAM, Cleveland.  Talk personality Bob Frantz is let go from his position with Clear Channel’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he appeared alongside Mike Trivisonno on the 9:00 am to 10:00 am show “The Spew” as well as hosting the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm program.  Frantz was doing his second tour of duty with the station – he worked there in the late 1990s before returning in 2006.  Replacing him in the evening slot is “The Sports Feed” co-host and Indians reporter Nick Camino.

nielsen logoRound One of June PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publican RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings at RadioInfo.com here.

emmisEmmis Q1 Report: Radio Revenue Essentially Flat.  The results for the first fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications (ending May 31) show the company’s net radio revenue up 22% — but that includes the addition of revenue from WBLS and WLIB, New York which it has been operating under an LMA since March 1.  Assuming those stations had been in the fold at the same time a year ago, revenue would have been flat.  Atsmulyanjeff the station level, the company reports its stations were up 1.6% compared to local radio market revenue down 5.5% during the fiscal quarter.  Emmis president and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “While our markets continue to be tested, our stations and employees have risen to the challenge and continue to outperform our markets.  We continue to believe NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, is a game-changer for the radio industry and will reignite growth.  We have spent the last year building out the NextRadio ecosystem, and now we are entering a critical phase to build consumer awareness.  I’m proud of our team for its continuing focus on innovation and operational excellence.”

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s program is being added to another Clear Channel-owned news/talk station as KEX, Portland picks up the program to air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The show is also heard on KPRC, Houston and KHOW, Denver…..Former Dallas Cowboys defensive star Dat Nguyen inks a contract renewal with Alpha Media sports talker KZDC, San Antonio “1250 ESPN.”  Nguyen hosts the afternoon drive show where he’s been since joining the station in August of 2012…..ESPN Radio’s “10th Annual ESPY Day Auction” to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 16.  This year’s auction of more than 250 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN and ABC personalities and behind-the-scenes experiences with numerous ESPN programs.

Child Immigration Crisis, Obama Approval Ratings, GOP Picks Cleveland for 2016 Convention, Israeli-Hamas Violence, Costco Pulls D’Souza Book, Palin Joins Impeachment Plea, and Klein’s Blood Feud Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The influx of minor illegal immigrants in the Southwest and the political battle over immigration enforcement; the lower approval ratings for President Obama; the RNC chooses Cleveland for site of 2016 convention and the importance of Ohio in the next presidential election; escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians; the flap over Costco’s decision to stop selling Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her; Sarah Palin returns to the media spotlight calling for the president’s impeachment; and controversy over Ed Klein’s book about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 29, 2013

| July 29, 2013

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5.  The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

katzjeffspeaks–          6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)

–          9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

–          12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed grahammichaelcolumnist.)

–          3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports will be provided capalboshattuckthroughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).  Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to.  That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.”  Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago,  “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform.  The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a  21st century ‘media station’ wildfire.  By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.”  Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform.  He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media.  The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball.  If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden.  It is the same thing with the internet.  Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!”  Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists.  This is a brilliant move!”  Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well.  The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”  Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning purcellsciaccavideo reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content.  Is this a TV newsroom?  An online newsroom?  A radio station?  A newspaper?  It’s today’s Boston Herald.”  He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible.  Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.”  Boston  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming.  It’s perfect synergy.  Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners.  We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile.  They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”

sabowalterMemo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites:  Do it Correctly!  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio.  In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity.  He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it.  He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested.  Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters.  Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

cumulusAnother Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity.  We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico.  The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them.  Both contracts reportedly are limbaughrushup at the end of this year.  As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone ofhannitysean contention is.  Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract.  Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue.  The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts.  If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant.  Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.

millerchrisThe Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know.  Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena.  In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase.  To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.

kjce-am logoEntercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM.  The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere NetworksSteve Harvey in morning drive.  KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.”  Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.”  The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.

kroi logoRadio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather.  Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI.  Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best?  KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”

michaelsbillSyndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison.  Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8.  The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication.  “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin.  “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.”  Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true.  I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans.  I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”

jacksonkevin‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction.  The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations.  Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets.  Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future.  Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention.  We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”

rhodesaustinMan Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes.  A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm.  After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy.  According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.

handel20yearsKFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel.  Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station.  Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program.  To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement.  Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

| July 25, 2012

Salem Communications Joins iHeartRadio.  The latest broadcast group to join the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment digital media platform is Salem Communications.  The company’s 97 stations in 37 markets will become available on iHeartRadio beginning in September.  Salem radio division president David Santrella states, “It’s important that our content be available to our listeners no matter where or how they want to receive it.  Clearly iHeartRadio is a dominant player in the space and we are excited to be able to offer our content on the platform.”  In contract to the secular broadcast companies that have signed on with Clear Channel’s platform, Salem brings Christian-formatted radio stations into the mix.  Salem director of digital media Rodney Whitaker says, “We are looking forward to the launch of our partnership with iHeartRadio and the increased audience it will bring us, both online and through the mobile app. It’s clear they are dedicated to innovation and providing listeners with an ever-improving experience.”

No FM Signal for Clear Channel’s Boston News/Talker.  At the time it was announced the company was purchasing Phoenix Media Group’s WFNX, Boston, some industry watchers suspected Clear Channel would take the 101.7 frequency of the former alternative rocker and give it to news/talk WXKS – Talk 1200.  The recent revelation the company acquired call letters WHBA seemed to indicate that would not be the case and it turns out it is not.  Yesterday, Clear Channel unveiled variety hits “The Harbor” with the airing of the Standells’ ode to Boston, “Dirty Water.”

Augusta, Georgia Talk Host Austin Rhodes Celebrates 20 Years in PM Drive at WGAC-AM/FM.  The station tells TALKERS magazine talk host Austin Rhodes’ 20-year stint as host of the PM drive show on Beasley Broadcasting’s WGAC-AM/FM, Augusta is the longest-running drive time radio presence on one station in the history of the Augusta media market.  Rhodes’ media career began 29 years ago assisting the late Matt Stovall in his radio broadcasts of local high school football games with WMTZ in Augusta.  He began a full-time career in radio broadcasting in 1987, as a radio news reporter and anchor for WGAC.  In 1989, Austin moved to television news, where he stayed until 1992.  On July 16, 1992, Rhodes rejoined WGAC, assuming afternoon hosting duties for what was then, “Voice of the People.”  The station also notes that Rhodes has been regularly named Augusta’s favorite radio host in such publications as Augusta Magazine, The Metro Spirit and Columbia County Magazine.  He’s also been recognized by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

Prime Program Director Job Open at Cox Media Group’s KRMG, Tulsa.  With longtime KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa programmer Drew Anderssen moving to the company’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando, CMG is looking for a program director for the legendary news/talk outlet.  The station says, “This position demands a candidate with the ability and experience to lead a dynamic, veteran news department and programming staff.  Because of this station’s profile locally and nationally, only candidates with the highest level of execution, creativity and leadership will be considered.”  The deadline for application is August 12 and interested applicants should apply to: Janet Bergquist, Cox Media Group – Tulsa, 7136 S. Yale Avenue, Suite 500, Tulsa, OK  74136.  Or e-mail cover letter, resume and audio to: tulsajobs@coxinc.com.  CMG requests no phone calls.

WQAM, Miami PM Drive Host Dan Sileo Joins Hurricanes Post-Game Show.  Sports talk host Dan Sileo – who hosts the PM drive show on Beasley’s sports talk WQAM, Miami and played football at the University of Miami during the mid-1980s – becomes part of the broadcasts for Hurricanes football this season.  Sileo will be on the team that handles the post-game show.  He tells TALKERS, “It is an awesome honor for me to be part of a program that I helped build and I have incredible love for the University of Miami.  My daughter will be going to games with her dad this year…a dream come true.”

Raising the Demo.  Talk radio hosts and programmers should avoid the temptation to narrow their “target demo” to a number, says consultant Holland Cooke.  “Recently published Nielsen data affirms what you may have suspected all along: The vaunted 25-54 demo is malarkey.  Although only 5% of ad dollars are aimed at ‘em, 35-64 accounts for half of product purchases.”  Cooke writes that the key to making the sales department happy is cutting through the clutter and being “remarkable” to people who have children, of any age, still living at home.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas Adds Slate of New Weekend Shows.  CBS Radio’s news/talk outlet KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas announces a number of new weekend programs to be heard on the station.  The lineup is as follows: Saturday, 9:00 am, “The 19th Hole Weekend Edition” with Dennis Silvers and TPC Summerlin general manager Lee Smith; 11:00 am, “Pet Talk with Dr. B”; 2:00 pm, “Pawn Talk Live with Michael Mack”; 3:00 pm, “Asked and Answered” with Las Vegas personal injury and criminal defense attorney Marc Saggese; 4:00 pm, “Debt Free LV with Chris Parker”; 5:00 pm, “Over and Under with Chad Forster” covering local and national sports; Sunday, 3:00 pm, “Real Estate Live with Kevin Mikrut”; 5:00 pm, “Get Fired Up with Bob Irwin” – all things guns, politics and self defense.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Extends His Deal with the Sports Media Giant.  The new contract means ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will add several on-site “College GameDay Built by the Home Depot” appearances throughout the football season.  He will travel to some of the “GameDay” locations in support of his features, interviews and reports related to the game, teams and players involved.  He will also be part of ESPN’s BCS Championship Game coverage.  This is in addition to Van Pelt’s duties as “SportsCenter” anchor and his ESPN Radio talk show.  He is also lead reporter and host of the network’s major golf coverage, including the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

KFKA, Greeley, Colorado Adds Local Sports Talk Show.  Broadcast Media’s News Talk 1310 KFKA in Greeley, Colorado announces the addition of “SportsDay” with Troy Coverdale and Brady Hull to the daily lineup, airing from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm beginning August 6.  Coverdale is the voice of the University of Northern Colorado Bears play-by-play and Hull is the station’s sales manager who has been a steady presence on the station’s air since 2008 with prep sports coverage.  In a release, the station says, “With a heavy focus on local sports teams, including expanded preps, UNC and Colorado State coverage, ‘SportsDay’ is expected to fill a hole in the marketplace, as Northern Colorado has seen sports talk programs come and go over the past 10 years.”

Aurora Massacre Aftermath, Presidential Campaign, Tax Cut Issue, European Debt Crisis, and Financial Markets Activities Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24).  The aftermath of the Aurora; Colorado movie theater massacre; the presidential campaign; Congressional moves regarding the Bush-era tax cuts; the debt crisis in Euro Zone nations and global financial markets activities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.